Archive for Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Obama urges unity to move forward in State of the Union address

January 26, 2011


President Barack Obama talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., left, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday after delivering his State of the Union address.

President Barack Obama talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., left, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday after delivering his State of the Union address.

— Pleading for unity in a newly divided government, President Barack Obama implored Democratic and Republican lawmakers to rally behind his vision of economic revival for an anxious nation, declaring in his State of the Union address Tuesday night: “We will move forward together or not at all.”

The president unveiled an agenda of carefully balanced political goals: a burst of spending on education, research, technology and transportation to make the nation more competitive, alongside pledges, in the strongest terms of his presidency, to cut the deficit and smack down spending deemed wasteful to America. Yet he never explained how he’d pull that off or what specifically would be cut.

Obama spoke to a television audience in the millions and a Congress sobered by the assassination attempt against one if its own members, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Her seat sat empty, and many lawmakers of competing parties sat together in a show of support and civility. Yet differences were still evident, as when Democrats stood to applaud his comments on health care and tax cuts while Republicans next to them sat mute.

In his best chance of the year to connect with the country, Obama devoted most of his hour-long prime-time address to the economy, the issue that dominates concern in a nation still reeling from a monster recession — and the one that will shape his own political fortunes in the 2012 election.

Eager to show some budget toughness, Obama pledged to veto any bill with earmarks, the term used for lawmakers’ pet projects. House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans applauded. But Obama’s promise drew a rebuke from his own party even before he spoke, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that the president had enough power and that plans to ban earmarks were “a lot of pretty talk.”

Obama’s proposals Tuesday night ranged across the scope of government: cutting the corporate tax, providing wireless services for almost the whole nation, consolidating government agencies and freezing most discretionary federal spending for the next five years.

Obama entered the House chamber to prolonged applause and to the unusual sight of Republicans and Democrats seated next to one another rather than on different sides of the center aisle. And he began with a political grace note, taking a moment to congratulate Boehner, the new Republican speaker of the House.

Calling for a new day of cooperation, Obama said: “What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight but whether we can work together tomorrow.”

On a night typically known for its political theater, the lawmakers sometimes seemed subdued, as if still in the shadow of the Arizona shootings.

Many in both parties wore black-and-white lapel ribbons, signifying the deaths in Tucson and the hopes of the survivors. Giffords’ husband was watching the speech from her bedside, as he held her hand.

Obama conceded that everything he asked for would prompt more partisan disputes. “It will take time,” he said. “And it will be harder because we will argue about everything. The cost. The details. The letter of every law.”

In a speech with little focus on national security, Obama appeared to close the door on keeping any significant U.S. military presence in Iraq beyond the end of the year. “This year, our civilians will forge a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people while we finish the job of bringing our troops out of Iraq,” the president said.

The president reiterated his call for a comprehensive immigration bill, although there appears little appetite for it Congress. Another big Obama priority that stalled and died in the last Congress, a broad effort to address global climate change, did not get a mention in the State of the Union. Nor did gun control or the struggling effort to secure peace in the Middle East.

After dispensing with all the policy, the president ended in a sweeping fashion.

“We do big things,” the president said. “The idea of America endures.”


rockchalk1977 7 years, 5 months ago

So Obama's speech writer got a thesaurus for Christmas. We all know what "investment" means. Out of control government spending and ballooning national debt, now over $14 trillion, will continue if The Obama gets his way. Which he won't!

rockchalk1977 7 years, 5 months ago

And your share of the debt is $45,125 each. Tick tick tick.

Agnostick 7 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, now you start feigning worry and concern about the debt... where was your concern during the 2001-2009 period?

It didn't exist. You didn't worry. That's why in 2011, you and yours are hypocrites with no credibility.

rockchalk1977 7 years, 5 months ago

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Roland Gunslinger 7 years, 5 months ago

Obama is responsible for 9% of the current national debt. GW Bush is responsible for 40% of the current national debt...

