SOTU 2014

President Obama delivers his State of the Union Address. Here's a place for your thoughts.

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    Was Joe Biden texting during the speech? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 10:03:10 PM EST

    Obama is still good at reading a TelePrompTer.  I'll give him that.   As for the substance what can you say?  Is it 2016 yet?

    What are your hopes for 2016? (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 10:18:54 PM EST
    Good question (none / 0) (#5)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 10:59:53 PM EST
    I in a weird way would like to return to the good old days of split politics.

    A republican house and Senate with a Clinton in the White House.

    Then maybe we'd get some bipartisan reform like we did with Bill.

    If you make me choose a Republican id guess for now I'd go with Scott Walker.   I like Christie but am worried he'd not play well against Hillary.

    Still a long way off.   My bet is both parties have someone we haven't thought of yet that could win the whole thing.


    There's (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:31:49 PM EST
    not going to be any bipartisanship with a crazy tea party and frankly Hillary is not going to deal with people who believe she is satan. She's not going to try to hold their hands and be nice to them like Obama has.

    Republicans may very well rue the day that the tea party came into power.

    If she gets anything bipartisan it will be marginally like her husband did with a lot of stuff. She'll peel off a few GOP votes like Peter King in the house and maybe someone like Susan Collins in the senate but other than that she's not going to get any GOP votes on most anything.

    But the difference is that she' not naive about who the GOP is/was like Obama was. I mean she knows these are the same people who were pilfering her underwear drawer and saying she murdered Vince Foster.


    I shudder to think what the GOP is (none / 0) (#16)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 08:32:15 PM EST
    going to be like in 2016 . . .

    I fully (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:59:33 AM EST
    expect a full on crazy nominee who is going to spout conspiracy theories and make crackpot statements. It ought to be entertaining if nothing else.

    I was thinking about the whole of the GOP (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:57:16 AM EST
    (not just the nominee) and after the election when governing is supposed to happen. It just seems that 'crazy' is perfectly acceptable to too many people.

    But enough about... (none / 0) (#29)
    by unitron on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:06:13 PM EST
    ...whoever the GOP's mainstream establishment candidate and probable nominee is going to be like.

    What about their out and out nutjobs?  How far are they going to ratchet up the crazy?

    (before it's all over I expect Michelle Bachmann's eyes to look normal and sane by comparison)


    I expect (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:09:09 PM EST
    it to be full. They feel like Romney and McCain didn't attack hard enough and they want to hear their candidate say that Obama is a Muslim and that Obama should have never been president and that Hillary killed Vince Foster and that she dealt drugs at the Mena Airport in AR. This is what I expect to hear and I will be surprised if it's not what they do.

    I always get a chuckle when Repubs (none / 0) (#22)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:29:31 AM EST
    position themselves early on by saying what-sounds-like condescendingly complimentary statements about Hillary Clinton.  See Mikado, e.g.  Usually, the compliment is accompanied with a related insult or pretend situational comparison with President Obama.  Hmmmm.  Wouldn't have anything to do with attempts to drive the old wedge into the Democrats. Nah, of course not say the Repubs ... only "coincidentally" similar to the Limbaugh et al plan in 2008.  The funny thing is, we should say to the Repubs, the Democrats look to be quite united for the upcoming campaign.

    Both the Obama and H. Clinton have been through the political wringer ... time & again.  They may have different styles, as one would expect, but neither of them are unaware of Repub techniques. Whether Chicago or Arkansas--and the slinging style in the wards or the backcountry--both of these professionals adapted to the times to move how they had to move in key positions. They have done more than survive; they have prevailed.  In the face of what often amounts to unrelenting & concentrated efforts fueled by the hatred of the right-wing, this man and this woman have prevailed.  

    What should really be fun to watch in '16, Ga6th, is the specter of Repub popping eyes and semi-babbling mouths agape as Obama and Clinton appear (metaphorically and, perhaps, really) hand-in-hand & full accord on the significant issues of the day.  It would be a winning delight to witness the Repubs as they realize all their efforts at division have failed.  Meanwhile: Let's note that the Repubs can't even agree on one speaker and one message for the response to the State of the Union address.  (Oh, and I also tee-heed at Rand Paul's attempts at conciliation with Chris Christie as he declared that their earlier disagreement was all "water under the Bridge."  Yep, Ga6th, as you suggest, watching the Repubs will grow funnier ... kind of like slapstick.


