Wright from Washington
February 26, 2014
Out of gas
... and nowhere to go, anyway
The State of the Union address for 2014
Translated by DAVID T. WRIGHT
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"Americans are hungry for action." That's what Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to His Sacred Highness the Emperor of the World, told eager MSNBC viewers the morning before his State of the Union address. "And what you'll hear from the president tonight is going to be all about action creating opportunity and it's going to be a very optimistic speech."
Unfortunately for HSH, he hasn't shown us much action recently, and his optimism is akin to whistling past the graveyard. He certainly doesn't have many accomplishments to brag about. His poll ratings are deteriorating. The injuries to Americans caused by the evil fiasco called Obamacare continue to unfold in the public eye like a malignant, foul-smelling flower. The economy continues to flounder, with the proportion of the adult population not working now at the highest in 35 years, and no improvement in sight in part because that same Obamacare is forcing businesses to lay off employees, reduce their working hours, or not hire workers in the first place. His promises to make his regime "the most transparent ever" and to modify the Patriot Act to remove its most threatening provisions were shown to be cynical lies by his unprecedented offensives against whistleblowers and the continuing revelations of illegal state surveillance against ordinary Americans.
As for new ideas, our progressive Emperor simply doesn't have any. He's out of gas. And it's not just on the domestic front. His foreign policy is hardly distinguishable from that of his forerunner Clueless George except that, if possible, it's more belligerent. And, like that of his quasi-simian predecessor, it's a complete shambles:
1) Picking up where George left off, Barry is determined not to have peaceful relationships with the two greatest players on the world stage beside the United State: Russia and China. Instead, the regime is playing pre-Great War power politics with them, consistently taking a belligerent, hostile stance. Washington constantly interferes in Russia's sphere of influence and engages in provocative acts, such as setting up anti-missile sites on its borders and destabilizing countries on its borders through "pro-democratic" non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Obama's spooks have successfully instigated a revolution in Ukraine that looks set to bring Ukraine into NATO. If that happens, it will pose a huge security threat to Russia, which may find it necessary to take military action to protect its flank and save its valuable Black Sea naval base at the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol. Obama even went out of his way to insult the Russians by sending a bunch of homosexuals as the official U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics, in self-righteous reaction to Russia's policy against encouraging sexual deviancy.
In contrast, both Russia and China seem concerned mostly with minding their own business and building commercial and diplomatic ties around the world. The international prestige of both regimes is growing, while that of the United State continues to deteriorate.
2) Obama was saved from public humiliation over his ill-considered aggression against Syria by none other than his hated nemesis Vladimir Putin. No sooner had HSH foolishly declared that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against the U.S.-backed rebels would provoke a U.S. response, than chemical weapons were apparently used, by whom it's unclear. Obama was caught between his pledge and a huge backlash by the Great American Unwashed against further military intervention in Third World hellholes. But Putin, the cad, pulled his chestnuts out of the fire by negotiating an agreement with the Syrian regime to get rid of its chemical weapons.
3) The evil traitor Edward Snowden, after revealing to the American public the amazing fact that Obama's regime had lied to them about its illegal surveillance of ordinary taxpayers, escaped the tender clutches of the Authorities and was given refuge by the same hated Putin.
4) To add insult to injury, Putin also makes Obama look like an effeminate wimp by shooting bears, riding horses, playing hockey, and climbing mountains with his shirt off, displaying his muscular physique. Obama? He plays golf.
5) Iraq is descending into chaos again, and its ungrateful puppet government has turned hostile, siding with Iran against its U.S. benefactors. The city of Fallujah, which in 2004 was pounded into submission at the cost of thousands of civilian lives by Imperial Storm Troopers after the killing and mutilation of four Blackwater mercenaries, has been taken over by guerrillas calling themselves
al Qaeda.So much for the thousands of lives and trillions of dollars spent to turn Iraq into a "democracy."
