State of the Union coming Tuesday

In address, Obama to focus on economic opportunity
Associated Press
Jan 26, 2014

 

Struggling to generate second-term momentum, President Barack Obama will use Tuesday's State of the Union address to announce new executive actions on job training and retirement security, while prodding a divided Congress to work harder on expanding economic mobility for middle class Americans.

Obama's broad themes — described by the White House as opportunity, action, and optimism — may find some support among Republicans, who also have picked up the inequality mantle in recent months. But as Congress barrels toward the midterm elections, there's little indication the president will win over the GOP with his legislative policy prescriptions, including a renewed push to increase the minimum wage and expand access to early childhood education.

With its grand traditions and huge prime-time television audience, the State of the Union offers Obama an opportunity to start fresh after a year where his legislative agenda stalled, his signature health care law floundered and his approval rating tumbled. The president has cast 2014 as a "year of action" but has yet to show the public how he'll ensure that's more than just an empty promise.

Previewing the president's remarks, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "He'll certainly aim high. Presidents ought to aim high."

Obama has been tinkering with the speech in his typical fashion, writing out notes long-hand on yellow legal pads and scribbling edits on drafts typed out by his speechwriting team. The White House has heavily promoted the address on social media sites like Instagram, posting photos of Obama working in the Oval Office with lead speechwriter Cody Keenan. Aides are also working on an interactive version of the speech that will run online and feature charts and statistics about the president's proposals as he's speaking.

While each of Obama's speeches to Congress has centered on the economy, the challenges have changed as the nation has moved away from the deep recession. Corporate profits and the financial markets have reached record highs, but many Americans are grappling with long-term unemployment and stagnant salaries.

Obama has struggled to gain traction on Capitol Hill for many of the economic initiatives he supports, including reinstating unemployment insurance for more than one million Americans who have been out of work for a long period of time. With that in mind, White House officials say the president's speech will include announcements on policies he will undertake on his own. While officials would not detail the specific initiatives, they did say they would center on job training and boosting retirement security.

"When American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done, he will not wait for Congress," White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said in an email to supporters Saturday.

The president is also expected to announce steps to address long-term unemployment, including a plan to generate commitments from the private sector to hire people who have been out of work for extended periods of time. Obama is expected to hold an event at the White House next week focused on that effort.

But broader initiatives will still need congressional approval, including increasing the minimum wage and expanding early childhood education programs. Both initiatives stalled after Obama first announced them in last year's State of the Union address, but aides say they see glimmers of hope for progress this year, particularly on minimum wage. Obama has previously backed raising the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

"These economic issues are breaking out," said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank with close ties to the White House. "People are very focused on more support for workers in this tight economy."

Obama is also expected to renew his call for Congress to overhaul the nation's patchwork immigration laws. The effort gained momentum last year when the Senate passed a landmark bill, but the legislation stalled in the Republican-led House. While passage of a comprehensive immigration law would mark a significant achievement for the president, he's expected to be largely restrained in his public efforts in order to give GOP lawmakers room to maneuver on an issue that had proven to be politically challenging for the party.

The president will also tout the so-called Obamacare health law, which has rebounded somewhat after a disastrous launch in October. The administration announced Friday that about 3 million people have enrolled in federal- and state-run health insurances exchanges, though the percentage of young, healthy people signing up will likely need to increase by the March 31 deadline in order to keep costs down.

In keeping with tradition, Obama will travel the country to promote his agenda in the days after the State of the Union address, with stops planned in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Tennessee.

Republicans have their own ideas for what they'd like to see Obama outline Tuesday. Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said the GOP wish list includes "expanding trade, approving the Keystone pipeline and promoting education and skills training for those still struggling in this economy."

The traditional State of the Union response from the president's opposing party will be delivered this year by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House. The move appears to be in part an effort by Republicans to ratchet up their appeals to women, who have sided with Democrats in large numbers in recent presidential elections.

While Obama is currently balancing several high-profile foreign policy matters, international issues are expected to get only a brief mention in Tuesday's speech. The president is expected to note that the long war in Afghanistan will formally end later this year, though he's not expected to announce any decisions on whether to keep some American troops there after 2014.

Obama will also tout progress in nuclear negotiations with Iran, which are scheduled to resume in February, and may press Congress to hold off on a new package of economic sanctions while the talks are in progress. The president has cast the negotiations as the best chance for peacefully revolving the international community's nuclear dispute with Iran, but even he has said the odds of reaching a comprehensive agreement are only 50-50.

Comments

Contango

Re: "job training and retirement security,"

The first trillion dollar stimulus spending program was 'in essence' a payoff and slush fund for his public employee union supporters.

As the Comedian-in-Chief so jokingly said (cue laugh track):

"Sh..shovel-ready was not as...ah...shovel-ready as we expected,"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O...

And now this former community organizer by exec. order will 'decree' more money?

44846GWP

If I recall Winnie, you don't watch the State of the Union Speech. So don't comment on what you don't know.

Contango

Re: "don't watch"

It's called a "transcript" Zippy. :)

The Big Dog's back

The 1st one worked. Now we need to do the 2nd without Repubs.

Darwin's choice

You're incredibly stupid.

JudgeMeNot

I will agree with you statement Darwin. 0-bamabots still find time to post while filling up on the kool-aid!

PTBarnumWouldBeProud

Just curious as to whether or not the SOTU will be aired with a laugh track. It is going to be hilarious......sad, but hilarious.

