Tuesday, January 20, 2015


President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address tonight to the first Republican-controlled Congress of his presidency. White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer has revealed the theme of the speech: "middle-class economics", ways to improve wage stagnation and economic mobility. How much time and emphasis will the President give to climate change? Any bets?

I haven't decided whether to watch the speech or wait until tomorrow and read it and weep.

I opened this blog during the second half of 2006, my first experience, as a blogger, of a State of the Union address was in January 2007 - here's what I wrote about it, the post's title was "State of the Hypocrisy". The address was, of course, by George W. Bush:
I'm a foreigner here in the USA, a legal resident, but until such time as I can apply for US citizenship still a foreigner, a British citizen.

I'm interested and concerned about American politics, so I watched all of last night's State of the Union address, and the discussions which followed. I had to watch alone, because my husband refuses to watch or listen to "his" president, so great is his disgust and dismay at current policies. By the time the proceedings had wound down, I was left with a bad headache! Next year I shall follow my husband's example.

As I watched and listened I was amazed at the obsequiousness of both parties towards the president. Many of these men and women profess to detest the president's policies, yet they leapt to their feet at every opportunity, applauded each proposition he put forward. Few, if any, remained seated throughout, few didn't wish to shake his hand and smarm over him as he entered the hall like some great prize fighter, and left, signing autographs for fawning fans along the way. I realise that all of this is "just for show" - but why? Isn't this hypocrisy? I suppose it's tradition. Traditional hypocrisy.

There are more than enough bloggers giving their opinions about the content of the president's speech, so I'll limit myself to one point only - the one which disappointed me the most, and the one about which even I, as a foreigner here, have some right to voice my opinion. Mr Bush mentioned global warming only once, and almost as an afterthought. After outlining plans to conserve energy, reduce the use of gasoline etc. for the stated purpose of reducing America's dependence on oil ..... then...oh yes, one short sentence acknowledging that these measures would help the environment and global warming. He actually said the words "global warming". No acknowledgement though that global warming IS a serious threat. I wonder what Senator Inhofe, our Oklahoma senator, thought about the mention of global warming - he's been declaring, for the past several years, that it's all a great hoax. I bet he was on his feet applauding with the rest of 'em .

Sigh. Al Gore - come back to politics - PLEASE!!!

I must get back to astrology before I blow a fuse!!
Playing this drinking game tonight would require listening carefully to what's being said, but this way could make it more fun! Maybe I'll watch after all - glass in hand.

 Hat-tip HERE


Sonny G said...

like every president before him, he'll say what he needs to and the rest will applaud when they are supposed to.
He'll never:: or it'll be 30 years:: before he gets credit for all the things he did Right and as it has been for 6 years- many will will gripe about what he did or didnt do according to what they consider correct or important. That's the Life of the Leader of any country but its always seemed to me that the main purpose for our electing one was so "we with about 2% of the needed information could take daily verbal/written pot shots at the person with 99.9% of the needed information.
I would'nt have his job for all the money in Fort Knox- no way, no how.
As for the government giving us full disclosure --OMG~! I hope they Dont.. it would increase our national drinking/drugging problem by 80% and the other 20% would commit suicide out of sheer fear.
I wont watch , as I dont wish to be embarrassed on his behalf as he stands up there and has to blantantly lie just the keep enough of The People off his ass and out of his hair long enough to do any good for the country.
Happy Tuesday!

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ It's an unenviable job, POTUS, agreed, but I've no sympathy for its incumbent, at any point in history, whatever their supposed political leanings. They well knew the levels of heat and toxicity involved when they "joined".

SOTU is pure theatre - a bit like the Queen's Speech traditionally presented every Christmas in the UK. That's non-political but still a big theatrical yawn.

mike said...

Obama has supported efforts to reduce global warming, but the Republicans constantly rebuke. Congress passed the Keystone pipeline, not Obama. Obama proposed gun control and the screeches were deafening. The Repubs have constantly fought better EPA standards, not Obama.

Obama's speech tonight is supposedly regarding redistribution of wealth. Of course, the Repubs have already gone on the war path to denigrate any such notion. The Repubs have repeatedly tossed the rocks about immigration and health reform (Obama's original health care was to be a single-payer plan).