Roland Gunslinger 7 years, 5 months ago

Graphical representation of whom is responsible for our national debt.

Peacemaker452 7 years, 5 months ago

Not bad work for his first 2 years.What do you think that number will look like in 2 more?

oldvet 7 years, 5 months ago

"Obama pledged to veto any bill with earmarks.... But Obama’s promise drew a rebuke from his own party even before he spoke, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that the president had enough power and that plans to ban earmarks were “a lot of pretty talk.”

We'll wait to see him veto the first bill with earmarks... and wait... and wait...

And Reid says the pres is full of it... "a lot of pretty talk"...

sallyone 7 years, 5 months ago

It was a very disappointing speech last night to say the least. I predict that budget will be $20 trillion in the red within two years.

somedude20 7 years, 5 months ago

you guys talk so sweet about Obama maybe you should do the dane of love with him. I know, you might but the skin color (colour) is a turn off for you. You can always call on Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Bob Allen or Glenn Murphy Jr. have a nice day!

Ralph Reed 7 years, 5 months ago


Daily Caller is a right-wing rag and you know that. They could not separate fact from spin any more than O'Reilly or any of the other right-wing clowns. Unfortunately a large majority of our population, including you, listens to their drivel and sucks at their KoolAid trough. Did you even listen to the State of the Union Speech, or did you simply listen to the Faux News "analysis" afterward?

FloridaSunshine 7 years, 4 months ago

@ TomShewmon...If I hear the phrase, "Here is fact separated from spin"...or even the term, "spin", one more time, I'm going to FLIP OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It amazes me that you can get anyone to listen to you...Oh, I forgot, NO ONE DOES!!!!!

booyalab 7 years, 5 months ago

Democrats always call for unity when their power is being challenged. Of course, when they're on top it's a dawn of a new age. Angels sing and grandmothers cry tears of joy.

booyalab 7 years, 4 months ago

True, conservatives seem to fawn over Reagan quite a bit. But he actually made positive change for the country, unlike Obama. Americans for the most part chose Reagan for his principles. Whereas Obama was chosen for his personality and the way he made people feel.

jhawks1234 7 years, 5 months ago

I was watching the KU game last night. Did the president speak?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

The Mope in Chief also wants to strengthen the public campaign fund that he won't participate in because that would inhibit his ability to pull in untraceable cash thru the interwebs.

oldfartorami23 7 years, 5 months ago

How is our President supposed to fix the HUGE mistakes made by so many previous presidents and their cabinets in less than a term? Why was everyone STUPID enough to vote for the one and only George W. Bush? I was 17 when that election was happening, and even I KNEW he would make a terrible president!

He SOLD a war to the American people, and so many people bought into it. Where are the nukes? Most of you are much older than me, but what NONE OF YOU SEEM TO RECOGNIZE is that it is MY generation, and my children and their children who will come to bear the consequences of MY predecessors.

The moment Obama was announced as the winner of the election, I felt proud to be an American in that moment. Obama was in office for barely 6 months or less when the criticism of him began. 8 years of BUSH and nobody complains till the end. Not even 1 year for Obama and everyone wants to bash him.

Right wing, left wing, buffalo wing, butt wing, who cares. Should you really give a F*** about the skin color or middle name of your President? Would you prefer it to be PALIN?! REALLY? He can only do his best. When a President comes into office when the government is already in debt, a government who has no money, then how do you expect him NOT to run up the deficit? Just like, if you are maxed out on your CC, your checking account is over drafted, then what? You end up having to borrow. Does borrowing earn you money? Does it eliminate your debt? So what happens then? You have MORE debt. This is grade school stuff.

