State of the Union 2013

President Obama is about to deliver his State of the Union Address. Here's a thread to discuss it.

No ABC for me. They started out showing all the people there supporting more gun control. And then said they will show updates of Dorner on the bottom of the screen.

You can watch online here, free of talking heads and news anchor commentary. [More....]

Michelle looks very pretty.

 photo michellesotu_zps66a7542c.jpg

Biden and Boehner look tired.

 photo twobs_zps59634bd6.jpg

< Dorner Found in CA cabin, Gun Battle Ensues | One Manhunt Over, Another Underway >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Man, is he ever stuck on deficit reduction. (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:27:45 PM EST
    Like a dog with a bone.


    Pure incompetence (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:34:02 PM EST
    A sad lack of any sort of imagination. We need a complete shift in economic paradigm, in our utterly dysfunctional relationship with the monster of our own creation -- fiat currency -- and instead we get not just more of the same but MORE of more of the same.

    Raise the floor and all else follows.  But if you're not going to have a floor OR a ceiling, then for a nation...R.I.P.


    Nice: (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:37:20 PM EST
    "choose to believe in the overwhelming conclusions of science and ACT on climate change"

    Uh oh!  Obama believes in a 'man-made myth' that doesn't qualify as science!

    Maybe it's me, but I'm not getting the sense (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:45:02 PM EST
    that there's a lot of energy in that room...the applause seems weak, and a little half-hearted.

    I've only been watching for a few minutes. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:05:24 PM EST
    but yeah, ugh.

    Of course, half the room is openly hostile, and the other half uninspired.


    By far, the biggest applause was (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:18:07 PM EST
    for doing something about gun violence; immigration reform was big, too.

    Still really grates on my ears when he talks about making sure the rights of peoples in other countries are respected.

    Watching Current TV so I can get something besides the usual media blather.


    (concrete) Actions speak louder than words. (none / 0) (#82)
    by mplo on Tue May 14, 2013 at 02:54:45 AM EST
    Let's see what happens.

    (concrete) Actions speak louder than words. (none / 0) (#83)
    by mplo on Tue May 14, 2013 at 02:58:25 AM EST
    Let's see what happens.

    I've seen livelier heads on flat root beer (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:51:03 PM EST

    And who knew that $9/hr isn't (5.00 / 8) (#7)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:57:19 PM EST
    still poverty-level?  Who can live on gross income of $18,000 a year?

    He wants to tie minimum wage to the cost of living, but chain the CPI to Social Security?  Sure, that makes sense.

    And don't get me started on his talk about housing and mortgages; this administration was so in bed with the banks that millions of people who needed help didn't get it - but the servicers have made millions stalling people who still think they have a chance at loan modifications.


    You're preaching to the converted, my dear (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:15:29 PM EST
    Praise gawd.

    Sign of the times? (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:40:12 AM EST
    Even the promises get smaller.

    When Obama ran for president in 2008, the minimum wage was $6.55 and set to rise to $7.25 in 2009 as a result of Bush Administration increases approved in 2007. Obama had vowed to increase it to $9.50 by 2011:....link


    I didn't listen to any of it (none / 0) (#14)
    by shoephone on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:00:19 PM EST
    But if Obama really promoted Chained CPI in this speech, well.. he can just go stick it, as far as I'm concerned.

    I realized after I read it that there (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:34:44 AM EST
    was a chance my comment could be read as if Obama had mentioned chained CPI in the speech - he did not.  Where I was coming from was knowing that he has talked about it in connection with Social Security benefits, so when he touted the idea of adding a CPI element to the minimum wage in order to make sure people's wages were keeping pace with the cost of living, I had a "wait, what?" moment.

    This is the thing about the SOTU: if you're not paying attention the other 364 days of the year, haven't got a clue what else has been said, what else has been done, and it's hard to put a speech like the SOTU in context.

    I had to laugh at how the folks at Current reacted to the speech - Cenk Uyger said something along the lines of, "okay, so, is any of this stuff getting done, or was this just about putting the Republicans in the corner so they can get the blame when nothing happens?"  And he also said that while "they deserve a vote" was a great line about the gun violence and its victims, those victims actually deserve more than that - we all deserve more than that, and we didn't vote just to get memorable lines in a speech.

