State of the Union

How is Obama doing? I'm just tuning in to the State of the Union. (Added: the full text of his speech is here.)

Update: Obama seems re-energized, confident and relaxed. Other points:

Lots of red states, blue states, United States stuff.

Criminal Justice: The crime rate and numbers of prisoners has declined at the same time. We need to keep reforming our criminal justice system. He uses the example of a father whose son is harassed by police, and a woman waiting for her police officer to come home after his shift. It seemed like there was louder applause for the police officer's wife.

It's time to close Gitmo." (He actually says Gitmo rather than Guantanamo.)[More...]

Two years free college for everyone.

Standing ovation for "We will hunt down terrorists" all over the world. "We lead best when we combine military power with smart diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building."

We're helping the moderate rebels fight Syria. On to diplomacy and then Cuba: When what you've been doing for the last 50 years hasn't worked, it's time" to do something different. Camera cuts to released Cuban prisoner Alan Groves in the audience.

Immigration reform.

He has nothing to prove, he's not running again.

All in all, the parts I saw were pretty good.

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    "I'm not a scientist either" (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:24:49 PM EST
    But I know a lot of them. Great line on climate change. Of course, crickets from the knuckle draggers on the right.

    Knuckle Draggers (none / 0) (#17)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 04:03:27 AM EST
    Guess I'm one of those.

    Me and the other thousand or so scientists who don't believe the latest theory of climate change.

    I say latest because I can't keep up with the changing story.   The story of why the models are always wrong, the heats in the ocean then it's not, the climate changing so fast but now it's more moderate.  Don't think in the short term now just trust us.

    In any other scientific theory the story would of course change to be proven (because I thought it was science after all) but because the proponents are ready to save the world already let's skip that part of science and if you have any questions about it you must be stupid.

    Moving the Goal Posts

    If applying science to a theory makes me a Knuckle Dragger so be it.


    Also (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 04:49:42 AM EST
    You can't make up this kind of hypocrisy...

    1700 Private Jets fly to Davos

    Not being a Knuckle Dragger sure has it's perks.  


    Slado you're not a knuckledragger, but, (none / 0) (#21)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 05:59:13 AM EST
    Rather than going into a long dissertation explaining why you're wrong writing this sort of nonsense; let me try with an apt, imo, analogy:

    Suppose Jonas Salk was a two-bit gambler, adulterer, and, all around scoundrel. Would you deny your children his life-saving polio vaccine because of his character flaws?

    I'm quite certain there have been many, many individuals throughout history who have made great and, positive contributions to mankind while, simultaneously, being not-so-nice people.


    This is worth saving. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 06:03:54 AM EST
    for future use.  At an "Animal Farm" like time.

    There is no other animal that is your equal (none / 0) (#27)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:05:56 AM EST
    here, WEC.

    As for knuckle-draggers, that is too kind a term for climate denialists.


    Wow (none / 0) (#28)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:07:35 AM EST
    That we must resort to these types of analogies seems to say it all to me.

    Why not just compare me to  holocaust denier?

    How about we file this one away as we agree to disagree.


    I would (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 05:57:13 AM EST
    love it is the climate change disaster scenario was bogus.

    However, as a scientist, to what would you attribute the fact that the earth endured its hottest temperatures in history - as reported in the NYTimes?

    Was it not actually that hot?

    Was the report in the Times based on incorrect information?

    Or are you simply saying that it's happening, but we don't know why?

    I have little respect for authority.
    I don't believe everything I read.
    I am used to governmental agencies lying to us.

    So I am willing to listen.

    Tell me about the part of science that you believe is being "skipped" in order to produce this doomsday scenario.

    Your turn.


    It is another data point (none / 0) (#26)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 06:56:53 AM EST
    In a string of many that if taken at face value seems to support your theory.

    However NASA now admits there is only a 38% chance that 2014 was the hottest year.


    So let the debate continue.


    Bad link (none / 0) (#30)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:09:55 AM EST
    Better one



    Townhall dot com (none / 0) (#33)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:31:02 AM EST
    for all your environmental news.  

    They got it wrong on the Arctic sea ice, BTW, here's the latest report on it:

    Sea ice extent in December averaged 12.52 million square kilometers (4.83 million square miles). This is 540,000 square kilometers (208,495 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average of 13.06 million square kilometers (5.04 million square miles) and 500,000 square kilometers (193,051 square miles) above the record low for the month observed in 2010.

    And they trotted out the old Newsweek article about the possibility of global cooling back in 1975.  That really proves their point.

    Thanks for demonstrating that what J.S. Mill wrote almost 150 years ago is still true today:

    I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

    John Stuart Mill, in a Parliamentary debate with the Conservative MP, John Pakington (May 31, 1866). Hansard, vol 183, col 1592. Pakington was referring to Footnote 3 to Chapter 7 of Mill's "Considerations on Representative Government".

    Newsbusters (none / 0) (#31)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:14:13 AM EST
    That's a real unbiased source.  Lots of WATB's complaining about librils ruining things, like one article "blaming" the "lack of decorum" at the SOTU speech on poor Congressman Joe Wilson.

    You really know how to pick em, Slado.


    Classic (none / 0) (#35)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:53:59 AM EST
    Don't like the source discount the link and move on.

    Was the NASA gun 38% sure or not?


    Sorry, slado (none / 0) (#44)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:29:04 AM EST
    but their agenda seems clear, and it isn't being an unbiased news source.  

    As for the 38%, I don't know how that figure was arrived at, but it is clear that with the recent weather problems of drought in the American West, along with massive cold weather systems coming straight from the Arctic regions all the way down to the American South, that we aren't seeing normal weather patterns  taking place here.

    As for evidence, there are glaciers throughout the world that have significantly melted in the last few decades due to AGW, you can see a gallery of them here.

    So, what am I to believe?  Newsbusters, or those lying glaciers?


    All of the data (none / 0) (#46)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:58:03 AM EST
    What bothers me about this debate is both sides select the date that proves their point.

    But one must remember those proposing a Scientific theory have the burden of proof not those that are questioning it.

    If you would like a more serious website to read actual scientific work and serious skepticism about claims by pro global warming scientists try this one...


    Maybe I'm wrong but maybe you are too. Only one of us is proposing totally changing our economy and way of life based on their understanding of the science.   Something that would absolutely be required if we were truly going to turn back the clock.

    If the claims made by those who are most serious or even alarmist on this subject are true then were are already too late anyway and even more practically we in the US will get little support from the rest of the developing world who have bigger problems than warmer weather.

    Let's not hijack this thread. Agree to disagree.


    Yes, if we go to renewable sources (none / 0) (#49)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:09:56 AM EST
    And stop putting CO2 into the atmosphere, that would be devastating, if you're one of the Koch brothers.

    Tell, me Slado, what would be the downside of switching from fossil fuels?  You're good at fear-mongering, but that's all you have.


    Well are economy would collapse (none / 0) (#56)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:26:20 AM EST
    The amount of money we would have to spend right now to switch immediately nonfossil feels would be so astronomical that it's completely impractical.

