Questions & Commentary on the State of the Union Adress

If you are concerned by children writing a letter asking about why they have to leave their home, why not suspend forclosures?

What are the differences between you and the Republicans?

The same people send the Democrats and Republicans to Washington, yes, Big Business.  

What makes you so hopeful of America?

If you hated the bank bailout, why did your party not even consider asking about alternatives?

Not doing what is popular, in other words, ignoring the people, reveals a contempt for Democracy.  

Your hair looks notably greyer, Mr. President.  

Cutting taxes will always be worse for the economy than government spending.  If the government spends money, it spends 100% of the money.  If it cuts taxes, some of the money will be spent, some will be saved.  Money saved always goes through the multiplier effect less times than money spent.  So the more the government spends, the better for the economy, as far as growth and employment.  

Will this jobs bill push for full employment?  

This(lack of funds for small businesses) wouldn't happen if there was some democratic/stakeholder control in the banks we bailed out(several times in the last twenty years).

Why pay businesses to buy capital rather than giving it to workers themselves?  

Agree completely on the infrastructure projects.

While you are slashing tax breaks for transnational corporations who allow a capital exodus, why not renegotiate NAFTA and DR-CAFTA?

How about a speculation tax?  An very small one that speculators would barely notice would be a huge boon of revenue.  

How about an audit of the Federal Reserve and placing it under the Department of Treasury?

New Financial regulations must abolish the two big too fail doctrine, end shadow banking, restrict executive compensation and turn the SEC into an FDA-style body?

Nuclear Power, using or 2%(world share) oil resources to meet our 30% of the world demand, seems like a capitulation to the Republicans rather than serious policy.  

A climate pact must include a direct carbon tax, 35 mpg auto standards, subsidies for green energy R & D and polyculture farming, and a removal of subsidies for fossil fuels and factory farming.  

How do you plan to double exports?  What expense will this be to the third world and what benefit to the average American?  Will you support Fair Trade Agreements and (Real) Free Trade Agreements?

Why not make community college free in a federal-state program like medicaid?

How about reigning in tuition costs?

How about equalizing mortgage subsidies and rental/co-operative subsidies?

How about scrapping the bill and going with a Single Payer system?  Single Payer - Universal coverage, deficit neutral, better health outcomes, avoid a fiscal crisis and provide immediate economic aid, only a few pages.

If you want to tackle obesity, start by reforming agriculture subsidies(and repealing Ethanol Mandates).

Single Payer!!!!! What about that solution?  Doctors and Nurses disrupt hearings to tell you and your fellow senators.

You're current bill is working for the Health Insurance Cartels and the Pharmaceutical Industry, not the American People.  

They got that surplus by raiding the Social Security Trust Fund.  

708 billion dollars plus war costs is not necessary for defense.  This is the rest of the world combined for country that needs to be defended from nobody.  

The reason we have 53 trillion in unfunded entitlements is because those programs go through the inefficient privatized system.  

Those doubts are because the government is a Pluralist Plutocracy.  

How about swtiching to full, federal financing of public elections.  Public funding for public elections.

Earmarks-less than 1% of the federal budget.  Why is this an issue?

When did 60 become the new 50?  Abolish the filibuster.  It was intended to protect minority rights, when in fact it has been used to suppress minority rights.  

The new Supreme Court ruling will lead to turning election season into a Super Bowl.  In fact, the Super Bowl will be nothing.  It will make the Super Bowl look like nothing.  

How about supporting the sovereignty rights of all Afghans, like uh the right to go to a wedding without getting hit by a hellfire missile fired from an unmanned predator drone operated on a joy stick by a Nintendo pilot on a heavily guarded military base miles away.

By all troops do you mean you want to close down all military bases abroad?

How about supporting the homeless veterans by giving them low cost housing?

Instead of a nuclear arrangement with Russia that both countries will go back on, how about negotiating a hand over of control of Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Radiological weapons and delivery systems to the United Nations?

Why not support a nuclear free Middle East?

Why not give permanent residency status to Haitians under their inalienable rights under international law?

Why not allow their democratically elected and most popular leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide to return to at least have a say in relief efforts and rebuilding?

Why not give public money?  Apparently the banks had a crisis 40,000 times more severe than the Haitians did.

You could repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell by executive order.

ICE raids and deportations are institutionalized Xenophobia.  They should be suspended at least until we have comprehensive immigration reform and the renegotiation of NAFTA.  

Why would people have faith in corporations, mass media and government?  They don't have faith in dictatorships either.  These tyrannies are no different.  

What about the Nurses Union?  12,000 volunteers to go to Haiti.  Their leader couldn't even get a phone call into the President!  You must answer this.

