SOTU 2012

It left a lot to be desired

January 24th 2012

 As SOTUs go, this one was, at best, so-so. Give it a “C”. Obama needed to soar. Instead, he flapped.

In the gallery with Michelle, military uniforms were front and center. That is usually a sign that the SOTU is going to strike a bellicose note. I bet we get at least one direct threat against Iran.

Gabby Giffords, in her last appearance in this Congress, looked animated and happy. Well, she’s leaving this frustrating pit; that might explain it.

Interesting glitch: Boehner’s mike appears to be dead. He tried announce Obama, and I heard Biden say “Did anybody hear him?” At least the House did, and applauded. Well, the Dems did. So anyone who was listening, no, Boehner didn’t snub Obama.

If I was Obama, I would be nervous having Steve Cantor standing right behind me. Next to Michael C. Hall, Cantor looks most likely to have a hypodermic secreted on his person.

Justice Ginsburg and that silly lace collar. She looks like she should be living in the basement in “American Horror Story”. I wonder if the other Justices see her as an incredibly hot 22 year-old in a racy French maid costume?

Obama greeted Gifford right before ascending to the podium of Boehner and Biden. She’s front and center, as she ought to be.

And now the speech. “These heroes have made America greater and more respected around the world.” Heroes, maybe. America respected by the world because of the Iraq war? Not a prayer.

OBJ and al Qaida defeated. Now it’s just a matter of America defeating itself. Racing to war with Iran and staying quagmired in Afghanistan ought to see to that.

Boehner and Biden must be wearing those ties to try to distract should Obama attempt a free throw. Eye-searing.

Obama says the domestic auto industry has added 160,000 jobs since 2008. Hell of an accomplishment…it also takes away the “GM bailout” as a campaign issue for the Republicans. Not that they won’t try it anyway.

Obama calls for encouraging manufacturers to return, and Republicans sit on their hands. The hell they don’t want to sabotage the economy;…

Tax credits for companies that stay in America. Kinda hard to square with concentration of wealth and cutting deficits.

Trade Inspection Unit: stop counterfeit and pirated foreign knock-offs from entering country. Should help. He went out of his way to mention China, not just the illegal knock-offs, but the heavily subidized industries that can sell items below cost. Solar panels, for instance.

Now he’s pushing hard to revive community colleges with emphasis on local job training programs. Good idea.

Stop teaching to the test. Encourage teacher passion and innovation.

He wants to forbid high school students from dropping out. What? Ridiculous idea. Absolutely idiotic. It’s like lowering insurance cost by telling people they can no longer get sick.

Stop Congress from DOUBLING student loan interest rates? Why permit them in the first place? Government should be offering interest-free loans. But colleges and universities must cut costs. If tuition goes up, federal support goes down. Stupid idea. One more really stupid idea like that, and he replaces Bush as the “edimacation president”.

He just caved on oil development. Plans to open 75% of public lands to drilling. Sigh. But: companies must disclose chemicals used in fracking on federal lands. “I will not walk away from clean energy!” Except drilling isn’t very clean, is it? Or fracking. Do we have to wait for Kansas City to have an 8.0 earthquake before the government admits that maybe it isn’t a very good idea?

Power for three million homes on public lands? Let’s hear some details. Oh, wait. This is the SOTU. We aren’t going to get details.

Infrastructure: use half of money saved from ending war in Iraq for infrastructure, other half to pay down debt. Sounds nice, but I can’t see it being that simple.

Proposing major federal home re-fi program. That will help. Should piss off the banks, of course. They are ENTITLED to gouge and steal. Americans are fodder. How dare that uppity president say otherwise?

Reducing regulations. Claims he eliminated 500, including one that classified milk as oil and required farmers to post $10,000 surety in event of spill. Joke about crying over spilt milk bombed. I mean really bombed. Not a single chuckle. It wasn’t THAT bad a line, but the delivery was leaden. Note to Obama: these are congressionals. They aren’t very bright. Cue them that you’re about to make a joke. Maybe have Biden hold up an applause sign or something.

