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State Of The Union Address – 2013

You can also go here for full text of the speech.

What are your thoughts on Obama’s SOTU? I have to admit, I only caught the last half hour last night. However, I did get a chance to read the full text of his speech this morning. All in all, I thought it was a very moving address. Here are some points that caught my attention:

1. POTUS finished his speech with an extremely emotional bang. His call for tougher gun control regulations were punctuated with recognition of several victims of gun violence. After each name was called, he implored that each victim deserves a vote. Even John Boehner rose to his feet to applaud. However, I couldn’t help but feel that this was nothing more than emotional grandstanding. Obama never once mentioned an actual passing of a gun control bill, he merely called for some form of legislation to be voted upon. He knows full well that nothing will pass through the NRA controlled congress. His rhetoric did make me tear up a little though.

2. Climate change. Yes Mr. President, our climate has changed. You’re a little late, but welcome to the conversation. For the sake of every living thing on this planet. I implore you to lead the way in reducing our carbon footprint. Climate change is an issue that you should be talking about every single day until something is done.

3. Raising the minimum wage. This is also long overdue. There should be no such thing as the working poor. I like the idea of tying the minimum wage to the cost of living index. Make it happen.

4. Improving infrastructure. Again, long overdue. Want to put people back to work? Want to attract more jobs and boost interstate commerce? Improve our decaying infrastructure. It’s a no brainer.

5. Women do deserve equal pay: Twist some arms and make this happen.

6. Cyber security. This makes me little nervous. I can’t help but feel that more of our civil liberties are going to be stripped under the guise of national security and cyber security. It seemed as this part of his speech was pointed more toward hacktivists such as Anonymous, and less toward global terrorist.

7. Transparency of national security. Obama tells us that congress is informed of every program and action taken by our security and intelligence agencies. He also assured that the public would be kept in the know. This was a pants on fire moment for the president. I’m skeptical, as is a majority of the country. Let’s get a look at that kill list Mr. President!

8. Cut Spending, close tax loopholes. I agree, but why fuck with Medicare?

9. Obama seemed more bi-partisan. He worked very hard to remind everyone last night that we’re in this for the long haul. He seemed to throw a little something out to both parties.

10. What the hell is the deal with Joe Biden’s eyes? I love me some Joe Biden: However, he looked downright scary last night.
image

The whole time I was watching the speech, Biden’s lack of pupil visibility was freaking me and my partner out. It was very disturbing.
Bonus: Boehner seemed to be an even higher shade of orange.

Over all, I think it was one of the president’s best speeches. He was conciliatory, and he was passionate about issues that are in the fore front of the county’s collective mind. As with every SOTU, I can only hope there’s more action than lip service.

Bread and Circus Ain’t Looking So Good Right Now.

Bread rolls

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Like most of you, I have been paying close attention to the budget/debt ceiling negotiations on Capitol Hill. Like most of you, I have also been keeping the NFL negotiations on my radar of interests as well. It occurred to me today, that both sets of negotiations are currently in an intriguing juxtaposition.

To see the duality of both circumstances, we need to look at them separately; in Washington, we have a group of overpaid, out of touch with the public, pampered brats attempting to make financial decisions that will affect all of us.

In the NFL, we have a group of overpaid, out of touch with the public, pampered brats attempting to make financial decisions that will also affect us, only on a smaller, not as crucial scale. In either situation we have two groups of the social elite haggling over amounts of money that are so large, it’s difficult to quantify in our minds.

However, I’m not wholly comparing the two; the debt ceiling negotiations, affects our bread, the NFL, our circus. Only an idiot would think that circus takes priority over bread.

There are many similarities, as well as differences, but there is one common denominator that makes this comparison meaningful: The public. While Washington is poising itself to slash and burn programs that mean the most to us, Medicare, Social Security, Education, etc, the NFL will no doubt negotiate an agreement that will inevitably cause owners to raise ticket and concession prices to keep their bottom lines intact. In both cases, the majority suffers, while the minority sucks more out of our dwindling finances than ever.

In both cases, what the public wants is of no importance. We do not matter; what matters to our “elected” officials is money, what matters to the owners and players is money. Constituents and fans alike are of no importance.

We can’t afford bread, we can’t afford circus: We’re just fucked all the way around aren’t we?

Happy Hump Day!

