Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The State of the Union Letdown

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicAfter pasting my tweets for a post last night, I hung up my blogger keyboard and settled in rather rapidly, leaving Rep Paul Ryan to drone on intelligently but boringly (which is the norm for the response).  So as I start this, I have 2 1/2 hours to get this done before lunchtime (and the inevitable media of Rush).  Luckily, I have lots of links and things to share.

First of all, if you took the wise choice and rock cable or Netflix or something entertaining (like test patters), here's the text of the address and the GOP response.   Obviously, I'm going to talk about the former.  And if those aren't enough to readh, here's Rep Michele Bachmann's Tea Party response.  And even better, the man I want to see replace Barack Obama in two years, Herman Cain, put out a very short response.

First, let's get some statistics out of the way:

Applause and Standing O's (via ABC News, as I gave up). One thing to note is that the applause and standing O's were more muted than in prior years.  Partly, this was because of the whole State Date idea, Democrats and Republicans sitting together rather than the traditional seating by party  It also helped not having Nancy "Pogo" Pelosi bouncing up after every sentence:
President is interrupted by applause: 79
Bi-Partisan applause: 45
Total Standing Ovations: 25
Bi-Partisan Standing O’s:16
Laughs: 4 

Our "democracy" - Dropped the dirty D twice, inaccurately as always.  Let me restate this, because it cannot be restated enough: WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY!  NEVER HAVE BEEN!  IF WE BECOME A DEMOCRACY, THIS FREE COUNTRY WILL DIE BY IDIOT MOB RULE!

Blaming Bush -   I only counted 3 shots across that bow.  Only one merits a real response, below.

There were several fun tweets from the House floor (from USA Today):  Their count is 8.  Mostly "FGI" tweeter (love that tweet) Rep Keith Ellison.  By my favorite, from Rep Jeff Miller, was : "Want to simplify the tax code? How about the Fair Tax?" in response to Obama's call to simplify the tax code.

Also, from the above article, lots of the "State Dates" where Democrat and Republican congressmen sat together.  Bucket of meh on that one.

Significance was given to Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was conspicuously absent.  The President spoke on her in the beginning, Congressmen were all wearing black and white ribbons in solidarity, and a seat was left open for her.

Also conspicuous by their absence, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (cabinet member sequestered in case of disaster, as well as SCOTUS justices Alito (due to a speaking engagement, Thomas, and Scalia.  After last year's lecture, I'm surprised the other six showed up.

Ok, bored with the stats.  And due to the fact that I work, it's noon (yeah, the above was written over a 2 1/2-hour period, which explains the lack of posts from me on a regular basis).  Let's see if I can crunch out an analysis really fast (as I reach over to mute Rush so I don't get interrupted in thought):

Several things jumped out in the speech.  First was this line:

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicTwo years after the worst recession most of us have ever known [thanks to Bush], the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.  But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.  [emphasis added]

Uh, I think he forgot about the sucktastic jobs figures.  Where he's failed to deliver anything despite assloads of stimulus spending on road projects and signs touting them (the pic at the left is for the "stimulus" project around Lake Loramie State Park (FGI), essentially a tiny mudhole for fishing compared to things that matter (although I like its quaintness, personally)).

Then came the calls for spending.  On education (in government schools, which continue to suck (overall) even after both the monolithic  No Child Left Behind and the new monolitic Race to the Top programs.  On infrastructure as a jobs creator, even though this is both simply a New Deal-style make-work project, and NOT a job creator.  And on renewable energy, which has been a budget drain with little measurable results.

This last one led to the biggest pipe dream statement of the whole speech:  "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015." Yah, right. Not that it's a bad idea.  It's just that it won't happen.until people can buy good electric cars cheap.  And we're not there yet.

 Then came the point where we approached lying and bullshit:  Reducing the debt.
First of all, Obama blames out of control spending that began nearly 10 years ago (thanks to Bush, of course).  Fair enough.  But, as bad as that was, Obama quadrupled down on that during his first two years, compared to the 8 (with two active combat theaters opened up to boot) under Bush.  Now the fault lies on both sides of the aisle here, but it is patent disingenuousness to decry overspending when you are the worst offender of the lot.

