Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State of the Union Notes

I don't actually listen to State of the Union addresses but I do read the transcript. Here are my notes:

-Congratulates new Congress
-Obligatory shooting tragedy mention
-Recites plot synopsis of the 1986 Michael Keaton film Gung Ho
-Obligatory Kennedy quote (Robert, not John F)
-Using a space race comparison, Obama champions his budget which savagely defunds NASA
-Reinventing ourselves through renewable energy for approximately 10 paragraphs
-Education segue to Race to the Top plug
-Repsect teachers
-Make tuition loan subsidies permanent
-Makes hazy point about educating illegals. (If the problem is that we're sending them back after they get their degrees, then why not just send them back before they get them?)
-We should take on illegal immigration but not clear on how
-Infrastructure sucks
-High speed rail good
-High speed wireless internet good
-Simplify tax code
-Willing to work with anyone on altering new health care legislation as long as it doesn't involve any acutal compromise
-Cut spending
-Richest 2% rambling
-Make gov't spending info accessible
-troops troops troops troops troops
-Chilean miners rescued by American
-State of Union is strong

Overall, not too shabby once you get past the Gung Ho bit, but I'm still very upset that the President who is killing our mission back to the moon (and by extension any hope we have of reaching Mars) dares mention the space race. The Russians are running live Mars simulations as we speak.


Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Wow. Nice work-up. I'll say that I listened to it on the radio, which would be far more preferable (IMHO) than watching it on television if it weren't for the "football-style-announcers" indicating who is applauding when, who is standing, and that Obama made a joke about salmon. How obnoxious.

I, too, thought the Space Race comparision was disingenuous, but since the Space Race is considered the biggest thing we've done as a nation, it makes sense as an analogy when talking about our current crop of insurmountable-on-television problems. I know I mentioned it a few times regarding the fact that, while we once went to the Moon, the United States is no longer able to build effective levees.

And maybe the Americans would be running live Mars simulations right now, but we're kind of busy running live-fire excercises in Iraq and Afganistan (and Yemen and Pakistan...).

On Health Care, I thought he was absolutely right. Repealing the whole thing is not "compromise." Let us recall that the GOP had plenty of time to address our health care crisis (from 1994 - 2006) and did very little. What we have now can definitely be made better without going back and starting from scratch. If the GOP wants to be serious about it, they can initiate deep and lasting transformations by amending the existing legislation at this time. (I, personally, think they're going to be all talk and no walk, as they have been since about 1998.)

I also liked that he talked about infrastructure and education - two areas where American governments (local, state and federal) have been historically involved in public life.

Effective, competent and efficient government vs. "Small Government" = +1.

And ending oil subsidies. I can't lie, I let out a little cheer on that point. It is about damn time.

But most of what he talked about - as so many SOTU's do, are legislative priorities that he can talk about, but cannot deliver on in a concrete fashion.

We'll see how that works out for him. Honest criticisms have been few and far between though, as I heard him called a "socialist" on two different radio stations in the span of 10 mintues.

Dante said...

"And maybe the Americans would be running live Mars simulations right now, but we're kind of busy running live-fire excercises in Iraq and Afganistan (and Yemen and Pakistan...). "

I'm going to have to call BS on this one. America can walk and chew gum at the same time. We've done it before: Exhibit A and Exhibit B.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

That's very true, and I've always said America can "Walk and Chew Gum," But what was the top marginal tax rate at that time? I would venture it was much higher than it is now.

Where was the world competition then? China and India and Brazil weren't competing for the jobs we had available at that time. Now we have to compete with them, in addition to a more dynamic Russia.

And we were in Vietnam. Right now, we're in Iraq AND Afganistan AND ballooning the cost of the security state at home.

We're not walking and chewing gum anymore, we're driving while texting.