Obamagalomania

With the forecast low of minus 5 coming for Tuesday night, people should welcome a bunch of hot air.

Ben Crazy

buckle up here comes more BS & Lies from Obama!

grumpy

Now why would you say such a thing? Is it because 95% of the promises from the last SOTU speech never came about? Because 90% of the promises were never even heard of after the speech? Or because we have video proof that he either lies (about keeping your plan, about keeping you doc, and more) or has no clue what is going on with his "signature legislation? You have to be more specific when speaking of more lies and BS from obama, you can't just speak in general terms about those things coming from him. Being able to make great speeches is made easier when they are fiction, you can say anything to make the audience cheer, the tough parts are making the promises come true. We have seen how well he does with the follow through the last 5 years. We have seen the degradation of the Nobel Prize that is now given for promises that never are fulfilled. Sad state of affairs.

Contango

@ grumpy:

FYI:

http://www.businessinsider.com/w...

Took change off the equity "table" in early '13 AND '14.

Now, dollar cost averaging into fixed (VBTLX).

Starting to put the cash back to work.

Remember: Annual $1T in fed debt interest payments are potentially projected for 2020.

grumpy

I was reading on DailyKos yesterday... I know, I know, it is mainly for entertainment. But since it is reported that POTUS will be expounding on financial inequity it was funny to see the wingnuts think that repubes think that rich people work harder than poor people do. The wingnuts think it makes a difference where and who were their parents were, that it was harder to get ahead when starting from a poor household. They thought that was the only reason. They seem to think the amount of money others make restrict their earnings. They seem to think there is a finite amount of money. The fed printing $80 billion per month for years seems not to register in their minds.

The biggest reasons I have seen is rich live within their means, save and invest intelligently. If you don't save you can't get ahead. If you borrow and spend every dime you can you can't get ahead. If you live well within your means, save, and intelligently invest you will get ahead and become better off. No matter where you start out from. It works unless you have something really bad happen to you. But the odds are much better if you live within your means, save, invest, and not borrow unless you have no choice.

The biggest reasons the rich lose their money is they either live beyond their means, or their investments fail.

Contango

Re: "The biggest reasons I have seen is rich live within their means, save and invest intelligently."

Amen brother grumpy!

The millionaire next door: Lives in a middle class neighborhood and drives a late model vehicle.

As is said: Those that 'flaunt' it, generally ain't got it, but are up to their eyeballs in debt.

I told my Gen X daughter last night: I've made money under EVERY recent president. It ain't the politics, it's the mindset.

samiam

Grumpy, that is one of the best posts I have seen on this website in a long time. And so true! Young adults move out of mom/dad's home and think they have to have everything right away that mom/dad have worked years to achieve. You don't NEED the lastest cell phone, the 60" flat screen tv, the ipad, the tattoo, the expensive new car every 3 years, a new wardrobe every season, the fancy manicures, the huge house. Invest that money into yourself and your education. That is something no one can ever take away from you. Then start socking away for your future, whether in savings or steady investments.

The Big Dog's back

“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
― John F. Kennedy, Kennedy's Inaugural address of 1961.

Contango

Re: "John F. Kennedy,"

So how many low income housing units can be found on the Hyannis Port Kennedy Compound?

The Big Dog's back

Deflect, deflect, deflect.

Darwin's choice

from NBC news:

" Silly democrats, you promised us in 2008 that Obama was going to change things. You promised us in 2012 that Obama was now finally going to change things this time and he really meant it because he would no longer have to campaign for reelection. Given the erosion of our privacy, the bailouts, the support for corrupt regimes and the continuation of illegal wars, the acceleration of crackdowns on whistleblowers, the drones, the provocations towards countries like Russia and China, the healthcare betrayal, are you really dumb enough to think this man is going to enact an agenda for the 99% if he starts acting alone? Get real.

The man is a neocon in disguise, and the neocons were trotskyites who believed the wealth of the middle classes should be used to industrialize the third world. So while Obama is not a pure communist, he is certainly operating on a philosophy that has its roots in communism's worship of the industrial complex. If you had any problems with Bush and now you defend Obama, you deserve to be ridiculed and never be taken seriously, they are two puppets working for the same masters."

This has to be about you and coasterfan!!!!!

The Big Dog's back

With or without you. We will move forward.

The Big Dog's back

“The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all ... The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands - the ownership and control of their livelihoods - are set at naught, we can have neither men's rights nor women's rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”
― Helen Keller, Rebel Lives: Helen Keller

The Big Dog's back

“History is written by the rich, and so the poor get blamed for everything.”
― Jeffrey D. Sachs

Contango

Better choose yourself a different cheerleader dog breath:

" The stimulus packages that began in 2009 --which have consisted mainly of temporary tax cuts and transfer payments -- have significantly raised the public debt while doing very little to solve the nation's long-term employment and growth problems."

- Jeffery Sachs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/je...

The Big Dog's back

pooh, You mean tax cuts don't work? You've finally seen the light. Walk towards the light.

Contango

Read it AGAIN dog breath:

Note the word: "temporary."

So why did your Messiah push for payroll tax cuts for two yrs?

The Big Dog's back

Deflect, deflect, deflect. Always answering questions with questions.

mikesee

Who are the greedy? Those who work for what they have and want to keep it or those who dont work and want someone else's money?