Then there was the whole bit on reforming and simplifying the tax code.  Liked that part.  Especially the idea that reducing corporate taxes and cutting out loopholes for specific businesses.  It's somethign that comes right out of the conservative playbook.  But if I may reiterate a suggestion I, and Rep Jeff Miller, tweeted last night:

Of course, the idea that lowering taxes will spur economic growth didn't mean Obama wasn't going to take a swipe at the filthy, evil, disgusting, mangy, diseased, pus-ridden "rich."  Never mind that many of the "rich" are small business owners, the very group that he wants to create the jobs that his Newest-Newer-Newish-New-New Deal make-work infrastructure projects won't create.

Now if I were the GOP, I'd immediately seize on what he proposed in tax cuts last night and have a bill on the way to the Senate before Feburary.  And dare Harry Reid and the Democrats to kill it. And dare Obama to veto the bastard.

Then there's the whole Obamacare myth.  I won't go into the myriad of mistakes of Obamacare (which cannot be "fixed" only repealed).  But he continues to rely on the CBO numbers, which could not take into account environmental factors, or spending cuts to Medicare (that got immediately erased in companion legislation), or market forces that would affect the price.  So he continued using the fallacious claim that Obamacare would cut the budget, and that repeal would mean increasing the budget.  I'm saying flat out he's lying his ass off knowing the facts on this.  It would have been easy to defend Joe Wilson if he decided to repeat his performance and shout "You Lie!" during that crap.

Now I'm leaving some stuff out, but that's because much of this speech was written specifically to play to independent and conservative-leaning people (who listen to "just words" and ignore actions).  Because it was a middle-of-the-road speech.  It's the speech you give when the voters look at your first two years of achievements and knock your party's collective dick in the dirt.

Now if Obama gets in the bipartisan spirit and carries out half the conservative themes he hit on, then we might actually make some progress over the next two years (and consequently see a 2-term Obama).

However, I seriously doubt it.  As in Carter-style doubt it.

(ok, done writing, can turn Rush on now...)


Toad734 said...

No, Obama did not quadruple Bush spending. And lets talk about some of Obama's "spending". Inheriting 2 wars means he still has to spend on those even though he would have never gone to Iraq and would have probably handled Afghanistan differently (like not let Osama get away) but now, that he has actually put the wars on the budget, he still gets blamed for that spending. Also, what would have happened to both you and I's job if he hadn't been spending?? No one wants to talk about that. What would have happened to our tax base and how much more in debt would we be if unemployment were at 20%?

And you also have to ask yourself the question, what does the interest on $11 Trillion dollars of debt which is how much debt we were in when he took office??

With the Bush's and Reagans of the world you can't even go there with Obama spending. Is the debt higher now? Sure, so is inflation so it isn't apples to apples. Until you bash Reagan and Bush for the same shit, get off the Obama spending bullshit.

And if you are serious about cutting spending then you need to start looking at the biggest drain on our governments resources...The Military...Not the NEA, not fat black ladies on welfare, not Social Security but the Trillion dollars per year we spend on the military and maintaining our Empire.

dmarks said...

Fact check.

Toad said:

"No, Obama did not quadruple Bush spendin"

Remember, this is the same Toad who claimed that Bill Clinton reduced the national debt. Check the actual spending.

"he still gets blamed for that spending"

Obama could have ended the wars within a few days after taking office. But no, he did not. So they are his wars now, and have been for two years.

"....maintaining our Empire."

There is no empire. Words have meanings, after all. So spending on empire is the same as spending on the base on Venus: $0.

"Until you bash Reagan and Bush for the same shit, get off the Obama spending bullshit."

I do. And I also point out the irrefutable fact that Bill Clinton ran 8 years of deficits (zero surplus) for a total of $1.6 trillion in new debt.