    So I assume you're saying we should slowly switch but the problem is with gas getting cheaper renewables are now even less attractive economically.

    The reasonable position is to continue using fossil fuels and explore all forms of energy and take them on when they make economic sense.

    But that's not good enough for those who think the planet is going to burn up.  So we get fear mongering from the activists that a total cataclysm is only a few years away.  Of course I've been hearing that for 20 years.

    While I'm skeptical of the science I'm still a practical person. I work in an industry where energy efficiency makes me more money so you'd be surprised how many times I've told people that it's better to go green.     However when that opinion was put forth it was not because I feared for the life of my children down the road but because it made sense for the customer in the long run.

    Any real solution of course would take this type of practicality. However the skeptic in me sees it's not really about a solution because the activist don't have a viable one.

    What about the poor and developing nations thart can't afford renewable solutions? Are they to just sit back and stay in poverty?  Hardly.

    When you come up with that economic solution for this mess that is more than partisan talking points I'll be ready to listen.

    Till then I'll support business as usual.


    See my comment in the Wed open thread (none / 0) (#60)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:46:41 AM EST
    As Jim has reminded us, this is not an open topic thread.

    Lame Duck Syndrome (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:26:01 PM EST
    Such the strong voice now that he has nothing to risk or lose and has lost both houses of Congress. Nice, and essentially useless. Funny how when Wall Street needed a trillion, they didn't have to beg anyone for a tax increase or hope we approved, they essentially just got it. Now that normal people need money, we have to go beg and plead and hope they can pass a tax increase. Lovely. Not that I think there shouldn't be a tax increase on the top, just that, you know, it really shows how right wing economic paradigms run the show, no matter the party in power.

    Why can't anyone just tell the American people the truth: as a nation sovereign in our own currency, it is a fact, like the earth being a sphere is a fact, that the federal government CANNOT go financially bankrupt. It's just a rigged board game that needs rules that are equitably enforced for all. You just design the game so that people can still get wealthy through any number of means, but the "losers" in the game (which means, in this day and age, almost all the rest of us) are offered an overly humane and overly generous floor that provides worth if necessary. Constantly tweak so that floor stays strong and generous, keep those folks working for a better country, and the rich can keep sucking on their own joints -- maybe, you know, they can't get quite so right, like now, that it destroys the country.

    That, it seems to me, would be the best thing we could offer ourselves, and the world.

    But that's just facts and logic. The economy is run on graft and lies.


    that provides WORK if necessary... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:27:34 PM EST
    ...oy. Proofreading is your friend, proofreading is your friend...

    The Onion: (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 10:24:43 PM EST
    `Well, Here's What Won't Pass,' President Says Before Listing 35 Proposals

    At press time, an advance copy of the Republican rebuttal to the address revealed that the party's official response will be "Yup.  You Betcha!"

    The joke's on The Onion. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 12:28:18 AM EST
    We gots yer official GOP response, right here!

    It's such a tiring spectacle. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:35:15 AM EST
    An hour long infomercial with little substance or details. Add in the "pregame analysis", the out-party response, and the analysis of that, and it's pretty much an entire evening of navel gazing.

    I wish we could just go back to the days of POTUS submitting a report to Congress and be done with it.

    Putting money where the mouth is (etc.) (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 01:43:22 PM EST
    My favorite part of this SOU was the reality of a confident President directly addressing  actual steps--as in real, tangible, workable--to act for the middle class via significant tax relief AND to define how to pay for it.  By proposing a capital gains tax increase for income over $500K together with removing the "step-up basis" loophole for inheritances, the President spelled it out clearly.  

    It is a step; a good step.  Should we wonder whether the Repubs have any steps at all in this area ... maybe (hoo ha) the media will deign to quiz Repub critics of the President's middle class push about the what & the how.  Other than magic ... that would be cause for the popcorn.

    In any event, President Obama set the stage for a full throttle populist discussion during the next two years and for the 2016 campaign.  In so doing, he also set the stage for a "put up or shut up" strategy in pressing Repubs on answering the populist surge reportedly growing in our country.

    Or. more likely (none / 0) (#107)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 10:41:30 AM EST
    He knows that many of his proposals will get nowhere near the House or Senate floors and since no one expects them to anyway, there won't be a media push on the Republicans.  These were Hail Mary passes by someone who knows not much is going to get done in the next two years, so as all presidents do in his same position, adopted the "Let's throw everything out there and hope that something sticks" philosophy.

    Not a pass, jbindc -- (none / 0) (#115)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 03:29:47 PM EST
    Hail Mary nor Quarterback Sneak nor any other label.  More likely, it is a positioning ... an agenda orchestration for the 2016 election.  Again, my favorite part: Starting the pressure for the Repubs to be just a tad more specific about what they would do to help the middle class that they profess to represent and how they would pay for it beyond reference to the tried & failed "trickle down" fiasco approach.  

    Meanwhile, what about the bumbling fiasco today with the Repubs aborted anti-abortion legislation ....  Curious how they plan to handle immigration legislation as well....  Yep, President Obama has every reason to enjoy his new 50% approval rating as he watches the Repubs stumble out of the starting gate.  Who is controlling the agenda now, hmmmm? :)


    His new 50% aporoval (none / 0) (#122)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 11:49:00 AM EST
    Made up mostly of people he lost before.  That's not gaining ground, that's catching up. Where was he with all these ideas until now?

    And yep, we all know Obama talks a good game. No argument there. It's positioning for his legacy, not necessarily about 2016.


    Or, another way of looking at this (none / 0) (#130)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 28, 2015 at 07:29:43 AM EST
     Yep, President Obama has every reason to enjoy his new 50% approval rating as he watches the Repubs stumble out of the starting gate

    Is that he's really not that connected at all. Still looks like a Hail Mary pass to secure his legacy, which is all that matters to him.

    President Obama delivered his penultimate State of the Union with renewed confidence, eager to take credit for the economy's recent growth spurt. He offered few olive branches to Republicans for their landslide victory two months earlier; articulated a panoply of liberal proposals that stand little chance of passing through Congress; and took the rosiest possible view of the economy and international landscape--even in the face of contrary evidence. In the moment, it's a savvy political play: Claim credit for an improving public mood and force Republicans on the defensive.

    But despite the hoopla, recent polling shows that the public is much more in sync with the GOP's agenda than the White House's. This month's NBC/WSJ survey illustrated a striking disconnect between the president's improving approval rating (at 46 percent, up 2 points since November) and the top priorities of the American electorate. In the survey, 85 percent of voters rank "creating jobs" as a top priority, followed by defeating and dismantling ISIS (74 percent), reducing the federal deficit (71 percent), securing the border with Mexico (58 percent), and addressing Iran's nuclear program (56 percent). The last four are core GOP strengths; polls consistently show Republicans with an edge on those issues.


    That disconnect will be driving the upcoming presidential election, which will provide a decisive verdict on the sustainability of Obama's accomplishments. Obama, as he ad-libbed in the State of the Union, couldn't help but brag that he won two elections as proof of his mandate. The GOP also won a historic number of seats in Congress, capitalizing on public anger over his policies. Rather than move to the middle and compromise with Republicans, Obama appears intent on playing to his party's progressive base in the run-up to the 2016 elections - and pass along that legacy to Hillary Clinton's nascent campaign. It's a gamble that will determine whether his landmark legislation will remain law, or be rolled back by a new Republican president.