The Big Dog's back

“Rich men have dreams. Poor men die to make them come true.”
― Glen Cook, Water Sleeps

Contango

So which "poor" man are you employed by dog breath?

The Big Dog's back

Sorry, Folks, Rich People Actually Don't 'Create The Jobs'

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r...

Contango

Again: So which "poor" man are you employed by dog breath?

Blodget: A disgraced former Wall Streeter.

You sure do know how to pick out the rich people to make your point about poverty don't you? lol

The Big Dog's back

I don't know anyone who is part of the 1% who runs a local business. If you do, I want their names now.

grumpy

Give us your name and income.

grumpy

.

Contango

Re: "who is part of the 1% who runs a local business"

Warren Buffett - Johns Manville, Milan.

Third time: So which "poor" man are you employed by dog breath?

The Big Dog's back

Warren Buffett doesn't run the plant in Milan. The plant manager and his staff are not part of the top 10%, let alone the top 1%. They're one notch ahead of us, by no means rich. So any plant is, by comparison to the top 1%,is run by a poor man.

Contango

No capital or investment (part of the 1,5,10%) to "run" (fuel) the operation = no jobs.

Continue to chase your tail dog breath, it's so cute.

grumpy

Re: " The plant manager and his staff are not part of the top 10%, let alone the top 1%. They're one notch ahead of us, by no means rich. So any plant is, by comparison to the top 1%,is run by a poor man."

Once again you prove yourself a fool. The top 10% are those making $75000- $77,000 and up. When you spew numbers or things that can be checked you prove your obvious incompetence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hou...

I won't copy and paste the exact sentence that shows it... I will let you read the article to find it, you might just learn how to back your statements, instead of spewing opinions, most of which are demonstrably wrong, as was the one I am replying to.

The Big Dog's back

Your f o s.

grumpy

From a site that is easier to read and find the numbers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aff...

Personal income (age 25+)
Data Top quintile Top 15% Top 10%
Lower threshold (annual gross income) $52,500 $62,500 $75,000

Copy and paste didn't maintain spacing but you can find chart under Top percentiles.

The Big Dog's back

As you have done in the past pooh, you can manipulate numbers, so what's new?

grumpy

In what way have I manipulted the numbers? It was originally from the US census bureau. How would it be possible to "manipulate" the top 10% income earners? Don't you believe the numbers gathered by your gov't? or do they need to come from DailyKos to be believable?

coasterfan

So, in your warped view of reality, it doesn't matter that the House opposed Obama on 19 of the 21 initiatives he proposed in the 2013 SOTU, effectively making sure they didn't pass? I would hope that you won't complain if he exercises Executive action to move his agenda forward, since the House refuses to work with him. Can't have it both ways, dude.

Darwin's choice

Two weeks ago in a speech Obama used the phony term "Inequality of Income" 26 times. Now he has changed that to "Ladders of Opportunity." You can't make this stuff up.

Darwin's choice

Here's the real "state of the union"....

http://washingtonexaminer.com/wa...

"The actual unemployment number is at 37.2 %", makes more sense than obama"s lies.....

The Big Dog's back

So durwood, your party is the biggest obstruction to more jobs and you're happy with that?

Darwin's choice

As Ron White says about you, "You can't fix stupid".

grumpy

Re: "So durwood, your party is the biggest obstruction to more jobs and you're happy with that?"

As usual you make political statements with no backup of facts, simply your misinformed opinion.

santown419

So once again you post a conservative article that hates the president. What is they suppose to say the truth.

JudgeMeNot

Talk is cheap and it's what 0-bama does well. Big pup, you are nothing more than a union goon.

From the Grave

He should get high for it!

Justwow

This shall be hilarious

donutshopguy

Won't waste my time with this state of the union speech.

If personal responsibility was the major topic than I'm all in.

All that will be heard is what the government will do for you and redistribution of wealth.

SamAdams

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. I enjoy some well written fiction as much as anybody, but I prefer it with some modicum of entertainment. I'll be watching or reading something else. Besides, the TV tends not to hold up well when I throw things at it!

Contango

Re: "when I throw things at it!"

Somebody once gave me an ad specialty that was in the shape & color of a foam "brick." Came in handy during Pres. Clinton SOTU speeches.

SamAdams

I can't find my Clinton brick. I wonder if I put it in the cupboard with the Obama toilet paper...?

The Big Dog's back

Your TV should have been broken between 2001-2009.

santown419

Why you getting tired of false news lies and rascism.

The Big Dog's back

GW bush's last SOTU speech: The country is in the toilet and CONservatives put it there.

Contango

"Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble."

- Paul Krugman, August 2, 2002

Yea, no progressive-socialists had a hand in the credit crisis. lol

The economy started crapping out after the Dems took over Congress in '07.

Keep chasing your tail dog breath.

grumpy

Re: "GW bush's last SOTU speech"

Was 5 years ago.No one cares anymore that excuse has long since expired. Since then we have had obama with his first 2 years with a supermajority in the senate, and a big majority in the house. After 2 years of that what did we end up with when the dims could pass whatever they pleased with no way for the repubes to stop ANY legislation? obamaScare, 800 billion in stimulus that as was shown above went for temporary tax cuts, transfer payments, after obama discovered that shovel ready jobs weren't shovel ready. Anyone knows that major construction jobs take YEARS to plan, get permits, draw plans, plan for steel to be made in specific sizes and types, contractors to schedule, and impact studies to be made. He77 even old, dumb, construction workers knew that much. He even called the repubes to the White House to tell them that they lost and he won and would not be bothering to talk much to them. Then in 2010 he found out what the people thought of how he was running the country with majorities in both houses of congress. What has he gotten done after telling the repubes in congress that he won? Words have consequences, I wonder if his earlier statements have come back to bite him in the a$$. Even grade school kids know better than to gloat. Words have consequences, he got his a$$ bit hard. I KNOW that, you can keep your plan, doctor, and other statements have bitten back. I wonder what gems he has in store for the trusting kool aid drinkers this time around?

