The shutdown-delayed State of the Union address to Congress will be tonight, and TV network news tells me the theme will be "unity." It think we can count on Congresspeople to be looking as if they are sucking lemons even more than usual.
There's no requirement that the State of the Union be given live to a joint session of Congress with TV cameras, handshakes, fake smiles and mugging for the cameras; after Washington, most Presents just wrote it and sent the report up Capitol Hill for Congress to read. Odious President Woodrow Wilson is the guy who changed that, turning it into an opportunity to promote his agenda. So that's another bad thing you can blame him for.
Meanwhile (and speaking of leaders with a high opinion of themselves) in Venezuela, the socialist government ran out of people to loot and shiny lies awhile back; now they have dueling Executives (with the incumbent warning of civil war and the challenging interim President scoffing at the notion, perhaps because he knows anyone with the price of a brickbat has already left the country or forted up as much as possible). Yes, here it is running in real-time, an example of why top-down economic planning is a wretched idea, even in a country that started out with what certainly looked like legitimate beefs about exploitation by foreign enterprises and had plenty of natural resources. I hope they can sort things out with a minimum of bloodshed and hunger; they've had an excess of both already. Attempting any deep analysis in advance of the outcome of developing events is worse than futile; first-world countries are sending food and medicine and historians can pick over the meaning of it later.
4 weeks ago