Well in 18 hours we'll be sitting in front of our TVs, Computer screens, or other devices and watching President Barack Obama make his 8th and final State of the Union Address (a/k/a SOTU). There is a lot of anticipation and speculation about what he's going to say - now that it's clear that the repuglycons are not going to be cooperative - since they haven't been in the past, why expect them to do so now - most of us are wanting him to go for the gusto and really come up with some earth shattering, paradigm shifting policies that will totally blow away any that have been put forth by his predecessors - regardless of what their party affiliations.
I had posted my top ten Executive Order Wish list a few weeks ago, and asked others to do the same - however, political apathy being what it is - I got a few "likes" but no real response. And it for this reason that a brother - the first Black president of the United States of America - has had to struggle to get even the simplest bill passed, or person appointed to key positions. Because we dropped the proverbial ball.
We are now at the end of an era - where a man stood and faced a den of thieves - and the people who sent him out into the fray to do battle - dropped the ball, backed off, sat on their haunches, and watch with prurient interest to see whether he would sink or swim; and appeared to be utterly amazed when he not only swam, but did the back stroke!!!
National Public Radio (NPR) posted an article about the top 5 things to look for in President Obama's 2016 SOTU - which I have reprinted here for those of you who have not watched the previous 7. While they are by no means definitive, they at least give you some context with which to gauge what saying and its relevance to the over all picture.
Of course, there should and could be a Black people's list of criteria for the SOTU - such as REPARATIONS for all descendents of African Americans of chattel slavery (the present day equivalent of 40 Acres and a Mule in todays dollars) - notice I did not say a "study" - I said full Reparations. This is the one gripe I have had with the Administration - however, given the context of the lack of voting power - a/k/a apathy on the part of Black voters in both 2010 and 2014 - two crucial times when we should have showed up and showed out - it's rather difficult to make that demand when we didn't deliver the majority he needed to make it happen. Still, it can be effected through Executive Order, in much the same way Lyndon Baines Johnson brought the GREAT SOCIETY into being. It takes vision, courage, and a game plan - And the only person I know who can deliver that - is President Obama - if only he would.
Gun Control, climate control, ACA - all very important - but the one thing - perhaps the only main thing the first - and maybe the only - Black President can do for Black people is level that playing field with the economic and educational power that has been maliciously and deliberately withheld from them for 400+ years. (and by the way, if the President wants to know how to make it happen in such a way that it doesn't get squandered, lost, strayed or stolen - tell him to contact me - I have the blueprint already laid out).
Over the years, there have been some really hostile, negative things leveled at our President by so-called Americans - primarily from the red neck side of the equation. I've chosen to ignore them; not give them any space on my blog. Still have the same policy. However, I found it interesting to read some of the comments attached to NPR's post on the upcoming SOTU. Out of over 500 comments, I selected a segment of the more "intelligent" comments that I thought would be of interest and use to you going into the broadcast tomorrow. I've posted them along with the NPR article for your perusal.
5 Things To Watch For In Obama's Final State Of The Union
President Obama is seen on a television inside the U.S. Capitol delivering his last State of the Union address in 2015. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
On Tuesday night, President Obama will give his final State of the Union address. It's the last big speech many Americans will watch him deliver, and he wants to leave a good impression. Here are five things to watch for.
1. How different will this speech be from his past State of the Union addresses?
White House aides are promising that this speech will be different. Instead of the usual laundry list of legislative proposals, the speech will be thematic and future-oriented.
President Obama described what he wants the speech to focus on in a video the White House sent out previewing the speech.
The White House YouTube
"Not just the remarkable progress we've made, not just what I want to get done in the year ahead, but what we all need to do together in the years to come, the big
things that will guarantee an even stronger, better, more prosperous America for our kids — the America we believe in. That's what's on my mind."
This makes sense. With attention turning to the race to succeed him, the window for passing major pieces of legislation through an oppositional Congress is closing fast.