I would play a drinking game during the SOTU, with "income inequality" and its synonyms, but I don't drink THAT much. Bet we hear NOTHING about living within your means and saving, only taking from the ones that have "won life's lottery."

Dr. Information

Same bull crap stuff he's been spewing from day one. More campaign ads, more ADD flip flop talk. Won't watch.

Erie County Resident

Obozo will be spinning his garbage once again to dodge and cover up all his failures.
I'd say is this going to be broadcast on the Comedy Central where it belongs but it really isn't funny watching him destroy our country.

Darwin's choice

The Riddle That Explains Our White House
The Queen's Riddle

"Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government?
Are there any tips you can give me?"

"Well," said the Queen,
"The most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people."

Obama frowned and then asked,

"But how do I know if the people around me are really intelligent?"

The Queen took a sip of champagne.

"Oh, that's easy, you just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle; watch."
The Queen pushed a button on her intercom.
"Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?"

Tony Blair walked into the room and said,
"Yes, your Majesty?"
The Queen smiled and said,
"Answer me this please Tony.
Your mother and father have a child.
It is not your brother and it is not your sister.
Who is it?"
Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answered
"That would be me."
"Yes! Very good." said the Queen.
Obama went back home to ask Joe Biden the same question.
"Joe, answer this for me."
"Your mother and your father have a child.
It's not your brother, and it's not your sister.
Who is it?"

"I'm not sure," said Biden.
"Let me get back to you on that one."
He went to his advisors and asked everyone, but none could give him an answer.

Frustrated, Biden went to work in congressional gym and saw Paul Ryan there.
Biden went up to him and asked, "Hey Paul, see if you can answer this question."
"Shoot, Joe."
"Your mother and father have a child, and it's not your brother or your sister.
Who is it?"

Paul Ryan answered,
"That's easy, it's me!"
Biden smiled, and said, "Good answer, Paul!"

Biden then went back to speak with President Obama.
"Say, I did some research, and I have the answer to that riddle."
"It's Paul Ryan!"

Obama got up, stomped over to Biden, and angrily yelled into his face,

"No! You idiot! It's Tony Blair!"
. . . AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS PRECISELY WHAT'S GOING ON AT THE WHITE HOUSE
__________________

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Not that this will be his first time (nor will this be a presidents' first time) but I would actually like the state as in the status of the union as in our country to be addressed as in mentioned. What is our unemployment? Our debt? Our deficit? The state of our wars? Economic data. Address those, please!

I'm tired of this being a waste of time as another feel-good campaign speech about coulda-woulda with taglines, bumper stickers, and jargon that will get regurgitated and sent to diehard party-loyalist email boxes.

So do I think our President will actually give us the state of the union or a statement of his imagination? Hmm...

Contango

"State of the Union 2014: The search for a non-awkward Obamacare shout-out"

http://www.politico.com/story/20...

He's gonna BS us on how GREAT Obama☭are is going.

"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh*t."

- W. C. Fields

mikesee

So Mr (I use it loosely) President please explain which option you are going to suggest to increase employment.

#1. Try and tell the private sector how to spend THEIR money. Something of which you know nothing about.

or

#2. Create jobs using gov't money. When you use gov't money to create jobs and pay people using gov't money this equates into nothing positive. There is no NEW money coming into the gov't coffers if you are paying those people with money that has been collected in taxation. You are just diverting money from one entity to another.

May I suggest that you consult your friends and supporters at GE and beg them to increase their employment here in the US. After all your friends at GE paid $0 in taxes last year although they had profits of about $5 billion. Talk about income inequality. Might I also suggest that you ask your buddy Warren Buffet to put up or shutup. He continues to run his mouth about taxes but he has enough entities that he could easily employ 1000's of unemployed individuals. Ooopppss, many of his ventures pay no more or little more than minimum wage. Talk about income inequality.

I am sorry that I will not be watching you spew your hatred on Tuesday night but I think Duck Dynasty is having reruns all night. At least I know they love their country and believe in God.

Darwin's choice

This should be read by EVERY voter in America.....

By Wayne Allyn Root/
Published January 15, 2014/
FoxNews.com
Focus on income inequality sparks debate over...
What's the alternative to income inequality?

I’ve finally found something I agree with President Obama on. Let me say it out loud, "Obama is right." America was not built around fighting inequality. Never. America was not built around equality, fairness, or social justice. Those have never been the cornerstones of our economy. Those have never been the central tenants of our country, or our Constitution. Let’s all admit that Obama is 100% right.

Yet somehow we managed, even with inequality not even on our radar screen, to build the greatest nation in world history -- and the greatest economy in world history. Coincidence?

We built an economy more powerful than most of the world combined. An economy so great that people the world over tried to escape their countries to come to ours.

Obama has done something no one thought possible. He has made America…ordinary

An economy so great the world gave it a name: “the American Dream.”