Obama in Front of Me, or Frontal Lobotomy?

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

Image via Wikipedia

It seems as if Republicans are choosing option two. Rather than taking advantage of poor and elderly gouging prepackaged Democratic concessions directed toward slashing Medicare and Social Security, the Republicans would rather ” lead” this country into default than discuss tax increases. There can only be two motives for this; it’s either insanity, or greed motivated sabotage.

Think about it; the Dems offered cuts to programs that most Republicans have persecuted for years. Programs that barely scratch the spending surface. In return, the Democrats are asking for an end to subsidies and tax breaks to those who don’t even need them. Ask yourself one question. If these tax breaks are so needed by “job creators,” then where the hell are the jobs? These corporations aren’t reinvesting in our country, they’re reinventing ways to exploit our country. The Republicans, with their hands already stained green from corporate monies, are paving the way for a corporate take over of mega proportions; a take over of our country. No more Obama, no more POTUS, plenty more of a CEO running our country with 50 divisions instead of states.

The Republicans are not crazy, they are merely idiotic in their ideology. Rather than do the right thing, they would rather run this country into the ground in order to depose one of their most reliable allies- Barack Obama. He’s caving to nearly every demand of the GOP, yet they would delightedly let our country go into default, in order to put a big fucking plate of egg all over Obama’s face.

They will stop at nothing to eliminate Obama and the Democratic party; even if it means pushing our country into bankruptcy and alienating their own supporters by crippling Medicare and Social Security. Their course of action is a blue print that Machiavelli himself would admire, and in my opinion quite treasonous.

Take the risk of plunging our country, as well as the world, into economic chaos in order to displace the Democrats and protect corporate interests. What does that sound like to you?

Sounds like treason to me.

Ryan’s Hope: More Tax Cuts For The Insanely Wealthy.

Cheesehead from :File:Cheesehead.jpg

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Wisconsin is the home of the Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers. Their fan base, which is anyone who is a football fan in Wisconsin, are affectionately nicknamed cheese heads, for the foam rubber cheese hats that they wear while watching the Packers play. In 2011, Wisconsin has become the home of another cheesy nickname: The cheese dick.

How does a Wisconsinite become a cheese dick? It’s simple: become a Republican politician. Governor Scott Walker has earned himself a lifetime pass to the cheese dick club. Walker now has company in this exclusive club; his name is Paul Ryan.

Congressman Ryan is chairman of the house budget and finance committee. On Tuesday, Ryan submitted a federal budget proposal that would cut close to $6 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, which is good; over the last ten years, the national debt has climbed immensely, while our economy has spiraled further down the toilet. There’s a problem though; over 2 thirds of Ryan’s proposed cuts affect programs that benefit the poor, the disabled and the elderly, while giving massive tax cuts to the massively wealthy. If this plan goes into effect next year, it will create the biggest gap between social classes in this country’s history.

Among those programs that Ryan is going after are Medicaid and Medicare. Ryan proposes that Medicaid should go on a voucher system, essentially putting the financial responsibility on the states to foot medical bills for those who can’t afford healthcare. The cost of the vouchers will not only hit financially strapped states even harder, the vouchers won’t even come close to covering the rising medical costs of the poor and disabled who may need it.

Ryan is also attacking Medicare for the elderly; under his proposal, Medicare would come under the control of private insurance that the elderly would have to purchase. Of course this is extremely problematic, as most of the elderly are on fixed incomes and can’t afford much of anything, let alone paying for their own health care.

The bill does benefit some though; under Ryan’s proposal, the Bush tax cuts would be made permanent, and estate taxes for the extremely wealthy would be eliminated all together. That’s great news for anyone with an income over a million dollars a year; they would be entitled to additional tax cuts to the tune of at least $125.000 a year.

Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” would be more aptly named “The Road to Ruin.” This plan is just another attack by the Republican base in their war on the impoverished. Our political leaders have learned nothing from world history. As empires demand more from those who do not have, only to turn around to give to those that do, class war becomes inevitable and empires crumble. Just ask the classical Roman and Persian emperors, or the French kings of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Republicans are so afraid of socialism that they are blind to this fact: Their policies of taking from the majority of the people, which are poor and middle class, and in turn giving to the minority which are the insanely wealthy, is indeed, socialism. Let’s just call it elitist socialism and leave it at that, shall we? Cheese dicks indeed.