Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What condition our condition is in.....

Ahh yes, the State of the Union address.... let us, "We the People" address it.
The speech was upbeat & lofty, but it did not address reality. We can't be focusing on high speed rail, when so many things are a "fail".

"We do big things" is not necessarily a good thing.
Big oil spill.
Big financial bailouts for banksters.
Big tax breaks for the most wealthy.
Big debt.
Big mess to clean up after 8 years of the Bush regime.
But there were some positives- So let's take a walk on the SOTU wild side...
 The good, the bad & the ugly

Thumbs up:

Solar on a shingle:
Already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy. Robert and Gary Allen are brothers who run a small Michigan roofing company. After September 11th, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the Pentagon. But half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit them hard.
Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. In Robert's words, "We reinvented ourselves."

Big Picture:
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.
But REALLY clean, Mr. President
I'm asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don't know if you've noticed, but they're doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's.

Needs attending to, for sure but schools are underfunded right now, big time. 

And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren't even finishing high school.

Fair enough & good to say sports are not king.... 
We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.
Good riddance to that piece of work, legislators telling teachers how to teach was never a good idea. 
Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what's best for our kids.
Hooray! College tuition tax breaks are a godsend, because tuition is very expensive. 
Of course, the education race doesn't end with a high school diploma. To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American. That's why we've ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students. And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of college.

Meh, not so much
Not so fast, that includes tax cuts for the wealthy...
We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans' paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.

Yea but what about the Toxic waste?
At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they're using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities.
Big market for hiring a new employee pushing 60 years old?
One mother of two, a woman named Kathy Proctor, had worked in the furniture industry since she was 18 years old. And she told me she's earning her degree in biotechnology now, at 55 years old, not just because the furniture jobs are gone, but because she wants to inspire her children to pursue their dreams too. 
This is what happens when you spend so much on wars for so long...
 Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation's infrastructure, they gave us a "D."

Good for some laughs~

 For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down (high speed rail)...

Then there's my favorite example: the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in when they're in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked.

Seriously, I don't agree~
They made changes, but failed in Human Rights, they are successful because of slave labor type conditions, unfair pay & practices. Hold off on putting lipstick on that pig!
Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They're investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world's largest private solar research facility, and the world's fastest computer.
Why do they always push these lofty goals soooo far into the future?
 I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.
But what about the other part??? Jobs!
America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

Sounds like fuzzy math to me...
And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years – without adding to our deficit.

Whoah, hate to burst you bubble here Mr. President....

Have you read the news? We've have e coli in spinach, sprouts, lettuce, beef, & eggs. People have died. 
Funny you mention air & water, but did NOT mention the Gulf Oil Disaster. Plumes of burning oil thick black smoke, and water unsafe with chemical dispersant & crude oil. 
This pisses me off...
People paid into these programs for years... cut the military budget big time, but leave medicare alone! Make pharmaceuticals (big pharma) stop gouging the system. 
This means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. 
The courts should decide what is frivolous & what is not.... leave the government out of it. 
 Still, I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.
NO! Just plain NO!
Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love. And with that change, I call on all of our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and the ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.
Now that gays can serve openly in the military, therefore college campuses should be able to recruit our kids for wars? Let's not pretend this is a career choice. I do not favor the Government/Military soliciting college kids. 
Will the President be sending his kids off to war as soon as they are college age?
Don't be soliciting our kid to fight your neverending wars. 

In Pakistan, al Qaeda's leadership is under more pressure than at any point since 2001. Their leaders and operatives are being removed from the battlefield. Their safe-havens are shrinking. And we have sent a message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of the globe: we will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you.
All very heartwarming-- but here in the US 48 miners died in 2010. 
Brandon started a company in Berlin, Pennsylvania that specializes in a new kind of drilling technology. One day last summer, he saw the news that halfway across the world, 33 men were trapped in a Chilean mine, and no one knew how to save them.
But Brandon thought his company could help. And so he designed a rescue that would come to be known as Plan B. His employees worked around the clock to manufacture the necessary drilling equipment. And Brandon left for Chile.
Along with others, he began drilling a 2,000 foot hole into the ground, working three or four days at a time with no sleep. Thirty-seven days later, Plan B succeeded, and the miners were rescued. But because he didn't want all of the attention, Brandon wasn't there when the miners emerged. He had already gone home, back to work on his next project.