An economy so great that people the world over believed America’s streets were "paved with gold."

We managed to create more jobs than the rest of the world. Good paying jobs that produced the strongest middle class ever. We managed to lift more people out of poverty than the rest of the world ever imagined possible.

Even if not everyone got rich in America, the entire middle class lived a quality of life richer than “the rich” in other countries.

We managed to create more millionaires and billionaires than the rest of the world. We managed to win two world wars. And we managed to invent pretty much everything the world cares about.

Can you imagine? This all happened without inequality on our minds.

Without worrying about inequality, millions of immigrants like my grandfather Simon Reis came to America without a dime to their name, but loads of ambition, dreams of greatness, and unmatched work ethic. My grandfather turned a 4-man butcher store into his American Dream. That couldn't happen in any other country in the world.

But that's wasn't good enough for Obama.

Obama comes along, obsessed with inequality. He lectures us about it in every speech. His entire agenda and every policy is intended to create equality, fairness, and social justice. He vows to "fundamentally transform the United States."

The result? Suddenly the unstoppable American economy is stopped cold in its tracks.

Our GDP is in quicksand.

The great American jobs juggernaut is in reverse.

We have chronic unemployment.

The lowest work force participation rate in 35 years.

Massive deficit and debt.

We have millions unemployed. Millions more under-employed. Forty-seven million on food stamps -- more than the population of Spain. Over 10 million on disability. More Americans on entitlements than working in the private sector. Over 46 million living in poverty -- twice the population of Syria. Over 6 million more Americans living in poverty just in Obama's first term. The number of Americans without a job has increased by almost 10 million under Obama.

Thousands lined up for menial jobs, with a better chance of getting into Harvard than getting a job in a fast food restaurant.

Under Obama, with this focus on inequality, suddenly America is no longer America. Suddenly we aren’t the greatest country or economy in the world. Suddenly we are rather ordinary. Under Obama, “Yes we can” has turned to “No we can’t.”

But we actually owe a debt of gratitude to Obama. He has proven, once and for all, the answer to the question, "What made America the greatest nation in world history?" It isn’t the air. It isn’t the water. It isn’t the dirt.

If those things made us great, why aren’t Mexico and Canada great? They share our borders. Why isn’t Cuba great? It’s right off our Florida coast. Why didn’t those countries dominate the world? Why only America?

And it sure wasn't a focus on equality, fairness and social justice.

Every country in world history that made those principles the centerpiece of their economy became a dysfunctional economic basket case. Name anything great that ever came from Venezuela, Argentina, Angola, or Zimbabwe?

Why didn’t the old Soviet Union or China dominate the world like we did?

Why are North Koreans starving to death?

Why isn’t Europe a powerhouse like America? Why are Greece, Italy, Spain and France facing economic Armageddon? Why do they have 25% unemployment, 55% youth unemployment, and massive unsustainable debt? Those countries all cared far more about equality than we ever did.

Thank you Mr. Obama. You have proven exactly what made America great. Not just great, but THE greatest in world history. Our obsession wasn’t inequality, it was opportunity and economic freedom.

Our Constitution never talks about inequality or social justice. We never guaranteed happiness or wealth -- only that everyone would have the opportunity to pursue happiness and wealth with economic freedom.

It’s opportunity and economic freedom that creates mobility and massive growth. That’s what creates jobs by the millions. That’s what created the world famous “American Dream” and those famous streets "paved with gold." That’s what created the American middle class that was the envy of the world.

As if on cue, the “2014 Economic Freedom Index” came out yesterday, listing all the countries in the world.

Under Obama the United States has dropped all five years on the list, for the first time in history. Under Obama the United States has dropped out of the top 10, for the first time in history.

Tragedy has befallen the United States. We are officially headed in the direction of Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Iran.

Obama, with his obsession with inequality, has killed the goose that laid the golden egg (and the golden streets).

Obama with his obsession with inequality has led us straight to shared misery.

Obama has done something no one thought possible. He has made America…ordinary.

Because of Obama, now we know exactly what made America great. And we know not to ever take it for granted again.

Now we have a choice to make. Which path do you choose for your children’s and grandchildren’s future? Think long and hard. Because the answer will change the course of history.

mikesee

Kudo's to you, Darwin, on a very well written piece.

It is true that this is the land of opportunity if one dedicates themselves to hard work and smart saving/spending habits.

I don't want anyone else's money to advance me I just want the opportunity. I have taken that motto and I have built a successful business from the ground up. Hard work, dedication and being frugal when I have to.

The Big Dog's back

Moron, the election is over. Deal with it.

Donegan

Is it over? You really cannot tell because all the president does is campaining and continue policy's he said he would end.
I cannot wait till he is out of office and we get to hear all you worshippers complain about something.

SamAdams

Yes, the election is over. On the other hand, so is the Bush Administration, and neither you nor your adored President seem to be able to let THAT go!

Yes, the election is over. Know what that REALLY means? That it's OBAMA'S policies, OBAMA'S agenda, OBAMA'S administration that's in charge and responsible. Say whatever you will about George W. Bush (and trust me, I was right with you for the most part), you can't blame him (or anybody else) for the myriad failures of the nightmare that is President Obama!

The Big Dog's back

Since the Repubs didn't want to make nice and compromise, time to force feed them.

