State of the Union Open Thread

state_of_the_union_handshake
White House photo

60 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    How long into the speech does Obama get before Ken "I Lost My Appetite" Buck causes a scene and leaves?

  2. dustpuppy says:

    Hmm. The above picture must be from last year's SOTU. Obama is reportedly supposed to be wearing a TAN suit!

  3. mamajama55 says:

    You can watch live here or here. Embed seems to be disabled. Boehner looks constipated. 

  4. mamajama55 says:

    "And that's why I'm sending Congress a bill to lower the cost of community college. To ZERO."

    As someone who is still paying off student loans from two decades ago, and who has always worked in high poverty schools but is ineligible for any of the loan forgiveness options, I say yes to this proposal. It's going to give a lot of young and old students some hope for the future.  The cost vs benefit ratio is outstanding. 

    • ElliotFladen says:

      A subsidy to bloated college admin staffs

      • mamajama55 says:

        Community college staffs are not bloated, but thanks for predictably responding with a right wing talking point. That bastion of liberal thought, Forbes magazine, makes the case for Obama's proposal.

      • Republican 36 says:

        You have absolutely no idea what you're taking about. Due to the lack of funding, most community colleges have gone from paying professors to paying adjunct faculty which costs exponentially less. Our job base is going to require that around 70% of the workforce will need post secondary education and community colleges is by far the cheapest way to provide it. What the President was discussing was bloat or some kind of massive irresponsible subsidy. He was discussing economic reality and necessity. And by the way, ten years ago in Colorado the state paid 68 cent on every dollar it cost to send a person to college and now its only 32 cents with the student paying the remaining 68 cents. So the so called subsidy to the schools has actually gone down,way down, over the past decade. Insuring an educated public is the cornerstone of our national security. That is one of the primary reasons we've subsidized it for years through public funding. 

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        You awful bastard.  You hate anyone who is not rich.  Your big idea on how to educate America is to use school vouchers to finance Christian Madrassa's to brainwash our children into believing that science is the Devils work.  What a dick.
         

        • Duke Cox says:

          C'mon, GG, tell us how you really feel…laugh

          +100

        • mamajama55 says:

          Ummm….don't think that Elliot will be financing Christian Madrassas anytime soon.angel I just disagree with his argument – it doesn't say anything about him as a person. Lighten up, GG.

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            Oh come on mamma.  You know he is never ever going to put forth a rational argument about why the rich need all their tax breaks.  Instead he has to insult teachers and administrators and volunteers so he doesn't have to defend the indefensible.  He is a horrible person who implicitly and knowingly lies to protect the rich and heap hatred on the poor and dispossessed.  He's a Wormtongue dissembler who knows he is being deceptive and a apologist for the rich and revels in his defense of the wealthy.  Helping the poor get a shot at the American dream is sacrilege to him.  These people aren't Americans.  They are willing servants to the rich.  Fuck him the little weasel.  Real Americans support elementary schools, high schools and colleges.  They believe all Americans need a good education.

            • mamajama55 says:

              1. I certainly have had my arguments with Elliot, many based on his automatic defense of tax cuts for wealthy, and antipathy towards most social spending. He's a libertarian. I'm not. Oh well.I like arguing with him, because its fun to get him tied up in logic knots, and also, he doesn't stoop to personal attacks such as "awful bastard", "horrible person", etc.

              2. He is a decent person who defended me on FB from attacks from some of his crazier right wing buddies- so I'll return that loyalty, when I think he's getting disproportionate nuking for a fairly mild statement of opinion. 

              3. He has helped me out with story tips from his insider's knowledge of El Paso.

              4. He has many friends across the political spectrum, and I respect that. It's hard to do in real life. Can you do it? I'm not very good at it, myself. What I usually have to do is find that one area of commonality – veteran's issues, for example, because concern and respect for veterans cuts across party lines. What Duke was talking about – the need to challenge someone's opinions, ask for facts and evidence, without insulting them as a person, is how we get to accountability for the fact-free "throw it and see what sticks" school of media madness.

              5. Oh, and Elliot is Jewish, so no "Christian Madrassas" for him. Unless there's something you'd like to share with the class, Elliot?

               

          • BlueCat says:

            The fact is, though, mama, that the vouchers would mainly be used as a nice discount coupon for affluent parents to send their kids to expensive Christian private schools. Almost all of those that made themselves available in Douglas County, for instance, were both Christian and cost much more than the value of the voucher. The vouchers would give affluent families a nice fat discount, at tax payers expense, but would not be enough to allow middle or lower income families to access those private and almost all Christian schools. In short, the complete opposite of voucher programs that help disadvantaged kids in horrible school districts (did I mention Douglas County public schools are already highly rate?) get a better education.  

