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What I’d Like To Hear From President Obama Tonight

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President Barack Obama

Before I get into this, I think it’s important to note that many people who feel as though Obama accomplished nothing during his first term are flat-out wrong. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. Apparently, talking about the good doesn’t generate rating for the media, and the Administration doesn’t want to brag about the good while Americans are suffering. No, seriously. A White House official told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that. How nice of them.

Luckily, the good folks over at Media Matters have compiled a list of accomplishments Obama, and those who supported his candidacy, should be proud of. Check it out here.

Tonight, President Barack Obama will deliver his first State Of the Union Address of his term. To say it’s highly anticipated would be putting it lightly. For the Obama Administration, and frankly the American people as a whole, 2009 was a long, LONG, year. The elation many of us were enjoying immediately after the inauguration of our country’s first African-American president quickly dissipated thanks to a series of buzz-kills. The weakest economy in several generations, 10% unemployment, a broken health care system, two wars, bubbling relations with Russia and China, etc. The list goes on. And keep in mind that those were collecting dust on his desk in the Oval Office on Day ONE, waiting to be tackled immediately. A tall ask, to say the least.

I think many us are in full recognition that Obama inherited many of the problems he’s evidently having a difficult time fixing to a level they’re comfortable with. A NBC/WSJ poll released on the eve of the SOTU address reflects that. According to the poll, only 27% of participants blamed Obama for not finding solutions to the nation’s problems. Given the narrative laid out by many media outlets, that number strikes me as low. That doesn’t mean we aren’t angry, though. Our anger is simply directed at Washington. 41% of those polled blamed the president’s party for not finding solutions, while 48% blame Republicans.

So, going into this SOTU, Obama clearly still has political capital left. People still like him. People have invested a lot of hope in his presidency, and perhaps aren’t quite ready to give up on him. So, the question now is “what exactly is he going to tell us?” According to NY Times reporting, we can expect him to admit mistakes:

When Mr. Obama presents his first State of the Union address on Wednesday evening, aides said he would accept responsibility, though not necessarily blame, for failing to deliver swiftly on some of the changes he promised a year ago. But he will not, aides said, accede to criticism that his priorities are out of step with the nation’s.

President Obama declining my interview via telephone.

I think this is a good way to level with the American people. The “mistakes” he will concede he’s made are going to especially resonate with progressives. Although many polls show that he enjoys 90% support among his party, many of the people who supported him are concerned that he isn’t carrying the liberal agenda as perhaps he should be. Health care, his, until very recently, kid-gloves approach to Wall Street,his inexplicable decision to freeze spending on many domestic programs (you know, McCain’s idea), etc. Throw in the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, and progressives are left wondering when Obama will be THEIR president.

The middle class will also like this. The Republicans, in typical fashion, have done an excellent job carrying their message that Obama is “out of touch” with the country. They maintain that Obama has wasted valuable time on health care when he should be addressing the economy and job creation. Although the idea that the two are not intimately related has been roundly contested, the complex nature of the issue has made it difficult for everyday people to understand. He clearly needs to articulate how this is so.Speaking of difficulty in articulating, unfortunately, his two biggest accomplishments, saving the economy from another Great Depression, and the positive effects of the the stimulus package that passed, are intangible and thus difficult to articulate and prove their successes. How exactly do you show to that the economy could have been much worse? How do you get people to see that more people could be out of work? Throw that on the list of things he needs to explain.

Tonight, I want to hear from a man who has come to the realization that he has no friends in the Republican party. I’m getting a little irritated with the naïvety surrounding his approach to negotiating with the Right. It happened with the stimulus bill, when he comprised tough language and provisions out of the package in the hopes of bipartisan support. Not a single Republican voted for it. It has also happened with health care. He backed off the public option, an idea that enjoyed majority support from the American people, looking to by one or two Republican votes. The Party of No still refuses to vote for the bill, although I’m sure the appreciate the concessions. I’d truly like to see an end to that. I want him to exude toughness tonight. Explain to the Republicans that will be present in the chamber that they will not stand in the way of the change Americans voted for in November 2008. Convey to the people that he hears our complaints and shares our frustration. But he needs to pledge to follow up the rhetoric with tough, substantive measures. After hearing about his plan to freeze spending, I’m not sure exactly how likely this will be.

Obama is also going to talk about education tonight, a topic that received little attention in his first busy year. I can’t wait. Apparently, he will be discussing a plan to cap the amount each student pays for student loans. This news made me Harlem shake violently. True story. I’m interested, though, to hear how he will introduce a new domestic initiative while freezing new spending in 2011. In other words, what programs will have to walk the plank to make way for this program as well as the others he will mention tonight? I hope he can explain that.

Wall Skreet.

I would like President Obama to explain his administration’s handling of Wall Street. Talk about these record bonuses. I am just as confused as everyone else when it comes to understanding how the billions upon billions of tax payer dollars being loaded in a dump truck and dropped off at the door step of banks benefits the little guy. I want him to get tough on them and he needs to lay out exactly what he plans on backing his talk up with.