    Anyway - sorry if I made it sound like Obama mentioned chained CPI in the speech - I was just kind of jotting down my reactions as they happened without a lot of narrative.


    The SOTU (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:44:01 AM EST
    Whether it's Obama giving it, Bush giving it, or Reagan giving it, is, for all intents and purposes, a free infomercial for the party in power.  As we all know, the president isn't required to give a speech, he is just required to inform Congress "from time to time" about the condition of the nation and to outline his legislative agenda- which,  until Wilson, was done in the form of a written report.  However, it has become a show for the party in power, and most speeches are usually laundry lists, interrupted by over-the-top standing ovations by one side or the other.

    I watched the dog show last night, instead of the dog-and-pony show.


    If you had watched last night, I think (none / 0) (#34)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:19:18 AM EST
    you would have noticed that, but for a few lines that brought rousing applause, most of the speech was received with something just a tad more energetic than a golf clap.  Does that mean something?  I don't know, maybe.

    I didn't think Obama seemed particularly vibrant or energized, either.  Maybe others would disagree.

    For people who pay attention to politics and the issues on a regular basis, it was hard not to compare and contrast the speech with what's actually been going on.  Some of the things he talked about, he addressed as if he hadn't already had 4 years to work on them or, as in the case of the housing and mortgage issue, his administration hadn't screwed up.

    Will any of it happen?  Probably very little of what he talked about will ever get done, but in the case of his obsession with deficit reduction and The Grand Bargain, that would be a good thing.

    Yes, it's a show - who clapped, who didn't, who stood up, who didn't and at which points - but there are things to be learned from it, if one chooses.


    It reminded (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:03:00 AM EST
    me of one of Clinton's second term SOTUs- emotion but also facts, demanding Congress act.

    Your view (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 08:36:38 AM EST
    Seems to differ than many of the major media outlets who called the speech "Aggressive", "Assertive", "Proudly Liberal" and "Progressive".

    If one chooses, one can learn about things, better, in my opinion, by reading the transcript.


    And I should care about what the (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:29:39 AM EST
    major media are saying because...?

    My views are mine; I never suggested that what I was expressing were anything else.  And you can't have been reading my comments for as long as you have without knowing that I don't really give a flying fig what the media say - at least not the usual suspects.  I watched Current's coverage because it isn't generally a conventional view, and does tend to be more of a liberal reaction, so I was curious to see if their reaction was at all similar to mine.

    I've made a practice of reading speech transcripts, too, and agree that it does allow one to focus on content more than optics, but last night I chose to watch/listen and my comments were reflective of that experience.

    The bottom line for me is that when I learned he was taking to the road after the speech, I knew this was going to be a Candidate Obama SOTU as opposed to a President Obama SOTU.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but generally, I've seen that Obama selling one thing on the road, getting good approval numbers, and using them to eventually end up doing what he wants to do, which isn't usually what the people were in favor of.

    We shall see soon enough.


    I didn't say you should care, Anne (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:56:07 AM EST
    I'm sorry my comments sounded like that.  I was merely pointing out that the media, whom we all know overblow things for Mr. Obama, were using those words.

    And of course, what is all we are hearing about Rubio's rebuttal?  That he needed a drink of water, so of course, he didn't look like a strong leader.

    And unfortunately, that spin for both can go a long way...


    Rubio might want to be glad that (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:16:11 PM EST
    the attention has been on the Most Awkward Drink of Water Ever, instead of the content of his response, which was - and I hate agreeing with Chris Matthews - about as sophomoric as one might expect from a member of the practice squad high school debate team.

    The ideas were tired and old, he damned government in one breath and praised it in the next - for some reason, Republicans like to show how well they did on the government's nickel right before they explain to America why we just can't have government doing so much for everyone else.  He made the obligatory reverence-for-life comment, which, coming from the Senator who voted against the Violence Against Women Act, was perfect in its hypocrisy.

    As KeysDan said somewhere in this thread, Marco Rubio is not just not the sharpest knife in the drawer, he's more like the spoon in the knife drawer.

