Monday, January 24, 2011

SOTU Preview ... 2011

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism

"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible: avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear." --George Washington, Farewell Address

We are soon to hear the second SOTU address by President Barrack Obama. It will likely be longer on prose than on substance. While the President's teleprompter and oratorical skills are considered amongst the best, it remains a legitimate question as to whether his vision for America is of sound making. My personal thoughts are it is not.

Perusing the blogoshere this morning I picked up the following tidbits.
Politico - Obama’s speech comes at an ambiguous moment for him, the country and Congress, and his staff, led by senior adviser David Axelrod, who is leaving the West Wing on Friday, has been groping for something beyond a typical State of the Union — something grander and more like a second inaugural address than a programmatic laundry list or partisan pep rally.

Still, the event offers the president the largest audience he’ll get all year, one that rivals the viewership for the Academy Awards. Obama’s first State of the Union address, last year, drew 48 million viewers, and 52 million people watched his first speech to a joint session of Congress in February 2009. (Watch: Newsmakers preview SOTU)

The show of congressional unity will last about an hour. House Republicans will vote earlier in the day to cut the budget to 2008 levels, and the sustained attack on Obama’s record and presidency the GOP has in mind for the next two years will have only just begun. (See: Republicans eye costs, not uninsured)

“What we’re going to find out, beginning next week, is how much of this he really means,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on “Fox News Sunday....”

Read more here.

The Hill - When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address to Congress, it will mark the culmination of a transformation the White House hopes will lead to a second term in 2012.

Obama and his aides began positioning the president as more business-friendly and centrist months ago, and the White House intends to build on that effort when he addresses the country and a divided Congress on Tuesday.

Obama is expected to say that the economy has survived near-collapse and that Washington should now focus on growing jobs and increasing America's competitiveness in the global market. The president will call on the Republican House and a Senate still held by his own party to help him in that effort.

As measured by several polls, Obama has seen his political health strengthen since November, when his party suffered what the president described as a midterm shellacking by Republicans.

And Obama and his aides are clearly trying to seize on the momentum they're enjoying and what they feel is a strong State of the Union message.

Beyond the poll numbers, the White House also has seen measurable improvement in the economy, and hopes to use Tuesday's address as a pivot point to present itself as working with both parties to lower the nation's stubborn jobless rate, which remains the greatest danger to a second term for Obama.

In a message to supporters on Saturday, Obama gave a bit of a preview of the remarks Congress can expect at the State of the Union.

"An economy that was shrinking is now growing again," Obama said in the video. "We've created more than a million jobs over the last year. The stock market is back up and corporate profits are healthy again. So we've made progress, but as all of you know, from talking to friends and neighbors, seeing what's happening in your communicates, we've got a lot more work to do."

Obama also addressed the theme Friday in Schenectady, N.Y., where he announced General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt would lead a new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness....

Read more here

The Caucus - The State of the Union address President Obama will deliver on Tuesday was developed during months of deliberations with a small group of White House advisers who helped Mr. Obama channel his instincts as an author.

The speech, as it always is, has been the focus of intense lobbying by interest groups as they jockey to convince the president to mention their issues. And the policy pronouncements are the result of a back-and-forth vetting with officials in the executive branch agencies.

But how the president frames those policies and the words he chooses to speak derive from his style as a speechmaker. And in this way, Mr. Obama is very different from the previous Democratic president, Bill Clinton — Mr. Clinton is a talker; Mr. Obama is a writer.

Mr. Obama and a small circle of his advisers started preparing what he would say in Tuesday’s State of the Union address just days after the midterm elections last November.

Aides said the process began with an extended “download” from the president as he sat in the Oval Office surrounded by his top speechwriter, Jon Favreau; David Axelrod, his senior adviser; and other top White House officials.

Mr. Obama discussed what he wanted to say while Mr. Favreau typed furiously into his laptop computer, capturing not only the president’s broad policy goals but Mr. Obama’s phrasing and tone....