6) The extremely well-dressed puppet dictator of Afghanistan is following the Iraqi dictator's lead. He's ungratefully refusing to sign a "security" agreement that would give Obama's Storm Troopers an excuse to continue destroying his country and slaughtering his subjects after the end of the year. In any case, despite the rosy propaganda by our informal Ministry of Truth (also known as the Mainstream Media), conditions in Afghanistan are getting worse, not better. Violence is on the rise, the Taliban's power and influence are growing, and the rate of killings and woundings of Imperial Storm Troopers is higher than it's been in years.
7) Obama's brilliant adventure in Libya, promoting the overthrow of the sex-crazed megalomaniac Muammar Gaddafi in favor of a group of noble, progressive liberal democrats, quickly turned putrid when said noble democrats turned out to be vicious sectarian Islamist gangsters, some of whom also call themselves
8) Our hero is also vigorously promoting the overthrow of Syrian mass-murderer Bashar al-Assad, in favor of a group of noble, progressive liberal democrats who also turned out to be vicious sectarian Islamist gangsters, some of whom call themselves
al Qaeda.I mean, what are the odds? The leader of one faction actually cut the heart out of an enemy soldier and ate it on camera, the sort of thing that's still viewed with disfavor in most parts of America. But despite the Empire's support of these darlings, Assad hangs on to power.
9) Then there was the Benghazi disaster, in which, thanks to bad planning, bad intelligence, and careless security practices, a U.S. ambassador was attacked and killed by some of those same noble democrats/vicious sectarian Islamist gangsters. The Obama regime then lied about the reason for the attack, saying it was a spontaneous demonstration provoked by an anti-Islam video on YouTube, only to be embarrassed when it was revealed that the assault was well-planned and carried out by well-armed troops. Fortunately for His Highness, then-Minister of Aggression against Small Helpless Countries Hillary Clinton took most of the heat for that one.
10) The Israeli supreme mass-murderer Benjamin Netanyahu continued to push Obama around, threatening to attack Iran and drag the Empire into a shooting war if Obama didn't agree to destroy Iran's non-existent nuclear weapons program.
11) The regime's policy of trying to push China around in its own back yard suffered a slight setback when U.S. warships interfered in Chinese naval activities in an area called, ironically, the South China Sea. An Imperial cruiser was spying on the shakedown cruise of China's brand-new aircraft carrier when a Chinese destroyer turned in front of it, forcing it to take evasive action. U.S. admirals tried to minimize the event by condescendingly attributing the move to bad communications and Chinese "inexperience," but the real problem is that those uppity Chinks just won't admit that the United State owns the world. Even more alarming, the Chinese recently tested a new Mach 10 (that's 8,000 mph) maneuvering warhead for their anti-ship ballistic missile. It's a weapon that threatens to make the Empire's hugely expensive nuclear aircraft carriers and associated ships as obsolete as coal-fired dreadnaughts, and just as useful for interfering in China's affairs.
And so on. On top of everything else, Obama and his genius advisors have completely run out of new panaceas to foist on the voting public. The gloss seems to have rubbed off His Sacred Highness.
So, this being America in the 21st Century, the only thing to do is mount a public-relations campaign. With enough mawkish sentimentality, worthless promises, and high-flown verbiage, one can, it is hoped, evoke a facile emotional response and draw attention away from one's disastrous record and the manifest contempt one has shown one's constituents. Thus, the opening of HSH's latest State of the Empire address on
January 28sounded a bit like a World War IIFrank Capra propaganda film, loaded as it was with heartstring-tugging mom-and-apple-pie clichés:Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:Allow me a moment to wipe away a tear. Obama's manner was noticeably different from his usual sour, nose-in-the-air snobbiness. Now he was making a huge effort to appear ebullient, smiling as if he actually liked the people around him: See, America? He really does like us! He must have found the strain terrific.
Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America's graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades.
An entrepreneur flipped on the lights in her tech startup, and did her part to add to the more than
8 millionnew jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.
An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil.