Donegan

Just because you need force fed idea's and what to do every waking hour does not mean the rest of us do. You want a dictator, Well your in the wrong country for it. Please move to N Korea where their living god can think for you and leave the rest of us alone.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Quick! Who said this?

"If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves."

What about this:

"...We're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us."

This?

"There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel."

Or even this?

"We can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

Your answer pool is: Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama, and Joseph Stalin.

BONUS ROUND! Who said this?:

"Since the Repubs didn't want to make nice and compromise, time to force feed them."

The Big Dog's back

sappy, what's your point?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

You claim allegiance to the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party claims to be for truth, justice, and all that "good guy" stuff. Yet from our President at a distance and from you and coasterfan locally I hear nothing but the use of force and tyranny of the majority. Force, force, force. Take, take, take. Punish, punish, punish. My point with the quotes were that the four national leaders above all claim to be "for the little guy". Your quote was included because so, too, do you.

Yet always it is force, force, force. Make people do things. Compel, coerce, or manipulate people. Control. More control. More, more, more. Never enough power can be centralized into one party, one city, one branch, one man. Ironic, since it is a "democratic" party wouldn't you say? Ironic that those who go out of their way to force plurality on individuals wish nothing more than to see a single, untouchable ruler who will tell us how to think, live, work, and spend the money he lets us keep.

When was the last time either you or our president discussed the topic of liberty? Of the power, diversity, and beauty of the individual? Of civil society and trust in the people who comprise it? What about private property rights?

When was the last time either our president or you stood up to explain the things you say, let alone define your use of the words you employ? Instead, both you and our president just say things and expect people to take it as truth, fact, or an informed opinion to which no opposition is allowed. Yet if met with opposition it is simply laughed off like we are some quaint rhubarb with "them big-city dreams o' civil-folk".

Have you read a book lately? Fiction? Non-fiction? Textbook? User manual? Do you attempt to look past pleasantries and research topics? Do you bother to try and learn what other people think, or doesn't it matter?

Yes, your majesty, control my healthcare. Please, tell me how to live my life, my highness. My lord, I still believe in individuality, please pluralize me into a statistic. Sire, I doth weep when you decide so fairly how much I am worth or worthy.

We will undoubtedly hear the term "middle class" tonight. Have you ever actually stopped to wonder "what does that term mean?" I would get obliterated in a drinking game if "income inequality" were a sip condition. Have you ever wondered what that MEANS? What that implies? To him, to you, apparently everyone is worth the same. Everyone should only be able to earn the same amount of money, or up to an arbitrary cap that you let someone else decide. Even now the Democratic buzzword is "action".

Have you ever stopped once to consider that our President is usurping control of our separation of powers? Are you fine with that? What if a Republican president did the same thing and decided to selectively enforce, rewrite, or modify law on his whim? Are you content with that style of imperial rule? No? Then why in the blue blazes would you let that slide here, now, with THIS president? Wrong is wrong no matter which infantile faction is in power.

Or is it enough that you hear the words that make your brain squirt good-feels juice into your body? As long as he utters "middle class", "we have more work to do" (implying the ceaseless tweaking will ever one day end, which they won't), or other such useless phrases you will have your hit of soma and slink back into his brave, new world?

My God man, I half-jest calling you a Republican plant because it seems impossible that a person like this entity called "Big Dog" exists let alone somehow functions in real life. Do you know what would make me ecstatic? If you actually explained your thoughts. If you had the research, the knowledge, and the conviction to actually explain your ideas instead of toss out name-calling and half-assed political bullet points.

Even if you were a nemesis in the political arena to me by opposing all my thoughts, I would respect the hell out of you because you actually put a modicum of effort into your participation here at public discourse. Instead, it seems among the group of "regulars" here in the forums that you are just a jester who honks his horn for his king and (almost, there was that one time recently with the NSA comment) does as he is told by others.

Are you happy with that? I'm not saying that other people on these forums aren't the same, and I don't just mean of the liberal mindset. But you, as an individual Big Dog, are you happy with just being a flashy noisemaker who makes all but irrelevant contributions? Apparently our president is happy to do that, but I want better for you because there is almost no way I can actually get a hold of the one in D.C.

The Big Dog's back

It is you who needs to pick up a book, history book preferably. The drudge report, glenn beck's rants, etc. are not history. It is you who comes on here with stuff right out of right mouths, without bothering to fact check. I do and continue to research things that I post. Try it, you really might learn something.

grumpy

Re: "stuff right out of right mouths, without bothering to fact check. I do and continue to research things that I post. Try it, you really might learn something."

Yes we have all seen you links to your "research" that you back up your statements with... Oh sorry you don't link nor even tell where your claimed "research" is from. The one thing you copied and pasted was from a left wingnut blog on obamaScare.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

The curse of only being able to see people as predictable, un-unique masses strikes again. You may as well have just said "everyone on foodstamps is a parasite". This is the problem I illustrated above. You are incapable of understanding an individual human being, always relegating them to some statistical faction or incapable of getting their thoughts from any other source than someone else. It is your collectivist mindset that inhibits the ability to think, ration, reason, and develop as a single human being. A beautiful mote of light that, with others, adds up into a civil society of spontaneous order.

I'll have you know that I don't listen to Glenn Beck nor do I visit the Drudge Report. I hardly listen to Rush Limbaugh. You know what I do? I read. I read the Huffington Post. I read the Sandusky Register. When I can I listen to Mike Trivisonno on WTAM 1100. I listen to Mark Levin on WJR 760. I listen to the John Bachelor Show on the same network and even on occassion Coast to Coast AM on 1100 going back to there.

