The Lame Duck President’s Not So Lame State Of The Union Speech

Obama right on the economy SOTU

I was privileged to watch a chamber full of sullen, petulant, mostly far-right and white, wealthy Koch puppets, largely sitting on their hands as second term President Barack Obama, gave them a not so subtle dressing down and spelled out his template for a clean and promising future in his State of the Union speech.

House Speaker John Boehner sat behind the president, looking like he’d just been waterboarded and was suffering from some unexplainable, debilitating hand condition that prevented all but the most weakened, intermittent applause throughout the evening. A row of military brass sat tight-lipped as the president pledged to get off the Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay detention camp) pot and close the place down, thereby depriving the warmongers of the delight of detaining people they don’t like indefinitely without a trial. Did I mention these mongers are fierce defenders of the constitution? With the glaring exception of the Sixth Amendment, of course.

The presidential scold was a joy to witness and richly deserved by the opposition “Party of No.” I watched the speech unfold on CBS; you know, one of those bastions of the liberal media. A lady pundit groused (and I paraphrase) that the president didn’t give the Republicans credit for their myriad accomplishments. I darn well agree with her. Allow me a partial list of Republican Congressional accomplishments. Let’s start with a promise from the first day to block every presidential initiative to come out of the White House. And man, did they ever keep that promise. A promise made at the behest of the billionaires who actually run this country. Recalcitrant right-wing, legislative yes men and women, committed to nothing but money in their pockets and self-interest, put the kibosh on every legislative request out of the White House that didn’t involve killing overseas women, children and the elderly. That was OK; welcome even.

The 11 or 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. were a special target; “Send ’em back” screamed the aggrieved GOP. At least send all of them back that don’t serve the big money farm, fruit, landscaping, restaurant, hotel, retail, construction, stoop labor, maid, child care and gardening interests, among other undertakings.

Otherwise, the clarion call was driven by one thing and one thing only. If the millions of mostly Hispanic or Latino “illegals” were to be allowed to stay, they could do so by being granted residency. The newly-branded Americans would assume the same rights that all Americans enjoy (with the exception of homosexuals, of course) under the rubric of Legal or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). Here’s the catch, They cannot vote in elections requiring citizenship. And LPR’s do not meet the legal definition of citizens.

That’s the rub because Republican leadership knows that Hispanic/Latino voters know that the Democrats are people that truly care about somebody other than those living in 5,000 square foot houses or more. You will never see Republicans voting for citizenship for the undocumented.

Republicans should also be credited with their relentless attempts to unravel regulatory legislation, starting with Dodd-Frank, designed to rein in the greedy banking system in the U.S. Banks want to continue their recent success of blocking the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall wall between commercial and investment banking. Regulation of powerful financial interests will never be on the Republican legislative agenda. Blocking all such efforts takes precedence.

Climate change denial is another wondrous accomplishment of Republican legislatures, Behind the move to besmirch the names of fully 97% of the world’s scientists who, as one voice, are warning that man is destroying the planet, Republicans are doing everything in their power to make sure this dire prediction becomes a reality. Might I recommend this site featuring the documentary “Call of Life” narrated by Peter Coyote. If you can purchase it, show it to your beer-swilling uncle in the wife beater Tee.

The ‘all pollution, all the time’ movement is driven by the Koch brothers. Hopefully when they die, and they will, won’t they? When they die, their survivors should stick their bodies in one of those minus 321 degrees liquid nitrogen “cryogenic” tanks for revival at a much later date. Then, just before the planet takes its last gasp, thanks to the Kochs and their ilk, the few remaining residents can pry open the tanks, gently awaken Charlie and Dave and, as a last symbolic gesture, show the Koch’s there’s no longer a place to ply their polluting trade. Global warming had smothered the earth.

Other “accomplishments” in the making, as revealed in a recent Letter to the Editor by my pal, Bob, are Paul Ryan’s wish list of voucherizing Medicare, defunding Medicaid, privatizing Social Security, cutting the food stamp program, opposing an increase in the minimum wage, lowering unemployment benefits and fencing in immigrants. Bob failed to mention shutting down government whenever possible and making sure working women’s insurance coverage doesn’t include abortions and contraception. In fact, any Republican legislation with the word ‘women’ in the title is most likely harmful to those women.