Everyone makes everything so complicated. We need a war to eliminate crack, heroin, meth, cocaine. We need to stop the TB in Kansas from spreading. (It's coming from Garden City, KS...look into it). We need to teach our children to be more self sustainable, have a garden, recycle. We need to stop letting people live off the government. We need cleaner food. We need HEALTHCARE.

oldfartorami23 7 years, 5 months ago

How often do you hear about somebody getting drunk and killing someone with their car, beating their wife, killing themselves. Legalization and taxation of POT would bring in enough revenue to create a health care program in this country where every man, woman, and child will be taken care of, with no costs out of pocket. Have you ever heard of anyone OD-ing on smoking too much pot? Or beating their wives because they were so stoned? The studies that "proved" pot killed brain cells were intentionally FABRICATED by the scientist who conducted the tests! And WHO voted for Nixon? Cigarettes is the NUMBER ONE KILLER IN THE UNITED STATES, and people are arguing about some stupid website. Tobacco is legal, and the only real use is for smoking. Hemp can be used for nearly everything- even fuel. Hemp can be grown nearly everywhere. Guns are legal...sure that's great, but why do they always seem to fall into the wrong hands?

Where has this country go wrong? What happened to the true priorities? We're run by pharmaceutical giants, big tobacco. We hate each other for our differences even when we don't even know each other. Well you know what? I will pay for the mistakes of my parents and theirs. My children will suffer. We are the ones responsible for the GIANT credit card bill that has been run for the last century.

The fun and games are over now. And now, the American people who are responsible for it all, are not willing to take personal responsibility and just deal with the consequences. I call the consequences, TAXES. Higher taxes. I have to submit to these, and I didn't even do anything wrong. Why should anyone else get out of it?

Congress gets free healthcare. Our taxes pay for that. EVERYONE. Was Obama the one who approved this? NO. There is ONE, I count ONE, congress person with a child in the military. Why? Because they know this war was for oil; they didn't want their own children dying for it. Congress gets free healthcare, and they are the same ones, voting down ours.

People, get your head on straight and focus on what is real.

George Lippencott 7 years, 4 months ago

What was disappointing to me is that Mr. Obama did not really call for shared sacrifice. He seemed to imply that with just a little more spending we can solve all our problems and no one need suffer (except the evil ones as yet unspecified). I hope he is right but ....

FloridaSunshine 7 years, 4 months ago

@TomShewmon...Do I hold the intrinsic belief that you with your "clever" words, "spin"...and now "IMHO"...totally SUCK???

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

So far Tom, you're the only one saying America sucks. I guess if you keep repeating something long enough you'll believe it.

Mike Ford 7 years, 4 months ago

nice to know that our postings are constantly inhabited by the same five or six flawed opinions that state lies and bs just to get a reaction. they're not from grade school are they?

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

@BAA. re: your 0657.

The report comes from an organization supporting and pushing for TABOR - this in and of itself bothers me a lot. However, I can understand why you, a seemingly good sheeple (personal opinion garnered from your posts), are understandably concerned about the bottom line. Keep in mind the NTUF analysis is simply a quick turn-around based on their 'BillTally' research project. Neither of us knows very much about that project and how their analysis works, so I look at the results with some skepticism; you should, too.

Read the rest of the article you cited and then read the information at the NTUF site ( From the NTUF website: "Obama outlined 15 proposals with a fiscal impact last night, five of which would boost spending, three of which would cut them, and seven of which had costs or savings that could not be ascertained from NTUF’s accounting procedures." [I take that to mean the seven really had savings about which the NTUF would rather not speak.] "The single largest item Obama mentioned was increased “investment” in transportation infrastructure, which according to available sources could amount to $50 billion in additional outlays. Other large initiatives included $1.35 billion in possible higher spending for the “Race to the Top” educational program." [I can only assume from your alarm that you don't want improvements in the nation's transportation infrastructure. Keep in mind this will help our national security, not just make it easier to catch a train. As a note, the Interstate Highway system was initially developed to support national security. Then, tell us what's wrong with a "Race to the Top" educational program?]

George Lippencott 7 years, 4 months ago

Because it has been made a political football. We could have just changed NCLB and called it bi partisan???