    Obama should recognize how much of his post-election bump is being driven by forces outside of his control. The president is eagerly taking credit for the improved economy, even though little has passed legislatively in recent years. It wasn't long ago that he was blaming GOP intransigence for the slow growth. Now he's betting his remaining political capital that the encouraging economic trends will continue into next year--hardly a guarantee, given the history of false starts in the past.

    Free Community College (2.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 04:24:35 AM EST
    I'll just say it.  A terrible idea.

    A terrible idea if the plan is just to hand out money which from all I can see so far is the extent of the planning.

    Make something free and it loses value.  Taught us that in economics.

    Where  will that money go?  New buildings, more teachers, better books and equipment?  

    Right now it appears it's nothing more then a handout to colleges who will eagerly spend the money.  On what?  Who knows.

    Is there even a demand?   Right now according to Slate 18% of community college students graduate.

    Do we really need more students?  It can't simply be economics.  

    Maybe we should fix the issue that students come out of High School unprepared for college.

    Luckily it will never happen but the total lack of forethought and scrutiny by others for this "plan" is remarkable.

    This is such a blatant example of giveaway politics no one can actually be taking it seriously.

    The Germans have free higher (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:08:49 AM EST
    Education for all of their citizens,  if we Americans weren't so busy trying to be the world's policeman, perhaps we could afford such a policy as well.

    Perhaps we could (none / 0) (#36)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:55:42 AM EST
    But that's not the system we have.

    So if you apply Obamas proposal to the system we have it makes zero economic sense and will have zero impact on overall education.


    It Would Only Help... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 11:47:18 AM EST
    ...raise the education level in the US, and who needs that, the deep south is what we as a nation should strive for.  The economic epicenter of the United States.

    'Make something free and it loses value', where in the F did you get that non-sense.  Are we to believe that high school educations are worthless, roads, parks, and everything else that is essentially 'free' in that it's paid for with taxes, are worthless ?  Yah, OK, roger that.

    Get a grip, an educated country is a prosperous country.  It's how we get inventions like computers, satellites, cell phones, rockets, and the other zillion inventions that were a direct result of educated people.  Who knows where we would be if poor people were afforded a better educations, but without a doubt, we would a better nation.


    People who believe in all honesty (none / 0) (#88)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 03:31:56 PM EST
    that if we had just had MORE deregulation leading up to 2007 we wouldn't have had a recession, should just opt out of discussions about what "makes economic sense". But of course they never will..



    Re: graduation rate (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:22:32 AM EST
    A lot of people don't graduate from community college because community college is not their end goal. Their goal is to go on to another college and they just use community college as a stepping stone to get there. I know plenty of people from my high school class who went to a community college because they could not get accepted into a four year institution and went there for two years and did not graduate simply because this particular community college had stupid requirements to get a diploma there. So they went for two years and then went on to a four year college.

    Those 18% who are graduating are people who want some sort of two year degree.


    If you read the rest of the link (none / 0) (#37)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 07:58:50 AM EST
    To your point the overall graduation rate for people to continue on to for your colleges 40%.

    Again that is pretty low and seems like we don't have an overall demand for more students to go through community college.

    Like I said in another post what worries me is we are sending thousands of kids into the college system totally unprepared for what college and even community college require to be successful.

    If we make it free for everyone how low will the standards have to be?  These are just questions mind you not my statements or opinions.

    It just seems like a very loose pie-in-the-sky political offer from Obama with very little thought of how and why it should be executed.  More skeptically it is simply a partisan talking point.


    I have found (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:15:31 AM EST
    that community colleges fill a void where the tech schools have not picked up. I went to a community college at one point in time just to learn some computer courses. Am I included in that statistic? I had no intention of graduating since I already had a four year degree.

    Perhaps it won't work or maybe it will work but maybe it's worth trying. We keep hearing from conservatives that the problem with America is the workforce. So he's an attempt at a solution to that problem.

    The problem with people being unprepared is due to the states. Since I live in Georgia where we don't "need no education" I see that as a problem here at the state level. This has been an ongoing problem in Georgia for quite a while now and no one has offered any solution to the problem unless you consider turning schools into churches as a solution to the education problem here.


    When I was in college (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:30:13 AM EST
    I took an accounting class at the local community college one summer so I could enter the business school at my university in the fall. I certainly didn't graduate from there because I didn't need to.  And maybe that's the point - school that can be free or inexpensive for people who may need to take a couple of classes and may not need a degree.

    There is no bigger supporter of education then me (none / 0) (#48)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:06:08 AM EST
    Having worked in construction for the last 20 years I have been in and out of schools and worked side-by-side with principles and other people in public schools and I understand how hard they work and what a task they have.

    However I am also a huge proponent of charter schools and other ideas to shake up what is obviously a system that needs fixing but is not broken.

    The problem I have with Obama's proposal is it doesn't really address any educational issues it's simply gives students money to start on a path they may not be prepared for.

    And the skeptics in Macy's the same thing that we see in higher education happening at the lower levels as schools gobble up this money and use it not for students but for their own building and campus improvements.

    More details and maybe I can be swung the other way but I would assume free community college doesn't mean you get to take a free class on a couple subjects here and there (classes I have gladly lent my free time for in teaching) I got the impression it meant you must treat it as a two year degree so that you can go to a four year college.

    Again it does not seem the demand is there for that.

    More details Obama more details.


    Here are some (none / 0) (#53)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:17:49 AM EST
    Obama's community college plan

    Is it perfect?  No, but at least he has an idea to explore instead of just throwing up his hands and saying "We can't afford this!" (Or saying that rich people and big banks need more help). The problem is - we can't afford NOT to do this.

    And charter schools???  Don't get me started.


    I hate to tell (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:23:34 AM EST
    you but we have charter schools here in GA and they've largely failed with having a problem with them cheating the tax payers out of money. They had to take the schools away from the charter system and turn them back into public schools. here in my county they opened a charter school bailing out a failed private school and the charter company charges the tax payers of my county one million dollars a year in consulting fees. So if you think no better results at higher costs are a goal then yes, charter schools are the answer.

    The problem is not the teachers or the administration here in GA. The problem is the general attitude that education is "elitist"  and the rabid fundamentalism that encourages that mindset. Education is not a priority for a lot of the parents either unfortunately.

    Well, I guess we'll see when more details are forthcoming. I would actually hope that it would help people retrain or learn new skills that you don't necessarily need a degree to get.


    I don't see how someone (none / 0) (#90)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 03:58:03 PM EST
    who refuses to accept the research findings of the overwhelming majority of scientists and qualified educators in the world can call themselves a "supporter of education".



    Well that is because (none / 0) (#96)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 06:14:50 PM EST
    You are blinded by partisanship.

    Professors, scientists and educated people of all stripes are skeptical but you've decided they're wrong and because you feel so certain you've completely closed your mind to descent.