I subscribe to Sen. Brown's emails. I get GOP emails too. Guess where most of them end up?

You want to know what I read? Fine, not even counting the thousands and thousands of dollars (my cost, not even sale price) of reading material in my store I will go over a smidgen of my personal collection:

Jennifer Government, Ishmael, The Story of B, The Bible, The Book of Mormon, 101 World Cults and Religions, Good Omens, Zombie Economics, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, (various "Dummy" guides for business things), How to Self-Publish Media Updated with Crowdsourcing Techniques, several books on the English and Japanese language, Accidental Office Lady, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Story of Buddha, Liberty & Tyranny, The Liberty Amendments, Ameritopia, various books on cooking/art/culture/HISTORY from around the world, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, several college textbooks on various topics, as well as sundry fiction series that may as well count because in damn near all of them people fight AGAINST what is happening right now in government!

Aside from the various anime, manga, and comics I get for pure entertainment value, I also have graphic novels that are considered classics and go deeper than BANG-POW fights. Let's touch on a few of these: V for Vendetta, The Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Message to Adolf, Lady Yakuza, Blankets, Habibi, 300, Sin City, Guy Delisle's travelogs to: Shenzen, Pyongyang, Burma, and Jerusalem. I also own and read graphic novels like Boxers & Saints (about the Boxer Rebellion), American-Born Chinese, Persepolis I & II (an autobiography from an Iranian woman), Maus (somewhat as before but about being a Jew in an internment camp during WWII), and other cultural notes even ones touching animal rights such as in We3.

IN ADDITION I also roleplay at my store. Roleplaying requires you to think about various situations in different ways. I have had to play villains and portray them convincingly when I myself am not villainous. I have roleplayed as men, women, otherworldly beings of grace and terror. I have been the hero and the heel. I have confronted moral dilemmas that exist nowehere else and most recently am about to plunge headlong into the transhuman-themed system of Eclipse Phase.

So don't you dare try to stuff me into a box with some perceived "yokel" who can seemingly only be spoon-fed talking points by other people. Don't you dare imply that I am not versed in culture, history, or art. I am an individual, not a part of your fantasy conglomeration of Republican-teet-suckling dittos.

The Big Dog's back

HISTORY books, not fiction.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Which book do you recommend on which historical topic then since you fail to see the copious historical facts, quotes, cultural impact, and/or relevance above. Apparently the Battle of Thermopolae, Boxer Rebellion, The Enlightenment, world history, American history, religious history, the history of the economy, humanity, or philosophy are uncomfortable for you to discuss.

So, on which topic can we discuss through which source?

The Big Dog's back

Since you like referencing Huffpo, read this.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ol...

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Having several teachers as customers, this is hardly news to me. I agree that history is woefully taught and retained. But, you can trust that I won't give you dumb responses. Education is the most important humanitarian program an individual, community, or government can support. It's just a shame that our current system in the aggregate is an antique holdover from Horace Mann's days that focus on conformity and repetition.

Donegan

Another campaign speech filled with lies and unrealistic promises. Remember it is hard keeping promises when your keeping the waters from rising and healing the planet.

The Big Dog's back

The Repub clown show will begin shortly after President Obama's SOTU address. They're lining up to give rebuttals. I'll do it, no I'll do it, no I'll do it. Hey Moe, Hey Larry, buub buub buub.

Donegan

Its a easy job, Just go through and point out the lies, Dodges and oversteps that if another president had done the liberals would lose their minds. In other words point out the hypocrisy because the liberal democrats have a hard time recognizing it, Even if it is staring them back in the mirror.

OSUBuckeye59

Personally I've always viewed the SOTU address as a waste of time and energy, at best. Doesn't matter which major party POTUS is speaking.

The interesting part about this one is the number of opposition party rebuttals/responses. In Obama's previous SOTU speech 4 years previous, there was an official GOP rebuttal/response and an official Tea Party rebuttal/response. not so this time. Summing up the English and Spanish version as 1 rebuttal/response, there are 4 responses: #1) Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) will deliver the official Republican response while Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) will deliver the same in Spanish. #2) Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) will deliver the Tea Party response. #3) Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will deliver his own response. #4) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will speak prior to the SOTU speech and then post the other rebuttals.

And that is one of the reasons why I believe the GOP is having a difficult time as the major opposition party to the Democrats as the GOP just can't seem to get aligned to 1 official response. Unless the GOP corrects this before the next POTUS election cycle, it's possible the Tea Party might split off from the mainstream GOP and sponsor their own candidate.

As Clarence Darrow once so famously quipped, "When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it."

Love our country. Our leadership? Not so much.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thank you for this thought. Though I actually am encouraged that so many entities wish to respond. It means more people are actually paying attention to what is said and are thinking of enough other solutions for what will be presented that it breaks the bleak two-party rock-em-sock-em throwdown.

I was just reading on the Huffington Post how commenters there feel that our President is actually a Republican and if they really wanted to vote their conscious they would vote Green Party instead of "Republican Lite". So the dabblings of breaking up the two major parties don't just exists in the right wing. I would love nothing more than for liberal-minded people to wake up and reject a party that doesn't represent them much how the Tea Party/Libertarians are from the dying Republican party.

