After the State of the Union address, I felt so much more secure in the fact that the United States was doing fine , that America was strong and that we “turn the page.” The economy has turned around. The unemployment rate has dropped (because the administration controls the numbers), business has created 11,000,000 jobs (while 93,000,000 people have left the workforce, leaving the lowest worker participation) and the oil production here has almost freed us from foreign dependence (not because of the government, but in spite of it). “The shadow of the crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong”.

The White House was bold enough to issue a fact-check of the speech, suspiciously unsourced. Evidently, it remains true that if someone from the administration says something it’s truth. That’s how the media has operated for the last couple of decades. I’ve noticed large lay-offs in the media, apparently all from the research departments, since they take the manufactured “facts” as gospel.  The majority of the people feel we are still in a recession and don’t feel confident that things will get appreciably better any time soon. Actual unemployment, the rate which includes those looking for work, marginally attached worker and those working part-time because they can’t find full-time work (U-6) is 11.2%. The media reports the heavily massaged and seasonally adjusted U-3 rate of 5.6%. Currently, 14% of Americans are on food stamps; the number of recipients has doubled under Barack Obama. Doesn’t seem like the page has turned on the economic story. The shadow of crisis is still there.

How about the events where national security and foreign policy reign? During the campaign for President in 2012, Obama took great pride in stating he ended the war in Iraq. His path to that end completely disregarded all of the generals involved in the conflict. He never tried to get a Status of Forces Agreement from the Iraqi government and, ultimately, pulled American troops out of the country. In April of 2014, a new force appeared on the field and ISIS ( or the JV depending on who you ask) began taking territory, causing the Iraqi Army to flee. This was exactly what the general said could happen. Today, ISIS holds territory in Syria, Iraq and threatens Turkey. Granted, we are now bombing them from the air and we are told our goal is to degrade and destroy them, but they have actually increased their territory. Seems that the shadow of crisis still exists there.

Iran is still working toward achieving nuclear power status. This administration has allowed deadline after deadline to pass during negotiations. We talk and they build. Now, as an additional incentive to negotiate, we’ve relieved some of the sanctions against Iran. That should force them back to the table. It’s almost like this administration wants Iran to have the bomb. In fact, during the SOTU speech, Obama criticized Congress for wanting to re-apply sanctions. Iran might get mad.

Also during the speech, though not mentioned in the speech, The United States moved to amphibious ships closer to Yemen to facilitate evacuation  of the embassy personnel because the US backed government is about to fall to rebels. Even so, this administration just a few days ago, released Islamic terrorists (how un-PC of me) from Gitmo back to Yemen. Guess Yemen wants more of them. The shadow of crisis remains.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Paris was hit by a terror attack by Islamic jihadists, resulting in the deaths of 17 people along with the three terrorists. The day after the two hostage situations came to a conclusion, there was a multi-million person march in Paris with over 40 leaders in attendance. The United States wasn’t represented, but four days later, in a diplomatic marvel, John Kerry brought James Taylor to Paris to sing “You’ve Got A Friend” to the French President Hollande. Now, that’s world leadership. Police throughout Europe continue to conduct raids to arrest Islamic terrorists. Alerts of possible terrorism are still in effect in Europe and here in the United States. It doesn’t look to me like the shadow of crisis has passed. It looks like the State of the Union would be strong if we had a leader!