    It amazes me how the left treats climate change as a religious and moral issue rather then serious scientific debate.   Something you have to do when you're not interested in debate getting in the way of policies.


    I'm blinded by common sense (none / 0) (#110)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 02:11:17 PM EST
    when the overwhelming majority of the world's scientists, including many Nobel Prize winners, say something, I tend to give them the benefit of a doubt..

    I know it's a mistake, but I don't check with Reason, Milton Friedman, Grover Norquist and the Pope first..

    I don't worry about how increase in knowledge and understanding will adversely effect that unerring Holy-of-Holies, the Market..

    Also, if you're still adhereing to your "the consensus of scientists means nothing" warmed-over talking point, give me ONE EXAMPLE of another current scientific hypothesis with overwhelming support that you take issue with for being simply a "partisan" issue.

    One example. I doubt you can.  


    I love it (none / 0) (#111)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 02:14:14 PM EST
    they don't like science, so science becomes "left" when it gets in the way of backward-looking Dogma and the Market.

    Science doesn't (none / 0) (#116)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 11:45:07 PM EST
    Work by majority.

    Not accepting the "consensus" that AGW is proven or proven enough should not discredit the intelligence of that person.

    You sir originally said my opinion on this subject which has nothing to do with AGW shouldn't count because I'm a skeptic.

    That to me is troubling and yet another example of how some wish to shut off certain opinions and certain people from being included in ant debate.


    Science does not get overruled by (none / 0) (#121)
    by FlJoe on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 08:30:31 AM EST
    a minority either. Skepticism is a healthy part of science but when it turns into denialism you have to wonder about the motivations of people who want to fly in the face of the consensus about a sound theory based on scientific fact backed by verifiable observational data.

    There are "scientists" who believe in the young earth theory. Should I applaud them for their skepticism or deride them for their foolishness?

    Sorry, but for science to advance, the fools and the charlatans must be weeded out. I am not calling you a fool or charlatan Slado, but your skecticism seems to be moving in that direction.


    I'll ask again (none / 0) (#125)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 03:40:45 PM EST
    is AGW the only overwhelming scientific consensus you take issue with, or are there others?

    If it's the only one, what a coincidence that it's the only one that the usual suspects, Heritage, Fox, the Norquist Gang etc etc take issue with..

    A rather striking coincidence.


    As opposed to gravity? (none / 0) (#126)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 05:03:46 PM EST
    Or evolution or basic science? Yes.

    And of course my opinion is  influenced by my political leanings.  Those leanings being I question authority when it is so certain about something that it tries to shut off the debate.

    In fact I was a believer early on but after seeing doomsday scenarios fall by the wayside, reading literature that was contrary to the general consensus and then doing some basic scientific research I became a skeptic.    

    Is your opinion on this purely scientific?  No political influence at all?  

    I again support energy efficiency and all forms of energy as long as they make economic sense.


    No political influence at all? (none / 0) (#128)
    by FlJoe on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 07:19:14 PM EST
    None what so ever. That's the beauty of science, it has no agenda.

    I used to be a supporter of charter schools. (none / 0) (#109)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 02:04:39 PM EST
    But I'm also a member of the reality-based community who acknowledges the significant evidence that's been compiled over the last two decades, which underscores the growing perception that the concept of charter schools is in fact a deeply flawed one.

    Because while charter schools have proved to be a relatively lucrative business for many of the private management companies which operate them, such schools generally shortchange their own students academically or worse still, deliberately overstate student achievement, and they further siphon much-needed and scarce public funding away from already cash-strapped public schools within the district. So, I'm no longer a believer in that model.

    We have a system of public charter schools out here in the islands, but they are still subject to State DOE rules and regulations, and they're more comparable to magnet schools operating under an SCBM model, than to actual charter schools.



    I know that not all charter schools (none / 0) (#117)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 12:03:23 AM EST
    work but I'm not familiar with truly private charter schools because the excellent HS in my town (Signature School) is state and privately funded and does not operate to make a profit.

    I think the issue is education has taken an us vs them attitude towards charter schools that keeps them from bring better integrated into an overall education system.

    Even hear we have a top ten rated HS there is almost no cooperation other then what is required between it and the school district.

    That was not the original intent.  The intent was to challenge the other schools to adapt certain practices and improve.  

    Instead we have this small HS excelling in a vacuum.


    Wait, what? You're not making any sense. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:12:42 AM EST
    Community college may not be someone's end goal, but if one completes a CC degree program, one has definitely graduated from it, so it simply makes no sense to say that if one goes on to a 4-year school that he or she didn't actually graduate from the CC program.  If you go on to any kind of college, does it mean you didn't graduate from high school?  Because that seems to be the logic you are applying in this instance.

    And CC isn't much of a stepping stone to a 4-yr school if one doesn't complete the program and obtain a degree; failure to complete the program doesn't look too good on a transcript/application.  And then there is the problem of transferring credits.  I suppose it's possible to get into a 4 yr school with CC attendance and no degree, or even a certificate, but the chances of entering in a true third year - as a 4-yr college junior - are probably very slim.


    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:19:25 AM EST
    no. You can attend a community college for two years and then go on to a four year college without graduating from the community college. Since certain courses are required at some community colleges to get a diploma from them people who are going on many times don't take them because they won't transfer to another school and therefore don't meet the requirements for a community college diploma.

    Many people are taking some of the required (none / 0) (#72)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 01:40:06 PM EST
    courses for their 4yr degree at CCs because it's MUCH cheaper. I recently took some classes at my CC. They were classes that would count towards a 4yr degree. And if I had realized that, I would not have taken as many, especially not in the summer when the class time is reduced but the learning requirement isn't!

    Maybe things are different in your state?


    Count towards a 4 yr degree where? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:04:33 PM EST
    At an in-state institution, or anywhere in the US?  Because while, on an in-state basis, that may work, I don't think there's any guarantee that a 4 yr school somewhere else is necessarily going to accept those credits.

    In Maryland, completion of a 2 yr associates' degree program guarantees you admission to any 4 yr school in the state system, so clearly, MD has made sure that those CC credits will transfer.  I would assume, therefore, that on a non-degree basis, credits from individual courses would also transfer.


    usually (none / 0) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:15:50 PM EST
    people know where they want to go after a community college so they only take stuff that will transfer to where they want to go next. Hence why a lot of them don't take all the courses required for an associates degree in a community college. I know here in GA it is set up all under the University of Georgia system so everything will transfer to anything in the system. If you are going to another state, you just check what will transfer and take those courses.

    "If you are going to another state?" (none / 0) (#80)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:41:30 PM EST
    I can see that working on a summer school-type basis, but that's about it.

    If you aren't already enrolled in a 4 yr college, taking courses based on where you want to go is taking some pretty big chances that you're going to be accepted.  And if you're not?  Then what?

    You make it sound so simple, and I don't think it is quite as easy as "just" doing this or that.


    Well (none / 0) (#83)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:56:00 PM EST
    there's no guarantee that you're going to be accepted into University of Georgia or a state school that you might want to go to. You still have to have the grades to get in the tougher schools but it's easier to get in these schools as a sophomore or above than it is out of high school.

