In Tuesday night’s SOTU Address many agree that President Obama articulated his points with confidence. No surprises. His words seem to tally most folks, whilst challengers question his sincerity.
As members of Congress and invited citizens arrived, Obama prepared to deliver his perspective on the condition of our “union.” Congress engaged in a meet-and-greet setting while guests were strategically seated as media were equipped to quickly capture the credentials of invitees as they appeared on camera.
For those watching from devices, camera work seemed expert with capturing the true essence of the room, as according to (FAS) reports, the average age of members of Congress is 59, while the average age of US Justices is 69. Years. Young. (Average age of the Supreme Court is close to a record high).
Albeit the participant composition, interestingly, headlining the SOTU- catnap search engine results report that “just two kids” and a “sleepy Syrian refugee” were caught napping.
Another probable newsworthy stat to mention is the tenure of a US servant being 9.65 years. ( Term Limits )
The president projected his points with empowered sense, as he usually does, and received continued applause from his proponents with the conjecture that cheering extended to his virtual audience. However, there were those who sat in silence denying the applause of approval, perhaps to prove a point.
In his speech proclamation to “make it a little shorter,” he summarized America’s future with four big questions. Saying that he believes “we as a country have to answer.”
The four questions that topped the president’s priority:
• How do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy?
• How do we make technology work for us, and not against up—especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change?
• How do we keep America safe and lead the world without becoming its policemen?
• And finally, he asked, how can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us, and not what’s worst?
Delivering eloquently dumbed-down answers to naive Americans, the President effectively conveyed himself as an enthusiastic problem-solver. Never mind the actuality that most points have been on the proverbial debate floor for decades: equal work for equal pay, raising the minimum wage, pre-K for all. Really?
Are citizens defiant to suspect that after seven years, such practical human fairness, if not by now, will never come to pass? Yet, obedient Americans continue to linger on the words of their leaders and call-out nothing.
Recognizing that since the president took office, the military has experienced many challenges with the ramifications of sequestration, deployment related conditions like PTS, TBI, and, let’s not forget, the VA debacle, in his just under 60-minute address, President Obama made reference to “military” in just five occasions.
In regards to climate change, he stated that, “if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You will be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military………” A-Okay.
Secondly, challenging those who “talk of America’s economic decline” he assured the audience that, “we spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined.” Forsaking the details that over the years, service members have been pushed-out of the military (some receiving their discharge papers while on deployment), there have been cuts to benefits (did you hear the one about the commissary and BAH), and the extinction of the “career soldier” -to name a few.
In his third attempt to address the military community, he conveyed mixed messages by using a dismissive tone while describing the terrorist group ISIL as “mass fighters on the back of pickup trucks, twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages.” No mention that these terrorists drive our Humvees. Seriously.
Contradicting the put down with “they pose an enormous danger to civilians; they have to be stopped, while assuring us that “they do not threaten our national existence.” Head spinning.
And, moments in between suggesting that “If this Congress is serious about winning this war, and wants to send a message to our troops and the world, authorize the use of military force against ISIL.” A message to our troops?
Meanwhile, again making no mention of the consequences that could result from terrorists already in the USA. But, he did say, win this war, didn’t he? Leaving some in the military community to question the mission, question its leaders. Is there a mission outside of ensuring that the military community be PC?
Just today, headlines report that ISIL burned alive its own fighters who lost the town of Mosul to Iraqi forces.
Another military mention in his address was speaking on the Ebola battle, saying that our “military, our doctors, our development workers were heroic as they set up the platform that then allowed other countries to join in behind us and stamp out that epidemic.
Finally, he touted his point that “Leadership means a wise application of military power, and rallying the world behind causes that are right. It means seeing our foreign assistance as a part of our national security, not something separate, not charity.” This, after plugging America’s military spending exceeds that of eight-countries combined. What does that mean to you?
All in all, the president announced nothing that would have otherwise been missed. He spoke about the “union” of citizens- this after years of injecting “us and them” in his public messages.
The take away for most in the military community was not spoken in the Address.
It is the promise of last month’s omnibus spending act that successfully avoids automatic cuts through sequestration in fiscal 2016, according to estimates required of the Congressional Budget Office.
In a late-December report on the spending caps going through fiscal 2021, the nonpartisan agency said, “In CBO’s estimation, sequestration will not be required for 2016,” because spending will come in under the caps in the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act.
Congress could still breach the caps if lawmakers provide extra appropriations between now and the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, CBO noted. If that is the case, the excess spending would count against the fiscal 2017 total. Which to the military community, confirms the mantra “hurry up and wait.”
If nothing more apparent to the military community, it’s the importance of invoking one’s right to vote this November. Register to vote now.