SDB Evening News Reads: SOTU or STFU? Preview of Change and Hope…Posted: January 24, 2012
Tonight is the State of the Union, and I haven’t actually seen one since George W Bush back in 2002. I’ve read them after the fact, I just can’t sit through all the clapping and other showmanship tricks that make the evening much longer than it should be.
Tonight, I just have one hope…and it is a far-fetched one, it is that Obama gets mic checked just as he starts talking!
It would be magnificent.
It would be glorious.
It would be just what he deserves, a reminder of who he is giving that speech to, and what we need to hear. But it isn’t just words that need to be spoken, there has to be an action…blah, blah, blah…I know I am preaching to the choir. So, let’s get on with the nights evening news reads.
For a few preview articles on tonight’s SOTU speech:
Republicans have good reason to believe that when President Obama delivers the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, his goals are more partisan than presidential.
Mr. Obama has shifted into full-bore campaigning. He expects little from Congress this year beyond the extension of existing payroll tax cuts. His highest-profile initiatives are designed to enhance his re-election prospects.
Where Republicans stand on shakier ground is in their assessment of Mr. Obama’s ultimate destination. On the principal conflict between the two parties this past year — over paring long-term debt and deficits — the president can still stake a stronger claim to the political center than his Republican antagonists.
Polls show that Mr. Obama’s budget positions are closer to those of most voters than the Republican positions are. His ultimate goal, advisers say, remains a bipartisan deficit deal along the lines of the one he nearly negotiated with Speaker John A. Boehner.
The article continues with statements about Obama being in “full re-election mode.” More of the usual discussion…please give it a look if you like.
President Barack Obama will frame an election-year State of the Union address on Tuesday in starkly populist terms by calling for tax reform to get rid of inequalities that allow the wealthy to pay a lower rate than middle-class Americans.
His message follows the release of tax records by Mitt Romney, a potential Republican rival and one of the wealthiest men to ever run for the White House. With income mostly from investments, Romney pays an effective tax rate that is much lower than the top tax rates on wages.
“Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that does the same,” Obama said in advance excerpts for his 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT Wednesday) speech to Congress.
“It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts.”
Taxes are the most important thing according to the article…
Taxes are the most divisive issue at the heart of this year’s election campaign. Obama, seeking a second term despite a slow economic recovery and a high jobless rate, hopes to tap into middle-class voters’ resentment against Wall Street while their families are hurting.
What? Have we just given up on getting people jobs?
That is exactly what it seems like.
Romney and Gingrich aren’t talking about unemployment for a reason: Because they don’t have any solutions
The unemployment rate is gradually trending down. That’s the good news. The bad news is that by any civilized standard, the current state of the labor market in the United States is an ongoing atrocity.
As of December 2011, there were 13.1 million unemployed workers in the United States, an increase of more than 5 million since the Great Recession officially began in December 2007. Even worse, 5.6 million of those workers (42.5 percent) fall under the category of “long-term unemployed” — they’ve been jobless for 27 weeks or more. Since the end of World War II, we’ve never seen anything close to such a disaster; the previous high, in the aftermath of the 1981 recession, was only 25 percent.
This link to Salon is a new series they have started on long-term unemployment…it is called F**ked: The United States of Unemployment. Check it out.
In “F**ked: The United States of Unemployment” — a new Salon series that will chronicle this important yet largely untold story — Academy Award-nominated director Immy Humes traces the birth and evolution of the 99ers movement. Over the course of the series, Humes will explore her personal struggle with long-term unemployment, the struggles of her fellow 99ers, and confront the stigma of what it’s like to be jobless in America today.
Love that picture. Only I probably would have written it on the backs of my hands and have the picture taken with me giving the double “bird” salute.
Now a couple of links about the other side, Gingrich was being a spoiled baby today, complaining about the lack of applause at last nights debate.
Well…CNN is giving in to the asshole from Georgia. Gingrich wants to hear his debate fans roar | Reuters
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, coming off one of his most subdued debate performances of the campaign, signaled on Tuesday he may skip future debates unless his supporters are given full license to clap, cheer and roar.
Gingrich complained that NBC News moderator Brian Williams had told the crowd to be silent before Monday’s debate in Tampa in an effort to stifle free speech and prevent the audience from turning on the media.
Free speech my ass…
The next debate is scheduled for Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida, and host CNN said it would not instruct the crowd to be silent before the it begins.
“As we have done in the past, CNN will ask the audience to be respectful of the candidates,” the network said in a statement. “We have always said that if audience reaction such as shouting or booing interferes with the debate or with the candidates’ answers, we will ask the audience to refrain.”
UPDATE: I called up the Commission on Presidential Debates, which handles the general election debates, and they confirmed that audience participation has not been allowed in the past in debates, and will not be allowed this cycle either. So, if Gingrich is the GOP nominee, he’ll have to face a silent audience during his debates with the President unless the rules are changed.
UPDATE II: Asked if the Gingrich campaign would ask the Commission to change the rule requiring the audience to be silent if Gingrich became the nominee, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond e-mails NRO, “Yes, we would. If we have learned one thing it is [that] people, not the media-moderators, pick the winner.”
God, I hope the Commission doesn’t give in to him like CNN, and the other moderators did. Last nights subdued audience was nice to see. I have gotten so sick of the “Roman Gladiator Venue” like behavior that we have seen in all the other debates.
And one last link, this was sent to me by Boston Boomer, it seems a bit of a surprise. Mitt Romney’s Father Palled Around With Saul Alinsky
The radical pioneer Saul Alinsky, who helped invent the practice of bottom-up politics through “community organizing” in the middle of the 20th century, has become a key bogeyman for Republican in the Obama era. Obama worked for Alinsky acolytes early in his career, and even contributed to an anthology titled “After Alinsky.”
“Saul Alinsky radicalism is at the heart of Obama,” Gingrich told CNN Sunday.
But Obama isn’t the only candidate with one-degree-of-separation ties to Alinsky. In his biography of Romney’s father, Michigan Governor George Romney, T. George Harris wrote in his book “Romney’s Way” that the elder Romney and Alinsky met after the Detroit riots of 1967:
When slum organizer Saul Alinsky, with the West Side Organization’s militant Negroes and clerics, wanted to meet with the white Detroit rulers, Romney indirectly arranged the meeting, and attended. Democratic Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh avoided the rough company.
“I think you ought to listen to Alinsky,” Romney told his reluctant white friends. ‘It seems to me that we are always talking to the same people. Maybe the time has come to hear new voices.” Said an Episcopal bishop, ‘He made Alinsky sound like a Republican.
And that is what I’ve got for you tonight…see you later on, Dakinikat will be live blogging the State of the Union for us, which is scheduled to start at 9pm EST.