Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Union wrap-up: Loop style

We'll break this into three parts folks, Obama's speech, Ryan's response, and Bachmann Turner Over..........oops, Bachmann's response.


1. Our deficit problems go back further than the past 10 years Mr. President. It is true that Clinton put us on a path that would have helped end our deficits and start paying on our debt and that Bush undid that. But aside from Clinton, every President since Nixon has continued the path of running up deficits like mad. Obama mentioned Sputnik in his speech for crying out loud, I'm pretty sure he could have gone back further in his speech on the deficits.

2. Speaking of the deficit, Obama soft-pedaled deficit and debt topics in his speech. Very much a let down on these topics. A spending freeze is not a bad idea, but one can't off handedly mentioned that Medicare and Medicaid are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. That's not something you just throw in. Obama gave Republicans a big upper hand by not taking these issues on more forcefully and not doing that actually helped the impact of Ryan's response.

3. Investment really is just the political way of saying more spending, which I'm not opposed to always. But while I think high speed rail and rural internet access are swell, I'm not so sure that they are the kind of things that will help our economy in this current situation.

4. Thank you for putting defense spending cuts on the table. One of Obama's smartest decisions was on the foreign policy and defense front. Keeping Robert Gates was Obama's wisest decision and gave him gobs of political cover. Gates, having worked for the CIA during a time when we had another superpower as an enemy, is a man whose opinions I trust on our defense budget. A man with his experience has an eye on a militarily rising China while at the same time focusing on threats from less advanced terrorism. I just wish he'd stay on for all of Obama's term.

5. Education starts in the home. A cliche but it can't be said too much, and I'm glad Obama said it. Our teachers in this country are expected to do more than their job description entails. A nation of parents that have screwed up dodge blame while a nation takes out its anger on teachers.

6. College is over-emphasized. I don't think every person in this country needs to go to college. If we had more people who knew how to do more things that didn't require degrees then maybe illegal immigration or our jobs going overseas wouldn't be issues.

7. People who have lived here their whole lives and worked hard don't need to be sent back home. Immigrants aren't taking American jobs near as much as the ultra right would have us believe. Look at my number 6 above. If we clamped down, I'd be skeptical that our citizens would fill the jobs they leave. Also I agree with Obama about the need to keep gifted people from other countries who get degrees here in this country.


1. I'm glad Paul Ryan hit the debt issue forcefully, since I agree with the Republicans (and I guess the Democrats, since both sides give this issue lip service) that the debt and budget deficit are pressing issues and since Obama dropped the ball on it in his speech. My main problem is that both sides propose piddling little things to appear fiscally  responsible. I honestly think that if many in the GOP got their way and somehow repealed "Obamacare" then they would go home back to their villages cocky, like knights who had just slain a dragon, and not give a rip about the debt or budget deficits. Paul Ryan, Ron Paul, and Rand Paul and some others might care, but aside from a few folks it'd be back to "deficits don't matter" Cheney-ism.

2. Did anyone else think that Ryan looked a little red-eyed? It was enough to make me go look up his stance on marijuana legalization. I mean even Pat Robertson has drifted to that view. I haven't found anything  on his stance though, so.....

3. The UK isn't in the same position as Greece, it's trying to get it's crap together so it doesn't turn out like Greece. And if we were smart, I think we'd look to the UK as an example of making tough decisions of this nature.

4. Chris Christie was right to turn down giving response. We'll be hearing New Jersey governor Chris Christie's name a lot more often in the future. Turning down the response was smart on his part because regardless of how good one's speech is, it's a very awkward format and the speech usually pales in comparison to the one that preceded it (Jim Webb's response to Bush in 2007 was an exception). There was very little incentive for Christie to give it, his star is already rising.


1.Seriously woman, I know you hate him, but take some teleprompter lessons from our President. I was trying to figure out the entire time who the heck the person two feet to the left of the camera was that she was looking at. I also have a hard time listening to anyone who has said, "We also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States." Well gee, I guess that whole slave state/free state thing was all a lie. There never was any slavery in our country, our founders ended it! You sit on a throne of lies Abraham Lincoln!

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