Read more here

CNN - It is a Washington ritual at the State of the Union address. The president honors special guests by inviting them to sit alongside the first lady in her reserved box in the House chamber.

This year the special guests will include at least one of the heroes from the tragic Tucson shooting. White House spokesman Nick Shapiro tells CNN Daniel Hernandez, the intern who assisted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in the Safeway parking lot, will join First Lady Michelle Obama for the speech.

According to a senior White House official, Capt. Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Giffords, was also invited but is unlikely to attend because of the Congresswoman's ongoing treatment and rehabilitation at a Houston, Texas hospital. The rest of the guest list has not yet been announced.

Traditionally, the special guest list can be about two dozen people, ranging from guests who exemplify extreme valor and courage to those who represent the president's political agenda.

The rest here.

It looks like the evening will be as anticipated. Long, often boring, and will keep the viewer looking to find something of substance.

Just a thought. I wonder if the President will get around to something as important as our national debt and its eventually devastating effect on our children and grandchildren's generation. President George Washington recognized the {potential} dangers we are now facing over 200 years ago. But I suppose we have long grown past worrying about basic economic and financial principals.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. You know what I got out of that Washington quote? We should have raised taxes if we were going to war with Iraq and Afghanistan. If the people didn't want to pay - or the house didn't want to risk raising taxes - then we shouldn't have gotten into those wars. It's a shame that blood is now cheaper than taxes as far as too many Americans are concerned.

    The debt accumulated from the wars was completely avoidable, and without it, we wouldn't be in the dire budget straights we're in today. Obama should once again remind everyone of just who wrecked this country in the first decade of the millenia.


  2. Afghanistan was necessary following 911. No further comment necessary.

    Iraq was, in hindsight, a poor decision in almost everyones mind. I remind you that the Congress in majority supported the Iraq fiasco so the least progressive could do is to buck up for their part.

    I notice the once darling of the progressives has been slow in his efforts to remove us from Afghanistan. ????

    I was no fan of GWB beyond his first couple of years, he made a lot of mistakes. But I have to say the blame Bush for all our ills is growing tiresome. Real tedious.

    Yup, whatever you got from Ole George Washington's statement is a darn site packed with more intelligent thought and wisdom than either GWB or BHO (and many unmentioned here) have ever had, or will ever have...

    and that's a wrap.

  3. Regardless of the morality or intelligence of a war, they still must be paid for. Wars are bloody, expensive, serious matters. Take the costs of the wars, especially Iraq, out of the picture, and we we have much lower debt and no deficit at all.

    We used to believe, as a people, in the concept of "Total War," that is that the whole country participates in one way or another. We share the sacrifice, either with our taxes or our labor or our fighting. Now we fight wars with no shared sacrifice whatsoever. We pin the cost-burden on our children and grandchildren.

    Bush and the GOP One-Party-State did horrific damage to our nation's economy, morale, and prestige. That damage will take years and years to repair. To just ignore that is to be stupid beyond belief.


  4. Shall I take your final remark as an implication I am stupid beyond belief?

    Get past Bush. You as well as the whole d*mn progressive liberal movement.

    Show the nation how you'all are gonna make it better under the vaunted leadership now in place.

    I'm waiting........and waiting......and waiting.............

    with an open mind to boot.

  5. ...the following are facts, based on the government's own figures.

    Obama's stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War -- more than $100 billion (15%) more.
    * Just the first two years of Obama's stimulus cost more than the entire cost of the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war.
    Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it lasted.
    * Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame.
    * Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time frame. The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-point-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War.
    * The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).
    * During Bush's Iraq years, 2003-2008, the federal government spent more on education that it did on the Iraq War. (State and local governments spent about ten times more.)

  6. Bluttman - I thank you for this informative info. and the link provided. As always there are two (or more) sides to every reality. Unfortunately the zealots, usually progressive, but conservatives can be guilty from time to time as well and fail to look at the whole picture.

    Thinks ain't gotten better. In fact the future continues to look pretty dim for America and future generations.


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