Jack Ohman gets the lead panel today largely for having done a cartoon before the State of the Union Address that did not assume he knew what the speech would say. I saw several that I suspect involved ouija boards and guessing and going to bed early.
I had the NPR coverage of the speech on last night as I crashed, and I dozed off from time to time, but I caught the main points, I think, and then I checked out the coverage this morning, and it pretty much confirmed my impression of the main message:
Republicans rule and Democrats drool.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
We can deal with that "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" thing another time, but the point is that not only does it not have to be a speech but there's nothing requiring it to be annual. "From time to time" could be every two years or every two weeks.
We went nearly 125 years before Woodrow Wilson decided to make an actual State of the Union Address, and I don't know how it went that year, but it's been a big pep rally for as long as I've been aware of it.
Having gone to a Catholic school at which football played a disproportionate role, I am quite familiar with the way religion and pep rallies can merge, though I'd add that, while I saw Pat O'Brien reprise Rockne's semi-apocryphal "Gipper" speech to cheering throngs, I don't recall any pep rallies where half the Fieldhouse was full of silent, sullen Southern Cal students.
Though I enjoyed the games themselves, I went to my last pep rally sometime sophomore year, which is to say, as I was turning 19, which I mention because I heard chants of "USA! USA!" last night and it reminded me of drunken freshmen.
At least they weren't building pyramids in the aisles, or, if they were, the NPR commentators didn't mention it.
Anyway, it was a chance to boast and cheer and make outlandish promises about the upcoming game, and if you're one of those serious types, you might want to read this, but, beyond that, hey, four legs good, two legs better!
Juxtaposition of the Day
Yes, I also noticed that bizarre reference to "clean, clean coal," which I guess either means we've begun mining for diamonds or that Dear Leader is once again being led around by the nose.
Hillary Clinton called for laid-off coal miners to be educated for new jobs in their home regions, but Trump won because he promised they would go back to mining coal. Which very, very few of them have.
But now he's got a great idea which maybe Hillary should have thought of: Vocational schools to teach people job skills.
Anyway, the President is correct that we are now exporting energy, and that's good.
Of course, we are also importing energy.
In fact, as it happens, we're currently importing more energy than we''re exporting, but that's just negativity and we should fire anyone who is so disloyal.
We've got lots of work ahead to fulfill our priorities, and Jeff Boyer illustrated this before the SOTU speech: We must keep our country safe from people who weren't born here.
The first thing we need to do is build a wall between the US and Mexico to keep Salvadorans from simply walking across our border to Long Island, and five-year-old children from walking from Poland across our border to Michigan and becoming doctors.
Watch your inbox
I'm sure all our inboxes will now begin to look like the one in xkcd.
At least, when you give some good cause a few bucks and then are continually spammed for more, it doesn't cost them money. I wish I had never donated to a few that decided my contribution would best serve the world by being pissed away in junk mail and postage.
It makes me disinclined to donate to anyone, given that I'm at a stage of life where I can't just throw money around.
But I particularly resent politicians who allow phony "polls" to be put on Facebook in their names -- polls that purport to collect opinions but, at the end, are simply collecting money.
It's bad enough to let your professional fundraisers make me disinclined to donate to you.
Don't let them make me disinclined to trust you at all.
And yet there is hope. Sort of. Maybe.
Existential Comics updates it for our times, in which any truth that doesn't involve blowing things up is not really very compelling.
He does link to a more traditional telling, and, though the allegory comes up often, it had been a long time since I'd actually heard it in its entirety:
Reality ain't for sissies.