    If he's the GOP's "rising star," God help us - and them.


    I didnt watch it because (none / 0) (#69)
    by Amiss on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:55:58 PM EST
    the WKC dog show I always see energy. Definitely not so much BHO. I have had the flu on top of a flu shot, and I can guarantee this: If I had watched the STOU it would have made me vomit and vomit, losing what ground I have gained and I would most likely not survive another bout since I am diabetic.
    As far as I am concerned, the affenpinscher, Banana Joe showed more interest by smiling than the POTUS has aver shown in anything except Wall Street.

    Anne, your reaction (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:40:52 AM EST
    to a cost of living for the minimum wage (a good idea--and a dig to Republicans with the reference to Romney and he agreeing) and the chained CPI idea for social security, registered with me as well.  And, it did not seem to be  much of a leap to make what with his reference to deficit reduction in line with Simpson Bowles' failed Cat Food Commission and its chained CPI proposal that caused some of the liberal members (e.g. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D.IL) to oppose it.  

    Yep (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:46:01 AM EST
    The chained CPI is in the Simpson Bowles' failed Cat Food Commission recommendations. They freely admit that Social Security does not add to the deficit yet they couldn't resist including cuts to Social Security in their so called deficit reduction plan.

    Here's the problem (none / 0) (#45)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:55:58 AM EST
    you find yourself in. When he referred to Simpson-Bowles, he wasn't talking about Social Security. He was talking about Medicare.

    CG, my hope is that (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:36:06 AM EST
    no social security recipient (present or future) finds it necessary to grapple with a chained CPI.  The president did not state in his SOTU that he was going for a chained CPI, it is true, but that does not negate its Bowles Simpson resonance with the proposed cost of living increase in minimum wage.

    True, too, that the reference to Bowles Simpson was to Medicare (which deserves analysis in its own right)  but, again, for me, it registered in the sense of the experimental chained CPI teased out for social security but not across the board.    I certainly hope  that the specific silence on social security and the continued value expressed for standard cost of living for the minimum wage infers that CPI cost of living for social security, like a change in age eligibility for Medicare, is off the table.


    No worries (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:03:19 PM EST
    Apparently, some on this blog aren't aware that Obama has already been touting "entitlement reform" Chained CPI publicly for some time now.

    Denial ain't just a river in Egypt...


    So far, everything I've read (none / 0) (#64)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:54:53 PM EST
    about Obama's nominee for Treasury Secretary, Jacob J. Lew, indicates that retiring Secretary Tim Geithner`s #1 goal, seeing to it that the TBTF Banks will not have to pay "one penny"  for  causing the worldwide financial debacle, will remain the #1 goal for this new administration.


    "Lew served as OMB chief from May 1998 to January 2001 during the Clinton administration, when Clinton signed into law the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 -- two pieces of legislation at the heart of the deregulation of Wall Street."


    Shocking (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:09:56 PM EST

    Who was the last (none / 0) (#66)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 04:14:46 PM EST
    treasury secretary not beholden to Wall Street? Was it a Carter Admin guy- counter-intuitively a GOP type? (I checked the Clinton folks and basically they're all people who now have similar roles with Obama so its not one of them).

    good question (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 04:26:17 PM EST
    I'm only 60 something, you'll have to ask someone (much) older to find a truly independent, citizen friendly, Secretary.

    That's a problem (3.50 / 4) (#17)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:14:13 PM EST
    with commenting when not listening. There was no mention of CPI. In fact no mention of any change to Social Security.

    That's why I wrote "IF" (none / 0) (#18)
    by shoephone on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:27:02 PM EST
    Apparently, you missed that part.
    I was commenting in response to Anne's statement:

    He wants to tie minimum wage to the cost of living, but chain the CPI to Social Security?  Sure, that makes sense.

    which sounded as though he had alluded top it in the speech.

    Understand now?


    Oh I understand (3.67 / 6) (#20)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:39:48 PM EST
    You're commenting about something you admit you knew nothing about.

    Yes, I made that clear from the start (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:00:16 PM EST
    That I did not watch the speech, and was reacting to something Anne wrote, which I misconstrued.