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

wmathews 7 years, 4 months ago

Your post was removed because it had a swear word in it. If you can re-write it without the swear word, you can re-post it. Let me know if you'd like me to send you the text.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 4 months ago

I read your post before it was deleted. No offense taken.

George Lippencott 7 years, 4 months ago


Not quite accurate. Our first satellite was launched using an Army rocket developed (oops) for war. If it were not for interservice messing it would have been done sooner as the Navy claimed they were ready and had some spectacular failures. The group that created it became one of the elements of NASA. The technology was already there through government funded research for war. We juust did not have the priortiies set. Another intelligence failure.

George Lippencott 7 years, 4 months ago

My young friend we have trailed the Soviets in a number of ways throughout the last century and into this one. Any reletively advanced society can focus its efforts and achieve advance ments in a given area(s)

We spent a lot of resources trying (not always sucessfully) to build a better nation with a reasonable standard of living for all (or at least many). Not sure they were as suceessful as we in that notion.

Bottom line is that I am not sure what right_thinker meant. I am not sure of your point. I spent a lot of time in government related activities to advance technology - money to companies AND TO universities. We were not asleep at the switch.

camper 7 years, 4 months ago

Well I thought it was a good speech. The platform even had some of the conservative ideas that I like such as reducing excessive regulation (which can and should be done if it is redundant or unnecessary) and simplifying the tax code and showing willingness to modify the health bill.

Clean energy (tho I don't agree with president Obama on "clean" coal), infrastructure and education are also good strategic goals.

Not much was said about job protection and exit strategy in Afghanistan however. I believe in free trade, but I still think our declining mfg base is a problem. Spending toward education is an investment, and it will help foster new technology, but my concern is that the window of leverage on new tech seems to be growing shorter. Not only are lower skilled jobs being outsourced, but so are things like programing and engineering. This makes it all the more difficult for labor to determine a field of specialization and training. Technology changes can be temporarily painful and is a natural part of progress, but it seems like now-days our younger folks will be having to change jobs if not careers every 10-years or so....or until the rest of the globe catches up and produces them cheaper.

George Lippencott 7 years, 4 months ago

Well, I am not sure what unity means?

The three keystones of his speech are in and of themselves politically loaded and focused on Democratic Party Constituencies They are the same three (minus health care) that he touted two years ago before major investments in all three.

More money on infrastructure (payoff to unions). We do need to spend here but on a measured basis and for the long haul. A significant amount of the stimulus went here – for what – sidewalks? Eliminating the Davis Bacon act would make this all a lot cheaper and show real unity.

More money on education. Payoff to teachers – a very loyal Democratic Party constituency. We have quadrupled money to education and people respond to me with the notion of “enriching” experiences. Exactly how does that make us more competitive?? I have found little data that suggests that all the money we have spent has improved the performance of our main stream kids, reduced crime or achieved any other desirable competitive goal – except the kids feel good about their failure.

More money for innovation. Payoff to professors – a loyal Democratic Party constituency. We can do a lot of research and when we are done the start up will be in China – they will own the plant and equipment and in time they will own the technology. We spend a lot on technology. What we seem to be lacking is the translation of that technology into American jobs and products we can sell the world for hard cash! Just how do we do that? Not by expanding the competition with foreign workers (Dumlican idea) but by incentivizing investment here (lower taxes for stuff here higher for stuff there and less costly unnecessary regulations raising the costs of our products already burdened with the higher costs of our labor.) Demanding that business operate at a loss to provide American jobs is just stupid.

Not saying the Republicans have better ideas – they do not in general but perhaps a regrouping might be a better solution to “more of the same” to reinforce that which may have worked n d redirecting our efforts in new directions

George Lippencott 7 years, 4 months ago

prevailing federal wage which is in most case higher than local bid jobs. In some cases much higher as small markets may have to use the nearest metopolitian area (where costs are higher)

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