A farmer prepared for the spring after the strongest five-year stretch of farm exports in our history. A rural doctor gave a young child the first prescription to treat asthma that his mother could afford. A man took the bus home from the graveyard shift, bone-tired but dreaming big dreams for his son. And in tight-knit communities across America, fathers and mothers will tuck in their kids, put an arm around their spouse, remember fallen comrades, and give thanks for being home from a war that, after twelve long years, is finally coming to an end.
Tonight, this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent: it is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong.Here are the results of your efforts: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years. A rebounding housing market. A manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. More oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world the first time that's happened in nearly twenty years. Our deficits cut by more than half. And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world's number one place to invest; America is.Yes. Well. The official unemployment rate actually is lower than it has been for five years. But it's not because the economy has turned around or anything. It's because when people's unemployment benefits run out which they did for
1.3 millionpeople in December they're removed from the unemployment rolls! Isn't that cute! They're no longer considered part of the labor force. In fact, as noted above, labor force participation is at its lowest in 30 years,since the great Stagflation under Nixon, Ford, and Carter. That's hardly something to brag about. In real terms, the unemployment rate is about 23 percent,which is about what it was during the worst of the last Great Depression.
And it's going up, not down.
As for the oil issue, it's also true that oil production is up in the United State. But it's ironic that Obama wants to claim credit for it, because his regime and its allies seem to be doing everything possible to stop it. The new bounty is the result of new hydraulic fracturing technologies, which open up huge new reserves of both oil and gas. But the anti-economic-growth environmental loonies are one of Obama's most cherished constituencies, so he issued an executive order throwing up roadblocks to "fracking" and raising its costs. The regime's foot-dragging on the Keystone Pipeline is another example of its ambivalence about allowing Americans to have the energy they need. And believe me, Obama & Co. are not delaying because of any libertarian opposition to eminent domain.That's why I believe this can be a breakthrough year for America. After five years of grit and determined effort, the United States is better-positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth.What Obama neglects to point out is that it's an Earth full of economic basket cases, with Europe crippled by the effects of massive overspending and debt by countries such as Greece, Italy, and Spain; China beginning to suffer from the bad practices of its massively corrupt banking system; Japan still floundering years after its own crash; and the Third Word being, well, the Third World. So the United State looks comparatively good: the same way an angina patient with an oxygen bottle looks good in comparison to a heart attack victim receiving CPR.
And so on. Skipping ahead, we are surprised to find that Obama actually does understand that things aren't completely rosy:The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by let alone get ahead. And too many still aren't working at all.Let's skate over the fact that the number of people not working is growing. Of course, the reason that people aren't getting along so well is simple: the so-called recovery really isn't a recovery at all. The economy is bumping along the bottom, and every little tick in the indicators is fallen upon by the politicians and pundits, and touted as evidence of things getting better. One is reminded of the ever-increasing production figures relentlessly trumpeted by the regime in Orwell's 1984.But America does not stand still and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do.Because everything they've done up to this point has been so effective, they might as well do more of it. If any proof was needed that this regime is out of gas, this latest speech provides it in spades.
