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Author Topic: The State of the Union speech  (Read 3448 times)

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Offline ArhysTopic starter

The State of the Union speech
« on: January 28, 2010, 01:28:13 AM »
After a tough year that saw the U.S. and world teeter on the brink of financial collapse, President Obama gave the annual State of the Union address last night  What did you think? 

Personally I have been frustrated as attempts at "bipartisanship" have been met with nothing but cold disdain and obstructionism, so I was delighted to read this:

  "So let me start the discussion of government spending by setting the record straight. At the beginning of the last decade, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion. By the time I took office, we had a one year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. That was before I walked in the door.

    Just stating the facts."

Here's the transcript of the speech.


CBS did a snap poll, MoE 4%, with the following results:


• 83% of speech watchers approve of the proposals the president made in his speech tonight. 17% Disapprove.

• 70% of speech watchers think Barack Obama shares the same priorities for the country as they do. 57% thought so before the speech.

• 59% of speech watchers think that Barack Obama has a clear plan for creating jobs. 40% thought so before the speech.

• 72% of speech watchers approve of Barack Obama's plans for dealing with government spending. 28% Disapprove. .

• 56% of speech watchers think Barack Obama's economic plans will reduce the budget deficit in the long run, and 71% think they will help ordinary Americans.

• Still, just 42% of speech watchers think that Barack Obama will be able to accomplish all the goals he set out in his speech tonight. 57% do not think he will be able to.

522 speech watchers participated in the poll. The margin of error was 4 percent.


Have you seen it?  What did you think?

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 07:25:26 AM »
I would only point that our dear leader was a senator during the same time period he speaks to (Not for a decade but under the same congress when Bush was president), as this seems to conveniently escape his and his supporters memory. So in fact he does share some responsibility, of which he finds nary ability to assume any of.

Now we could parse his voting record, but what this country needs is leadership, not someone rehashing the past and making excuses. In my opinion he is wholly ineffective, and will remain so despite the democratic majority, super majority or not. Amazing really, and telling.

Offline Talia

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 09:14:34 AM »


Personally I thought it was the best he as given to date and impressive. Transitioning to health care, Obama was tough and plainspoken, characteristics which he has sorely lacked in initially presenting his proposals for reform. His speech should restore some his party's political momentum moving forward. Was there issues I would have liked to heard more about or addressed...Yes..and I would have liked to have heard some better time lines towards the changes he wants to make...but he could have talked 24/7 and still not have pleased everyone...There's just to much change and reform needed. The onus is now on the democrats to take advantage of their massive majority and get things done. Time will show us if he puts some actions into those hopeful and inspiring words. But I do like the direction he's going and the first step to solving a problem is recognizing it and suggesting we do something about it. So it's still a game of wait and see.....

Offline BlindEye

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 06:02:50 PM »
I was impressed.  He started sounding like he has more backbone than he has shown so far. 

I loved the part that you quoted, about the deficit situation he inherited. 

I also liked the part about "just saying no isn't leadership".  That really needed to be said.   :D

Offline Brandon

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 07:03:29 PM »
I was extremely disappointed throughout the entire speech. Most of the time I felt he was saying "Heres what were going to do. Im not going to tell you how were going to do it." Now dont get me wrong, its nice to hear about new initiatives but to believe in any kind of initiative I have to see specifics and I didn't see much of that at all. What I saw was theory craft, not answers to questions

This point really annoyed me:

Quote
Fourth, we need to invest in the skills and education of our people.

This year, we have broken through the stalemate between left and right by launching a national competition to improve our schools. The idea here is simple: instead of rewarding failure, we only reward success. Instead of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform - reform that raises student achievement, inspires students to excel in math and science, and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans, from rural communities to inner-cities. In the 21st century, one of the best anti-poverty programs is a world-class education. In this country, the success of our children cannot depend more on where they live than their potential.

When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all fifty states. Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families. To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer-subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let's take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let's tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only ten percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after twenty years - and forgiven after ten years if they choose a career in public service. Because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college. And it's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs - because they too have a responsibility to help solve this problem.