The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.
In summary:
The prez sez the union is strong-- so suck it up all you people living in tent cities, homeless, unemployed, uninsured, overtaxed, and soon to be socially insecure, as social security goes belly up. 
This was a lofty speech, sidestepping a lot of important details, glossing over others, too much of a feel good speech, lacking in some whole truths. 
The president chose to wear blinders- still calling coal clean, nuclear & oil "safe".
To his credit 9-11 was mentioned only once & the bulk of the speech actually focused on the U.S. & not obsessed foreign issues & wars. 

It's not easy being President. He was handed the job w the country in ruins. 
I don't blame him for the numbers of unemployment or the devastating results of the subprime mortgage meltdown, and big finance failures- that was all in full swing when the decider, Bush 2
was at the helm. Funny, how the charts & graphs show the numbers of the Obama admin (unemployment, welfare, homeless) with a decided amnesia of the Bush 2 regime- as if everything was just fine before Obama took office.  In reality we were already $13 trillion in debt. 
Once you get there, the interest of such debt becomes a slippery slope. The debt rises by $4.17 billion per day. Obama did not mention the need for congress to have to raise the debt limit above $14.3 trillion. They need to start having that conversation soon, because those numbers are whizzing by mighty fast. 

The speech seemed like a lot of rainbows & unicorns to me. It all sounded good, for the most part-- but not reality based.  
While he talked about an increased focus on education-- locally, they are closing 4 schools & letting go of more than 100 teaching staff -
It is ripping up the community & a big deal. Based on a 30 million dollar budget shortfall & lower enrollment. 

High speed rail sounds cool & all, but we have people living in tent cities. A whole new wave of foreclosures are about to hit. 

Nuclear, coal & oil are safe & clean once again & not even mention of the biggest man made environmental disaster in US history- the Deepwater Horizon disaster. 11 people died, and BP was ill prepared to deal with their mess. It put a stranglehold on many businesses, and tainted the sea life for many species, and for the regional sea food industry. 

Feel good rhetoric made for good TV, but the speech could have ended with "and now back to reality".

Interested to know your take on it. 


Life As I Know It Now said...

It was a pep rally speech. We already had one cheer leading president and he was a disaster so Obama should not follow too closely in those footsteps.

Why do they always push these lofty goals soooo far into the future? That's a very good question and one I have asked myself so many times. It's always "in the future" but it is never "right now".

Anonymous said...

What Universe does Obama inhabit? I'd like to go there - where coal and nuclear are "clean energy" - where a 55 year old
woman goes back to school for a "new career" - yeah, lots of employers
lining up to hire her, I'm sure. Where we have 'withdrawn our troops" from
Iraq (pay no attention to those 100,000 mercenaries with trigger fingers
still there). The world "admires" what we stand for - just ignore
Guantanamo. Our future "requires our attention" to education - ignore the
dozens of schools being closed in every state. "We need" to focus on
colleges and universities - just be sure to be very wealthy so your
children can get there.

And didn't you just love his demand to allow military recruiters at all
schools? I also loved his call to lower taxes for corporations. Yes, their
record profits make them very needy for help.

He did "mention" Social Security - but only to make it stronger(?).

There's more that made me feel queazy, but these were the points that made
me the most disgusted.

nonnie9999 said...

i think the main aim of the speech was to put the rethugs in a corner. he positioned himself as the reasonable one, so the rethugs will have to tread carefully if they don't want to look like the extremists so many of them are. obama had already connected with the public with the tucson speech, so he didn't need any soaring oratory in this one (and there wasn't any).

Fran said...

Lib-- Sure its easy to make future promises of things to happen long after they are gone & retired. Too much fluff for me.

B-- Good observations. We are just not drinking the koolaid. I am all for education, but the jobs component needs to be there too. Going $32k in debt for college to arrive to a no job situation is not going to cut it.
I guess so many recruiters & ROTC elements were prohibited from campuses because of their discriminatory practices were in violation of campus codes-- so now that it's OK to be gay in the military, it's open season to get everyone to sign up for war?
Military recruiters are predatory. I'll consider it after all those who voted for & funded wars send THEIR kids to be in the front lines of war.

Nonnie~ It felt like it was selling so much positivity.... talking about the Brazillian mine story while not mentioning 48 miners lost their lives in the US in 2010. Or the biggest environmental disaster in US history.
Instead talking about electric cars being the majority by 2015? Buying GM Volt electric cars @ $40,000 each???

He did say the oil companies are doing just fine w/o subsidies... but to just gloss over all that stuff to me made the whole thing too fake.
A lot of jive talkin'.

They are now selling We do big things t shirts...