Income tax reform is an old standby. Let's throw that into the mix.Both Democrats and Republicans have argued that our tax code is riddled with wasteful, complicated loopholes that punish businesses investing here, and reward companies that keep profits abroad. Let's flip that equation. Let's work together to close those loopholes, end those incentives to ship jobs overseas, and lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs here at home.Nobody's ever proposed that before!Year after year, Americans are burdened by an archaic, incoherent federal tax code. I've appointed a bipartisan panel to examine the tax code from top to bottom. And when the recommendations are delivered, you and I will work together to give this nation a tax code that is pro-growth, easy to understand, and fair to all. (George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 2005)And here's an exciting new idea:Moreover, we can take the money we save with this transition to tax reform to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, unclogging our commutes because in today's global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure.Because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the stimulus bill, worked so well at pulling us out of the economic slump by spending
$831 billionon such things as, well, rebuilding roads, upgrading ports, etc.Let's do more to help the entrepreneurs and small-business owners who create most new jobs in America. Over the past five years, my administration has made more loans to small-business owners than any other.On the other hand, it's done nothing to remove the crippling burden of regulatory decrees, taxation, and legal minefields facing small businesses, not to mention the Obamacare debacle that is destroying millions of small-business jobs. As for all those loans, well, nearly a fifth of them failed last year. It's not exactly helping a business when it has to be liquidated to pay off a loan unwisely given and unwisely accepted. And making a loan to a business destined to fail takes resources away from potentially successful ones. But failures by the state always come as surprising anomalies to people such as Obama, for whom the answer to any problem is more state intervention.We know that the nation that goes all-in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow. This is an edge America cannot surrender. Federally funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind Google and smartphones. That's why Congress should undo the damage done by last year's cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery whether it's vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria, or paper-thin material that's stronger than steel. And let's pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly, needless litigation.It's all about owning the global economy. Apparently shared prosperity is anathema to our enlightened leader. In any case, nobody would ever argue that innovation could ever be possible without the benevolent help of the state, or that with less intervention by the state, there might actually be more innovation. Let's skip over that half-billion-dollar loan to electric car builder Fisker, in which Democratic Party saint Al Gore had a financial interest, and which went spectacularly bankrupt after a number of the few finished cars which were built in Finland, of all places, not America literally burst into flames. (Here's another account of that particular fiasco.)
And does the name Solyndra ring a bell?
$528 million in funds extorted from the taxpayers, down the toilet!Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we've been in decades.And it was inevitable that we'd get around to this, one of the great statist shibboleths of our time. "Energy independence" has been a political bloody shirt ever since the OPEC oil embargo of 1973-74. But the funny thing about that embargo is that it was unsuccessful, and, as a result, hasn't been tried since. National self-sufficiency is a terrific idea that has been tried with resounding success by such forward-thinking dictators as Francisco Franco, Albania's Enver Hoxha, and the Great and Dear Leaders of North Korea. Who cares if we raise prices and waste resources through ill-considered initiatives to force people to use inefficient and destructive sources of energy, such as ethanol, wind, and solar? Who cares if wind turbines massacre protected birds and bats? Those boondoggles are making a lot of people rich who've invested in "alternative energy" ventures, and they make the farmers and the green fanatics happy. What's not to like?
In any case, it seems as though being against "isolationism," as all right-thinking politicians are, only goes so far.Taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet. Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth. But we have to act with more urgency because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods. That's why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities, and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air. The shift to a cleaner energy economy won't happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. And when our children's children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.Hear that folks? Climate change is a fact! And it means that you and your children will have to be impoverished to fix it. Ignore the inconvenient truth that the average global temperature has remained at the same level for the past
17 years.Ignore the fact that the climate fiends predicted that the North Pole would be ice-free in the summer by now, when in fact the ice was thicker there last summer than it has been for years. Ignore the fact that the drought in our western provinces follows the same pattern as earlier droughts it's just what happens there. The debate is settled, and you're going to have to pay. But never mind. Those "tough choices" are going to be lot tougher for you than for the people pushing for them. And if some well-connected people get rich at your expense, well, it's for the good of the planet, see?And even as we've increased energy production, we've partnered with businesses, builders, and local communities to reduce the energy we consume. When we rescued our automakers, for example, we worked with them to set higher fuel efficiency standards for our cars. In the coming months, I'll build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump.Fuel economy and safety mandates have driven up the prices of cars, made it impossible to buy a reasonably priced large car, and artificially created a market for hugely expensive electric vehicles that can't travel more than 100 milesbefore being charged for eight hours. And now they're going to do the same for trucks! Already the fuel-use standards for city buses have made them so paralytically slow they can barely get out of their own way, to the fury of car drivers stuck behind them on busy streets and highways. Now we can be stuck behind trucks, too!