Closing down government agencies is never far from the right-wing radar. EPA is most targeted, but education is close behind and, repeating myself, any agency that doesn’t feature deadly ordinance designed to kill and maim.

Nothing would please Republicans more that to render the Affordable Care Act (ACT) impotent. They’re spending billions to rip ACA asunder in both state and national legislatures. Yeah, CBS pundit, the list of Republican “accomplishments” goes on and on.

Key SOTU Obama proposals are making the Richie Rich’s of our world shiver uncontrollably under their Brioni ($43,000 for the Vanquish ll) suits. Imagine the gall of wanting to actually TAX the wealthy! Why, he even wants to increase to 28%, the capital gains rate for couples making more than a half-million a year. He’d put a fee on the 100 or so financial firms with assets of more than 50 billion big ones. He even wants estates to pay capital gains taxes on securities when they’re inherited. The nerve!!! I can already hear those phones in the Bahamas ringing off the hook.

On the flip side, of the $320 billion in new greenbacks, the president wants Congress to pass measures helping the middle class. A $500 tax credit for two-worker families would be one; expanding the child care tax credit, another. Then there’s expanded paid leave for workers and a personal presidential attempt to lower a mortgage insurance premium rate. He also wants to protect the security of ACA and we already know about his ambitious $60 billion Community College program.

His foreign policy pronouncements were a mixed bag that included air strikes in Syria and a limited return to military action in Iraq. Do I see those military pouts softening? On the other hand, he vowed to oppose any attempts to impose new sanctions on Iran.

Boehner predictably denounced the SOTU effort. Something about “the wrong policies, the wrong priorities and (thank you staff speechwriters) growing Washington’s bureaucracy instead of America’s economy.” Is that the best you’ve got John?

On balance, it was a State of the Union speech designed to keep the opposition off balance. After the address, I switched over and watched some Mixed Martial Arts action.

It seemed appropriate.

64 Replies to “The Lame Duck President’s Not So Lame State Of The Union Speech”

  1. “Boehner predictably denounced the SOTU effort. Something about “the wrong policies, the wrong priorities and (thank you staff speechwriters) growing Washington’s bureaucracy instead of America’s economy.”

    That’s hilarious. The Republican Congress has done everything it can to stall economic growth in order to make this President look bad and in spite of their efforts, we are better off today than at the end of the disastrous Bush administration. The Republicans also had the gall to say that the President presided over the gap growing between the rich and middle class when it was the Republicans who keep insisting on the rich getting the largest share of tax cuts. Hypocrisy at its’ best.

  2. Great article as usual.
    Also, it is now coming out that Joni Ernst – she of the bread bag shoes, had a father that took hundreds of thousands of government subsidies and that she when in state government illegally steered a contract worth hundreds of thousand to her family. I knew there was something about her that I could not put my finger on – now I know she is a big fake!

  3. THEATER OF THE ABSURD
    Being asked to give the response to the State of the Union address is the political equivalent of Al Neri inviting Fredo Corleone to join him in a fishing boat on a quiet, remote lake.

    Every year I think it can’t get any worse or more ridiculous and almost every year I am wrong. On Tuesday evening we were subjected to Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who has been in the Senate for all of two weeks, giving a speech that made Jindal’s “Kenneth the Page” impression look like an FDR Inaugural. It is clear why Republicans are so over-the-top patriotic, as in any other country someone like Ernst would be a minor bureaucrat at best, pushing papers around at the DMV or night-managing a KFC. In the United States she gets to be a Senator. What a country.
    Read More
    http://www.ginandtacos.com/2015/01/20/theater-of-the-absurd/

  4. More Obama lies:

    Obama’s false statements were not limited to the field of foreign affairs. He claimed U.S. wages are rising (they are not) and otherwise painted a picture of an America with high economic growth, low unemployment, increased health coverage and improving services for veterans. He made no direct mention of the massive scandal that is still roiling his Veterans’ Affairs department; no acknowledgment of the widespread discontent with Obamacare or its harmful side-effects. He obviously avoided noting that the share of Americans working for a living has hit multi-decade lows, whereas means-tested entitlement programs continue to serve record-setting numbers of people who previously were able to make ends meet on their own.

