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Used broadly, the state of the union could also include the state of affairs. I refer to the ongoing political circus that always performs throughout an election year. The candidates are all in Florida now and it's truly a zoo. I have yet to hear a policy plan on how to fix the country's horrid problems allegedly caused by the Obama Administration, not even in the scores of TV ads. In fact, they aren't even talking much about the president. They are too busy cutting each other to ribbons. I wonder sometimes if we are dealing with sane adults? One is promising a colony on the moon and the other is unemployed at $20 million a year. No, I'm not making that up. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum don't get much mention at all.  

I get rather frustrated about the antics because they come to our state, rile things up, stir pots better left alone and then leave. The chest beating remarks regarding what they would like to see happen to Fidel Castro and their judgments on where he will spend eternity is a fine example of playing to the large population of Cuban Americans in Dade County. Even our Senator, Marco Rubio, a Republican as well, came out against the rancor between these two so-called potential leaders. Fidel Castro released a statement calling attention to the ignorance of these "American Politicians". It could very well undo the progress made in Cuban affairs that would allow families to visit each other. Meanwhile, these candidates make the mess and head for the next performance ring. I learned in Kindergarten (Robert Fulgham) that if you make a mess, clean it up!

If asked to write the rules and format of the presidential debates, first would require a simple yes or no to questions such as, "Would you support efforts for Puerto Rico to become the 51st state?" Yes or no. After each candidate answered the questions yes or no, then each candidate would be given one minute to explain his reasons. They are not there to quote scripture, give a family tree lecture, and surely not there for two participants to enter into a bashing contest. I find it totally insulting to the two left standing almost ignored and asked only the token question which is usually unimportant. I could never take part in such an exercise because with my patience level for rudeness, I'd walk off the stage. I've turned off what could be interesting discussions on talk shows due to the total lack of good manners by those on the panels. They all interrupt, talk over each other and continue to get louder and ruder. It's an abysmal example of American freedom of speech without proper upbringing. These are usually otherwise intelligent people. It boggles my mind!

Cut to the capital and the president making his way to the podium to give his report on the State of the Union. He proceeds down the aisle hand outstretched. He stops and warmly greets Gabby Giffords, truly a touching moment. He then stops and congratulates Defense Secretary Panetta on a job well done. No one knew at the time that the same Navy Seals team that had entered Bin Laden's compound had just rescued two hostages from an enemy encampment in Somalia. Typical policy of the "appeaser" of terrorists? I think I could throw a shoe every time a certain candidate makes that ridiculous charge.  

My congratulations to the Navy Seals. These dedicated, specially trained troops have saved many lives making 'boots on the ground' unnecessary. The very thought of this possibility seems to scare the war mongers who seem addicted to invading other countries. I wonder if their excitement would be so great if their own five sons had to go to the front line of battle? Neither they, nor the candidate himself, have ever served in the military. Talk is easy when someone else has to do and pay for the task you propose.

President Obama seems to be quite efficient out on the road with the people. Following his State of the Union message, the president took to the road to further discuss his plans and policies. Figures released by the pollsters the next day say that 91% of the American citizenry approved of the speech. I heard that on the morning news and cannot quote the source. Personally, I find that a little unbelievable. The day when 91% of the populace agrees on anything we won't need a government. I do agree, however, that the numbers the president quoted were all shown to be true by the 'fact checkers'. That, too, is quite rare. There is still a long way to go on the path of recovery and the president did challenge congress to bring him legislation on many issues. But at least, now, we seem to be headed north. I like the idea of taking $6 billion that we'll save in Iraq and spending it, instead, on starting to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure. America does need to invest in building new electrical grids and using wind power as well. To me, it is imperative that we start to get off our addiction to petroleum products, including plastic. Soon, the world will also lead us in attending to the environment. Do we really need ‘that’ much convenience?

As I listen to the banter going on in the background with yet another Florida Presidential Debate all saying the same old rhetoric we've been hearing since the decades of the fifties and sixties, my simple logic tells me if you put even ten million of the unemployed back to work, the tax base and revenue will improve drastically. Presently, the imbalance of outgoing and incoming is so bad that even taxing the 1% up to 30% of their capital gains income tax will only make a dent in the problem. It seems letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be sufficient to begin while the ridiculous complexity of the US Tax Code is rewritten into something that rings of simplicity and equality.

America needs to build things! Why can’t congress address the jobs bill? Our education levels aren't high enough in the world anymore to be a totally technological and professional level society; nor an entreprenural one. That's a truth that hurts. It's time for America to get back to basics and try to do better in the overall education of our next generation. For that, people need good paying jobs. Building things will provide such jobs. Perhaps, it's time to look forward, yes, but to now and then glance back over our shoulders to the values held by most of our parents. I believe they are often classified as "The Greatest Generation."      

 Susan Haley, Author  

**Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, editing and publishing. She is an award-winning poet, and Independent editor and book reviewer. She writes for Fabulously 40 and Fox and Quill out of San Diego and was the poetry editor for The Infinite Writer. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She is a contributor to a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work can be found in various E-zines, newsletters, and local papers.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Jan 27, 2012
    • Excellent post Susan!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Jan 29, 2012
    • I really have great hope that with the war in Iraq being over, and the government using that money to repair our infrastructure before it completely falls apart, we will see an upturn in our economy. I’ve actually heard there is a small trend for some corporations to bring their outsourced jobs back home. I salute those companies! Now, if the corporations that choose to make extra money by outsourcing jobs that make products us Americans consume would just get a resposibility bone in their body and bring those jobs back home, we truly could recover from this mess our country is in.  

      I sure can believe that 91% of Americans approved President Obama’s speech. There was so much truth and common sense toward a plan to make it better that I surely hope that Congress will at least get out of the way of our success as a country who makes what we use and those in leadership roles actually care for and are responsible to the people they represent.

      Things are looking brighter if they stay in the hands that brought about success in squashing terrorists (You Go, President Obama!) and the sight to know what to do with the surplus of money to come from a war that he also ended. The man cares about America and Americans, is a successful Commander in Chief, and realizes respsonsibility for turning the economy around with a plan of action born of common sense. Now, all he needs is cooperation from the Congress.

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