Truck makers, who already design their vehicles to be as fuel efficient as is practical in order to save their customers money, will be forced to use hugely expensive technologies to try to meet arbitrary fuel-economy standards, raising costs far more than any savings in fuel. The people most immediately hurt by those higher costs will be small trucking fleets and owner-operators. The inevitable result will be some or perhaps most of them going out of business, and the large trucking outfits consolidating their hold on the industry. The resulting higher costs will be passed on to us in the prices we pay for the goods transported by trucks. That's bound to be good for the economy.
And besides hurting Americans by solving problems that don't exist, we can hurt them by worsening the problems that do:Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement and fix our broken immigration system. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same. Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almostYes, let's encourage millions more unskilled, uneducated people to flood into our country, at a time when we can't employ the ones who are here. Obama is right when he points out that congresshumanoids in both parties want that. The Democrats want it because it means more voters for them. The Republicans want it because their big-business masters want cheaper labor, and, of course, couldn't care less that the vast majority of their voters want immigration curbed and the transformation of America into a Third World country stopped. [*]
$1 trillionin the next two decades. And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams to study, invent, and contribute to our culture they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let's get immigration reform done this year.
Republicans apparently fail to see that their party is committing suicide by allowing its voter base to be swamped by imported Democratic party voters. They refuse to understand that no matter how many token Hispanic candidates, how many denatured, quasi-Anglo Ted Cruzes and Marco Rubios they groom for power, they will never capture a useful fraction of the Latin vote. The Republicans truly are the stupid party.
If you need any more evidence of intellectual bankruptcy, how about this:... [T]onight, I've asked Vice President Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America's training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. It means connecting companies to community colleges that can help design training to fill their specific needs.The last big government job-training problem, the Clinton-era Workforce Investment Act, turned out to be a huge "investment" that generated little return. In the mealy-mouthed bureaucratese of an official Labor Ministry study, "It appears possible that ultimate gains from participation are small or nonexistent."
But that's all right. In the world of politics, the stated goal of any action is never the real one. The actual objective may be to benefit certain political allies, to make work or income for members of a favored group, or simply to make it look as if something is being accomplished. In the last case, the promulgation of such legislation is its own accomplishment no actual positive results are expected, or even desired: the "War on Poverty," which has promoted poverty like no other state program except actual war, is the most obvious example. Therefore, the passing of a new "job training" bill will be hailed as a great victory for the Obama regime, and its inevitable failure at increasing employment, productivity, or income will be seen as entirely irrelevant.
If you doubt that, consider the stinking cesspool of official U.S. "education." But not to worry. Obama has that issue well in hand:Of course, it's not enough to train today's workforce. We also have to prepare tomorrow's workforce, by guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education.All hail the Glorious March of the Scholarly Young Pioneers! But whether young Estiven can actually handle today's dumbed-down college curriculum or even read and write at the high-school level is, of course, another issue. But again, it's appearances that matter, not actual results.
Estiven Rodriguez couldn't speak a word of English when he moved to New York City at age 9. But last month, thanks to the support of great teachers and an innovative tutoring program, he led a march of his classmates through a crowd of cheering parents and neighbors from their high school to the post office, where they mailed off their college applications. And this son of a factory worker just found out he's going to college this fall.Five years ago, we set out to change the odds for all our kids. We worked with lenders to reform student loans, and today, more young people are earning college degrees than ever before. Race to the Top, with the help of governors from both parties, has helped states raise expectations and performance. Teachers and principals in schools from Tennessee to Washington, D.C., are making big strides in preparing students with skills for the new economy problem solving, critical thinking, science, technology, engineering, and math. Some of this change is hard. It requires everything from more challenging curriculums and more-demanding parents to better support for teachers and new ways to measure how well our kids think, not how well they can fill in a bubble on a test. But it's worth it and it's working.Finally, after more than half a century of left-wing education fads, deteriorating test scores, rising levels of functional illiteracy, millions of high-school graduates who cannot read or write, and millions more college grads who can, but can't do much else, the Great Obama has finally turned things around with yet another intrusive federal education program. Hallelujah!