    And frankly most 4 year colleges you just take basic stuff the first two years. So taking those same courses at a community college would be the same. Almost every college in the country requires the same basic stuff the first two years, English, math etc.


    I know (none / 0) (#84)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:59:22 PM EST
    a lot of people who have done it this way because of various reasons, saves money, couldn't get directly into the four year college etc. I think you're over thinking this whole thing.

    Anne, the answer is to request a meeting (none / 0) (#86)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 03:18:45 PM EST
    with the Dean of Admission's office and, have a sit-down. I helped a girlfriend do just that years ago, and, found that they were very helpful, and, were also very willing to tailor a program that worked for everyone. Wishing and hoping, and, "taking a chance" is definitely not the way to go about it.

    Just Talk to the institution(s) you want to transfer to and be amazed at how helpful they really can be.

    Worked for us, and my girl got into a large nationally ranked University. Worked great for her.

    (Wished our courtship worked out that great, but, hey, them's the breaks. LOL.)


    Or you could (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 03:24:27 PM EST
    get their course catalog and find out the requirements for what you want to do and then take those courses at a community college. English 101 and English 102 and the like are pretty universal.

    I'm going to assume it was to state (none / 0) (#78)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:28:43 PM EST
    schools. I was just expanding my skill set, so not a lot of research involved. Obviously if I had researched I would have known I signed up for one heck of a workload, lol!~

    But seriously, with the cost of college, to pay under 20 bucks a unit for some required basic courses is a no brainer. I paid either 11 or 18 (can't remember) a unit for some multi media courses. Those classes would have cost $810 a unit at the college I graduated from . . .


    Our community colleges are administered as an integral part of the University of Hawaii system. The 100- and 200-level course levels offered at the community colleges have the same corresponding number as those found at UH's four-year campuses at Manoa, Hilo and as of last year, Kapolei in West Oahu. As such, those credits are fully transferable to other campuses within the UH system.

    The advantage of going to a community college is that class sizes for those courses are often no more than 25 students, which allows for significant interaction between instructor and pupil, while at UH's flagship campus at Manoa, those courses are offered in lecture sections with as many as 300 (or more) students enrolled, and you require an appointment to see your professor. From that standpoint, a student's transition from high school to community college can be a little less overwhelming, dramatic and daunting.

    The downside for those young students seeking a stereotypical college experience is that community colleges out here are by and large commuter schools with no on-campus housing available. Basically, you attend class and then you leave.

    (At Honolulu Community College, the downtown "college campus" is basically two high-rise buildings. HCC's vocational education campus is located in the industrial area immediately adjacent to Honolulu Int'l Airport.)

    But the huge advantage for students who choose to go the community college route to get to a four-year campus is that the per-semester tuition is less than 25% of that at UH-Manoa and UH-Hilo. And if you're putting yourself through school, that can result in a huge savings of many thousands of dollars.



    It depends (none / 0) (#82)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:51:36 PM EST
    If you are planning upon going on to a state four year college, the state colleges, at least here in Maryland, pretty much accept the credits you earned at a community college.  Son Zorba took a bunch of courses at the community college (not getting his two-year degree there) before going on to a state school here (UMBC), and they accepted all his community college credits.  Saving him, and us, a bundle.
    But it is true that, if you don't have the actual Associate Degree, you may have a problem getting all of your credits accepted at a private or out of state school, and may well have to take some courses over again.

    Yes (none / 0) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 03:06:22 PM EST
    but that is true of any transfer situation. That's also why some of my classmates didn't get the associate's degree from the community college because they knew the four year would not accept some of their courses that they had to take. this particular community college was run by the Baptists and you had to take religion courses to graduate or get an associate's degree. The place they were going to they knew wouldn't accept the religion courses so they skipped taking them and didn't get the degree and just went onto the four year college.

    I can't afford the college (none / 0) (#89)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 03:39:20 PM EST
    I graduated from. I sure as heck wouldn't want to have to put any kids through college these days. The cost is frightening!

    The private, highly rated (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 04:01:04 PM EST
    university I graduated from when I entered, in 1966, had a tuition rate of $1,500 per year (not counting student fees for room and board).  Fortunately, I had a full academic scholarship for this, although I worked summers and part time during the school year to pay for other expenses.
    The current tuition at the same university is over $45,000, not counting fees and room and board.
    The inflation index calculator I looked at said that $1,500 in 1966 money should be worth a little under $11,000 today.
    So, what has happened?
    How in the ever-loving he!! can middle and working class kids afford this any more?

    Iirc I paid $60 a unit (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 04:25:32 PM EST
    Private university also. Was able to work my way through college (union job!) with just a bit of help from loans a couple yrs. As I stated above, it is now $810 a unit! (2013-14 academic rates) And then there's the housing. The school is in SF, so you can imagine what that costs!! Oh and the textbooks I needed for the classes I took at the CC were EXPENSIVE! I had forgotten that one, as textbooks were not used much where I went to school (art school). I think it was over 300 bucks for a couple of books and a handbook. Thankfully I was able to rent one of the books.

    they can't (none / 0) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 04:09:52 PM EST
    A classmate of mine who is a professor at Penn State said that college is becoming pretty much unaffordable for so many people. He said even though they are technically a public university in reality they are more like a private university. the tax payers of PA, he said, are no longer supporting schools like Penn State and therefore the people going are having to bear the brunt of the cost.

    It's really sad (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 05:25:38 PM EST
    when even the state colleges become unaffordable.
    And how is the economy going to grow if the young people today owe so much money when they graduate, that they can't afford to buy a house, or even afford an apartment, and many of them have to move back in with their parents?
    It's nice that everyone talks about how important it is to get a higher education, and how important it is for our future to train kids in the STEM subjects and all.
    But how are the kids going to pay for this?
    Not to mention the fact that there are many jobs nowadays which ask for a college degree, and which could be done by people with a high school diploma, but if you don't have that college degree, they won't even look at you.  Even though those jobs do not offer a salary that could help you pay off your college loans.
    Learn German and move to Germany, people.  They have free or very low cost college for their students.  My brother and his German wife are already thinking about moving to Germany when their kids are high school age, so that their kids can go to college there.  (And yes, fortunately, their kids are totally bi-lingual.)

    It truly is (none / 0) (#98)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 06:37:51 PM EST
    Zorba it really is. Honestly the only way to really go these days is to live at home, go to community college for two years and then find a four year college that you can commute to.

    I'll tell you what happened (none / 0) (#104)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 06:32:45 AM EST
    Federal Student loans , Low interest rates, and a decrease in admission standards have distorted the market and created a higher education bubble.

    It is the housing bubble all over again except this time there are no houses to foreclose on.  Just students with mountains of debt.

    Mark Cuban gives an interesting take on how bad the bubble will be when it pops.

    Bipartisan good intentions have created an environment where students who shouldn't be going to college or not only going to college but are going and incurring massive debt they can never hope to pay off.    

    When I went to Vanderbilt in 1992 full tuition room and board was $28,000. Now it is something like $69,000.

