state of the union

Last year, I really enjoyed sharing my random thoughts as I watched the state of the union speech so I decided to do it again.

I love the state of the union speech.  It is such a time capsule, capturing the political landscape and always full of interesting moments.  I am always curious what the President has to say, whether I agree with some or all or none of it is really irrelevant.  Well, other than the amount of wine I need to consume to keep my blood pressure stabilized.

Please keep in mind that this is my random train of thought.  There are summarizations of what was said as well as my own opinion and commentary and it may not be clear what’s what. There may even be some grammatical and spelling errors, I didn’t do much proofreading.

Take it for what it is and watch the speech yourself. I encourage you to create your own running commentary and share it with the group. That would be really cool.

Oh yeah, I am so not interested in being yelled at for my opinions.  That’s what they are, my opinions.  Feel free to share yours, but disrespect will not be tolerated.

So here we go.  “Mr. Speaker,  The President of The United States ” …

I guess we should first note that many democrats and republicans are sitting intermixed next to each other.  This seems to be in a statement of good will during this time of strife, with the shooting and all.  I think everyone realizes that more civility is needed and that the violent rhetoric was a little out of line.  I would think they would feel this way personally, even if they won’t say it out loud.  Of course, there is a group of republicans that are refusing to participate.

It makes me sad that some people refuse to see the value of working together toward best solutions for the common good.

Let us all take a moment to send good thought out to Sen. Giffords and her family.  Tragedy.

Wow, I teared up just looking at that little girls father.

I always love that the vice president and the speaker have to sit up there and try to keep a straight face the whole time.

Governing is a shared responsibility.  Please please please can we start to work together and stop all this insane fighting.

Funny, all the corporations are making money again, but people and small businesses are suffering and my house just lost another 15%.  Your right Mr. President, I would like you to work together to fix this.

This is a changing world.  Other countries are kicking our butts. It is time to come to terms with the fact that there is no going back. It is time to embrace change and move forward folks.

I am so tired of hearing about how great we are.  Stop fluffing everybody’s feathers and start telling me what you are going to do to fix this and how you are going to get bipartisan support for that.

Out educate, Out innovate and Out build the rest of the world.

Winning the future…

1st step.  Encourage innovation.

It doesn’t just change our lives it is how we make our living.  Invest in research.  biomedical, information technology and green energy.

It’s like a good rock band, we have to constantly reinvent ourselves.

Hmm, I like that.  Take the money we subsidise the oil companies and give that money to people doing research and building clean energy technology. 2035, 80% electricity from clean energy.

What kind doesn’t really matter, let’s work together to get it done.

2nd step.  Education

Over half the jobs require more than a college education, while over a quarter of kids aren’t even graduating from high school.

Calling out to parents to take responsibility for their kids education.  Make sure your child does their homework, give accolades to those who do well in academic ventures, not just sports and entertainment.   Set a good example and instill a love of learning in your kids.  Be encouraging and supportive.

Success in not a function of fame, but of hard work and discipline.

Expectations should be high in school.  Must reform our school systems not throw more money at a bad system.  Here Here!!!!

Get rid of no child left behind and replace it with a better program.  Yay!!!!

Reform is a bottom up process, not a top down.  We must empower each child to acheive.  Tell them that they are smart and can accomplish whatever they put their minds to and guess what?  They will.

Give teachers some respect, would you.  And, guess what?  Being a bad teacher isn’t going to cut it any more.

Become a teacher, you country needs you.  But how are you going to make sure that being a teacher doesn’t require having a second job?

Boehner looks annoyed.

The goal.  The highest percentage of college graduates in the world.

Illigal imigration.  Needs adressing.  Difficult debate.  Let’s have it.

Step 3. What is step three? I don’t know but it starts about here.

Infrastructure.   We got a D in the quality of our infrastructure.  Sad really.

Re-double the efforts of the last two years and put americans to work.  Pick projects based on the economy, not the politicians.  Good luck with that.

Hee Hee.  He made a funny.

Oh dude, wake up.  You almost got caught with your finger up your nose.

Rigging the tax code to benefit the few.  Must change it.