But there are still things the president wants Congress to do.
2. What are Obama's legislative priorities?
The president will probably reiterate his call for a hike in the minimum wage, as well as tax reform that frees up money for infrastructure investment. But those are big reaches. More realistically,
the White House is hopeful they can get Congress to approve the big trans-Pacific trade agreement and a bill overhauling the criminal justice system. Expect to hear Obama offer an olive branch
to the Republicans on those potentially bipartisan issues.
3. How will the president try to shape his legacy?
This is a valedictory speech, and Obama will try to frame his accomplishments in the most positive light. He'll talk about the dramatic recovery of the auto industry, the improving employment
situation and the initiatives he's taken on his own to combat climate change, enact tougher gun background checks and reopen relations with Cuba.
The White House announced over the weekend the guests who will join first lady Michelle Obama in the House chamber. Those selections nod to the arc of Obama's presidency, and the president
will no doubt nod to them on Tuesday night. They include Edith Childs, the South Carolina woman who inspired the "Fired up! Ready to go!" chant during Obama's first campaign, one of the first women to graduate from Army Ranger School, a DREAMer, the lead plaintiff in the historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, an empty chair for victims of gun violence, a criminal justice reform advocate, an Affordable Care Act "navigator" and many others.
Of course, the best way for President Obama to cement his legacy is to help elect a successor from his own party.
4. How will Obama use the speech to help Hillary Clinton's campaign?
In his last State of the Union address, the president framed the coming election in terms of the economic debate. He talked about widely shared prosperity and focused on inclusive growth, not just redistribution.
And that's the frame Hillary Clinton has chosen for her campaign. Expect to hear more about that on Tuesday night.
Also listen for how often the president touches on hot-button issues that play well with the Democratic base, like climate change, gun control, immigration reform or gay rights.
The White House promises this won't be a "political" speech, but the subtext will be clear: We've come a long way. We have a long way to go, so let's not let the Republicans take us backward.
Most State of the Union addresses have a very short shelf life. But a well-received SOTU can deliver a political boost. President Obama is hoping this one does.
The best way a president can help elect a successor from his own party is to get his approval ratings up — above 50 percent, if possible. Obama has been stuck in the mid-40s for months,
below the 50 percent that President Reagan enjoyed at this point in his second term or the 60 percent Bill Clinton had. If he can improve his standing, he could help Hillary Clinton and his own legacy.
- Nancyknits Wow, just wow. It is mind boggling that in a forum which often has more thoughtful contributors than many other sites where people just anonymously rant, this "discussion" is filled with hateful remarks rather than fact-based arguments or points of view that consider the pros/cons of any real issues.... many of the remarks/attacks are about as content-based and specific as Trump saying he's going to "make American great again" without defining what that means or how he will do it (mostly it just seems like doublespeak for being very "anti" a lot of people, groups, religions, socioeconomic classes, etc. wanting to take rights away from many to protect the "rights" of a few). Meanwhile, evidence continues to accrue re: the greatly improved economy among many other positive changes that have occurred under the President... even though no president or leader can please everyone all the time, it seems like Obama could have been perfect and those who do not support him would still vilify him, which is really sad. None of those folks ever mention that it was a Democrat who left us with a balanced budget and a Republican administration that took us into wars that they then left Obama to deal with.... Hmmmm.wildred63 nancyknits • These folks are allergic to facts. If you notice, nearly 99% of the their "arguments" (I am being generous here) are logical fallacies. I would have respect for them if they actually proposed ideas instead of behaving like ill-mannered children.w8ofwater wildred63 • My top 5 things to watch for includes some low-level GOP lawmaker trying to make a name for himself with the Trump lynch mobsters by boldly shouting some cheap insultsMars S freedumb sings • Funny you mention that. As we ALL know, the president DID lie. "If you like your doctor..." Thanks for mentioning that.LL LL w8ofwater • I sincerely hope not. But if that does happen, I really, really hope Obama's staff has come up