Well, this tops the list! Two Sisters, Sr. Veit & Sr. Marguire from the Little Sisters of the Poor, who are enmeshed in a Supreme Court challenge of the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate, were in the gallery to hear President Obama’s final State of the Union address.

The Sisters, who operate 30 nursing homes throughout the United States, are challenging the clause in the Affordable Care Act which requires group insurance plans to offer contraceptive coverage to their employees at no additional cost–even though that coverage is in direct violation of their religious beliefs. The Sisters were the guests of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis).

Speaker Ryan was in good form when he introduced the President, and during most of the speech–although we all know that he disagreed with much of it. One newscaster noted this evening that Congressman Ryan considered Obama “not his enemy, but his adversary.” So through most of the message, Ryan’s manner was polite, his gaze steadfast.

SOTU - Paul Ryan 1

Finally, though, it got to be too much for him. When the President began ticking off his accomplishments, talking about how we are stronger economically than before his presidency began, I couldn’t help but notice that Mr. Speaker wasn’t buying it.

SOTU - Paul Ryan 2

And when the President spoke about the military, and how our nation was the strongest nation on the earth, I sensed that these guys weren’t buying it. Perhaps they were wondering why he never mentioned that even as he spoke, Iran was holding ten U.S. soldiers hostage.

SOTU - Military leaders

And when he spoke about religious freedom, and how we must not abandon the freedoms which are so important to us as a free people, do you think this person was buying it? Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, was the guest of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

SOTU - Kim Davis

To be honest, I’m not sure that even Michelle Obama had a good time this evening. At least, judging from her unsmiling participation, it seemed she might have been a bit bored. She’s heard the Presidential grandstanding before at the breakfast table, maybe?

SOTU - Michelle Obama

Next to Mrs. Obama, by the way, there was an empty seat–intended to represent all the victims of gun violence (and hence, to show support for Obama’s campaign to enact stricter gun laws).

Somewhere else in that gallery there was another empty seat, this one courtesy of pro-life Congressman Steve King of Iowa. Rep. King wanted his seat to represent the 57 million babies who have been victimized by abortion since the passage of Roe v. Wade. Rep. King told LifeSiteNews:

“President Obama’s first official act, immediately upon his inauguration was to sign an executive order to accelerate abortions world-wide. The first tears we have seen him shed in seven years were for the victims of the tragic Sandy Hook School shooting. As far as we know, Obama has never shed a single tear for even one of the more than 9 million babies aborted under his watch. He is the most pro-abortion president ever.

“Now he has reserved an empty seat next to the First Lady to commemorate ‘the victims of gun violence who no longer have a voice’. The San Bernardino victims’ body temperatures had declined only from 98.6 to 93 degrees F when Obama twisted the ‘Allah Akbar’ screaming bloodlust into an anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment tirade. I am sickened by the acts of war twisted into ‘workplace violence’ and by a president who would veto the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, H.R. 3504 that would protect the lives, at least of those who survived the attempt on their lives, by abortionists.”

And then there was four-year-old Logan Barritt of Wisconsin, another guest of Paul Ryan. Logan wasn’t able to stay awake through the whole speech. Speaker Ryan’s website tells his story:

Logan’s grandfather gave him a handful of pocket change, which he was going to add to his piggy bank. If you or I were given a lump of change, we probably wouldn’t think twice of what we could do with it—if anything, maybe gripe about having to carry it around. Yet when Logan’s mother asked him this very question, Logan had much bigger plans.

“I want to give it to the soldiers,” said Logan, who was raised on the stories of his Uncle Craig, a veteran Marine. Their jobs didn’t seem very “fun,” Logan explained, and he wanted to change that.

Logan’s parents posted a call for donations on their Facebook pages. The result? Enough money to send 17 care packages to Americans serving overseas for Christmas, complete with Pez dispensers. Logan even thought to include pre-stamped postcards in the packages so he could hear back from these American heroes. 

SOTU - Logan Barritt

Before Americans had turned off their TV sets and turned down their sheets, Breitbart had already fact-checked the President’s address and issued their “Top 10 Lies in Obama’s State of the Union.”  Starting with the President’s imaginative claim that he’d “cut the deficit by three-quarters,” going on to point to the Affordable Care Act “filling gaps,” the economic crisis being caused by “recklessness on Wall Street,” protecting an “open internet” and more, you’ll want to see the full list.

The President quoted the Pope, noting that Pope Francis had stood in this very spot and addressed Congress during his U.S. visit in September. According to Obama, the pontiff talked about overcoming hate, getting beyond violence against religious institutions. He drew to mind incidents of mosque burning, as examples of hate against which all Americans must rail.

Obama contested statements made by his Republican challengers, citing seven statements from Trump, as well as contradicting statements from Ted Cruz.

He gloated about how we now have the freedom in every state to marry the person we love. In fact, his strong support for homosexual rights popped up again and again in the address.

In summary, President Obama clustered all his real and imagined accomplishments into four categories:

  1. How we give everybody an equal opportunity in this new economy;
  2. How do we make technology work for us and not against us, especially when solving urgent challenges like climate change;
  3. How do we keep the world safe without becoming the world’s policeman? and
  4. How can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us, and not what’s worst? (whatever that means)

As part of Category 1, the President made a few points about Education which earned a standing ovation from his Democratic friends:

  • He promised in the remaining months of his presidency to work toward the goal of providing “pre-K for all”–apparently believing that taking small children from their mothers to be raised by the State is the best way of building future generations; and
  • He promised to “make college affordable for every American.” One way he hoped to achieve that goal, dear Taxpayers, is to make two-year community college free for all.

After the speech, it was interesting to see big-name politicians clamoring to get the President’s autograph as he exited the hall.

Then minutes later, the Republican response was delivered by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who spoke from South Carolina. Haley’s immigrant parents, Ajit and Raj Randhawa, had faced ignorance, prejudice, and sometimes blatant hostility–but they taught their children that they should never think of themselves as victims. The Randhawas believed that if you work hard and stay true to yourself, you can overcome any obstacle. Nikki Haley has been a personal hero of mine, encouraging citizens of her state to work hard and help one another.

SOTU - Nikki Haley rebuttal


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