On Tuesday, President Barack Obama gave a well-received State of the Union Address, as reported by Wendy Gittleson, which outlined his priorities and presented a deeply moving vision of a fair, united and prosperous America. Of course the Republicans find such visions abhorrent — they hate Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, too — and dispatched their ex-savior Senator Marco Rubio (R-FLop sweat) to give his lame rebuttal (Nathaniel Downes). Rubio later blamed God for his SOTU cottonmouth (Tiffany Willis), which he conveniently interpreted as God reminding him that he’s human, rather than God reminding him that his party’s ideas totally suck. Actually, a 10-year survey of State of the Union responses show that these speeches almost always turn out badly and that future presidential hopefuls should avoid making them at all costs (Elisabeth Parker).
Obama’s SOTU focused on seven priorities:
1. Marriage equality: Although this issue didn’t play a big part in this particular speech, Obama made it clear early on that gay rights is still on his radar screen when he stated, “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.” Gay and Lesbian couples from Illinois — Obama’s home state — must have had some VERY special Valentine’s Day celebrations when the state resoundingly legalized gay marriage on Thursday (Wendi Petit). Unfortunately, what legislators giveth with one hand, they taketh away with the other: North Dakota Republicans just killed a bill banning discrimination against gay people (Stephen D. Foster Jr.). And Boy Scouts of America would still rather have their young charges around a criminal than a gay person (Shannon Barber).
2. Reduce debt: The president launched by throwing the Republicans a bone on debt reduction, declaring that “Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion … Now we need to finish the job.” But adds that “we can’t ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful.” Developments from this week support Obama’s views. Obamacare has already made a big dent in the federal deficit by reducing healthcare costs (Rika Christenson). Facebook’s whopping $429 million tax refund last year – -after making $1.1 billion in profits (Justin Rosario) — supports Obama’s call for a tax code overhaul. And the increase of vulnerable senior citizens turning up at homeless shelters (Lorraine Devon Wilke) definitely calls for a dramatic shift in our fiscal priorities.
3. Boost the economy … and the middle class: Most economists — and Americans — now agree that rising income equality has eviscerated America’s middle class and stunted our economic recovery (Rika Christensen). To address this, Obama declared, “It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class,” and proposed boosting the nation’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9.00 per hour. Since Arkansas has made late rent payments a jailable offence (Wendy Gittleson) let’s hope congress gets this done fast! Alas, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH my f*cking Gawd, what an @sshole) is dead set against it (Nathaniel Downes) … even though it would help the economy (BW Jeffery) and even some Republicans (including George W. Bush) have supported raising the minimum wage in the past (Michael Hayne).
4. Revamp our energy policy: It’s important that change our approaches to energy, for environmental, economic, and foreign policy reasons. But, when Obama declared that “we are finally poised to control our energy future,” I don’t think he had the ritual drinking of fracking fluid — as described by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper — in mind (Wendy Gittleson). Obama also flatly stated that “for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.” Unfortunately, he’ll face an uphill battle, given all the piles of secret, anonymous cash that funds anti-climate “science” — and the think tanks, “journalists,” and politicians who support it (Rika Christensen).
5. Immigration reform: The president has made immigration reform a top priority, declaring, “Right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.” So, who’s standing in the way? Marco Rubio — whom a Univision Assistant called a “loser” and “token slave boy” (Egberto Willies) … and the anti-immigration sheriff from Maricopa County in Arizona, Joe Arpaio, who just conveniently absolved himself and his office from all those bungled sex crimes (Deborah Montesano).
6. Education: Obama made clear that he sees education as a key component for economic recovery and securing America’s future, when he said, “It’s a simple fact: the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class.“ Of course, the GOP immediately attacked the president’s early education plan — even though it had originally been developed by members of their own party (Justin Acuff), and Missouri’s Republicans are — once again — trying to force schools to teach Creationism as real science (Stephen D. Foster Jr.)
7. Gun violence: Last, but certainly not least, Obama stressed the importance of addressing gun violence. “It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different.” The parents of Hadiya Pendleton — a vibrant 15-year-old who performed at Obama’s second inauguration, was shot and killed shortly after (Deborah Montesano) — were there. So were “more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn about by gun violence,” and for whom the president adamantly demanded, “they deserve a vote.” Yet the NRA keeps running off at the mouth, as reported by Nathaniel Downes, calling for treason and violent revolution, and bragging about all the paid-off politicians they’ve got in their pockets. No wonder Newtown, CT’s congresswoman, Elizabeth Etsy has called the NRA out on their “callous” and “wrong” statements (Justin Acuff). Meanwhile, “responsible” gun owners are out there, occupying Oregon’s state capitol building and accidentally shooting their spouses whilst dining at McDonalds (Elisabeth Parker). We’d be more likely to take them seriously, if they’d only stop threatening to kill the president (Wendy Gittleson).
Meanwhile, a source has confirmed that Hillary Clinton is throwing her hat in the ring for the 2016 presidential race (The Rambling Fool); Obama’s team surprised Clinton with an impressive retirement gift and paid off her debt from her 2008 presidential campaign (Lorraine Devon Wilke); Senator Elizabeth Warren tears into banking regulators at a Senate Banking Committee hearing (Elisabeth Parker); An African American nurse sues hospital for preventing her from caring for a white baby (Tiffany Willis); A Carnival Cruise vacation turns into a nightmare and reveals the cruise industry’s dirty secret (Wendi Petit); Pope Benedict XVI may have sought legal immunity for sexual abuse crimes before resigning (Shannon Barber); A meteor hits Russia and injures nearly 1,000 people (Lorraine Devon Wilke); Republicans contemplate their impending demise (Nathaniel Downes); and the Republicans filibuster Chuck Hagel (Egberto Willies).
? And, in honor of Valentine’s Day … A scandal-mongering media lambastes a congressman for tweeting a swimsuit model who turns out to be his daughter (Nathaniel Downes); and Tiffany Willis explains why she won’t date Republicans.?
Here’s the video of Obama’s SOTU speech:
|Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, “like” her on facebook, “friend” her on facebook, follow her on Twitter, or check out her Pinterest boards. For more Addicting Info articles by Elisabeth, click here.|