(Washington, DC) – “It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong!” So said President Barack Obama (D-IL) in Tuesday night’s State of the Union speech. To some who are delusional, this might seem to be true. Unfortunately, the country is in more of a state of disunion, now more than any time since perhaps the Civil War 150 years ago.
Obama called 2014 a “breakthrough year for America,” but he will probably look back in December upon another breakdown year. He also correctly stated that Congress could “help or hinder progress” in 2014; it’s doubtful that Congress has the word “help” in its vocabulary.
In political terms, the country has been split nearly 50-50 since the 2000 presidential election. Democrats can’t seem to find common ground with Republicans. Republicans can’t seem to find common ground either with Democrats or the Tea Partyists who are bent on taking over the GOP.
The gridlock has allowed the country to witness last-minute (literally) stopgap measures on the debt limit debate, and the Federal government was closed for half of October 2013 because of a disagreement over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In spite of voting over 40 times to repeal Obamacare, and in spite of the Supreme Court affirming its legality, the Republican-led House of Representatives threw the country off the cliff in a dangerous game of political chicken. And lost.
“We feel that we actually did not lose because of the shutdown,” said a House Republican spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We drew attention to our cause, which is to have the health care system from the 1950s re-instituted. Especially for women.”
But there is plenty of blame to go around for all political parties. President Obama vowed to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center for terrorists. Six years into his presidency, the detention center still exists. And while he made renewed calls last night for its closure, it doesn’t seem likely that the Shangri-La of Cuba will be disappearing anytime soon.
The country finds itself still involved in the war in Afghanistan, now over 12 years old, and Afghan president Hamid Karzai blames America for his country’s ills. While the United States will leave the country by the end of 2014, future generations will wonder if it was all worth the cost.
Every year, 12,000 Americans lose their lives every year to gun violence. Large-scale assassinations occur with frightening frequency. Yet neither party in either chamber of Congress seems willing to take on the powerful gun lobby.
“We understand the problems with gun violence,” said a Senate spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But we feel it’s a problem with unstable people getting their hands on weapons, not an issue that there are too many weapons. And it’s not a problem that people leave loaded guns out in plain sight for anyone to use. No, it’s the mentally ill who are at fault. Hopefully Congress can do something about this segment of the population.”
President Obama claimed that his administration has created 8 million new jobs in four years. None of these jobs, however, pay anywhere near the $174,000 per year each member of Congress receives, not to mention the $400,000 presidential salary.
The president stated that “climate-change is a fact,” but these words were lost on the citizens of Atlanta who, even today, are suffering through an ice storm that left thousands of motorists stranded on the city’s highways.
“The Earth isn’t getting warmer, and this deep freeze is evidence of that,” said an Atlanta official and climate-change denier, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Plus, we don’t trust the government when they say ‘there’s an ice storm coming, don’t go out on the roads’ in that uppity tone.”
The president also said that America “doesn’t stand still” and that he was tired of waiting for Congressional action on a number of issues. He announced that all Federal contractors would see their minimum wage rise to $10.10 per hour. This immediately drew fire from the multimillionaire CEOs and CFOs of the country’s richest companies. “How can we pay more to the sheeple that work for us?” asked a CEO, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We can’t support anything that eats into our coffers.”
In New York City, radio station WINS (1010AM) immediately filed a lawsuit, claiming copyright infringement on their station’s name.
Another point of controversy, leading to another lawsuit, was Obama’s creation of MyRA, an IRA that will be widely available to Americans. Unfortunately, in a society where shortening names is a must, multiple organizations that battle rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are challenging the name of the new IRA program. “There are dozens of names they could have chosen,” said a spokesman for the Arthritis Foundation, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Instead, they chose to single out people who suffer from RA every day. And now there will be confusion between a disease and a savings plan. This is something the Supreme Court will have to decide.”