    Do you feel better about yourself now?


    ya (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:31:32 PM EST
    "But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it's true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods - all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science - and act before it's too late." - President Obama

    Marco Rubio, darling of the GOP, (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:33:30 PM EST
    delivers the GOP response - tired and wrong free-market/free-economy nonsense that hasn't worked in like, forever.

    And - ugh - they're the party that believes that all life is precious - well, except for those who can't make it on their own.

    Time to go take a Zantac...

    Chris Matthews on Rubio's speach (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by MO Blue on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:38:14 AM EST
    MATTHEWS: I thought it was tinker toys. I thought it was primitive, that it was something you'd hear on a high school debating team. First of all, he went after government as some kind of evil, then he admitted that he had gone to school on student loans. Well, I went to school on student loans, my dad went to school on the G.I. Bill. Most of us have benefited from good government. Government's worked for us. I got in the Peace Corps, changed my life. You know, I am very pro-government and he admitted he was, too.

    He says "I love Medicare because of how it takes care of my mother. I took care of my father with dignity. He said I went the student loan route, I benefited from it. I got my education." Where was the consistency here? I didn't get it. He was saying he was a product of solid government and positive programs, and then he just trashed the whole thing. And then he played this victim game that everybody seems to play today.

    What's the Republicans' victims. They're paying one in six dollars now, we've got six percent of GDP going to revenues. We're spending twenty five percent. Who's being over-taxed? I mean, what are they talking about?

    It was almost like a YAFer speech, Young Americans for Freedom speech in the 1950's. There was no originality to it. It was basic. Again, it was tinker toys. It was a kid's presentation of a philosophy reduced to maybe the ninth grade level. I'm sorry, but that's what it was. link

    I did not see this particular speech (none / 0) (#50)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:42:37 AM EST
    but living in FL, I see plenty of Rubio, and that is always my impression. He is not a particularly bright fellow, and does tend to come across like a well meaning 11th grader.

    Agreed. It would be one (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:38:58 PM EST
    thing if Marco Rubio was just not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he seems to be a spoon in the knife drawer.

    Uffda! (none / 0) (#13)
    by DFLer on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:46:16 PM EST
    Mr. Rubio is so very lame! Besides the bs rhetoric, his delivery is very sketchy. What's with the bend down off camera for a drink of water...very non-suave. Also a couple of slips of the tongue "Republicans have plassed a plan"

    Regardless of what Rubio said (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:41:30 PM EST
    he overshadowed his words with his

    Big Gulp


    That was quite awkward. (none / 0) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:33:19 PM EST
    Why was Rubio's water container placed so far away from him? I bet some poor lowly staffer got reamed for that little error.

    Rubio water sip in extreme slow motion.... (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by magster on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:39:26 PM EST
    Oh my... (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:53:28 AM EST
    and the hopes of another GOP star founder on the shoals of the SOTU response. Why do parties insist on doing the response at all? When has it eve been effective int he least?

    Since I would have plucked my eyes out with a melon baller before watching it live, I appreciate the humorous post-mortem.


    What (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:50:38 AM EST
    the GOP's problem is that the only people in the party who have any experience are crotchety old guys who do nothing to improve their appearance to the general public and only have inexperienced minorities like Jindal and Rubio who melt under the spotlight.

    Responses never (none / 0) (#47)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:05:57 AM EST
    really work, the speaker always seems smaller in contrast to the president, and when the president is a speaker like Obama (or Bill Clinton)  this effect is only magnified.

    That is a most graphic image. (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:39:01 AM EST
    ([M]elon baller.)

    Well, I think the Poland Spring (none / 0) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:17:17 AM EST
    bottle was placed a short distance away from him because the water was to extinguish his fiery pants not to quench his dry mouth.

    My guess ;o) (none / 0) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:31:36 AM EST
    It was one of those gigs where an actor or show is paid to promote a product by including it prominently in the show. In this case, the product Poland Springs is bottled water.

    Question: Will this offer a whole new venue for Polish jokes?
    {{beep, beep snark alert ;o) }}


    If I were to play (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:49:38 AM EST
    the role of Dr. Connie Mariano for Marco Rubio, my diagnosis would run to administration of a calmative that did not yield the desired effects but did result in undesirable side effects, such as dry mouth and Nixon-like sweats.