Finally, I just want to walk away from the address feeling a renewed sense of confidence in our president and the future he will ultimately lead this country to. Send a charge through your base, Mr. President. Reassure the American people that you are still their champion.

Oh, it would also be nice if he sent a message to Senate Democrats to cut the bullshit it out and stop being enemies of their own agenda. Fingers crossed!

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Written by PJ

January 27, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Sarah Palin Joins FOX News

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FOX's newest comedian.

Sarah Palin joins FOX as its newest comedian.

Yep, Sarah Palin is going home:

The former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP VP nominee has signed a multi-year deal to serve as a contributor to Fox News, effective immediately.

“I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News,” Palin said in a statement. “It’s wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balance news.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Joining Fox News, the top-rated cable news network, is the latest twist in Palin’s meteoric rise to fame after being named Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential candidate for the 2008 election.

This makes sense for Sarah Palin, if you ask me. What else is a completely incompetent former governor who quit after just one term, with no viable chance of ever becoming POTUS, to do? Make money, of course! Look at the other idiots over at Fox that make bank for mouthing off stupidity all day. Her BFF Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity both seem to be doing well, and she wants in!

I think this puts the 2012 talk to rest. Well, probably not, but it should. One thing is becoming crystal clear about Palin: She understands that she has a brand worth building, and that doing so could reap tremendous financial benefits. This makes it all too obvious that she really doesn’t care about becoming president. Why, when she could stand on her soap-box all day and make millions?

At least we know she’s good at math.

Jon Stewart Absolutely Owns Hannity and FOX

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Wow, nicely done, Jon. This is probably the most damning video I’ve seen in a long time. After watching, the network’s nicknames (Fixed News/Faux News) really have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Roy Sekoff: Public Option Gaining Momentum (ViDEO)

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The World Likes America Again

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Obama has successfully lobbied the world to like us again. Get the man a beer.

Obama has successfully lobbied the world to like us again. Get the man a beer.

Further proof that Obama is ruining America:

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – The United States is the most admired country globally thanks largely to the star power of President Barack Obama and his administration, according to a new poll.

It climbed from seventh place last year, ahead of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan which completed the top five nations in the Nation Brand Index (NBI).

“What’s really remarkable is that in all my years studying national reputation, I have never seen any country experience such a dramatic change in its standing as we see for the United States for 2009,” said Simon Anholt, the founder of NBI, which measured the global image of 50 countries each year.

He believes that during the previous administration of George W. Bush the United States suffered in the world ranking with its unpopular foreign policies but since Obama was elected, and despite the recent economic turmoil, the country’s status has risen globally.

“There is no other explanation,” Anholt said in an interview, referring to the impact of Obama.

This is bad. Really bad. Somehow. Stay tuned for Republican spin.

Conservative Bible Project Erases Liberal Passages

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The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible

versus.

The Holy White Out

The Holy White Out

Shocking. Or not:

Lo and behold, the Bible has gotten too liberal, according to a group of conservatives. And it needs a little editing.

That’s the inspiration behind the Conservative Bible Project, which seeks to take the text back to its supposed right-wing roots.

Yes, even scripture is not orthodox enough for the modern conservative. Not that it’s the fault of the author(s), exactly. The group cites a few reasons why the Bible is too progressive: “Lack of precision in the original language … lack of precision in modern language” and “translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.”

So how can the Bible be conservatized? The group has proposed a Wikipedia-like group editing project. Some of the ideas would only bring the translation closer to the original. But others would fundamentally change the text.

Yes, that’s right, the folks at Conservative Bible Project want to edit out the parts of the bible they don’t like. These people are absolutely insane. It’s ironic that conservatives, many of whom are strict constructionists when interpreting the Constitution–that is, they believe the text of the constitution should be applied only as it was written–are finding it appropriate to flat out remove aspects of the bible they deem unconformable to their own narrow interpretation of the Bible.

So for those of you keeping long and confusing notes, the Constitution written and inspired by humans must not be interpreted and applied sensibly to the evolving circumstances of the nation, but the Bible, a text purported by these very people to be divinely inspired by God can be edited as they see fit. Got it?

Some of the changes I find to be awesome:

  • Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
  • Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] defective translations use the word “comrade” three times as often as “volunteer”; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as “word”, “peace”, and “miracle”.
  • Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
  • Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word “Lord” rather than “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” or “Lord God.”

This is golden stuff. It really is. The bible is one giant Wikipedia entry, and these wingnuts are the editors who are proving in disturbing fashion that perhaps not everybody should have editing rights.

SNL: Obama’s Agenda Checklist (ViDEO)

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Saturday Night Live pokes fun at Obama’s accomplishments as President thus far. It’s so funny it makes you want to cry.

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(h/t HuffPo)