  5. Then we have:
    Obama claimed the U.S. was “supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort.” NBC’s war correspondent Richard Engel, who has spent tons of time working in that war zone, said that U.S. military officials refer to this capable, moderate Syrian opposition as “the unicorn” because it only exists in legend. “It sounded like the president is outlining a world he wishes we lived in,” Engel said of Obama’s speech. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, not exactly a right-wing media figure, said with a regretful tone of voice that on this matter Obama’s comments were “not close to reality.”

  6. I would think 21 years in the Army National Guard rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as a commander in the logistics branch with a masters degree would receive a little more respect, but this is how liberals treat women who don’t kowtow to their view of how the world should be.

  7. More baggerbob lies
    Wages are finally rising, but America still needs a big raise
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/05/wages-are-finally-rising-but-america-still-needs-a-big-raise/

    Congress reached a rare bipartisan agreement to fix the troubled VA. Obama passed the $16.3 billion plan in August, of which about $12 billion is new spending.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    During President Bush’s eight years in office, annual premiums for a family increased from $7,061 to $13,375, an increase of $6,314 or, on average $789.25 per year. Adjusted for inflation, costs went from $9,313.50 to $14,653.21 or $667.46 per year.

    When President Obama took office in 2009, annual premiums for a family were $13,375 and four years later have risen to $16,351 for an average of $744 per year. Adjusting for inflation, costs started at $14,653.21 for an average increase of only $424.45 per year.
    http://www.eclectablog.com/2013/09/debunking-the-republican-lie-that-health-insurance-costs-have-skyrocketed-under-obama.html

  8. Stupid is as stupid does. Gen Boykin commanded special forces that doesn’t mean he is not a bigot and a very dangerous man. BTW baggerbob what republican policies have benefited the average American in the past 35 years

  9. Dumbass On the individual health insurance market, plans typically are sold with one-year contracts. After that, the insurance companies could practically do whatever they wanted (though they had to offer you an alternative, like they’re doing now). According to a 2004 study, only 17 percent of consumers in this market kept the same plan for two years or more (h/t the Washington Post). This is going to happen next year, and the year after that, ad infinitum.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/29/this-is-why-obamacare-is-cancelling-some-peoples-insurance-plans/

  10. If the government was not complicit with the health insurance companies and the monopolized health/pharma care industry artificially keeping actual healthcare costs much higher than a free market would then I would see the government as doing something actually useful instead of using the public to enrich themselves.

  11. No I am not saying that if you would pull your head out of your bagger ass you would know insurance companies have been cancelling plans since their were health insurance companies but you tiny brain is so foxified that fact just passes right over you

  12. Two sides of the same coin neither R nor D really want to help the average citizen of this once great country. That is why the Senate has less turnover than the House of Lords. They are all in it for their own aggrandizement. If you think there is a measurable difference then you are being played the fool. The PTB will continue to use wedge issues to further enslave the sheeple. Just pay your taxes and move along, nothing to see here. Maybe we should pass that legislation so we can see what’s in it.

  13. Sorry I have never watched Fox. I did receive a Bill O’Reilly book as a gift once, but I could not finish it as it was so poorly written. I would not wast my time watching any of the predigested network news.

  14. I understand there is no such thing as the free market, that is the way your government wants it. Bought and paid for by you friends in big pharma and insurance.

  15. Not for the sitting president, not for the red headed Kennedy (my district), not for the fake Indian, but that is what we have, I will survive despite this.

  16. I lost my doctor and yes it was because of Obamacare.

    My insurance plan covered contraceptives as required by ACA, however my doctor was affiliated with the Catholic Church and they will not do business with my insurance company.

    So, now, who do you blame, ACA or the Catholic Church which denies women the right to choose their own health care needs?

  17. Patricia,
    I would blame choosing a doctor who is affiliated with the Catholic church. The church has made well known its position on birth control. It does not deny you right to choose, it simply refuses to pay for it. My wife and I chose to pay for our birth control out of pocket, in life we have to make choices and not all of them will be what we want but what we choose.
    Bob.

  18. bostonbob, I don’t believe for one second that you “don’t watch FOX “News” or inhale the WhirledNutDaily and Breitbart-type websitems as your sources. Your words are theirs, verbatim.

    Having said that, you’re one of the dumbest baggers I’ve read this morning. The old “both sides are the same” is a statement made in futility and desperation for why “your side” is so screwed up. Wise up.