    As with housing that is not natural inflation, that is market distortion from to much demand much to easy access to money.

    What is worse is that this inflation is not just limited to private and will be colleges. The price distortion is filtered all the way down to the smallest state university. In state Indiana University tuition is $23,000. 20 years ago it was well under 10,000.

    Not sure how we solve this problem since the answer is to stop giving away money and taking the position that too many people are going to college. It is the exact opposite position that is created this mess.


    What happened, Zorba, was that ... (none / 0) (#113)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 02:47:23 PM EST
    ... up until 1980 or thereabouts, a student's education at a public university was 70% subsidized by public funding. The policy back then was justified by the notion that a well-educated workforce was a public asset to society in general.

    Fast forward to 2010, and that amount of public subsidy was about 26%, more or less. Basically, in 30 years' time, we transferred the bulk of the cost for a college education to the students themselves, which was a windfall for student loan programs run by the banks, but definitely resulted in an increased burden on the middle class as a whole.

    I call it the "Knuckledragger Effect."


    But you must concede (none / 0) (#119)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 07:16:55 AM EST
    That the intervention by government in the lending market has resulted in this credit bubble?

    Huffington Post

    You can't square the rise in overall tuition at every level without acknowledging the market distortion by the easy money the  government Is offering.

    Specifically at state schools here is an interesting article form the ..:

    NY Times


    Free CC already exists, really (none / 0) (#81)
    by Towanda on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:51:18 PM EST
    as about half of CC students in precollege courses (i.e., not voc ed courses, which complicate understanding of the data) are on Pell Grants or G.I. Bill or other federal funding.  

    So, the poor can go to college.  This is, then, another Obama plan for the middle class, to reduce their student-loan debt.  Fine --not that it's going to happen, of course; not with this Congress.

    And that is reassuring, because I already had read and have had a lot of discussion with faculty and admins at CC's and other sorts of campuses, across the country, last week -- and the proposal at this point simply is too simplistic and does not at all address the immense impact that more free CC would have on the larger ecosystem of higher education.  

    Public higher ed already is so precarious and coping with such a decline in states' funding that the impact of this proposal has to be anticipated.  Who gets hired for more CC courses?  More parttime adjuncts, already far too much of public higher ed's instructors?  Do the first two years of courses almost disappear from four-year state campuses?  Do Obama and Duncan, neither with public higher ed understanding, have any understanding of the impact of that on grad programs?

    I think that there are other ways to help the middle class address student-loan debt that could be put in place a lot sooner, with less potential upheaveal on the impact on the higher ed ecosystem -- but what needs to be done about student-loan debt would require that a lot of Dems, not just a Republican Congress, also stop kowtowing to the lobbyists for the fiscal beneficiaries of student-loan debt.  And that sort of honesty simply is Not Gonna Happen, either.


    Here here (none / 0) (#108)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 11:33:15 AM EST
    The debt is a drag on our economy and more importantly a drag on an entire generation of young people.  Thousands of 20 somethings are burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in debt and they have no hope of paying it off.

    The lure of cheep money has benefited the banks and the schools as they've eagerly accepted the influx of cash to build super campuses that can attract even more students paying their way with cheep borrowed money.   It's a vicious cycle at this point and look no farther then the good bipartisan intentions of Uncle Sam for the cause.


    The true drag on the economy ... (none / 0) (#114)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 02:53:59 PM EST
    ... is the myopic public policies repeatedly proposed and enacted by the political right, which are based on nothing more than glittering generalities, fact-free conjecture and wishful thinking. (See "Kansas State Budget.")

    Just think of it... (none / 0) (#127)
    by unitron on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 07:05:01 PM EST
    ...as extending high school to the 13th and 14th grades.

    Used to be high school only went up to the 10th or 11th grade, but the amount of stuff that needs learning kept increasing.

    Well, it's still increasing.


    Sounds to me (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:05:36 PM EST
    like he's hitting them out of the park better than Babe Ruth.

    Justice Ginsberg looks so frail. (none / 0) (#2)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:06:52 PM EST
    How much longer can she continue? I dread the day we lose her voice on the Court.

    She's tiny, (none / 0) (#7)
    by Peter G on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:27:05 PM EST
    but she's tough. Don't let how she looks on TV fool you. Her last name is spelled "Ginsburg," by the way, not "Ginsberg."

    ABC News had some rabid (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:20:22 PM EST
    Republican on right after the speech. I thought major networks used news analysts rather than partisan talking heads to cover a main event. They should leave the partisan hacks to cable.  Really inappropriate, I turned off the TV.

    I just walked in to the R response (none / 0) (#9)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:37:44 PM EST
    Oy. Scary.

    Lotsa platitudes. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:45:37 PM EST
    No real substance. Ernst seemed stiff and "Stepfordy?.

    "Stepfordy" (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:56:33 PM EST
    LOL.  Ever meet a College Republican?  They never change.

    LOL! She's the new junior U.S. senator from Iowa, you were actually listening to the official GOP response to the president's SOTU address. Sen. Ernst pure 100% snow white-wing quackpot -- the Sarah Palin of the Corn Belt, as it were. The Spouse also turned her off, rather than listen to her any further. Oodles of raspberries and brickbats to Hawkeye State voters for giving "Ms. Agenda 21" a platform in the United States Senate.

    "The Keystone Jobs Bill" Who knew? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 11:34:17 PM EST
    Shorter Joni Ernst: (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 12:20:52 AM EST
    I knew (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:01:42 AM EST
    the GOP would be putting crazy of full display for the world to see.

    And it doesn't get much crazier than ... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 11:10:20 AM EST
    ... a woman who was opining during last year's GOP primary campaign that the Apollo 11 moon landing never really happened and was actually filmed on a Hollywood sound stage. The truly sad part is that Iowa voters shrugged their shoulders and sent her to Washington anyway.

    There's a parallel universe, Donald, (none / 0) (#70)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 12:31:21 PM EST
    and it is very, very small [minded].  If you can't shoot it, it doesn't exist.

    Ginsburg had a procedure done in November (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Jan 20, 2015 at 09:26:19 PM EST
    so appearances could be deceiving, in this case.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwemedical procedure to have a stent placed in her right coronary artery on Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court said.

    Ginsburg, 81, is "resting comfortably" and expected to be discharged within the next two days, the Court said.

    Some more details, via the Supreme Court:

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a coronary catheterization procedure this morning at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center to place a stent in her right coronary artery. The coronary blockage was discovered after Justice Ginsburg experienced discomfort during routine exercise last night and was taken to the hospital. She is resting comfortably and is expected to be discharged in the next 48 hours.

    It could (none / 0) (#23)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 06:27:54 AM EST
    have been interesting to hear progressive ideas being expressed by the POTUS five or six years ago when we had majorities in both the House and Senate.

    Now, it's watching some guy in the speakers corner of Hyde Park talking, and getting back raspberries from the assemblage.

    He's still talking about working together and compromise with people who are not interested in working together or compromising.  

    Especially irritating to me was this phrase: "We still may not agree on a woman's right to choose, but surely we can agree it's a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows, and that every woman should have access to the health care she needs."