Obama to banks: “The rest of us aren’t bailing you out, ever again.” Promises, promises.

Bad banking practices: “Those days are over.” Cites Richard Cardroy, which GOP boos.

“Pass the payroll tax act without delay. Get it done.” The plutocrats just don’t understand how $13 a week can MATTER to a family that’s just barely paying the bills.

Calls for end for ‘temporary’ tax cuts for rich. Anyone making a million should pay at least 30% net. Compared to 50% in most developed countries. Obama still doesn’t quite get Occupy.

People feel Washington is broken. “Do you blame them for feeling a little cynical?” Obama proceeds to tongue-lash GOP without mentioning party. Cites “corrosive influence of money in politics”. Demands bill banning insider trading by members of Congress. Elected officials may not own stocks in industries they impact. That will be a crowd pleaser, but this particular crowd doesn’t look very pleased.

“Both parties should put end to..” the filibuster. Nominations should get simple up-or-down vote in 90 days. He’s right, of course, but the GOP isn’t about to let that happen.

Took him an hour, but we’re finally on foreign policy. Notes that 10,000 troops have left Afghanistan, 23,000 more slated. Cites “wave of change”, not mentioning that it is the Arab Spring that caused it. Mentions Libya and smacked the Assad regime. Smacking the Assad regime carries as much political risk as saying you like puppies.

Talks like America is still beacon of liberty. Everyone in the building knows that’s just political boilerplate. The line didn’t get much applause.

Out come the sabers for a good rattling. “I am determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and no option is off the table to prevent that.” Of course, there’s still no evidence Iran IS building a nuclear weapon, but why let that get in the way of another wasteful, bloody, expensive war? It’s not like America has a shortage of young adults, after all.

7:09 Flag waving time. Speech must be coming to an end. I almost miss Bush and his 40 minute SOTUs. Almost.

Ooops. Time out to support vets. That’s always a good thing. Obama noted that VA spending has increased each year in his administration, but doesn’t mention that demands for VA services have climbed sharply over the same period.

Long discourse about greasing OBL. Pubs must hate this because they don’t DARE sit on their hands when he invokes the men who got OBL.

Seventy nine minutes. Erg. We’re getting into Clintonian windiness. …and the Obama infomercial is over.

Governor Mitch Daniels starts on laudatory tone. I come not to bury Obama…

It’s strange to see a Republican complaining about the plight of the unemployed, but Daniels is in a rust-belt state, so he might be sincere. 2012 is the last chance to restore an America of opportunity and upward mobility Daniels says. Well, his party will definitely see to that.

Only solution? “A private economy” One presumably that doesn’t have bubbles, busts and corruption. Click your heels three times and think of Kansas. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

“Unite to save the safety net”? I’m sorry…I though Daniels was a REPUBLICAN. Ah…he wants to make them all means-tested. A lot of them already are, and impose an enormous burden on the poor and middle class, if only in the hundreds of forms and financial declarations they must provide. He wants to make Social Security the same quarterly burden that Medicare is.

Daniels says Obama seeks to divide Americans, apparently through the national debt. Not that Republicans had anything to do with that, oh no…

Time out to whine that government doesn’t trust us to select the right light bulb. We should be subsidizing horse collar manufacturers too, and stop wasting money on that “automobile” fad. Republicans will “make the city on the hill shine once again.” Well, at least he knew which camera to look in. Do the Teabaggers have a response? I’m guessing that Jon Stewart will cover that, but not Faux News. The Tea Party is no longer wanted in Faux circles.

Well, that’s it for SOTU 2012. I wasn’t expecting much, and not much was said, and it took a very long time not to say it.

Maybe next year they could have Biden step in for Obama and give the speech, without a teleprompter. Yes, that would be cruel. But admit it, you would watch.

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2 responses to “SOTU 2012

  1. You did a good summary of that boring mess. I still do not get the great orator business.

  2. By the way I heard that the Tea Baggers are going to give a response. I didn’ bother to look for it.

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