  19. Yes, unless you would prefer “Curmudgeon ass”. Or, maybe “Know-it-all ass”, the main meaning being ASS. Oh, wow, Bostonian who disses the Pope. That earns the “ass” designation.

  20. Sarah,
    You are so perceptive, I’m glad that you watch Fox and read Breitbart since you obviously know what they have to say. Please enlighten me with more of your wisdom since apparently you know what”side” I’m on.

    What I find so humorous is the progressives have gotten much of what they want, a massively bloated government, indoctrinating schools, an unsustainable entitlement culture, tax revenues are at all time highs, deficit spending continues at a torrid pace on all levels of government, you really should be much happier, and have little to fear from “the other side”.

    I personally believe the government is much of the problem and way out of hand. When 50% of my gross income goes to feed the machine at the point of a gun all while rolling over a trillion dollars in debt last fall. There is clearly something wrong, but you refuse to see it. Whether it is bloated military or the ever intrusive bureaucracy, neither serve us in the manner intended by the Constitution.
    Bob.

  21. It is somewhat misleading to blame the Republicans for “blocking the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall wall between commercial and investment banking”, when they did this with the full support and cooperation of Barack Obama.

  22. What was racist about his comment and was not The act dismantled under the Clinton Administration in the first place?

  23. Government should not be in the business of driving its citizens away, but such is the tyranny of the democracy, and yes I know what we have is technically a republic, although I liken it more to corporate fascism with a large dose of socialism. That said I may move after my children finish university.

  24. Dear Boston Bob,
    Quit watchin’that dam fux news,and by the way the rethugs don’t give a dam about you unless you are a rich fool…..

  25. Mary,
    I have no disagreement with the teachings of the church and while I do not agree with everything the Pope says, I believe he has a good heart. BTW I do volunteer work for my local Catholic church with my daughter. I believe that is the way to help people, not have the government rob you of half of your pay so they can inefficiently disburse it in order to buy votes in order to maintain power all while taking their cut.
    Bob.

  26. So sorry, I never watch Fox or any other broadcast news. Complete waste of time, often prone towards misleading often untrue statements aimed at an audience with a 2 minute attention span.

  27. Why I’ve been reading this and many other web and news sites. I come to places like this to see differing opinions. Typically I will learn more from the comments sections than the actual article. I find it interesting that here any many other sites if you don’t agree with the majority you are instantly labeled when I have found there is often more than just 2 sides.
    Bob.

  28. No. President Clinton did not repeal The Glass-Steagall Act – but he did Sign into Law The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which ”repealed some of the provisions of The Glass-Steagall Act”. The 3 Co-Sponsors of The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act were:

    1. Sen. Phil Gramm – R
    2. Rep. Jim Leach – R
    3. Rep. Thomas J. Bliley – R

    In 1999, The Republicans held the Majority in both The House of Representatives and The Senate. The Final version of Gramm-Leach-Bliley passed The House by a vote of 362-57 and The Senate by the vote of 90-8. This made the Bill “Veto Proof”, so even if President Clinton had decided to “Veto the Bill”, the Bill would have passed anyway.

  29. No DJ I would not consider both sides the same, but both sides have distinctive destructive properties and I truly believe neither side has the best for the country as their top priority. Our government as it is constituted now is strictly self serving, catering to its carefully procured constituencies. Since many, if not most don’t vote, and they know this, the political elite just have to carve out enough of whats left to maintain power. This is why you so rarely see a third party candidate, they are satisfied to split the graft among their carefully selected groups. Dutifully paying off their supporters whether it is big business, unions, minorities whether through legislation, contracts or direct payments. Each demanding something from a government that sinks deeper and deeper into debt. This to will end and it will not be pretty.

  30. After extensive study of the type of RW posting that has been exhibited here and other sites. All of you on here should know these posts are by paid GOP members to try to do nothing more then cause dissension . It has been found that there is no way to openly communicate with these type of posters. The best policy to practice is click on the (No Way) button and move on. Do not even read the posts.Remember they are paid and for the most part are scripted comments. By not interacting you defeat their main purpose.
    Just saying, post whatever you want and how you want but getting you upset over these type of posters is a waste of your time. They will never change just their stories as they get new scripts from the GOP.