            Whether its supporters are all Christian or not, the fact is it is largely a scheme to make it less expensive for affluent Christians (wouldn't want to have to buy a cheaper car or forego a nice vacation) to get a private Christian based education, undisturbed by godless science stuff, at taxpayer expense.

            • mamajama55 says:

              Wait -I thought we were talking about Obama's community college plan, not vouchers for private schools. Same general topic, different level.

              I agree with you on K-12 vouchers benefitting upper class parents more than working / middle class ones. 

              For poor and working class kids, i.e., most of my students, community college IS college, or at least the gateway to college and middle class aspirations. My understanding of Obama's draft plan is that it would only go for community college credits that either end in a 2 year degree, or are transferable to 4 year college. 

              • Gilpin Guy says:

                I thought we were talking about what an unserious dick Eliot is to offer as conclusive proof that it can't be done his conspiracy theory that Obama is doing it to buy the vote of educators with a worthless jobs program.  Instead of being pissed at me for being a potty mouth why not ask Eliot if he truly believes his bullshit or if it is just his way of not talking about how to educate our children beyond primary school.  To reduce the issue to the argument that it is bad because it is an Obama conspiracy to buy votes is beyond ridiculous and if your bullshit meter didn't redline when he floated that turd then you need to get it fixed.  Did he indicate at any point that he cared about the future of our children and their competitive futures?  Did he offer any alternative to what the president proposed?  Don't bitch at me for being outraged by his non-serious reply.

              • BlueCat says:

                You said you didn't think Eliot would be financing Christian madrasas any time soon. I'm pretty sure he takes the rightie position on vouchers for private schooling, including the Douglas county plan and the Douglas County voucher scheme indeed supports public tax payer financing for Christian madrasas. I therefore don't find that his being Jewish renders this a ridiculous idea.

                Well, yeah it is kind of ridiculous that one of my own would support forcing tax payers to pay for Christian education. Pretty sure they don't teach that we killed Christ and use little gentile boys blood in matzo making anymore but even so. And I guess a whole lot of them do teach that anybody who doesn't accept Christ as Savior, including Jews, is going to hell.

                Anyway l don't feel I should be asked to support anything other than secular public schools if you don't mind. But it's perfectly reasonable to assume that Eliot does support taxpayer money for private Christian schools, given his privatize everything and give the affluent plenty of tax payer financed breaks trickle down ideology. 

                • Gilpin Guy says:

                  The thing that I find so wrong about school vouchers is that taxpayers fund private schools that deliberately discriminate in their admissions.  They get to decide who is "Christian" enough to be admitted to their facilities and then indoctrinate them with all the conspiracies of the extreme social conservatives..  It is wrong on a lot of levels but you would be hard pressed to find a thoughtful post by Eliot about why taxpayers should pay for private Republican re-education camps but not practical junior college skills.  How many more Hell and Brimstone preachers do we need?  Ask Eliot why he thinks private school vouchers for Christian Madrassas' are OK but funding junior colleges for all who want to get ahead is wrong.

                  • BlueCat says:

                    We already know why he thinks one is OK and the other is terrible. It's a matter of blind faith in economic GOTP ideology.

                  • ElliotFladen says:

                    Here is my schedule for the next few months:
                    1) I have at least five depositions scheduled and I am trying to get a few more scheduled as well across several cases

                    2) I have a trial in March-April that is supposed to last several weeks

                    3) I have a four day trial in April

                    4) I have a multiple day mediation in May

                    And I have a bunch of other cases in active litigation. And a wife that wants to buy a home.  And kids that I don't get enough time to see. And the ColoradoIndy asking for an hour of my time each week to do High Noon.  And countless other people who actually have influence (both sides of the aisle) that want to use me as a sounding board. 

                    So if I put in a one liner, that is because that is what I have time to do.  It may be a surprise GG, but you aren't exactly on the top of my list of people that I need to give uncompensated high level analysis to.  Run for US Senate, congress, state legislature, or even statewide/major county party office (either party, I don't care) and win, and then I will consider dealing with your lengthy screeds when I am slammed.  Or maybe get a major job with a think tank, press org, or something else that matters.  Otherwise, no thanks, especially when you spend multiple paragraphs making baseless attacks on my character.

                    Have a nice day,

                    Elliot

                    • Diogenesdemar says:

                      You probably shouldn't be so long-winded in your posts, then??   (And, leave those snappy one-liners that need voluminous explanations to us professionals, huh??)

                      Now — get your ass back to work already!

                      ;~)

                • mamajama55 says:

                  I never have a problem discussing policy, and I agree with your analysis on private school vouchers. I could give a shit whether you curse or not.

                  I choose not to (mostly), because there are too many people reading Pols who know my real name, and I need to keep at least a modicum of decorum. 