Just be sure to watch out for low-flying pigs.Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life is high-quality early education. Last year, I asked this Congress to help states make high-quality pre-K available to every four-year-old. As a parent as well as a president, I repeat that request tonight. But in the meantime, thirty states have raised pre-K funding on their own. They know we can't wait. So just as we worked with states to reform our schools, this year we'll invest in new partnerships with states and communities across the country in a race to the top for our youngest children. And as Congress decides what it's going to do, I'm going to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists willing to help more kids access the high-quality pre-K they need.Hang on a minute. Research shows no such thing. It shows the opposite: children in Head Start show a little improvement over a control group for a short time, but any advantage is completely gone by the third grade. Pre-kindergarten "education" is a Holy Grail for the educationists and for progressives desperate to paper over racial disparities in ability, but it can't do much to overcome the disadvantages of chaotic single-parent households, welfare-dependent lifestyles, bad cultural attitudes, and, dare I say it, low IQs. But remember, we're not really concerned with actual results. The program is its own reward.
But onward and downward to the next bankrupt theme:Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still makeBecause corporate America is full of martini-swilling, bottom-pinching male chauvinists who are determined to keep women from succeeding, let's make it even more difficult for women who want to stay home with the kids, and for the men who want to provide for them. Let's raise the costs of hiring women, and then use the power of the state to bludgeon businesses for "discrimination." And let's keep encouraging young women to put off marrying and having kids until they're too old, guaranteeing a middle age steeped in regret and bitterness. Why aren't those irresponsible stay-at-home women out there running a corporation or something?
77 centsfor every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship and you know what, a father does, too. It's time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a "Mad Men" episode. This year, let's all come together Congress, the White House, and businesses from Wall Street to Main Street to give every woman the opportunity she deserves. Because I firmly believe when women succeed, America succeeds.
And while we're at it, let's destroy the lives of unskilled workers by pricing them out of the labor market:Today, the federal minimum wage is worth aboutBecause everybody knows that anybody who gets an entry-level job will be stuck in it for the rest of his life. So the answer is to make sure he never gets that job in the first place.
20 percentless than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here. Tom Harkin and George Miller have a bill to fix that by lifting the minimum wage to $10.10. This will help families. It will give businesses customers with more money to spend. It doesn't involve any new bureaucratic program. So join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise.Let's do more to help Americans save for retirement. Today, most workers don't have a pension. A Social Security check often isn't enough on its own. And while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn't help folks who don't have 401Ks. That's why, tomorrow, I will direct the Treasury to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings: MyRA. It's a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg. MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in.Oh, good. A guarantee from the government that I won't lose any money! Does that include losses from inflation, or changes to the rules that I can't do anything about?And if this Congress wants to help, work with me to fix an upside-down tax code that gives big tax breaks to help the wealthy save, but does little to nothing for middle-class Americans. Offer every American access to an automatic IRA on the job, so they can save at work just like [sic] everyone in this chamber can.I seem to remember a time, in the mists of the distant past, when a taxpayer could put money in an IRA of his choosing and write the amount off his income tax. But we can't have people thinking they have the right to their own money, can we?And since the most important investment many families make is their home, send me legislation that protects taxpayers from footing the bill for a housing crisis ever again, and keeps the dream of homeownership alive for future generations of Americans.At least until Goldman Sachs needs to be bailed out again.
No State of the Empire speech would be complete without the usual palaver about "citizenship" (meaning blind servility to the State) and ritual blessings of the Imperial Storm Troopers who so selflessly murder people all across the world inconsiderate enough to live under unapproved regimes.Citizenship demands a sense of common cause; participation in the hard work of self-government; an obligation to serve to our communities. And I know this chamber agrees that few Americans give more to their country than our diplomats and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.Talk about making a virtue of necessity! The reason the troops are gone from Iraq is that the Shia Islamic gangsters put in power by the Empire ungratefully refused to sign a "security agreement" allowing continued occupation.