with a constructive and appropriate way for him to deal with it. He did a masterful job of just ignoring it when it happened the first time. But if it happens again? You gotta think his team has come up with something.. It's the responsibility of the chair of the assembly to keep his body in order, up to and including directing the seargeant-at-arms to take appropriate action.Boehner couldn't lead a two-step and I don't expect any more from Lyin' Ryan....heck it could come from Ryan!Wayne Piper OneGiantLeap • No. Republicans do a lot of complaining. If you want to talk about complaining, they are the loudest.Mars S OneGiantLeap • He really seemed put out at that town hall meeting on guns. He clearly doesn't like it when citizens and journalists challenge him.Granturismo nancyknits • Uh, why do you think the economy is something a dem should bring up, unless your talking to the 1%? According to Forbes, on almost every measure examined, the 2009-15 recovery since the recession ended in June of 2009 has been the meekest in more than 50 years.Paul J. Granturismo • So what you're saying is a Republican administration tanked the economy in a remarkable way, and a Democratic administration, despite zero help from a Republican congress, managed to get things back on track. Must be some sour, sour grapes to spin that as a negative. Sure is going to hurt when they write the history books and point out what a great job Obama did.Averal • How do you get through to people who dislike you? (for whatever reason) Look what America has accomplished during the 7 years of the Obama administration......Compare THAT, to what happened under 8 years of George W. Bush..............https://ourfuture.org/20141208...
www.cbsnews.com/news/stocks-bu... How the Republican party can convince SO MANY PEOPLE in this country, that Obama has been TERRIBLE while THEY are going to "Make America Great Again" is beyond me. Do FACTS even MATTER anymore?I make MY decisions, based on REASON, and LOGIC. I wish there was some way to convince others to do the same.Mark Kropf Averal • The problem being that President Obama could not please the GOP, in general, even if he had been able to conduct a more assured International policy and had achieved more in office. Dealing successfully internationally when you are actively being de-ligitimated by the opposition is extremely hard as other governments see you as weak. Achieving much at home is a problem with an obstructionist legislature. President Obama may only be cheered by many on his way out the door, and then only for leaving and over the multiple others jeering him. Were Jesus to descend from heaven and bless him, he would still have the religious Right up in arms against him. Republicans might at some time be able to make the country great again, but first they have to have some positive agendas. Merely repealing some legislation and sending others packing is not going to do anything great for us. Reversing supposed injustices or bad practices does not make for any good practice. Policies don't merely tear down, they rebuild and replace. Finding replacements for the ACA and for other disliked Democratic policies and that can actually be implemented is essential. So far the GOP doesn't seem to have a game plan to build more than walls. It seemingly doesn't have clue.nancyknits Mark Kropf • For example, how many times now have Republicans voted to repeal or dismantle the ACA but never proposing any kind of alternative plan to offer healthcare to American citizens??? They just do this over and over without actually governing by proposing any plans of their own... because they are just "anti" everything the President says or does with nothing much to offer. Same with gun regulations... they would "unsign" his executive orders on day one - but what will THEY do to reduce the 30k+ Americans who die by guns every year? It doesn't matter if by suicide or homicide; both are unacceptable and directly relate to accessibility and availability of lethal weapons.tictoc nancyknits • The GOP is working on a health care reform plan of their own and it should be ready sometime in 2092. They don't want to rush it through like the job saving bill they just sent to Obama after seven years to repeal ObamaCare.LL LL nancyknits • exactly, in another piece a Hispanic woman, Republican, said she met with Ted Cruz and tried for 40 minutes to find out what his actual plan was on immigration. Close the borders he said. But how, what is your plan. she got nothing. Because they have nothing to offer. They have no vision. They have no plans. They just have highly paid campaign staff.Nancy Keeton Mark Kropf • Remember too, that my own shameful excuse for a Senator proclaimed the morning after President Obama first election, that the GOPs first priority was to make him a one-term president.glenview0818 Mark Kropf • I am not supporting the Republican party here, but first it must be remembered that during