Well so much for he was going to dramatically shift course.  Don't vote in the midterms.  


State of the Union Thread

[UPDATE by Jonathan]: MyDD Blog Talk Radio's post State of the Union show is now up and running. You can leave a comment here or call in to 646-652-2585.

I'm tweeting my thoughts on Barack Obama's State of the Union address over @jonathanhsinger, and after the speech we'll be hosting a special episode of MyDD Blog Talk Radio starting at 10:30 PM Eastern/7:30 PM Pacific.

What are your thoughts on the speech (the full text of which is below the fold)?


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MyDD Blog Talk Radio Post-SOTU Show

Join Josh Orton, Adam Conner, Aaron Banks, me and a very special guest tonight after President Obama's State of the Union Address for a great episode of MyDD Blog Talk Radio. Set your alarms for 10:30 PM Eastern/7:30 PM Pacific, when we'll begin our broadcast. Look forward to you joining us.

[UPDATE] The very special guest = Sam Seder. 

A Human Rights Activist's Hopes for the State of the Union

From podiums around the globe, President Obama has eloquently articulated his commitment to advancing human rights and securing global peace and prosperity by protecting the inherent rights and dignity of all people. On his second day in office, he put his words into action as he unequivocally renounced torture and set about the symbolically important task of closing the Guantanamo detention center. The world welcomed these important steps and the Obama Administration began its efforts to restore America's status as an international human rights leader.

Even so, one year later, human rights conditions in many parts of the world are deteriorating, including in a number countries that are viewed as important strategic partners of the United States. For example, in Russia, the North Caucasus threatens to explode and human rights defenders continue to be murdered with impunity. China is sentencing prominent dissidents to jail terms and extending its Great Internet Firewall. On Iran, even if rhetorical restraint by the U.S. may have been prudent, it left beleaguered Iranians struggling for their basic rights worried about American commitment to that cause. In other global problem areas like Africa and the Middle East, there is still no clearly stated U.S. human rights agenda.

What can the President and his administration do to arrest this disturbing global trend? Here are four things that the President could say in his State of the Union Address that would demonstrate how his Administration intends to advance human rights and democracy around the world:

  • The President should send an unequivocal message that human rights promotion will be raised consistently in bi-lateral relationships with key strategic partners with human rights problems, including China, Pakistan, Russia, Colombia and Egypt. He should reiterate that he will assess his Administration's strategy on the basis of concrete progress and results that are achieved in these and other places confronting human rights challenges.
  • The President should state clearly that he stands behind human rights and democracy advocates when they are threatened or attacked by governments and others who want to silence and put them out of business. He should direct administration officials at all levels to support change from within societies by doing the same. He should state the importance of freedom on the Internet and his intention to stand with technology companies that defend free expression and privacy.
  • The President should articulate a commitment to create opportunities for human rights advocates by providing financial and other support to non-governmental organizations and regional institutions in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. This support would empower multilateral efforts to advance rights at the regional level. The President should also direct his aid agencies to develop and implement a long-term strategy to strengthen regional human rights institutions, while ensuring that U.S. security and other assistance is not facilitating human rights abuses.
  • The President should demonstrate his resolve to advance reform at the UN Human Rights Council by upgrading the U.S. diplomatic presence in Geneva and adding cooperation at the Human Rights Council to the mix of bi-lateral issues raised with all allies, especially those in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Promoting human rights and democracy around the world is challenging; it requires patience, sustained attention and consistency in the face of pushback and hostility. In today's interconnected world, America's national security and the peace of the world is fundamentally interwoven with the advancement of human rights and democracy everywhere. This does not mean that the United States has an obligation to create fully-functioning democracies everywhere - Afghanistan is not Switzerland, and will not become so in the term of this administration. Nonetheless, human rights promotion is central to a more stable Afghanistan; just as it is to a less threatening Iran or North Korea; or to a Middle East and Africa that creates hope for their people.

Tonight, as President Obama stands behind yet another podium and speaks to the world, he has an opportunity to advance the understanding that, amidst the many challenge we face at home, the well-being of Americans is inextricably tied up with the progress of freedom abroad. He should use this opportunity to reiterate the message that advancing human rights remains a cornerstone of his Administration's foreign policy and that America will not tolerate the silencing of dissidents through oppression and violence. He must not remain silent about these important issues. The world is listening.

POTUS Speak Up

Five Things to Say about Clean Energy in Your Address

It is that time of year again. This Wednesday, January 27, 2010, the President will glide down the aisle in the House of Representatives, greeted by thunderous applause, and encounter the usually more dignified elected officials in a slightly teen-bopper, Beatles-esque-frenzy, practically climbing over each other to shake his hand.

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