    And the Fake Concern... (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:36:58 AM EST
    ...about D Candidate in the primaries.

    Maybe you posted and I missed, but how is the weather ?  Atlanta looks like a nightmare with the traffic and hearing the Mayor blame the state and the Fed is amusing, but only because I don't live there.


    So Rand Paul mentioned Christie... (none / 0) (#28)
    by unitron on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 04:53:15 PM EST
    ...and a bridge in the same breath?

    Merely coincidental?

    Or subtle twisting of the knife?


    But ... not too subtle twisting (none / 0) (#31)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:02:09 PM EST
    I think the bi-partisan ship done sailed... (none / 0) (#7)
    by unitron on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 03:18:02 AM EST
    ...and sank with all hands just before going over the horizon.

    Obama's only a black with a funny sounding name, and all they cared about was making his presidency a resounding failure, regardless of who or what they had to hurt to do it.

    I don't expect it to be any better with anyone in the White House with a D after their name unless the Dems have monster majorities in both houses (and even then there will be ample opportunity for stupidity which will be seized far too often), but if the next President is both a Clinton and a female...


    I don't agree (none / 0) (#9)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:24:36 AM EST
    As much as I dislike Bill and Hillary hey are one thing.  Pactical.

    Obama was different I that he was an outsider who thought he was better  then everyone else.   He couldn't be bothered to do what most presidents did in the past she it came to working with congress.   Reagan, LBJ, Clinton and even GW worked with congress.    Obama just doesn't get involved.   He makes speeches and then expects people to just do it.

    Clinton will be like her husband.  She'll work to get stuff done.

    I'd take her over Obama any day.


    I used to think that (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:33:15 AM EST
    Now the Clintons are dead to me. The second Hillary started talking about Edward Snowden as some traitor, she revealed herself to be a wretch whom absolute power has corrupted beyond repair. Eff her and Bill, they can fall off the face of the earth for all I care. They are a huge reason corporate politics has become the focus of the Democratic Party.

    We are a phucked country with NO political imagination. And that, in short, will kill us.

    We still, for all our "progress," for all our "democracy," value money above human beings every day, in every way. Money matters, people should just die. That is the operating paradigm of our economy.

    In short, we are inexcusably stupid to the extent that it really resembles brainwashing. And that stupidity translates on the highest levels into malevolence. And you get genuine psychopaths, people who lack any and all empathy, running the system. Nothing good can happen until the addicts stop running the show. Until then, enjoy the demise, it's all we have.


    I'm wondering how old (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:27:25 AM EST
    you were during the Clinton presidency..

    The Republicans played so dirty and were so obstructionist back then, to say Clinton "worked with them" is like saying the owner of a corner store works with the local protection racket thugs.

    History shouldn't be just a Rorschach ink blot we project our wishes and fantasies onto.


    I hope for a better choice (none / 0) (#17)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 02:09:49 AM EST
    but voting for HRC might be lesser of evils for many people. She is a known quantity, good or bad, it would be a lot more Clinton II, than Hillary I. The bonus is the tendency to divide power which would boost GOP chances in congress.

    What concerns me most is that with the senate now a 51% does what it wants policy, the fight for 51% will be fierce and non stop.

    Does anybody else see how bad it is for a democracy to have hard party line voting? No dissent allowed within either party?


    Gotta love how your "concern" ... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:41:15 PM EST
    What concerns me most is that with the senate now a 51% does what it wants policy, the fight for 51% will be fierce and non stop.

    Does anybody else see how bad it is for a democracy to have hard party line voting? No dissent allowed within either party?

    ... about partisan voting is focused on only one half of the Congress.

    What a surprise ...


    The Two party System... (none / 0) (#33)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:42:37 AM EST
    ...in general is too inflexible, you are either this box of ideals, or that one, it leaves no room for people who are truly in the middle, which is where most of the US lays.