the first two years of the Obama administration, he owned the office and never introduced a single piece of gun control legislation, not to mention that he ran under the single payer health plan, and we ended up with the Romney individual mandate plan. If you own the office for two years you would sure think that some Democratic party value legislation would be introduced. Though I disagree with most Republican party legislation, when they own the office they come in guns a blazing. [I HAVE TO AGREE WITH HIM ON THIS ONE – BUT IT WAS THE DEMOCRATS AND THE VOTERS WHO LIKEWISED DROPPED THE BALL IN 2010 AND FELL FOR THE MEANSTREAM MEDIA HYPE – WIMPS!! - NOT PRESIDENT OBAMA]LL LL Mark Kropf • I would say this was the first time in my lifetime that I witnessed a destructivist Congress that attempted to undermine the POTUS in critical international diplomacies. I mean, for all the criticism of it today, when Bush said trust me there are WMDs, dems joined in support of the President in what they believed was a difficult decision. Even those who voted against only did so with a vote. They didn't then write the leaders of the countries involved and say we are taking this down because the President will have no power. Vote against the President's policies that is your right and in fact your duty if you feel strongly about it. But interfering in Presidential matters after you lose that vote? Nope. Bad, bad, bad form. if not treasonous form. I don't like to throw that word around lightly but Tom Cotton...you out there? Bud, get yourself under control.glenview0818 LL LL • Ya, the Republicans and Democrats can always get together on starting a War, then after the dust settles one or another is left crying.J D Mark Kropf • As we all know the infamous Koch war on Obama is not only unprecedented in American history but very successful considering how much good Obama has done for them and this nation. Citation from The New Yorker August 30, 2010. http://www.newyorker.com/magaz...LarryL1970 Mark Kropf • Great comment. Remember... it's not about the President's accomplishments. Republicans openly planned to obstruct all progress since the President's first inauguration. The criminal use of the filibuster, the mindless conspiracies, the pledges to never compromise, and the fifty-plus votes to destroy the Affordable Care Act were never about the President's accomplishments or the Democrat's platform. It's always been about a relative few, far-right power-brokers and their attempts to control our government through the media manipulation of fearful, undereducated, and seemingly disenfranchised whites. It's still working for them in the heavily gerrymandered states, but that political system is imploding at the national-level.Laurie Norton Averal • You're absolutely right! Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans don't follow the news closely and have very little idea what's really happening in our state and federal governments. (If it were otherwise, the Republicans would have to change or disappear.) When the average person who doesn't really know what's happening hears some completely unsubstantiated phrase like "Obama's been SUCH a disaster!" repeated over and over, that person understandably starts to think there must be some truth to it. Obama's opponents have used that fact against him again and again, especially in their misleading and unsubstantiated attacks on the ACA. And this is exactly why you see so much lying going on. I mean, the fact checkers go bonkers on the falsehoods and misinformation that comes out of these peoples mouths, but the campaigns have figured out that the people voting in the GOP primaries have officially dismissed any outside fact checkers as liars themselves. And MSM (MAINSTREAM MEDIA)? forget it. Even if the MSM focused hard on all the misinformation the GOP base wouldn't even begin to listen to it. The propaganda is complete with these people. Believe no other sources but ours. Fortunately, the GOP base is by far the minority vote come the general election. And the GOP cannot stop this. They cannot put forth a candidate with national appeal because they sold their souls to this brainwashed base. they cannot undo it.MichaelJNellett Laurie Norton Why the Republican progressives and the entire Democrat Party are one and the same? The Republicans have just given Obama and the progressive Democrats EVERYTHING they wanted and you idiots are blaming the Republicans? By the way, Obama illegally delayed the most heinous provisions of the ACA so that they don't kick in until AFTER the 2016 election and he's out of office along with Harry Reid. Tell me in 2017 how much you love the ACA then. What exactly did the ACA reform in our healthcare system again? [REPUGLYCON PROGRESSIVES IS AN OXYMORON]blackshadow Averal • The big tall wall by the republican's doll, that has the gall + got the call
A wall of sprawl covered in scrawl, republicans screaming to "STAY OUT Y'ALL!"