It disgusts me that there are so many loop holes that a few corporations pay no taxes while other pay through the nose.

Boehner is not being very successful controlling his grimace.

Regulation is not the problem.  Protecting people is necessary, but I agree that we shouldn’t put undo burden on business.  But no rules is simply not an option.  You can not avoid that some people are greedy and selfish and will exploit people to make a profit.

Is that booing over the health care law?  tacky.

If you have better ideas, bring it.  Let’s here em.

Disagreeing and pointing out flaws is not even close to coming up with solutions.  Help solve the problems and stop you bitching.

Like so many people have stated in the past.  Are you going to be part of the problem or part of solution.  Really it is that simple.  Nothing comes of all this negativity, it just doesn’t.

Finally.  Live within our means.

Freeze domestic annual spending for 5 years?  Let’s cut what we can do without, but not on the back of our most vulnerable citizens.

Let’s stop pretending that cutting annual spending alone will be enough.  It won’t.  Cut excessive spending anywhere we find it.

Did you hear that?  Repealing the health care bill will increase the deficit by more than 250 billion dollars.

Malpractice reform is back on the table.

strenthen Social Security without slashing benefits or putting it at the hands of the stock market.

Say by by to the tax cuts.

Simplify the tax code, best for everyone.  Good plan.  Don’t repeal or extend anything.  Reform the whole damn thing.

I love the scale of his vision.  Go big or go home.  Think bigger

More competent government, imagine that?

Hey, it’s Gary Locke.

Ooh, another funny.  Hee hee.

Wow, re-org the federal government.  Well now, that is a current concept.  I think I was re-orged six times during my five years at a software company.  Can’t say whether it was good strategy or not.

He will veto any bill with earmarks.  Look at the grin on McCains face.

The Iraq war is coming to an end.  Over 100,000 troops home so far.

A little rose colored on the Afghan war, I think.  Gonna start bringing the troops home next year though and that is good.   Enough war please.

Oh god, here comes the stand up sit down portion of our program.  There should be rules about standing ovations and applause.  Let the man speak.

Well hello Patty.  Looks like people are starting to get tired.  Me too.  That can’t be a good sign.

Wow, those old generals look pissed about gay people serving in the military.

Get over yourselves people.  Stop being threatened by things and people you don’t understand.  Different than you does not mean evil or scary, just different.  You might be surprised how much you can learn from someone who feels, speaks, dresses or lives differently than you.

Solar roofing shingles.  Now that’s cool.

We Do Big Things.  We are country of ordinary people who dare to dream.

Well, not left teary eyed with inspiration, but a good speech none the less.  Big ideas, big arguments, big reforms.  I like that.

I agree that the first half of the speech was better than the second half.

Watch the speech now!

Part 1:

Part 2:

I came into this State of the Union address feeling angst and disappointment.   Disappointed in the President for not being stronger and the democrats in congress for being spineless and disgust at the pettiness of politicians on both sides of the aisle.  But mostly I feel pain for my fellow Americans and intense confusion at why we find it so difficult to care for one another.

We gather our pennies and reach into the deepest realms of our pockets and purses to help those in Haiti and our generous spirit also reaches out to disaster victims here at home in such profound ways.  We even go out of our way to help our neighbors when they are suffering, yet we refuse to provide even the most basic of health care for those that struggle among our own people and see educating our children as somebody else’s problem.

Caring for one another doesn’t just mean coming to the rescue when disaster strikes.  It means supporting one another, being tolerant of each other and lifting each other up so that we can all succeed and thrive.

I wish I shared the presidents hopefulness for our future, especially since I was so hopeful when he was elected.  I wish I saw more of this decency and resilience and care for one another that he sees.  This is a risky thing to say and please don’t bash me or call me names.  I do believe we are strong and the wheel of time will continue to turn and we will keep fighting and prevailing.  It simply pains me to see the state we are in right now, that’s all.

I wrote the following as notes to remind myself of what was going on during the speech so I would have talking points when writing this, but really with a little editing the running commentary was entertaining and compelling in it’s own right, so I left it like that.

