state of the union

Top Three takeaways from SOTU speech

My top three items out of many proposals last night from President Obama (especially for the middle and lower class citizens):

1. "Raise the Federal Minimum wage to $9 an hour." A new and better stimulus plan.

2. Immigration: "Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months. I will sign it..."

3. "Cut red tape for responsible home owners to make refinancing more available...Help our economy grow..."

Overall: a great speech, well delivered. I am proud to have Barack Obama as my President.

I viewed the State of the Union on the "enhanced" stream from the White House. It was much better than the view on MSNBC, but I recorded the TV version on DVR and plan to watch to see what I missed the first time around.

Therefore be it resolved

Have you heard about those White House petitions, where if you get 25,000 signatures, they have to respond? Well you should sign this one calling on the President to address clean elections and Citizens United in his State of the Union next month. North Carolina knows all to well what effects big money in our politics have especially at the state level. Surely we can put these petitions to better use than other recent noteworthy petitions like seceding from the union or building death stars!

On Done Deals, Or, Sometimes Losing Is How You Win

We have been talking a lot about Social Security these past few weeks, even to the point where I’ve missed out on talking about things that I also wanted to bring to the table, particularly the effort to reform Senate rules.

We’ll make up for that today with a conversation that bears upon both of those issues, and a lot of others besides, by getting back to one of the fundamentals in a very real way...and today’s fundamental involves the question of whether it’s a good idea to keep pushing for what you want, even if it seems pointless at the time.

To put it another way: when it comes to this Administration and this Congress and trying to influence policy...if Elvis has already left the building, what’s the point?

On Contradiction, Or, Will Obama Lose An Argument With Himself?

There have been many unlikely things that have happened this past month or so: some of them appearing as legislation, some of them appearing in the form of Republicans who set new records for running away from the words they used to get elected—and some of them appearing in the markets, where, believe it or not, many Europeans finds themselves wishing for our economic situation right about now.

There are even improbable sports stories: our frequently hapless Seattle Seahawks, the only team to ever make the NFL Playoffs with a losing record, are today preparing to knock the Chicago Bears out of their bid to play in the Super Bowl, having crushed the defending holders of the Lombardi Trophy just last week before the 12th Man in Seattle.

But as improbable as all that is, the one thing I never thought I would see is Barack Obama getting into a political argument with himself over Social Security—and then losing the argument.

Even more improbably, it looks like there’s just about a week left for him to come to a decision...and it looks like you’re going to have to help him make up his mind.

John Hood speaks for the right

Sad, really, to see the stagemanager in his tea party finest.

In a January 27 post on National Review Online's The Corner, John Hood wrote:

The president looks like a jerk tonight.

In another January 27 post on The Corner, Hood wrote:

Ugh. We're only a couple of minutes into the president's address, and the cadence and rhythm of his speaking voice is already grating. They come across as flippant and arrogant. Hasn't anyone ever told him that?

Art Pope must be proud to see such lofty and inspired commentary from his own private little Mini-Me.

Show time

Over at Talking About Politics, Gary Pearce says:

Once you get past the dishing about Sarah Palin, John Edwards, et al in the book Game Change, you learn a few things. Like about President Obama. That he’s like a basketball player who wants the ball when the game is on [the] line.

That pretty much sums of my thinking about the big speech tonight. It's been a hell of a year, with a few important accomplishments, and many missed opportunities. I hope Mr. Obama gets his game back on.

POTUS Speak Up

Five Things to Say about Clean Energy in Your Address

It is that time of year again. This Wednesday, January 27, 2010, the President will glide down the aisle in the House of Representatives, greeted by thunderous applause, and encounter the usually more dignified elected officials in a slightly teen-bopper, Beatles-esque-frenzy, practically climbing over each other to shake his hand.

He will ascend the rostrum in front of federal government and the nation and proceed to tell us how our country is doing. Within the first five minutes of the speech, President Obama will say the health of our nation is strong - because what else can a President say? The State of the Union address is largely an exercise in tradition. So, why then does it matter what he says?

It matters because behind all the ritual rhetoric lies a pretty good indicator of what the president will focus on in the coming months.

State Of The Union Excerpts

John Edwards responds to Bush monologue.

Now posted on

edwardscloseupJohn Edwards has released the following statement in response to George Bush's lies I mean his litany of bad policies State of the Union address.

"President Bush's address tonight was heavy on rhetoric, but light on everything else. The American people said they wanted change and what they got was more of the same - small ideas that won't make a difference in the lives of working Americans.

They said they wanted straight talk and a vision for the future, what they got was a rationalization for the failed policies of the past.

The next President will have to do more than just undo this President's mistakes – the next President must offer a vision for fundamental change that will transform America and ensure our greatness in the 21st century.

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