                  My issue, and it's the only issue to me, is whether we automatically come down like a ton of bricks on any conservative  who dares to say a contrary opinion. I have a problem when people pretend the ability to mind read and project what another human will say or do. 

                  If you want to know what Elliot or anyone thinks about an issue, fucking ask him. I did. Don't speak for him. I won't.

                  Given that "attack and project" is the predominant mode of political "discourse" on here, it's not too surprising that there isn't a whole lot of actual political debate on issues. Lots of name calling, lots of entrenched positions – almost no seeking for common ground.

                  Call me a naive bleeding heart liberal – I've been called a lot worse. Calling me names will definitely change my mind and make me want to agree with your positions…not.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        …gee, why don't we try the 'for profit' education model that is a Republicans wet dream? Google 'Phoenix University for profit subsidies'. Focus on the '$33 billion in subsidies'. It appears to mirror Duby and Cheyney's 'Iraq War' model. 

      • Canines says:

        Here's a suggestion: You guys can start calling it an "Obama Diploma."

    • DaftPunk says:

      Look at what we have here!

      18 replies in high dudgeon.  No return or reply from the provocateur.

      Well trolled I say, well trolled!

       

  5. Lots to like (and a few things to dislike) for progressive Democrats and independents in the President's speech tonight. Of course, most of it we've already heard over the past few weeks, but it seems like a long time since we've heard such a strong list of actual Democratic visions broadcast across the airwaves…

    • Smoking Mirror says:

      I am a firm believer in "better late than never" as a general proposition.  But this should have happened six years ago.  Looks more like "too little, too late" and a deathbed conversion.  What a monstrous waste of time and promise.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Six years ago the country was circling the toilet and ready for the dust bin of history.  The turn around in the last six years with Republican obstruction at every point along the way has been truly monumental.  History will be kind to this dedicated public servant.
         

        • Smoking Mirror says:

          Silly me.  I expected more than staving off the apocalypse the first time I voted for the man.  I find the timing of the admittedly impressive set of goals this time around to be unfortunate at best, or at worst cynically bad timing.  Where were these policy proposals back in the day, when making them had some hope of being actually passed into law?

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            Revolution was in the air back then.  The man held the union together which is no small feat.  Glass must be half empty for you.

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            You do know that Democrats had a super majority in the Senate for only a few months after his inauguration which included Joe Lieberman and ended with the election of Scott Brown.  After that Republicans filibustered anything and everything.  I noticed you didn't direct any of your ire towards the other Democrats during that time frame or Republicans.  It's all Obama's fault all the time.  Bah Humbug.

            • Smoking Mirror says:

              A leader is supposed to lead.  I think it is cynical crap that all of these wonderful progressive ideas are coming out of the White House now, when there is absolutely zero chance of any of them coming to pass.  Where were these initiatives when they did have a marginally better chance than a snowball in hell?

              • Diogenesdemar says:

                'Scuse me — regarding your weather postdiction — when did any Ovama proposals have a "marginally better than a snowball's chance in hell" chance in getting past the "we were elected to ensure this President's failure" Congress?? . . . 

                . . . I guess I should have worn a bikini that particularly warm spell??

                • BlueCat says:

                  Dio, more could have been accomplished on some fronts had Obama spent more time cajoling and pressuring the Dems that came in with him and less time offering 90% your way as starting positions and fruitless charm offenses in every negotiation with the Rs. It's Obama who constantly behaved as if he refused to believe they meant what they said about denying him anything that could be construe as a victory. He was the one who kept insisting on a mythical bipartisanship. 

                  Even as recently as this last election he could could have made the big executive action move and the big popular policy announcements before rather than after. It's not entirely his fault as the Dems were convinced those things would lose them votes and wanted Obama to shut up and let them distance themselves in pathetic hopes of getting voters who were going to voter R anyway but why had things come to that point? 

                  Because Obama, from day one, dissed and pissed off his own. There was no love lost between him and the congressional Dems he barely gave the time of day. From the beginning of his first administration, ensconced in his echo chamber bubble, with his blaming extremists on both sides rhetoric when every true moderate in congress was a Dem, he gave congressional Dems no reason at all to go out on any limbs for him. In fact he gave them plenty of reasons on plenty of issues to believe that, if they did, those limbs would be sawed off. 

                  Yes, Obama has accomplished  a lot more than we could have expected under either McCain or Mittens. They would have been utter disasters. But we could have accomplished more and the midterm elections could have had very different results if he hadn't saved the Obama we're seeing now for the last leg of his journey as President.  