    You can't be a non-religion R or an traditional marriage D.  The tea party system forbids policies of the opposing party, sometimes for no other reason than that.

    Plus of course, in this democracy, our options are already decided to the handful of primary candidates, so although we actually vote on that person, they make damn sure special interests approve of our choices and that average Joes are never part of the equation, which is what politicians should be, people that do their service and leave to go back to the real world.


    Income equality (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 11:01:57 PM EST
    Good post about how Obama must want to take us back to the Bush economy.

    Point being is the income equality talking point is just that.   A meaningless talking point that we don't really want.   Unless of course the left approves of the way the Bushes ran the economy.

    And the Silicon Valley CEOs are scumbags too (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:34:34 AM EST
    As speeches go, I think he did (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:50:41 AM EST
    a fine job, but then, he usually does.  On the surface, he hit all the right notes, moving deftly from hope to pride to concern, using a combination of serious, stern, funny, sarcastic, and making sure to use real people, across race and gender lines, to illustrate his points as much as possible.

    Yes, for a change, I actually watched (well, I missed a little bit here and there, but I hung in there for the bulk of it).

    But I'm not sure, in the end, it will mean a whole lot.  He asked Congress to raise the minimum wage last year - they didn't.  And I don't think they'll do it this year, unless Democrats give the GOP something we probably don't want them to - some group with no power and no voice will be sacrificed, kind of like nutrition assistance was sacrificed in order to pass a farm bill that benefits agribusiness.

    A Republican party that is represented by people who think women who want birth control are sluts who can't control their sex drive, and believe women have special powers to prevent pregnancy in the case of "real" rape, are not going to be embarrassed into eliminating the wage gap between men and women.  These people can't be embarrassed.

    It's all well and good to recognize that living at the poverty level should not be the consequence of retiring from the workforce, but "MyRA" feels like a segue to "let's privatize Social Security!"  How about expanding Social Security instead - lift the cap and increase the benefits?  Oh, right - that might be too much of a sacrifice for people making more than 104K a year.  I keep forgetting that.

    By all means, honor the service and sacrifice of an egregiously wounded soldier - but recognize that you sent him into that conflict, there are many, many more just like him, and our VA's ability to deal with the range of injuries is still not where it should be.  We are still failing our military, both active and retired, and that's not right.

    Great idea to use the power of the pen to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers - but that's a raise that will only apply to new contracts, not existing ones; I don't think he mentioned that part - if he did, I missed it.  I'd suggest we need to look at contracts more closely, and do something really radical, like require that those at the top of the food chain can only make x-times the salaries of the lowest-paid workers.

    Okay, I'll stop here - but you get my drift.  The speech stirred some positive feelings for me, on issues I care about, but in the cold light (and man, is it ever cold!) of day, the reality is that it's just talk - we'll see if any of this actually happens.

    I like the energy so far (none / 0) (#1)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 08:20:47 PM EST
    And the focus on the American people.

    If I (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 08:20:12 AM EST
    may express my cynicism, I think that anything resembling a progressive utterance from Mr. O at this point is merely fluff aimed at limiting the damage in the upcoming midterms.

    He has demonstrated, over these five draggy years, that he occasionally knows the right words -- but then he disappears.

    In short, I expect absolutely nothing from the Obama administration. I expect nothing from Pelosi, and I expect nothing - really nothing - from whatshisname in the Senate - Reid...

    And then there's that dynamo, Mr. Biden, being called upon by POTUS to lead an "across-the-board reform of America's training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs." Yeah. Biden's the man for the job. Ooof.

    Sounds like he's signaling his support for Biden as his successor. Nothing more.

    What a sorry bunch - taking us all to the cleaners while they line their pockets and live the good life on our dime.

    Of course, I believe that they, the dems, don't give a hang more about us than the repubs. Nothing can disabuse me of that perception. The repubs are the best thing to have happened to the dems because they can blame all their inaction on them. I would give the dems a modicum of respect if they were out there - on a daily basis - dominating the news cycle - talking about the evils being inflicted upon us by an uncaring opposition party. But they don't say sh-t.