    That's the best he can do? Oooof.

    Or this:"If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand. If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you'll at least work with me where you do agree. And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger."

    Oh boy.

    What is that quote attributed to Albert Einstein about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...

    My father would ask you (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 06:54:04 AM EST
    are both sides of your bed the wrong side?

    Hi Pop. (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:04:26 AM EST
    "We still may not agree on a woman's right to choose, but surely we can agree it's a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows..."

    Tell your father that I sleep well, although I do get concerned when the best the democratic party can offer in terms of an alternative to the republicans is this man.

    I'd like to see Obama saying this:
    "We may not agree on the right of a black person to walk the street with a hood on without fear of being shot by a white policeman, but it is a good thing that more and more black people are just staying indoors and not provoking the cops."

    Or, "We may not agree on the idea of the abolishing of slavery, but it is a good thing that so many black people are able to use the underground railway."


    oh cmon now (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by CST on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:31:21 AM EST
    I think we can all agree that fewer teenage pregnancies at the very least is an overwhelming positive and does not mean that teenagers are necessarily staying indoors or not having a life.  And fewer abortions kind of goes with that especially if it's not associated with an increase in unwanted pregnancy.  Basically we're doing better at preventative care - whether it's due to increased access to birth control or education - there isn't really a downside there.  That's not at all what you're describing in your analogies.  Especially as abortion is currently legal.

    More like "we may not agree alcohol should be legal, but since it's currently legal, we all think it's a good thing that people are drinking in moderation and not dying of alcohol poisoning"


    Women (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:49:53 AM EST
    should have the right to an abortion if they so choose.

    Is that so goddamn hard to say?

    If men got pregnant...
    this would not be an issue.

    And don't tell me that abortion is legal and leave it at that.
    Efforts are fiendishly underway to make it increasingly difficult.
    That's why Mr. Tepid said that little nothing about, "We still may not agree on a woman's right to choose..."

    Instead of confronting the republicans, and insisting that a woman has the absolute right to determine what goes on in their bodies, and lambasting them for their efforts to curtail those rights, he kissed their keisters.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 12:09:49 PM EST
    Women (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:49:53 AM EST
    should have the right to an abortion if they so choose.
    Is that so goddamn hard to say?

    Yes, it is hard to say because a vast, vast majority of people do not agree with that statement.  MANY people, even those who consider themselves pro-choice, do not believe that abortion is ok at later stages of pregnancy, for example.  If any politician used your statement, the backlash would be unimaginable and would derail any other item from the agenda.

    Woo, boy.


    But Isn't That the Point... (none / 0) (#74)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 01:59:54 PM EST
    ...that a statement like that shoudln't be hidden and tucked away so there is no backlash when it's said ?

    What women should have, (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:26:35 PM EST
    is dominion over their own bodies and the right to make medical decisions for themselves, and that should include the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

    I think it's a good thing that the teen pregnancy rate is down, but what I would be most interested in are the statistics and trends, state-by-state.  I suspect, but have not done the research, that in states where abortion is becoming less available, and where efforts continue to deny young women access to education and birth control, those rates may not be quite so encouraging.  

    In truth, all the a$$-kissing in the world is not going to placate or satisfy the anti-choice crowd; in fact, some of them may not view declining teen pregnancy rates as a good thing, because it might mean that teens are getting better at birth control and we all know what that means, don't we?  All the sex their raging hormones demand, that's what.

    I'd have fallen out of my chair if I'd heard him say, "We still may not agree on a woman's right to choose, but we don't have to agree.  What we have to do is respect each woman's right to make her own reproductive health care decisions, because it is her body, her life and her legal right to do so.  No woman who does not believe that abortion is the right thing will ever be forced to go against her beliefs; it simply is not right to put other women in the untenable position of having their health decisions controlled by the opposing beliefs of others."

    We'll probably never hear that, though, and so these rights will continue to be whittled away, the choices will dwindle, and the consequences will be significant.


    I guess what I'm trying to say (none / 0) (#79)
    by CST on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 02:39:40 PM EST
    Is that due to things like Obamacare the preventative choices aren't dwindling right now they are expanding - and there are efforts by the right to curb those expansions at every cost - shouldn't we tout the results when they are in our favor?  As proof that it works?

    Was that the context for his (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:38:40 PM EST
    remarks, or was this just Obama "reaching out" or trying to make it seem like if we try a little harder, we can be one big happy family?

    Did he associate the ACA with the expansion of access to affordable birth control?  That's something he could have taken credit for, so if he didn't, why not?

    I don't mean to be picking on you - I just sometimes can't believe that we're still having these conversations about what we should or shouldn't be allowed to do with our own bodies   - and Obama always seems to dance around the edges of pandering to those who don't agree.  The right to make our own decisions about our reproductive health is about more than having access to care, it's about creating an environment where women are respected enough to allow them the space to make these very private and personal decisions - whatever they are.

    When women in states like Texas and Louisiana and North Dakota - to name a few - are lucky to have one facility where an abortion can be obtained, when it has become an economic and logistical hardship to obtain the reproductive health services they need, the "agree to disagree" solution just doesn't cut it for me.


    Lawyer, feminist, civil rights advocate (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 05:37:39 PM EST
    Florynce Kennedy:
    "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."
    Although Gloria Steinem attributed the origin of that quote to a female taxi driver they both met.
    We can give Florynce and Gloria credit for popularizing the statement, however.

    Would (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 05:04:10 AM EST
    that President Obama had the intestinal fortitude, and the conviction, to quote Florynce, Gloria and the taxi driver to those guys in the Chamber.

    I'd tune in to see that!


    fine - take issue with the qualifier (none / 0) (#62)
    by CST on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:58:49 AM EST
    but the results are not what you're describing in your post.

    Fewer teenage pregnancies is a positive not a consequence of fear or "staying indoors"

    And given that it comes most likely as a result of federal policy increasing access to preventative care and education, I do take issue with the way that you attempted to discredit it.  Especially given the massive battle to discontinue that policy by the right.  We need to start taking credit when policy works.


    Touting fewer teenage (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 11:52:09 AM EST
    pregnancies does not belong in the same paragraph as one which  refers to the right of a woman to have an abortion. - a right which is currently under siege.

    That is the issue.

    Good old Obama just can't bring himself to unambiguously and  vehemently defend that right in the SOTU.


    GOP attempts to play both sides of the street (none / 0) (#25)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 06:55:15 AM EST
    "Republicans sent mixed signals on immigration in their two official rebuttals to President Obama Tuesday night: Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst's rebuttal made no mention of the topic, but the Spanish-language version of the rebuttal, delivered by Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, said Republicans wanted to work with Obama to fix the immigration system."

    The best LOL line .... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jim in St Louis on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:25:04 AM EST
     "....since the day I swore an oath on the steps of this Capitol--to do what I believe is best for America. "

    Our good ole constitutional pre-fessor  reminds us that we are not a nation of laws- but instead a nation of good intentions.

    Richard Engel (none / 0) (#52)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:17:16 AM EST
    Rips Obama on foreign-policy.