When it comes to the modern incarnation of this address, I feel that it is worthless as nothing more than pageantry that accomplishes nothing, including educating the American population as to the actual state of our union. Instead of talking about the numbers of our country, instead of discussing what state it is actually in, this is simply a soap box for a campaign speech and/or a list of promises that will never see fruition.

Also, thanks for the shared quote. I agree with it, especially with the initial names both major parties seem to be toying with right now. Ugh.

Contango

I was unfamiliar with the CD quote.

Here's another for you:

"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal.

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

- H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Sun (26 July 1920)

OSUBuckeye59

HeroZone, good points. And what I realized when I read your posting is how lost Obama truly is. Many in the GOP party think of him as a liberal socialist at best, with the Tea Party faction adding in a few other labels such as Muslim, for one. And many Democrats do look at him as pretty much continuing what GW Bush put in place. I wonder if he even knows who he really is?

Contango, thanks for the chuckle. I don't agree that Obama's a moron. Just as folks make great fun of how GW Bush was a patriotic, hard-charging kind of guy but didn't seem to be very intelligent, Obama seems like the anti-GW Bush in that he's actually pretty intelligent but just can't seem to get people to behind him as they did when he swept into the White House for his first term.

After listening to last night's speech and rebuttals, I came away with a new perspective, namely I don't think we've had a good SOTU since Clinton was in office. He at least seemed emotionally and intellectually engaged and able. Bush seemed only emotionally engaged, Obama only intellectually. And then I thought back to before Clinton, realizing Reagan was one of the best at delivering a rousing SOTU.

Whereas only some presidents can realize the potential of the SOTU, it should be that any president has the chops to make it effective.

Dr. Information

No fears people. Obama just openly admitted his policies have failed this country and then went on to say that he will overstep the US constitution and keep pushing his dictatorship ways to an entirely new level. The man is the devil.

grumpy

Obama's policies suck. The rest is just window dressing. I don't care about his religion, if any, his commie, or socialist tendiscies, if any, his color, if any, his gayness, or tolerance thereof, if any, his intelligence, if any, who he likes or dislikes, if any, his class or preference, if any, I just don't care. His policies suck and that is why I don't back him or what he is trying to do. The policies he kept from bush, the policies he kept and expanded, the policies he pushed, most have been bad. I don't know him, I know what his policies have been. What you may think you know of him is just media, do you think they know much about who he really is when he is with his family and those few who may know him?

The Big Dog's back

So you must be living in a shelter from the sounds of it. Do you need clothes?

grumpy

What is your point?

Do you think his religion or lack of, matters? his gaynes, or lack of, and the rest of what I wrote? or are you just spouting to see yourself spout? Do you have ANY point?

The Big Dog's back

Are you or are you not doing well? Remember, I have access to previous posts about how well you're doing.

grumpy

If you can show me where I have said how I was doing in any post I made today I will answer your request. If not, what is your point? Do you have ANY point other than seeing you write inanities on this blog?

The Big Dog's back

Are you or are you not doing well? 2nd request.

grumpy

Again where did I say anything today about how I was doing? It is not a part of what is being discussed. If you wish to inform all of us how you are doing you have the floor. I feel no need nor desire to do so. It is only good manners to tell others about yourself before demanding to know about others. Are you that uncouth and lacking of manners piddle puppy? .... sorry I forgot who I was responding to... of course you are.

The Big Dog's back

And what about your kid at the Kansas City Ford Plant?

grumpy

See post above.

The Big Dog's back

I wanted to see if you would lie. Instead, you deflect. Have a good life pumpkin.

grumpy

Deflect how? By not wishing to speak of my life, any more than I already have? If you wish to demand information from others, you need to speak of yourself first. I have no need to lie about what and how I am. Most people tend to resent someone demanding information while giving none of their own. You are the one who started deflecting when you asked about how I was doing.

Answer my questions I posed before you sidetracked the thread, obama made pi$$ poor policies and what his personal life, religion, if any, gayness, if any, commie or socialist tendicies, if any or the other things I listed, has nothing to do with his pi$$ poor policy decisions. That was what was stated before you tried to deflect the direction the thread was headed. You must have been scared when you can't claim racism, or look at the mean 1% or 10% or whatever talking points you want to use today. Your sad attempt at deflection or changing the subject is rather lacking.

coasterfan

My favorite part about all the baseless carping from conservatives is that they are doing it from outside the Oval Office. They had better get used to it, because they clearly have no path to the White House in the foreseeable future.

Republicans' biggest problem isn't Obama. Their biggest problem is themselves. That's why they lost in 2012, and that's why they will lose in 2016. Only 1 in 4 voters identifies themselves as a Republican, and that number is certain to shrink, as their angry, old white male Base continues to die off.

Donegan

America's biggest problem is the dictator and chief wanting to overstep the constitution and his brain dead lackeys cheering him on. It is people like Coasterfan who scare rational people, At least anyone who knows their history.

grumpy

As long as congress is divided or in opposite party hands I don't care who is president. It will require a decent law to be made for it to pass when the gov't is divided. Single party rule suck, see carter, bush 2, and obama for examples of one party rule (the only times one party rule was for the last few decades) I would have to check, but maybe nixon had one party rule for a couple years also, each had several years of one party rule and most non winger people will say those have proved to be failed Presidencies.

Dr. Information

Democrate's are bailing early. Many long term reps have chosen not to rerun for office. Another was just in the news today.