Tonight, because of the extraordinary troops and civilians who risk and lay down their lives to keep us free, the United States is more secure. When I took office, nearly 180,000 Americans were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, all our troops are out of Iraq. More than 60,000 of our troops have already come home from Afghanistan. With Afghan forces now in the lead for their own security, our troops have moved to a support role. Together with our allies, we will complete our mission there by the end of this year, and America's longest war will finally be over.After 2014, we will support a unified Afghanistan as it takes responsibility for its own future. If the Afghan government signs a security agreement that we have negotiated, a small force of Americans could remain in Afghanistan with NATO allies to carry out two narrow missions: training and assisting Afghan forces, and counterterrorism operations to pursue any remnants ofThat's a very big if. With Afghanistan in worse shape than ever, the Taliban growing more powerful all the time, corruption rampant in the puppet regime, and opium production at an all-time high after almost being wiped out when the Taliban was in power, the United State is engaged in a desperate face-saving exercise much like the one it failed to pull off in Vietnam. "Training and assisting Afghan forces" is a huge laugh. The soldiers of the Afghan regime are a joke: stupid, unmotivated, illiterate, vicious, and cowardly. A quarter of them deserted last year. They make the South Vietnamese army look like the Coldstream Guards.
al Qaeda.For while our relationship with Afghanistan will change, one thing will not: our resolve that terrorists do not launch attacks against our country.
That's because the only men who will volunteer for the despised job are those who can't find any other means of making a living a fact that the Empire has done its best to hide these many years. The latest scandal is the abject failure of a
$200 millionPentagon program to train Afghan soldiers to read at the first-grade level.
In any case, the defiance of puppet dictator Hamid Karzai in joining the Iraqi regime's refusal to sign a so-called security agreement is a huge embarrassment to the Empire, which keeps extending the deadline in the hopes that it won't be forced to acknowledge the depth of the hatred it has earned in that benighted country.The fact is, that danger remains. While we have putYes, folks, the danger remains. And if it didn't, we'd find a new one. Of course, the truth is that
al Qaeda'score leadership on a path to defeat, the threat has evolved, as al Qaedaaffiliates and other extremists take root in different parts of the world. In Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Mali, we have to keep working with partners to disrupt and disable these networks. In Syria, we'll support the opposition that rejects the agenda of terrorist networks. Here at home, we'll keep strengthening our defenses, and combat new threats like cyberattacks. And as we reform our defense budget, we have to keep faith with our men and women in uniform, and invest in the capabilities they need to succeed in future missions. al Qaedadoesn't really have a "core leadership" anymore and is hardly an organization at all. It is now more of an idea than anything else: any bunch of would-be heroes of Sunni Islam can call themselves al Qaeda,taking inspiration but little else from Osama bin Laden's original tiny, loosely knit group of guerillas and terrorists. The fact that there are al Qaedagroups in so many places where they didn't exist before the United State began its murderous rampage among Muslims might suggest to thoughtful people that perhaps the War on Terror is flawed in some respects.We have to remain vigilant. But I strongly believe our leadership and our security cannot depend on our military alone. As Commander-in-Chief, I have used force when needed to protect the American people, and I will never hesitate to do so as long as I hold this office. But I will not send our troops into harm's way unless it's truly necessary; nor will I allow our sons and daughters to be mired in open-ended conflicts. We must fight the battles that need to be fought, not those that terrorists prefer from us large-scale deployments that drain our strength and may ultimately feed extremism.Here finally is a hint that reality is beginning to impinge on the regime's mad campaign to rule the world. Two disastrous major invasions, wasting trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives, with thousands more maimed for life, have not increased our security one whit and have disastrously harmed the Empire's prestige in the world. And people are beginning to catch on to that fact. The Legions' unbelievably huge expenditures have contributed to the economic morass we're in today, and ordinary people may be starting to make the connection. Obama apparently understands that, even if he can't or won't stop trying to make every other nation-state bow to