    I'm starting to worry that our president lives in a fantasy land when it comes to foreign-policy.   The middle east and Isis is a complete mess and he barely touched on it and claims somehow we were on the right track.  

    With the current state of affairs you would think that this would've been a major part of the speech and something he would've laid out a clear vision for on how we plan to defeat  ISIS and an overall strategy to confront what he won't even say Radical Islam.

    It's as if he plans to hand this whole thing over to the next guy or gal while he worries about his domestic agenda.

    the middle east and Isis (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:35:20 AM EST
    is a complete mess because we keep touching it.

    We can help, but we can't defeat ISIS.  We created ISIS trying to defeat Radical Islam.

    He should be more worried about the domestic agenda.  That's what actually affects the American people.


    To be clear (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 10:41:27 AM EST
    Are you saying we should ignore what's going on in the rest of the world because domestic issues matter so much more?

    To be clear - no that's not what I said at all (none / 0) (#65)
    by CST on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 11:17:22 AM EST
    I think there is no need for a rah-rah let's take on ISIS State of the Union address.  I think if there is an area that we need to be more focused on it's the domestic agenda.  It's not like lack of war-mongering in a state of the union address means that the federal government is actually ignoring what is going on in the world.

    So yes, I think the domestic agenda is where the primary focus should be, especially in a speech to the American people - with a congress that seems to have no problem funding wars, but has a problem funding everything else.  But I do also expect our government to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Finally - I think the constant media focus on radical Islam is a detriment to both this country and the world, because it perpetuates the "us vs. them" mentality.


    As Has Been Discussed Many Times (none / 0) (#66)
    by RickyJim on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 11:29:35 AM EST
    in this forum, nobody has come up with a better US policy for ISIS than benign neglect.  Don't you wish the US had followed that policy for Iraq back in 2003?

    And R. Engel glorified shock & awe (none / 0) (#71)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 01:26:26 PM EST
    IMO, President Obama has been almost tone & action perfect in dealing with the pre-existing intricacies, minefields, and invitations-to-war so dominant in the Mideast in recent years.  Avoiding exhausting blood & treasure in the internecine traps of the Mideast is a challenge that requires acrobatic balancing ... in deftly responding to the heightened challenges that have led others to straight-out war--pause here and reflect on the Bush family and two wars, most notably, the lingering disaster that was Iraq--President Obama has performed admirably.

    Clearly, Slado, neither primary wing of the present Republican party could ever acknowledge that this President has taken significant steps to mitigate the overwhelming diplomatic and war-triggering harm initiated by the predecessor President. Neither the traditional hawkish faction nor the re-emergent friends-of-Paul libertarian faction could be supportive at this juncture for very different reasons.  I can see then why your reflexive negative reaction to any proposals by President Obama is always out there.


    Hardly (none / 0) (#97)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 06:17:52 PM EST
     It just amazes me he wouldn't even talk about it in the state of the union.

    To me it is a sign of how unserious he takes the threat.

    I'd be all for a policy of disengagement if he had one.

    Problem is this president has zero policy on what to do about ISIS and I'd love to have someone on this board explain to me what exactly it is.


    Slado, Americans are in significantly (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 10:59:12 PM EST
    more danger from a fellow American shooting up a mall or an office or a school with his 2nd Amendment safeguarded AR-15 or automatic handgun with a high capacity cartridge than we will ever be from ISIS.

    Every time we venture out to a public place in this country we expose ourselves to the threat of deadly violence. We are our own worst deadliest enemy.

    So, sorry, but I see all the agita and hand-wringing about ISIS and the other radical Islamist groups as just so much war-mongering theater.

    If the NSA and all the other government agencies that are sucking up all our phone calls, texts, emails etc., were really concerned with the safety of Americans they would spend more time tracking down the very real threats right here at home.

    I would love to see the president and Congress deal openly and honestly with that very real daily threat to the safety and well- being of the nation.


    I agree with you of course (none / 0) (#103)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 06:10:37 AM EST
    I have myself personally much bigger issue in my life then the threat from ISIS.

    But Obama has decided to engage in a policy of killing people.  He said that his goal is to destroy ISIS.  To me he owes us a little more information on what his plan is if he's going to to killing and maiming in our name.

    Just found it strange he dealt with it so little during the state of the union address.

    Maybe it's a commentary that we're all just so used to him doing these things without us really knowing what the plan is.


    You know (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 06:44:33 AM EST
    what the real problem is? We're trying to deal with terrorism as if it were a military problem and truthfully there are no solutions for that. It's like England trying to run down the IRA with tanks but since nobody can think of any other way to handle it, the military ends up having to do it.

    Yup (none / 0) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 22, 2015 at 10:06:58 AM EST
    We agree (none / 0) (#118)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 12:11:43 AM EST
    But the military could defeat ISIS specifically and probably quite easily.

    We could use the full power of the military and wipe ISIS off the map.   Of course that would require yet another invasion with thousands of troops bug it could be done.

    Thankfully Obama has learned at least enough from Theblast decade to know that once we're finished the real fun starts so he's never going to do what the military could do to win.

    Instead we'll drop some bombs, send in some advisors and talk about winning even though we all know this strategy can't work.

    That's what frustrates me.  


    I'm not even (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 07:56:56 AM EST
    sure a major invasion would work because you're chasing shadows. Even large amounts of armies often cannot find shadows and then are the people there going to help or not? Another unknown in an invasion. If they decide that helping ISIS is more to their liking than helping us, it becomes a huge mess.

    Unfortunately this is really something for special ops to handle IMO. How long did we have armies looking of Osama Bin Laden to no avail and he was sitting just miles away from them for years.


    We haven't "won" a war (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 12:11:49 PM EST
    since WW2, unless, of course, you want to count that Superpower, Granada.

    Our military is a multi-trillion dollar bureaucracy that, simply, hasn't been able to make the transition from fighting a State sanctioned, organized military to the types of adversaries we've faced since 1945.


    I think you can say we won (none / 0) (#124)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 01:58:50 PM EST
    The Korean War because we fought to a draw and South Korea is now a democracy because of it.

    But to your point I think we agree. We win wars when we fight total wars meaning our full military might and country support the war and we hold back nothing.

    Anything less than that and well you get all the messes we've had since the Korean War as you say.

    Since then we use our military as a strategic political tool as opposed to a defense force or an instrument of total annihilation which is what its designed to be.

    Time and again our presidents involve us in these military actions but don't provide the massive amount of force it would actually take to achieve a real objective of winning.   The reason being we probably shouldn't be there in the first place and to win means we have to kill lots and lots of people.

    So we do these little strategic wars that still make everybody mad, still result it meaningless death and never result in victory.


    Slado (none / 0) (#129)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 24, 2015 at 09:51:28 AM EST
    How is our military not used as an instrument of total annihilation?  When the enemy is in their sights, NOBODY annihilates more effectively or better?

    ISIS is not that important (none / 0) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 09:23:42 PM EST
    Some things pertaining to them are and the President has that covered.  But the fact that some people gathered together and called themselves ISIS is not a horrific problem.