The annual speech tells Congress and the entire United States what The President thinks. It is received in a room full of crusty and aging legislators who long ago lost their souls and have no lodestar except the desire to:
Bask in the reflected glory of the President's presence, and
Have all their impressionable constituents watch them doing so and thereby get the impression they have a fraction of the President's charisma.
Federal law provides that, in addition to his annual salary of $400,000, the President gets one evening a year in a chamber where a crowd of fawning wannabes will deliriously applaud him for saying nothing of substance, and where everyone in the country can see that they did. This is not just a fringe benefit for the President, but reassures even the most incompetent American citizen that his poorest and most meaningless work might have someone welcome it, by virtue of the welcomer being even worse — or might lead to a lifetime sinecure, if he can simply find a boss who is eager to be surrounded by suck-ups.
Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution tasks the President to "from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, to recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient, or failing that, to advise the same as to how far to bend over."
It is a perennial mystery to Constitutional scholars why the small document that set out three co-equal branches contains this loophole directing two of them to kiss the butt of one of them every year.. (more...)
Featured today, a long long time ago
Did you know...
...that cabbages are not to be trifled with? (pictured)
... that it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the reason for 50% of modern marriages ending in divorce is because those people try to go to IKEA together for a relaxing afternoon?
...that to the untrained ear, John Aglethorpe's Ode to the Monotony of Life may simply sound like one continuous, monotonous tone, but the song is actually composed mostly of alterations between the A sharp and B flat notes tied together?
September 22: Autumnal Unquinox, Annual 'Shout At the Elderly Day'
66 - Emperor Nero creates the Legion Italica, who wrote in all italics.
1465 - Aztec tourists discover autumn in the resort town of Equinox, Vermont, a town named for an Aroostook chief who tended to fall off his horse. The first day of autumn was named after the town.
1742 - Instead of the sun rising this day a giant inflatable Wario head rose in the East followed by an encore of 'bowsers castle' music for the entire morning. This could be heard and seen all over the globe.
1785 - Britain fails to recognise this day any longer, after realising that "the weather's always crap, every bloody day!"
1867 - New England businessmen and scientists announce they genetically modified trees to change colors in autumn, as part of a plan to lure Southern tourists back North after the Civil War. The plan fails when the first Southern tourists complain about the integration of colored trees with non-colored trees.
1868 - Unquinox missing in France. Rioting strangely absent.
1939 - America yet to join World War II, Roosevelt requires more persuasion.
1960 - Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham is first published, provoking the law that Best Before Date stickers are to be put on all eggs and ham. This law was later extended to include all perishable food items and Michael Jackson's career.
1998 - Porky Pig dies of heart attack at the Scrappy Doo Medical Center and Cancer Department.
2001 - The Federal Communications Commission places largely ignored ban on the use of Fall as a synonym for Autumn, citing complaints by family members of September 11 victims.
2003 - Plans to change Winter to "Gets-back-up-again" were shelved, because it was "stupid".
2004 - The countdown timer in LOST secretly goes below zero and counts down to minus 108, before displaying a picture of the Rosetta Stone and then a large Wikipedia logo. On a completely unrelated note, a plane crashed on the island and the first series of LOST began.
2009 - The reknowned special forces operative, marine and space cosmonaut, Master Chief, was found dead with his life partner Arby laying over him weeping. When consoled he gave an account of their first sexual encounter since their relationship began. Arby stated that his species has to wipe out the lint in their bladder everyday or it is projected out at near FTL speeds from one of their sexual organs, usually the phalus. Arby forgot.