I suspect that Obama is fully aware that he can't accomplish much with the Congress he has, therefore he is putting proposals on the political plate aimed to force the Republicans to take a stand that will work against them. It will also set the stage for 2016 political debates.

Against all odds, and against all of the Republican opposition, the American economy has had an outstanding performance considering where we were headed as Bush signed-off, leaving a major recession in his wake (not to mention any number of other calamities). Whether it's smoke-and-mirrors or reality-based , it has worked. I'm doubtful our economy can endure its upside while the global economy is seemingly collapsing, but perhaps.

As I always state here in your posts, I'm not particularly fond of many of Obama's policies, particularly regarding Homeland Security and the PATRIOT Act, but far better him than what we had with Bush or candidate Mittens Romney and the Republican thugs.

DC said...

Great read Annie!

Twilight said...

mike ~ I understand that you feel a wee bit protective towards Obama. I wish I felt the same, less cynical, more trusting - but I cannot. There are counter-arguments to the points you've made, but I'll not parrot them again, except re healthcare. If O's original wish was for single payer, why didn't he at least fight harder and longer, and why take the "public option" off the table via Pelosi? If he'd fought harder and convinced more Dems to fight harder on several fronts, the Dems might have held on to the Senate in 2014.

I do agree that what O's doing now is "setting the stage". I commented as much on another site (in my own way) - by saying he's doing his John the Baptist bit - "smoothing the way" for whoever the Dems nominate in 2016, and making the opposition look as bad as possible (not hard to do!)

I agree O's better than Romney would have been, but Romney, while being a tad worse and made to seem a whole lot worse by the liberal media, would have ensured a Dem win next year. As it is, I'm not very confident, depending on who runs and who is the Dem nominee.

Twilight said...

DC ~ Hi there! Glad you enjoyed. :-)

Twilight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twilight said...

mike ~ (O/T)Did you watch the other 3 episodes of "Black Mirror"? We saw them last evening. 2 out of 3 again for me. #1 and #3 good, #2 too gratuitously nasty for me.

So...4 out of 6 ain't bad!

mike (again) said...

Yes, I finished the "Black Mirror" episodes. I rate them all very highly, but like you, I have my favs. Season 2, episode 2 put my stress level up and I felt uncomfortable watching the "poor dear" fighting for her life. BUT, the conclusion was a twist! I can just see some politicians wanting to start a program like that...LOL.

I can't quite choose one episode that I can say is my ultimate fav. Each had unique attributes and thought-provoking aspects. I very much enjoyed the satire or parody quality each presented based on some aspect of our current technology. Sadder yet, I can actually see "Black Mirror" nuances of our extant culture, and Season 1, episode 1 could happen tomorrow morning, particularly the performance art.

"White Christmas" is season 3, episode 1...it's supposed to be amazing...can't wait:
"'White Christmas' is the 2014 Christmas special of the anthology television series Black Mirror starring Jon Hamm, Oona Chaplin, and Rafe Spall. It was written by series creator Charlie Brooker and first aired on Channel 4 on 16 December 2014.

The episode starred Hamm in three mini-stories, which make up the 90-minute special. One of the stories explores the concept of 'blocking' people in real life in the same way that you can on social media, while another delves into a 'nightmarish' world of 'smart' technology."

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I sensed there was a metaphor ingredient in each story, yes. We saw similarities in style, as well as to Twilight Zone stories, to Ray Bradbury's short stories - some of which were made into a TV series (we have DVD set of them).

Will watch for availability on Netflix of season 3 episode 1 - and onward!

After SOTU (BTW I gave 1 gold star for a decent mention of climate change, and another for mention of internet neutrality, the rest I thought was simply a lot of"bigging up" ), we started watching another UK series "The Fall". It was recommended by commenters on the British Ex-Pats forum, so thought we'd give it a try.

It's a police drama - serial killer stuff set in in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Female detective in charge played by Gillian Anderson (of X-Files fame).

Not bad so far, pretty run-of-the-mill stuff, but it was highly recommended so maybe it gees up a bit later on.