Here we go…

Jobs gets everyone to their feet. Obviously we can all agree that creating jobs is a huge issue for the upcoming year.  Of course the differing ideas of how to accomplish that become painfully obvious when the most innovative, creative and I think best ideas are presented, the whole republican side of the room just sat there shaking their heads.

I like the idea of providing community banks funds to loan to small businesses.   This not only helps small businesses, but community banks are moderately small businesses too and this lifts them up in this economy as well.

And please please please can we please take away tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas.  Granted it might make things slightly more expensive, but it will provide jobs here and really, it is about time for all of us to get real with what things cost and what we can afford.

They need to find a better color of makeup for him.  He looks jaundiced.  His hands are this lovely caramel color and his face is the color of bile.   Get on it folks.

Nuclear power plants huh?  Off shore drilling?  bio-fuels and clean coal.  Who said he doesn’t listen to ideas from across the aisle?

Love the dig on climate change.  “Those that disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change”.  If we want to be the global power we see ourselves as we need to lead on a global level.  Set a good example on clean exports.  Increase exports.

Now I am  going to go off here for a minute and I understand that many will disagree with me and even get angry and want to say something nasty just to mix it up, but you aren’t going to change my mind about this so really, why bother?

Funny how the republicans want the “average American” to think that they are in their corner, yet any time something comes up that would help the “average American” or “hurt” big business, the republicans sit shaking their heads in disgust that the needs of the American people would come ahead of the greed of corporate America.

How so many are fooled by their retoric just blows my mind.  They aren’t interested in helping you keep your job or earn more money or put your kids through college or pay your medical bills.  They just aren’t.  What they say and what they do doesn’t mesh up and you all need to open your eyes.  Their only interests lie in discrediting democrats, getting reelected and lining the pockets of their monetary supporters.

Ok, I’m done.  Let’s get on with it.

“The best anti-poverty plan around is a world class education”.  Revitalize community colleges – Awesome!  Wow, big tax credit.  No more than 10% of income on student loans with forgiveness after 20 years or 10 if public servant.  Seems like a decent start, but doesn’t even put a dent in it.  I also think that continuing to throw money at this problem rather than reforming from the bottom up isn’t going to solve anything long term.  But that is a whole different discussion.

Health care reform must happen.  Duh.  Did her really wait this long to discuss this?

Hey!  There’s Gary Locke.

Side Rant Begin…

Small government you want?  Why then did the surplus turn into the biggest deficit ever?  Fact.

Don’t tell me what to do, you say?  But making choices about who I love, what I do with my body and whether my kids learn legitimate science in school is OK?

Let the states make these choices.  In my opinion fundamental rights are a place where the federal government should step in so that all of our citizens can depend on quality and affordable health care and an education that will further them in their lives.

Social security.  Why can’t we just lift the limit on social security tax.  It has been said that this would totally fix the problem and that a huge majority of Americans agree that this is what we should do, but yet it isn’t even on the table?

Side Rant End…

Hey!  There’s Patty Murray.

“It’s time to try something new”.  Common sense, a novel concept.  Invest in our people, imagine that.  The old way is no longer working.  Like a wise man once said, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

I appreciated that he spoke boldly and directly to both democrats and republicans.  To democrats, we have the largest majority in decades and the people expect us to govern, not run for the hills.  Come on you guys, get some work done and quit being a bunch of pansies (my words not his).  And to republicans, quit acting like children (my words not his).  Saying no to everything may be good short term politics, but it isn’t leadership.  It is time to govern and stop the petty political nonsense.

After listening to the speech I feel it was very good as his speeches usually are and I even found myself buying into this hope he spoke of at the beginning.  The hope that politicians will somehow overcome the status quo and see things reasonably.  That the lies will end and the republicans will see governing the people as a higher priority than destroying the democrats.  That the democrats will stand strong in their convictions.

And then I came back to the real world as I discussed the commentary with my husband.  Seems they both think that a week from now nobody will remember a word he said and that the hope that anything will change any time soon is naive and fool hearty.

What will it take to pull us out of this mess we are in?  What will it take to put the American people first?

This American citizen is cynical and angry, but like President Obama I have the slightest glimmer of hope that the strength and love of the American people will somehow prevail.  My heart is heavy and my mind cluttered.