The part that bugs me about this is a failure to acknowledge the programs that are already in place and pay for college yet have many problems within them. Military service was my main choice for my college education. College classes that are taken during service require the military to pay 75% of the tuition costs but the classes must be approved by your commanding officer and can be denied for any reason. If you went to college before and joined the military to have it paid off they do not pay any interest of your original loans. Public service such as the Nuclear regulatory commitee also pay for college but the employee takes a pay cut for doing so. The problem here is you need at least a bachelor's degree to get into these positions i the first place. I think its a much better idea to make military service and public service continue to pay for college but make it so that soldiers and public servants cant be screwed over by a commanding officer or forcing someone to already be highly educated before they can make use of paid college benefits.

Another thing that bothered me about this was the $10,000 tax credit for four years of college. Does he not realize thats a drop in the bucket for four years of college? Even if colleges brought down tuition and cost of living costs its still going to be a drop in the bucket.

Closing: I dont know, maybe Im still wrong about him but from the day he was elected and all the way through to today I cant help but feel like he's a complete charlatan. Telling us everything we want to hear and has no plans (or power) to accomplish it

Offline Serephino

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 08:02:38 PM »
I think the reason he didn't tell us how is because he doesn't know.  That doesn't reflect on his ability, but rather the fact the Congress (Republicans in particular) are fighting him tooth and nail.  Nobody can seem to agree on anything.  It's a nightmare. 

Offline Brandon

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 08:20:17 PM »
I disagree, it reflects on his inability to plan ahead. If he cant at least come up with some kind of plan to get these things happening then it shows me that he has no intention of going through with it. If he has a plan and congress doesnt go along with it then yes thats not his fault, but not having an idea or plan on how to accomplish what he wants is the problem I have. I hope that made sense


Offline Vekseid

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2010, 09:15:33 PM »
Another thing that bothered me about this was the $10,000 tax credit for four years of college. Does he not realize thats a drop in the bucket for four years of college? Even if colleges brought down tuition and cost of living costs its still going to be a drop in the bucket.

That's one or two years for a number of public and community colleges and universities I know of.

Offline Trieste

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Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 11:10:52 PM »
$10,000 is 1/3 of my current loans, and that ain't nothing to sneeze at. The only problem is that I, er, don't pay even close to $10,000 in taxes. Like, ever. So it better be one of those tax credits that gets added onto your refund... or I'll never see it.

Offline Vekseid

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2010, 01:09:16 AM »
Credits are worth the full amount, so you would get the full $10k.

Offline ArhysTopic starter

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2010, 07:15:58 AM »
With all due respect this is either not true or illogical. 

I would only point that our dear leader was a senator during the same time period he speaks to (Not for a decade but under the same congress when Bush was president), as this seems to conveniently escape his and his supporters memory. So in fact he does share some responsibility, of which he finds nary ability to assume any of.

Obama was publicly against the Iraq War but not yet in office so he can't be held responsible for that--same with the first tax giveaway to the wealthy in '01.  He voted against the next round of tax cuts for the wealthy as well, as did practically all Democrats (except 7 in both houses), and the failed Medicaid expansion idea.   How is it logical for him to share in the blame for these things when he used all his legal power to stop them?

I disagree, it reflects on his inability to plan ahead. If he cant at least come up with some kind of plan to get these things happening then it shows me that he has no intention of going through with it. If he has a plan and congress doesnt go along with it then yes thats not his fault, but not having an idea or plan on how to accomplish what he wants is the problem I have. I hope that made sense

State of the Union speeches are meant to be broad strokes summarizing national conditions and policy values and goals, naturally the specifics come in the form of bills, and it is Congressional Committees who write the bills.  Obama's branch of government is the Executive, Congress is the legislative so it's pretty much unconstitutional for him to do what you're seeming to expect.  The State of the Union speech lays out a broad plan, then Congress picks up the ball.  Naturally he can lead the party, participate in negotiations, coordinate with other party leaders but he can't make either House schedule a vote or write a law one way or another.  I share your frustration however.

