Posted by: Mike P. | January 25, 2011

The State of the Union, 2011 by President Barak Obama and My Yammerings About It

State of the Union, 2011, Barak Obama, President of the United States:

The President led off with some reflective thoughts on the attempted assassination of Congressperson Gifford.

He then discussed some points that describe our current economic situation. I am only going to dwell on points that I find interesting.

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, 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

Oh my. This will show some colors. Presumably this will bring out RWNJs in droves, yammering on about how oil is our biggest export (not true, by the way, but often stated.) According to Boris Yeltsin, the KGB believe that Hunt and various oil billionaires had Kennedy assassinated. Of all the government agencies issuing statements on that murder, I tend to give the KGB quite a bit of credibility. The only serious question is “is that what the KGB really concluded?” Yeltsin’s auto-biography did not contain the source. At any rate, cross the oil pigs at your peril.

Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, 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.

I really wish he had not listed clean coal and natural gas. Particularly since the newer methods of obtaining natural gas are rather destructive.

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.

A memorable quote.

Let’s also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom. In South Korea, teachers are known as “nation builders.” Here in America, it’s time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect.

So many districts seem to bog teachers down with unnecessary rules and strictures on what should be taught and precisely how. Many good teachers are not allowed to innovate. Part of that comes from “No Child Left Behind” and the tests that come with it. Part of that comes from the Texas State School Board insanity and the resulting fallout with poor quality textbooks. And part of that comes from plain bad upper level management within the district. And there are some bad teachers.

Our infrastructure used to be the best — but our lead has slipped. South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do

Seriously? Your justice department just passed the Comcast/NBC merger. This is somehow magically going to make broadband in the US better? All that merger will do is limit choice and allow the conglomerate to make more money without delivering any more service. The FCC needs to reverse itself and force provider/producer distinction, and it needs to limit the number of producers owned by any one company. Hey, if you are willing to take on oil companies, what’s a few media conglomerates? Oh, wait, well, hmm. They do control just about everything we see, don’t they? Ooops.

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying — without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.

Let’s not forget freight, too. Rail is far more efficient than truck per ton delivered. As for “pat-downs”, not likely. Besides, high speed rail can be attacked relatively easily without requiring suicide bombers. Although it is surprisingly difficult to derail a train. But, of course, there is a video on the internet that covers the topic in detail.

So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years — without adding to our deficit.

You mean like get rid of the loophole for the company that makes toy arrows that was inserted into the first bailout bill? You mean like all the pork added by congresspeople for the businesses that donate money so they can be re-elected? I’m sorry, but I doubt this has even the slightest chance of working without 100% government paid, no lobbies, no private donations, no corporate donations. But, if we disallow all of those levers, do we invite the essentially insane to try and run?

Now, I’ve heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law.

I should have watched live just to see the expressions.

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.

It will be interesting to see details here. “Frivolous lawsuits” is not really tort reform with award limits. But, I personally have seen such lawsuits, so they certainly exist. But, how much of the total cost is involved?

And because the American people deserve to know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in Congress should know this: if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it.

A bold statement. If the media was not so insane, you might even be able to do that and get the message out that whatever super-duper important bill you vetoed was loaded with ear-marks. But, most likely you will be drowned out by however you annoyed by not passing the bill, and the noise will likely be paid for by the ear-mark recipients.

And yet, as contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be, I know there isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth.

I’ll bite. While I love the US, there are certainly plenty of other countries I could be happy in. Actually, if I parse his sentence closely, I am not really sure what he is saying.

Well, overall, I liked the speech. I will be happy if 1/2 of what is proposed actually happens. I will bet $1 that oil company tax breaks continue. I rarely bet more than $1.

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