the Empire.So, even as we aggressively pursue terrorist networks through more targeted efforts and by building the capacity of our foreign partners America must move off a permanent war footing. That's why I've imposed prudent limits on the use of drones for we will not be safer if people abroad believe we strike within their countries without regard for the consequence.Does this signal retrenchment and a more prudent foreign policy? Or is it simply lip service to the public's growing skepticism? Certainly reality is not getting in the way of the Empire's persecution of the Iranians, or Obama's belligerent rhetoric concerning them, the Russians, or the Chinese.That's why, working with this Congress, I will reform our surveillance programs because the vital work of our intelligence community depends on public confidence, here and abroad, that the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated.In other words, if the masses become disaffected by their contemptuous treatment by the regime, it will put a crimp in the regime's ambitions for absolute domination. Therefore, they must be lulled back to sleep.And it is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran's nuclear program and rolled parts of that program back for the very first time in a decade. As we gather here tonight, Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium. It is not installing advanced centrifuges. Unprecedented inspections help the world verify, every day, that Iran is not building a bomb. And with our allies and partners, we're engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.Need I point out that Iran has not invaded anyone, has not behaved aggressively toward the United State, and, by the evidence, is not developing a nuclear weapon, having abandoned any such project a decade ago?
On the other hand, the United State has indeed engaged in acts of war against Iran, including crippling economic sanctions and, most likely, the deployment of the Stuxnet computer virus, which destroyed hundreds of Iran's expensive gas centrifuges, used for enriching uranium for nuclear power stations and for medical use. It has thrown up roadblocks to every Iranian effort to resolve the situation with compromise. But now that Iraq is destroyed as a regional power and Syria has been destabilized by U.S.-supported terrorists, Israel wants its American patsies to do the same to Iran. Indications are that Obama doesn't enjoy being Bibi Netanyahu's stooge; but that won't keep him from continuing to be a proxy for Israeli aggression, like an organ grinder controlled by his monkey.
As if to emphasize that he's sucking wind, Obama followed up his speech with a trip to the hinterlands to promote his moth-eaten new agenda. In Wisconsin, at a General Electric gas-engine factory, he signed an executive order calling for a review of job-training programs a move that guarantees that nothing will be done on that front until his regime expires. Then on to Tennessee, where he talked out of both sides of his mouth by pushing his plan to raise the minimum wage, while at the same time bloviating about the importance of creating more jobs.
And then to Maryland, where he announced his intention to issue a unilateral decree setting unreasonably low fuel-use standards for trucks by 2018, and damn the consequences in higher costs and lost jobs. He also whined about the decisive loss suffered by the United Auto Workers in its attempt to unionize the Volkswagen plant at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and gain a foothold in the South blaming, you guessed it, those nasty Republicans (apparently, the campaign against the union consisted mostly of one word: "Detroit"). As far as I can make out, he didn't mention the Obamacare disaster at all.
If his recent utterings are any indication, the next three years don't hold out much hope for our Nobel laureate's place in history. We can look forward to our leader once attractive and inspiring to so many people making increasingly insipid and feeble attempts to blow on the dying coals of his "legacy." He'll play a lot of golf and take a lot of vacations. Perhaps he'll make a well-publicized tour of foreign countries, in a Nixon-like attempt to shore up his image although the number of places where he would receive an enthusiastic welcome has shrunk drastically.
Meanwhile, the battle to determine who will be the next emperor or empress will leave him more and more irrelevant. And the cycle will begin again, as, with much hoopla and fanfare, the system once more busily rearranges the deck chairs on the Flying Dutchman.
I can hardly wait. Ω
February 26, 2014
Published in 2014 by WTM Enterprises.
Transcript of the oration.
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* As an anarchist, I don't advocate state intervention to prevent people from moving freely. But the regime's hypocrisy and malice against its subjects in promoting massive Third World immigration should not go unremarked.
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