To me the big question for this year is what kind of voice we will hear from Obama, I was DELIGHTED at the meeting with the Republican Caucus yesterday.  Here's the transcript.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-gop-house-issues-conference

(Edited to add link to transcript)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 07:28:47 AM by Arhys »

Offline Vekseid

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2010, 05:53:35 PM »
With all due respect this is either not true or illogical. 

Obama was publicly against the Iraq War but not yet in office so he can't be held responsible for that--same with the first tax giveaway to the wealthy in '01.  He voted against the next round of tax cuts for the wealthy as well, as did practically all Democrats (except 7 in both houses), and the failed Medicaid expansion idea.   How is it logical for him to share in the blame for these things when he used all his legal power to stop them?

He does e.g. share some responsibility for the bank bailout. I grant that liquidity freezes are the nastiest thing that can happen to an economy like ours, but at the same time, that was a clusterfuck.

But I can criticize the president and still respect him and feel confident that he was better than the alternative. Even what McCain -said- he wanted to do was worse than what Obama did actually end up doing.

Offline Schrödinger

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2010, 08:41:48 PM »
I was DELIGHTED at the meeting with the Republican Caucus yesterday.  Here's the transcript.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-gop-house-issues-conference
Might as well watch the full thing here.

Featuring such points as the following:
Obama To Republicans: Stop Pretending Health Care Reform Is A 'Bolshevik Plot'

However, I believe Obama could've accomplished more if there was less of the Senate majority reaching to bend over backwards for the Republican minority at the time of the first year of his term (the GOP does not want Universal Healthcare, as far as I've gathered), and the Democratic president calling the old phogeys on their shooting down Democrat plans (any of them; I just can't wrap my head around those Blue Dogs). He didn't, and people got desillusioned. Here's hoping to three years that do work out.

Offline Trieste

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Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2010, 08:52:42 PM »
Ahahahahahahaaaaa *dies*

Okay, so I'm still waiting on Obama's Bob the Builder ("Yes we can!") promises to come through, and I am pissed at the Senate AND the Supreme Court AND the Prez right now... but you have to admit, he's had some pretty nifty speeches lately. :) Obama is a very good speaker.

Offline ArhysTopic starter

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2010, 02:53:18 AM »
@Vekseid:  Clusterfuck is about the only way to describe the bank bailouts, you're right on that!  Do you remember when McCain suspended his campaign to rush back to D.C. to help handle the matter--and did nothing?  It makes me laugh but also makes me cry to even imagine what would be going on had he won.  The TARP bailout under Bush was a disgusting giveaway of monumental proportions and that really determined the initial negotiating positions for round 2 when Obama got into office.  I also fully realize Obama had a metaphorical gun to his head, the world financial system really was on the brink then--but I'm pissed about it too.  At least he got half of TARP back so far, and hopefully the stage is now set politically as other ideas are advanced.

Thanks much for the video link Schrodinger!

And there's certainly a lot to be pissed about Trieste, I'm with you!

Offline BlindEye

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2010, 12:06:13 PM »
I've said it before, and I will say it again, I miss the Republican party that was around when I was growing up.  This was the cold war era.  We were stuffy, but at least we were good at a few things.  Now, we're a damn cartoon..... a bad one.

The last administration was enough to convince me that the Republican party isn't for me any more.  I see the current administration, in part, as a chance for the Democrats to improve my opinion of them to the point where I will switch completely.  Time will tell.

Anyone else here in the same boat as me?

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2010, 02:05:14 PM »
Three things bug me from Obama besides him being a wimp.

1. He needs to fraking lead on Health Care Reform this means if he has to get down to the Congress and threaten to Veto legislation they want until he gets what he wants. And trade off presidential favors to turn Republicans into allies if he has to. Of course keeping legislation simple into what needs to be fixed would help.

2. He said we were getting out of Aphghanistan and Iraq so get the frak out get a fraking pair and do an executive order pulling them all out in 90 days.