Their message from god, only the gop's sheep applaudtictoc Averal • The small minority of Tea Party extremists don't really matter. They won't add anything to the general election debate. Obama is the closest thing we've had to an Eisenhower republican for president, since Eisenhower. Will the RNC let Trump give the GOP rebuttal to Obama's State of the Union?Donna A tictoc • Can the RNC .stop. trump from spewing anything....? and Will the msmedia follow, yes- of course!Zed Towers Averal • Results: 7 more years of warring - massive pointless surge in Afghanistan- war for oil in Libya by UN proxy- the Yemen 'success'- Iraq's reboot of no-boots
- a failed attempt to war in Syria, followed by a war in Syria- we bombed doctors without borders. maybe twice now....7 more years of making the rich richer:- policy for the 1%- likely to hit $20 Trillion in Debt, most of the cost to the rich- banks rewarded and no prosecutions- a brief continuation of Bush's tax breaks- sequester spending at the loss of social programs; 7 more years of pandering to the NRA- Joe Biden's post Newtown failure- guns on Amtrak (because Reagan was wrong)- guns in our Nation's Parks- toothless executive orders with little impact- reduction in the prosecution of illegal gun sales; 7 more years of bad energy policy- cheap gas so we can buy SUVs (hint: tax it for our roads)- more fracking (we can drink bottled water!)- unprecedented offshore drilling along the Atlantic Coast- failure to close ANWR- way to little support for the green revolution going on everywhere else; 7 more years of a failed war on drugs; 7 of the most polarizing years ever; The masterful killing of Universal Health Care for RomneyCare rebranded as Obamacare. Millions still uninsured (RomneyCare did more!). Millions on junk plans. Millions unable to pay deductibles if they get sick. Millions paying more. But hey, we didn't have to embrace yucky coverage that most modern developed nations enjoy. Really, what could go wrong when Big Insurance writes a law with their lobbyists in for-profit health care!!!! Barack Bush, the 3rd & final installments on a failed 21st Century. Hopefully Hillary won't bring 5 & 6. [THIS GUY WAS/IS CLEARLY A REPUGLYCON]glenview0818 Averal • Averal, there is no logic to any argument that is based on a Republican or Democratic party stance. If you used logic you would take a stance for the people not the greedy self serving party system we have here in the US. The republican party stance is "capatalism" for everything, and the Democratic party stance is "the republican party is wrong" to everything. We as a nation need to unload both of them.LL LL Averal • You know, I've been thinking on this a lot. I think you overestimate "SO MANY PEOPLE." Just because they are loud and control the base doesn't mean they are really all that many. I think MANY, MANY independents and moderates will quietly vote for whomever wins the Dem Primary.Field Gull Averal • They don't really care, they relish hating Obama because they don't have control themselves. He isn't the terrible failure the GOP wants him to be, and he was far from a savior but didn't do terribly either.Field Gull MichaelJNellett • Yes. Really. Nobody inspires bizarre, angry fixation of hate like Obama. One does not simply respectfully disagree with the president (if you're a right winger) [I DON'T AGREE WITH THE STATEMENT – BUT I KNOW THAT THE RACIST TO THE BONE RIGHT WINGERS REVEL IN THEIR NEGATIVITY AND DISRESPECT FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA]Toxophilite Averal • Most people don't decide their political affiliations based on objective facts - they decide them based on pre-existing beliefs/biases, often which they are hardly even aware of. And then, the more motivated of those seek out "facts" that support those beliefs/biases, which in turn supports their political affiliations.blackshadow Averal • planned parenthood just announced they support the real american party, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats not the women hating republicansjohn della selva • Amazing to me how much President Obama has accomplished w/ the most polarized Republican Congress in recent times. 63 x's? they have tried to overturn Healthcare legislation. What's abundantly clear how racist and scared the Republican party has outwardly shown itself to be since President Obama was first elected. I've never seen such disrespect for any U.S. president,especially how they call the president only by his last name Someone said it best when they said if President Obama's for it we're against it even if it helps the country!Rich Huffaker • It is truly incredible to read the comments of so many who so totally hate the man.