  31. So Alice without looking up the make up of the vote that a lot of Democrats also voted for this legislation.

  32. Raymond,
    If you think I am paid by the Republican party all I can do is laugh. I enjoy piping in hear to see how others think. I find many liberals as or more close minded than conservatives. If I could start my own party it would be the “leave me alone” party. Since that is not happening any time soon I will have to make do with what we have.
    Bob.

  33. I could have kept my doctor if I had been willing to go to her new “Boutique Plan” as so many Doctors did…you pay $10 $15 $20 $25,000 etc dollars up front the 1st of every year + whatever their charges for your visits and what ever procedures you “endure” I was already on Medicare….It was my distinct understanding you could keep your Doctor and you existing Medical Insurance plan providing you were willing
    and could pay for them….didn’t mean your doctor & medical plan had to comply with O Care (and I hate that name that so many have applied but figured some of you would not know it by any other name) When I read some of these rantings I can’t help but think how far down some have fallen into despicableism…as far as the Repugnants are concerned “Stupid is as Stupid Does”

  34. folks, jut ignore the rightwing trolls. they are indeed paid GOP trolls. why are they showing up all of a sudden??? because Obamas approval rating is now above 50% while GOP ratings and trust continue to fall. the GOP are panicking behind closed doors. they are absolutely shell shocked. they cannot believe Obama;s approval rating is skyrocketing. well, its up ten points since December. I believe America is beginning to see and understand just how irresponsible an dangerous the GOP has become. the GOP Benghazi and IRS lies have been completely debunked by the GOP themselves. America has seen the republican lies and deceit exposed. they are not liking what they are seeing from the right. but they are liking what Obama has done recently.

  35. They actually get paid fifty cents a post, but I’ve heard there’s a case of Coors with that at the end of every day.

  36. DJ,
    If we have to go there, Obama said it, it must be true. Politicians never shade the truth. I’m pretty sure if you roll in the Social security and Medicaid taxes they are measurably higher. As the article states this is only income tax. Also federal policy creates various direct and indirect taxes such as the gas tax and federal regulations on everything from mandating ethanol (making it more expensive and less efficient) in fuel to how states must spend certain federal resources no matter how inefficient. The president does not set the tax rate and I hardly could blame Obama as the only one for the ridiculous tax policies that we have, but things like Obamacare certainly do not help simplify the tax code. A number of people are going to be in for a rude awakening this tax season.

  37. BostonButt proved he lied about watching Fux News when he used their worn out ten second soundbite about passing it to see what’s in it. That clipped and doctored meme has been kicked by every fact checker alive, but idiots like BostonButt eat that crap like it is peanut butter and jelly on that shit sandwich the right feeds them daily.

  38. Rey,
    I have been paying taxes, yes on the books, since I was 13, I think 39 years of paying taxes qualifies me as an American. If I told you how much I have paid over the years you would probably throw up in your mouth. you may night like what I post and you can choose not to read them, but ignore the facts at your own peril.
    Bob.

  39. My point is the overall tax burden is much higher especially if you include the inflationary policies of the Fed to which the government is fully complicit with QE and the fed taking trillions onto its books. Even on a local level they will say “see we didn’t raise taxes” but every fee that you pay is raised. I find it hard to believe you do not think you pay enough in taxes I make a decent but modest salary, my wife makes a much smaller salary. We pay our bills, taxes, 2 kids college tuition and board. We live very frugally, live 100 year old house drive 10 and 13 year old vehicles, bring our lunch every day. When I see the massive waste theft and fraud perpetrated by our government it frustrates me. If I take a pay cut and I have, I have few choices, find another job, get a second job or cut back. The government wants more more it takes at the end of a gun or it borrows it from our kids future. This is inherently wrong. If you cannot see that I feel sorry for you.
    Bob.

  40. Gary,
    I bask in the glow of your brilliant commentary. The words were either spoken or not spoken. You will see when the back loaded costs kick in the next couple of years the ACA will haunt many who thought it was the cure for what ails the healthcare/insurance industry. An overly complicated, back loaded heavily subsidized bill that was foisted upon the people as a lie or a flim flam ala Gruber will come back to haunt everyone.
    Bob.

  41. So providing help to acquire healthcare for people who couldn’t afford the private version and drove up cost by not paying anything is flim flam? I never see anyone of you people come out against the taxpayers subsidizing healthcare for employees. I got mine fuk the rest of you

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