    A few words at a SOTU means nothing to me. Let's see Obama, the rockstar, out there stumping for us on a daily basis - gaining support - asking people to call and write the opposition party. I'd like to see him doing interviews - holding press conferences - holding town halls. Populist stuff.

    Ain't gonna happen imho.

    It is really tempting to hibernate until 2016.


    cspan2 coverage (none / 0) (#2)
    by DFLer on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 09:21:05 PM EST
    fascinating skimming the tweets from Congress people displayed

    The State of the Union address (none / 0) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:45:45 AM EST
    of President Obama was not only masterful in delivery, but also, carried a needed spark of optimism.  And, right words are probably all that can be expected from a SOTU--it is the follow-up actions that matter.

    The key right words, in my view, included (a) that inequality and upward mobility have stalled, (b), intelligence "reforms" are needed, (c) diplomatic efforts in Iran should not be undermined,  and (d) our war footing should end.  

    The SOTU was, also, important for what was not said: no new governmental austerity steps or comparisons to household budgets; no calls for cutting social security, Medicare or Medicaid.  No push for a Grand Bargain.

    The action steps were mode.  In a way, an update to proposing "school uniforms."   An executive order on increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, to take effect with new federal contracts signed in 2015 or later (not companies on existing contracts) and only for workers funded directly by federal contracts (as opposed to indirectly,, such as workers financed by the Small Business Administration or Medicaid/Medicare.)  And, the critical issue of surveillance curbs,  was an issue left to work on with Congress. No executive action proposed. Hence, so much for that reform.

    Any frustrations with the content, however, could be re-ordered by glimpsing the reactions of the Republicans.  The flurry of Republican responses ranged from the threadbare to the unhinged.  

    Representative McMorris Rogers seemed pleasant but hooked her star to repeal of Obamacare.  Ileana Ros-Lethinen (my former representative, prior to re-districting) was, well, Ileana, saying what McMorris Rogers said in Spanish.  To her credit, she was better than last year's reach-out by Marco Rubio  and his co-star, a bottle of Poland Spring water.  

    The best example of a new Republican was that of Tim Huelskamp (R.KS).  When Rachel Maddow asked him to explain his tweets (e.g., the new Imperial Presidenty. "Obama will do everything without legislation to advance his radical agenda,"  the Representative went far off and far away, suggesting that he was clearly certifiable.  I think Tim has a future in the Republican party.

    intelligence "reforms" are needed (none / 0) (#14)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:02:56 PM EST

    Hoho LOL  The Intel crowd all work for the prez.  They are not rule bound regulatory agencies.  He as had five years to order any reform he thought needed at the stroke of the pen.  The only reason reforms need to be done is he has failed to act within his authority.

    Of all the pressing problems (none / 0) (#26)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 12:38:58 PM EST
    facing the U.S, and all advanced, democratic countries, I believe that the unrelenting, and, rising pay/wealth inequality tops the list. So, I was very grateful to see this outstanding article in yesterday's NYT, "Capitalism vs. Democracy."

    Thomas Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, contends that capitalism's inherent dynamic propels powerful forces that threaten democratic societies. He suggests that traditional liberal government policies on spending, taxation and regulation will fail to diminish inequality.

    Piketty, of course, is not the only economist that believes this inequity is a mortal threat to America's/the world's ideals, but, he seems to understand it in a way that can be translated to the general public.

    Must reading!


    Mr. Obama (none / 0) (#19)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:07:11 AM EST
    ...went all "Apple pie.  The flag.  Jobs."  

    Which put the GOP in the awkward position of opposing these things.

    Typical SOTU from Reagan Onwards ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:16:09 AM EST
    offering band-aids to people with sucking chest wounds.

    There was a SOTU? (none / 0) (#24)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:48:15 AM EST

    When Pres. Obama... (none / 0) (#27)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 02:35:38 PM EST
    was entering chambers and shaking hands, I would swear I heard someone say something about "POLL TAX" to him.  I was wondering if anyone else heard that, and if I'm correct, who said it.

    It was in the first 30-45 seconds, IIRC.