3. Education I for one am sick of college, college and college being the end all of NCLB and goals for every child to attain to. What about this bring back comprehensive vocational education tracks in High School and teach children who may not be cut out gfor a four year college a fraking JOB. Let them leave High School fully employable as anything from LPN's to cooks to automotive techs and for me this is a fairness issue. Poor parents should not be forced to send a child for vocational education after High School when the government practically pays for the education K-12. Why should they have to go into debt or their children to be a massage therapist, barber, cook or LPN? And since half of student drop out of college by the Junior year its clear many should not be going to college.

Offline Vekseid

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2010, 03:48:42 PM »
I've said it before, and I will say it again, I miss the Republican party that was around when I was growing up.  This was the cold war era.  We were stuffy, but at least we were good at a few things.  Now, we're a damn cartoon..... a bad one.

The last administration was enough to convince me that the Republican party isn't for me any more.  I see the current administration, in part, as a chance for the Democrats to improve my opinion of them to the point where I will switch completely.  Time will tell.

Anyone else here in the same boat as me?

I have a lot of conservative views, in the sense that I support gun ownership, etc. and consider the likes of Burke and Eisenhower to be some of the finest politicians of their times.

But I cannot bring myself to check the 'Republican' box right now. I'd like two options that I can make a principled decision between. Three quarters of the Republican senate voted against a gang rape victim's right to trial. The current Republican party is willing to overlook child sex slavery (I link the Wikipedia article merely as a launching point) for... what? What could possibly be worth that? How corrupt does an institution have to be before the stench is so foul that it collapses on itself?

Some might say it's already happening. I'd just rather it not take a good part of the country with it.

Offline BlindEye

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2010, 05:05:48 PM »
I feel the same way, really.  The "cultural conservatives" have taken over the party and, like all extremists, replaced thought with dogma. 

Most of the people I know who subscribe to this point of view have a very black-and-white view of the world.  They aren't necessarily stupid, though some strike me as that way.  What they have is a particularly narrow point of view.  You get this with extremists of all kinds.

What bothers me about the Republicans going down this road is that if things don't change, there could wind up being only one alternative for thinking people, ie. the Democrats.  I don't like having only one viable option to choose from, whether I'm choosing a political party, operating system, etc.  Monopolies are never good things in the long run.


Offline ArhysTopic starter

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2010, 02:55:15 PM »
Some ugly numbers guys, but fascinating poll on Republican beliefs just done.  All I can honestly say to Republicans, conservatives, libertarians is that you have to start speaking up on the things you think are foolish within.  There's plenty to debate and will be agreements and disagreements, but some of the following is beyond the pale.

63% of Republicans think Obama is a socialist.                                          This is ignorance.
36% don't think he was born in the U.S. and 22% aren't sure.                    This is crazy.
24% think Obama wants terrorists to win, 33% aren't sure.                       This is appalling.

And the kicker:
23% want their state to secede, 19% not sure. 

There's more, a majority think Palin is more qualified to be President, 33% aren't sure.  Nuggets on racism, ACORN (oh noes), and many issues.

Random sampling by telephone last 4 digits, phone interview with self-identified Republicans, 2003 sample size, margin of error 2%, here are the cross tabs .




Offline glimmertwin

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2010, 09:53:05 PM »
I just wonder when Obama makes it his.  I mean, Bush did the same thing - blaming Clinton on defense and it drove me crazy.  Now, Obama is doing the same thing.  After a full year he is still blaming Bush for everything.  Even blaming him for things that he, Obama, voted on.  When does it become his?  Ever?  Does every President just blame the ones before them? 


Offline Zeitgeist

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2010, 10:57:00 PM »
Some ugly numbers guys, but fascinating poll on Republican beliefs just done.  All I can honestly say to Republicans, conservatives, libertarians is that you have to start speaking up on the things you think are foolish within.  There's plenty to debate and will be agreements and disagreements, but some of the following is beyond the pale.

63% of Republicans think Obama is a socialist.                                          This is ignorance.
36% don't think he was born in the U.S. and 22% aren't sure.                    This is crazy.
24% think Obama wants terrorists to win, 33% aren't sure.                       This is appalling.

And the kicker:
23% want their state to secede, 19% not sure. 