    I think they're swapping out the (none / 0) (#31)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:42:08 AM EST
    picture of the last guy who represented "doofus" in the dictionary for one of Marco Rubio...GOP must be gnashing their teeth and ripping out their hair knowing that that moment is the only one that people will be talking about.

    The gulp heard 'round the world. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Angel on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:02:46 AM EST
    Had to laugh when I read that comment.

    Only caught the last half (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by lilburro on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:10:44 PM EST
    it's a little tiring to hear all the great things we'll do when we know the GOP will budge on very little.  That said, as I was kind of zoning out he then delivered his remarks on immigration, citizenship, and gun control, which were very powerful.  I hope the emotional plea for gun control stirs Congress into action.  Or at least helps keep attention focused on the issue.  It was well done.

    The only thing 9/hour will do is (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Slado on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:14:01 PM EST
    Assure more teenage workers don't get summer jobs and low skill workers don't get entry level jobs.

    Big government at its finest.  Not helping anyone but making sure someone gets hurt.

    Not necessarily (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by shoephone on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:34:07 PM EST
    The unemployment rate in Washington State has just dropped to 7.6 %. And this was AFTER the minimum wage was raised from $9.04 hr. to $9.24 hr. in 2012.

    why won't they get jobs? (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by DFLer on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:14:26 PM EST
    because employers won't need any summer help?

    entry level...because skilled workers will take those jobs for that whopping high wage? or there will be no entry level jobs offered?


    So employers have been hiring (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:55:48 AM EST
    these workers as a charitable activity up to now? If they need the workers they will hire them. Your argument is no more than a bluff that should be called at long last.

    And (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:22:40 AM EST
    Also not true

    Yes, it's a few years old, but the history remains the same.

    BTW - three quarters of minimum wage earners are over 20 years old.


    How many of those (none / 0) (#51)
    by Mojo56 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:58:09 AM EST
    are second jobs? How many are in the service industry where tips may also be earned? How many are held by people recently laid off who are entering a new line of work? By itself this doesn't tell me much.

    Basic economics suggest that unless an employee can produce more revenue per hour than they are paid then they will be laid off or not hired in the first place. This isn't rocket science.

    Assuming links are OK here is a good article on the minimum wage:



    Seems to me (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:58:23 AM EST
    That when the minimum wage was raised under Bill Clinton, businesses didn't stop hiring people, and in fact, hired more.

    Causation vs correlation, (none / 0) (#59)
    by Mojo56 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:37:33 PM EST
    how does it work?

    The economy under Clinton was rapidly expanding and real wages were increasing. In this scenario employers were able to absorb raising the minimum wage without missing a beat. Everyone's wages were going up.


    The author of your link (none / 0) (#52)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:29:41 AM EST
    is a student at Grove City College.

    I would have downgraded (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:25:50 PM EST
    this student author for trotting out just these shopworn ideas.  For a top grade, the author should have added the usual staple of--if increasing the minimum wage helps, why not increase the minimum wage to $50/hour.   Especially strong argument what with extremism  being in these days.

    Not sure what I'd expect (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:36:58 PM EST
    from a student that lists himself as an alumnus of a "one week" economics college that promotes itself as anti-democracy and pro-confederacy from deep in Dixie.

    But if this is the type of argument confirmation that's making it to TL these days, we're fading fast.


    Other than (1.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Mojo56 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:51:25 PM EST
    an ad hominem attack what exactly did you add to the discussion?

    Raising the minimum wage (none / 0) (#61)
    by Mojo56 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:49:19 PM EST
    Wages are nothing more than the price of labor. If the government mandates the price of labor to be above what the free market will bear than unemployment will result. Real wages come out of production, not government decrees.

    If there is consumer demand... (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by unitron on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:18:00 AM EST
    ...i.e., people who want stuff and have money and are willing to spend that money on that stuff, there will be jobs as businesses scramble to sell that stuff and get that money.

    Would-be consumers with empty pockets?