Not the man's policies, the man. What i see is a middle of the road democrat, promoting the same exact policies that democrats have been promoting for the last 50 years. Nothing radical, nothing extreme. A man whose term has been largely focused on reacting to the economic collapse that he inherited (no blame intended). Two terms, during which the economy recovered and unemployment dropped significantly. One could argue that this president's attempts were wrong headed, and that the recovery could have been stronger, but of course this is all speculation, no one knows if republican policies would have lead to a better recovery, or any recovery at all. Under his administration he passed the comprehensive health care reform, again, a policy priority for democrats for decades. So what's to hate? Think he has weak foreign policy? Don't like the ACA?
Is anything he has done or not done deserving of such a tsunami of animosity towards this man?Zed Towers Rich Huffaker • His policies have been for the 1% and the Military Industrial Complex. Forget needed social programs when we can have Big Banking, Big Insurance, Big Oil and the rest of the Biggies run the show with a faux-Democrat label.[MORE FAUX FACTS]tballiett5555 Rich Huffaker • They're racists - pure & simple. Otherwise they would just hate the president - not the man.MichaelJNellett tballiett5555 • History will write that the Obama administration was the most corrupt in history just wait and see. If disliking someone personally because of their arrogant, condescending egomaniacal attitude then I guess we are racists. What does blaming our animosity on his skin color say about you Comrade? An Alynsky disciple who knew??Rich Huffaker Roy Joy • As Thomas Jefferson put it "Some truths are self evident". The differences we have on these issues amount to matters of degrees. The right wing media would have you believe differently, that the people who disagree with you want to destroy America. If Americans ACTUALLY TALKED TO EACH OTHER instead of listening to pundits we would find that we can totally understand each others viewpoints and are capable of coming to respectful agreements.
The hatred spewed toward this man is rooted in the lowest of human emotions. Disagreements toward his policy priorities fail to explain this effect.Roy Joy Rich Huffaker • Who said anyone wanted to destroy America? And not having a high opinion of the president automatically puts me on the right? And ..."understand each others viewpoints"? I understand your position well. It's dogmatism with a very LIBERAL helping of moral parentalism.Rich Huffaker Roy Joy • "Who said anyone wanted to destroy America?" Apparently you are not familiar with the rantings of the tea party or right wing media punditry - limbaugh, coulter, Hannity and the other shills for the right. That is exactly their claim. And my comments are only directed to you if you are one of those who spend their time spewing hateful personal attacks ( as opposed to policy criticisms) against the president.
I NORMALLY DON'T INCLUDE COMMENTARY UNLESS IT'S FROM EXPERTS OR PEOPLE I ADMIRE – BUT I'VE BEEN CURIOUS ABOUT WHAT INTELLIGENT AMERICANS ARE THINKING & SAYING. AND SINCE THIS NPR, YOU'LL LIKELY GET A GOOD CROSS SECTION OF RIGHT AND LEFT WINGERS, BLACK AND WHITE – SO LETS TAKE A SAMPLE AND SEE WHERE WE AGREE OR DISAGREE. Normally – also – I would highlight my agreements in red – but since we are dealing with Democrat as “Blue” I will highlight those statements I found positive or helpful in Blue instead.