There's more, a majority think Palin is more qualified to be President, 33% aren't sure.  Nuggets on racism, ACORN (oh noes), and many issues.

Random sampling by telephone last 4 digits, phone interview with self-identified Republicans, 2003 sample size, margin of error 2%, here are the cross tabs .

The source of said polls:

ABOUT DAILY KOS
Founded in May 26, 2002, Daily Kos is the premier online political community with 2.5 million unique visitors per month and 215,000 registered users. It is at once a news organization, community, and activist hub. Among luminaries posting diaries on the site are President Jimmy Carter, Senator Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and dozens of other senators, congressmen, and governors. Even more exciting than that however, are the hundreds of thousands of regular Americans that have used Daily Kos to shape a political world once the exclusive domain of the rich, connected, and powerful.

http://www.dailykos.com/special/about2#dk

Well that's about all I need to know. <pitch> I just about fell out of my chair when I saw 'Luminary' and Jimmy Carter used in the same sentence.  ???

Offline Trieste

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Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2010, 11:00:43 PM »
I'd be more interested in their actual methods than who's writing on the site, m'self. You are, however, welcome to bring forth your own polls from a wacko right-wing more Republican source, Zamdrist. I'm pretty sure they're saying the same thing: Obama is a crazy foreign terrorist who wants to bring down the great US of A.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2010, 11:26:52 PM »
I'd be more interested in their actual methods than who's writing on the site, m'self. You are, however, welcome to bring forth your own polls from a wacko right-wing more Republican source, Zamdrist. I'm pretty sure they're saying the same thing: Obama is a crazy foreign terrorist who wants to bring down the great US of A.

Rather, I'll just express my opinion, for objectivity in new media is non existent. So swapping polls and amateur blog posts is rather pointless. No more so than my opinions too I suppose.

While calling Obama a 'socialist' would just be inflammatory, many of his ideals and policies are in the same vein as that of socialism. Health care for all, and penalizing private businesses for handing out bonuses are two examples.

I don't really give a rats ass either way if he was born abroad or here. I've never thought of him as anything but a U.S. citizen. Raising that argument is self defeating anyhow, for Biden would only be worse, next in line. Obama is doing fine himself screwing things up nicely.

Believing he wants terrorism to win is equally silly. Even if his policies are flawed, and badly. So we are going to try these terrorists in civilian courts, believing that the rest of the world will see us as standing up for justice and our own rule of law, as if this will placate the 'moderate terrorists'. At the same time the administration is assuring everyone of the outcome. How can you have a fair and just trial, if you're going to guarantee the outcome? And while I support the use of drone attacks on known terrorists, how can they justify that at the same time? No trial, no nothing, just splat you're dead.

States seceding? I don't know what that would accomplish but further divide us.

Palin is no more, or less qualified for office than Obama. She at least has some experience in more than one executive position. Obama is an 'organizer', a lawyer and a legislator, furthermore it shows, doesn't it? But frankly, I don't think either of them are qualified for the position.

So though I lean Republican, and Libertarian, it seems I don't have much in common with the sample set that makes up this poll.

Offline ArhysTopic starter

Re: The State of the Union speech
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2010, 12:11:59 AM »
The poll was carried out by Research 2000, a well-known and highly regarded firm which is considered to lean Republican by their results if anything.  It was a big reason why daily kos chose to use them actually.  The Republican Party uses this outfit themselves.  The political ideology of a group contracting a poll means nothing is you are unable to prove their ideological bias influenced survey design--it's why I listed the methodology and why the cross tabs are important.

Second, I encourage you to please criticize the poll itself.  Unlike all other media outlets or private contractors of a poll, daily kos publishes full cross tabs for free so the research design is transparent.  What survey question was biased?  How so?  Hundreds of social scientists have already looked at this poll, doubtless you'll be able to find criticisms online if the research deign is faulty.  Are you criticizing the sample size or sample selection?  Both meet or exceed industry standards for polling, the margin or error of this poll is 2%, not the usual 4% because of these measures.  Think the results are funny?  Well, have at the cross tabs and make an argument and back it up.