    All the tax cuts and incentives and all that crap in the world won't get businesses to hire people to handle customers that don't exist.

    Climate change. (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by lentinel on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:35:56 AM EST
    I am a believer that we are all in grave danger from the spewing of garbage into our atmosphere. So I was heartened by the fact that the president made mention of it.

    I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago.

    OK. i can see that. A market-based solution. And John McCain and Joe Lieberman are certainly the ones I would look to for guidance on this issue.

    Of course, the president left us in a little suspense by not giving us a clue about what he will do with respect to the Keystone XL pipeline. Nor did he propose any legislation to limit carbon emissions - but that is understandable because that might not be a market-based solution.

    I am filled with confidence now, since he said he will direct his cabinet to come up with executive actions he can take. I'm sure they will.

    As the president points out, "We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years" and, "we produce more natural gas than ever before". Therefore, he said, our "energy bills" are lower. I was under the impression that my "energy bills" had gone up, but I am happy to learn that they hadn't.

    I am proud that we are on track to becoming the world's biggest supplier of oil so that we don't have to pollute with foreign oil. Just our own oil. It's the cleanest thing since clean coal.

    Marc Rubio on governmental action to combat (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:45:26 PM EST
    climate change:

    "The government can't change the weather. I said that in the speech. We can pass a bunch of laws that will destroy our economy, but it isn't going to change the weather"

    A real intellectual heavyhitter, that one...

    Minimum Wage (1.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Slado on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:54:00 PM EST
    The ultimate liberal/government fantasy.

    Even though it flies in the face of Economic reality (Supply vs. Demand) we'll just do it because it's fair.

    If one is going to believe that through government fiat one can decide how much a worker is worth why stop @ $9?   if you inflated the wage to real dollars today compared to the wage it started at it should be more like $11.   That would only put us in the top 10 of industrialized nations.   Australia is #1 at almost $16 US/hour.   Why should't Obama make us #1?  

    Doesn't he care?    

    The reason is everyone knows it doesn't make sense economically but when does anything the government does make sense?    

    I quote Economist Henry Hazlitt...

    You cannot make a man worth a given amount by making it illegal for anyone to offer him less. You merely deprive him of the right to earn the amount that his abilities and situation would permit him to earn, while you deprive the community even of the moderate services that he is capable of rendering. In brief, for a low wage you substitute unemployment. You do harm all around, with no comparable compensation.

    Another economist/CONSULTANT (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:14:04 PM EST
    who only has the worker's and community's rights and interests in mind..

    Does some definitive, long range study exist somewhere bearing out Hazlitt's hypothesis that increases in the minimum wage always lead to increases in unemployment, or is this just more simplistic, hamhanded, any-market-interference-is-bad dogmatism?

    Whats luicrously apparent is that in this day and age, we still have a slew of professional economists in this country who would be perfectly at home working in the 19th century of Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Morgan.  


    Just ask yourself a simple question (1.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Slado on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:41:02 PM EST
    Why is the rate set where it is?

    Why not higher?

    Why not lower?

    You can't answer it because it is arbitrary.  The very nature of that shows you there is no economic need for the rate.  Only some sense of moral fairness.

    Someone should make at least this much.   Even if they are worth more or less.


    If the cost of food, shelter, transportation, (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:50:16 PM EST
    health care, clothing - you know, the basics of living - exceeds what a person can make working an average 40-hour week, don't you think there's something wrong with how we are valuing work?

    How can work be valued less than the things one needs just to exist?

    Isn't the depression of wages one of the reasons that something like 120% of the gains in income have gone to those at the top?  

    In the aftermath of the worst recession in decades, the richest Americans have been getting richer -- a lot richer -- while most Americans have gone the other direction.

    Add it all together, and the top 1 percent of households by income captured 121 percent of all income gains between 2009 and 2011, during the first two years of the economic recovery, according to new research by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. (Saez is a renowned income inequality expert and winner of the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, an award that the American Economic Association gives every year to the top economist under age 40.)

    How was the top 1 percent able to capture more than all of the recovery's income gains? They became 11.2 percent richer while the bottom 99 percent got 0.4 percent poorer, when accounting for inflation, according to Saez.