                  It's as if he's saying to himself, what the heck. What have I got to lose. I don't have to run again. I'm glad he's taking these stands now and I feel confident they will help make 2016 a better year but I'm not impressed that all this strong leadership and strong messaging is only showing up at this late date. It's really kind of infuriating. Sorry. But if it helps us get in position for a strong 2016 and a real chance to advance the interests of the people under strong, cohesive leadership after the next election, I'll take it and I'll applaud him if he keeps it coming from this point on. The higher his approval goes, the better 2016 will be.

              • "A leader is supposed to lead," and Obama's first desire coming out of the hyper-partisan Bush days was to try and rekindle bipartisan action. He even mentioned last night that this is still one America – but he's obviously all but given up on his hope that Republicans are actually willing to work in a bipartisan manner.

                If I were an historian writing of Obama's legacy, I would start by saying that his grandest goal, of rebuilding the working relationship between the parties, was DOA and that the President's willingness to hang on to his hope long past its obvious expiration date was the cause of many other dissapointments in his term.

                • BlueCat says:

                  It was delusional from day one. I think Obama honestly doesn't see himself as a partisan guy and thought he could successfully reach out to Rs as a centrist. I think he came in thinking there really were some extremists on both sides with plenty of reasonable Republicans to work with if he could get the "extremist" (?) Dems to shut up. It should have taken no more than a matter of weeks to disabuse him of that notion  They certainly weren't keeping their passionate hatred of everything connected with him a secret. That it took close to six years is almost incomprehensible.  And extremely exasperating.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      You could tell he knew his opponents and dealt with them with humor and facts and yes a little ridicule (Paul Ryan looked like a loser).  It was actually fun to watch him tell Republicans through word and gesture that he wasn't going take any silly shit from them.  He has nothing to lose and no elections to win.  He can be as hard an ass as he needs to be to prevent even more crazy from creeping out of them.

  6. dustpuppy says:

    I like it – it challenges Republicans to do it, and make them go on the defensive.

     

     

     

  7. notaskinnycook says:

    In case anyone cares, NBC's website has the full text of the speech. As usual, my wife watched while I listened from another room and read the text. It's a different experience than watching.

  8. DaftPunk says:

    Oh yes I did!

     

  9. debbielynnepaint says:

    One of my favorite parts was towards the ending when President Obama said he wasn't running again and the Republicans started clapping.  He was quick to ad lib and said but, I know because I won both times.

  10. Denver Yankee says:

    Joni Ernst promised in her response "……to talk about how we plan to make Washington focus on your concerns again."

    She managed to accomplish that without once mentioning immigration or immigrants, but the longest paragraph in the speech was devoted to the Keystone pipeline.

  11. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Being a good Republican; with a Democrat giving the SOTU; I chose to watch the Nuggets play most of a good game against the Spurs. Don't blame me; I grew up in Indiana and B-ball is in the blood. And the opposition response is always nothing more than a pile of pious posturing, so why bother. The real work gets going when legislation gets introduced.

    And will somebody give Gilpin Guy a nice bar f soap so he can clean out his mouth?

    Regards,   C.H.B.

     

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      should be :  "bar of soap"  This site really needs an edit function.

    • Duke Cox says:

      since when does a head banger give a fuck about profanity?

       

    • BlueCat says:

      We shouldn't have given away Brooks. Much better back up at point than Nate. Glad he's gone. We shouldn't have traded Mozgov. Love Nurkic but he's still a rookie not ready to shoulder the whole load and we have nobody else anywhere close to being a true center. What were we thinking with that enormous contract for McGee? Jameer Nelson is a fine addition but it's probably too late for anything but a dreaded "re-building". Bet Faried, Chandler, Afflalo and JJ can't wait to get the chance to play for a team that might win while they're still in their prime.  How long are we going to hang on to Shaw?

      I'll always choose to watch basketball and catch up on recaps of the speeches later though it would probably be less painful to just stop watching my Nugs, I can't.  And will somebody please tell Scott Hastings we don't need an endless clinic  minutely dissecting every failed play and every time the other team scores?  I have yet to see a game where the defense is so good the other team doesn't score  any points. Sometimes we have to give ourselves a little break with the mute button. Sometimes he's still whining about the last play after the next score. It drives me nuts. But not as nuts as sitting through completely predictable SOTUs.  

  12. Gilpin Guy says:

    One of those overlooked gems in the SOTU speech was the way he lampooned Republicans for being in love with Putin last summer because he was such a macho man.  Obama rightly pointed out that Putin's administration has cratered the Russian economy and now stuck in an endless war in the Ukraine.  Republicans swooning over Putin showed how stupid they are regarding statesmanship and international diplomacy.

    • BlueCat says:

      If you wonder how they manage that ask an extreme rightie Republican Jew, like my uncle, why they love everything about hard core socialist Israel with its socialized medicine and government controlled economy, housing subsidies and everything else they otherwise hate with a passion.

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