    No one who works for a living should become poorer for doing so; how do you get good quality work when what you're paying people to do that work tells them you don't value it enough to reward for them for good performance?

    Take a crack at some of these simple questions.


    Yes "only" fairness (none / 0) (#79)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 12:13:59 PM EST
    and decency (which is for the weak)

    And we can't have that.

    What would Ayn and Milton say?


    LOL. Henry Hazlitt. (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by shoephone on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:20:11 PM EST
    You mean the conservative/libertarian Henry Hazlitt who was a close pal of Ayn Rand's? The Henry Hazlitt who influenced the likes of Milton Freidman and Ron Paul? The Henry Hazlitt who loved privatization and loathed government spending and uttered this little gem:

    The 'private sector' of the economy is, in fact, the voluntary sector; and the 'public sector' is, in fact, the coercive sector.

    That Henry Hazlitt?

    Yeah. That's somebody we should all look to for the merits of raising of the minimum wage.



    Why put your ideas out there (1.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Slado on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:39:05 PM EST
    when you can simply make fun of someone and dismiss them?

    Good point.


    Anyone who references Henry Hazlitt, (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 12:33:24 PM EST
    and touts his economic ideas as legitimate, deserves to be made fun of.

    Some people won't be happy (none / 0) (#80)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 12:19:07 PM EST
    until America has it's own Code of Manu, complete with untouchables and unseeables..

    Well, if you don't care for minimum (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:01:44 PM EST
     wages, perhaps you would prefer maximum ones?  Some companies have gone in that direction, with policies that no one who works for the company can make more than some multiple of the lowest-paid worker.  Those at the top who want to make more then have to bring the lowest paid workers along for that ride in order to make that happen.  It means that the person who cleans the toilets or empties the trash, or sorts mail in the mailroom, or files or types or answers the phone is rewarded for his or her contribution to the success of a company in a more equitable manner.

    I'm not suggesting we have a maximum wage law, but I am suggesting that opposition to raising the minimum wage is about power and greed, and a willingness to devalue the contribution of those at the bottom of the pay scale in order to elevate their own (net) worth.  

    I can't believe people are moaning about some poor schlub getting to earn the whopping sum of $18, 720 a year as a reward for working 40 hours a week, often doing physically demanding work.  Pay someone more, and that person can spend more.  Spending creates demand.  Demand creates more jobs.  It's an upward spiral that we desperately need.


    I would be in favor of that (none / 0) (#74)
    by Slado on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:38:12 PM EST
    assuming that a board or a company hired someone knowing that this was the case.

    I agree that some in this world make too much and some too little.

    I just think government does a terrible job (as shown time and again) of making things "fair".

    How do they say it?

    "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help?"


    There would be no need (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:16:41 PM EST
     for a minimum wage law if the playing field were level. The Government steps in when one side, or the other, has manipulated the rules of the game giving one an unfair advantage over the other.

    Take the criminal justice system, for example. If an accused can't afford a lawyer, the government will provide one for him/her. That seems fair, doesn't it? Or, would you be opposed to that law also?

    If the majority of workers were represented by unions you might have a case regarding minimum wage laws. But, Business has all the money, money which buys influence,  power, and lobbyists. And, what do those lobbyists do? Why, of course, they bribe our legislators to pass laws giving businesses all sorts of "rights" which benefit them, and damage most everyone else.

    So. Lets get back to this discussion of the need for a minimum wage law when labor has all the power and influence that businesses have and then, "let the best man/woman win."  


    Solved the mystery of the green ribbons; (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:25:25 PM EST
    maybe these were discussed in other coverage, but I started watching on Current, and had to go looking for info.

    I found this, on a USA Today liveblog:

    Dozens of members of Congress as well as guests for the State of the Union wore green and silver ribbons on their lapels to remember the victims of gun violence.

    Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin, a survivor of an accidental gunshot that left him paralyzed, spearheaded an effort to get members of Congress to give one of their tickets to a victim of gun violence. The ribbons were sent by residents of Newtown, Conn., the site of the elementary school shooting that left 20 children dead in December. The ribbons are Sandy Hook Elementary School colors.

    On another note - Medicare...