January 26, 2011

Impressions on the State of the Union

Marc Comtois

So what were my impressions of President Obama's State of the Union speech? Don't have any. Didn't watch it and had a pleasant night. These things have way jumped the shark and long-ago devolved into an inside-the-beltway circle jerk dominated by the post-game spinmeisters trying to tell you what it all "really" means. It took me a few years to come around--and over the last few years I've felt it was my duty as a blogger to watch 'em--but now I've decided I've just got more interesting things to do besides wasting an hour watching the annual laundry-list read. Although, I do have one question: Sputnik?

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I stopped watching during Bush's second term. There is never anything revealing about the speech. All the rhetoric falls apart as soon as a budget is delivered to Congress.

Posted by: John at January 26, 2011 12:02 PM

Didn't turn on the television and also had a very nice evening.

Listening to an hour of forecasts and reassurances from the administration that told us the stimulus would keep unemployment under 8% and 2010 would be the "Summer of Recovery" would be mental torture for me. In the words of Taleb, "He was wrong last year. He was wrong the year before that. And he's still making predictions. Stop listening to these people!"

It's not a partisan issue either. I still laugh about George Bush forecasting men on Mars and zero-emissions fuel-cell technology taking over in the near future like they were scientific certainties.

Ask your cab driver for his predictions and analyses instead. He knows exactly as much as the central planning progressives do, except he'll probably be a lot more humble about it.

Posted by: Dan at January 26, 2011 12:03 PM

Doctrinaire Dan, the unimaginative man puts on a spin like no one can. However, I basically agree with Marc here. It is a dog and pony show.

I watched, just to see the Syracuse Orange mascot, John Boehner squirm in his chair. I considered the speech a success to the extent that he looked uncomfortable.

Now that the Republican House has the ball we'll see what they come up with. Can we expect more than, "Government Bad; Business Good"

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at January 26, 2011 12:36 PM

otl-you have brass balls calling anyone else here doctrinaire.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 26, 2011 1:01 PM

"Doctrinaire" = anyone who disagrees with OTL. The irony should not be missed here.

Tell me, OTL, exactly which "doctrine" am I supposedly blindly following again? Keeping in mind that I absolutely do not support the Republican Party.

What is with the liberals on this site and all of the name-calling recently? Alliteration isn't even creative or funny.

Look in the mirror if you want to see what blind adherence to a dogma looks like, OTL. 60 years of corruption and economic failure in Rhode Island and you still throw your support behind more of the same, more of the same.

Posted by: Dan at January 26, 2011 1:36 PM

"I do have one question: Sputnik?"

Sputnik, windmills and (high speed) trains.

It isn't just that these ideas look forward to the past. It's that they, in particular, the second and third ones, don't work without either a gov't mandate to purchase (at three times market price) or a direct infusion of tax dollars.

Posted by: Monique at January 26, 2011 3:06 PM

A sputnik moment? Are we entering a space race? Or creating fusion energy? Nope, just more hyperbole and zero substance.

Posted by: Justanotherjoe at January 26, 2011 3:23 PM

your views are very, very predictable. What makes them predictable is the doctrine they disclose. Therefore, you, Dan, whatever else you may be, are doctrinaire.

I hope that this information is not too shocking for you. You'll just have to deal with it.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at January 26, 2011 5:01 PM

joe and Dan
Do you think that the house will do anything beyond grunt in unison, "Government, bad; business, good". They'll soon sound like the bleating sheep in Orwell's "1984". And the Tea Party will be bleating right along with them with Palin and Beck as the trained dogs.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at January 26, 2011 5:07 PM

OldTimeLefty calls me a predictable doctrinaire and David S calls me a faux libertarian flip-flopper. There is no logical way to reconcile these mutually exclusive labels, so one (or both) of the above individuals is simply wrong. Fight it out amongst yourselves and let me know which one emerges the victor.

Speaking of progressive incoherence, I still haven't gotten an answer from either of you as to whether you want all libertarians to go live in the woods outside of society or get more involved in government to change things. I'm sure you'll accuse me of hypocrisy no matter which alternative I take, so I guess it doesn't ultimately matter.

P.S. OTL - Predictability is nothing to be ashamed of. It's just the derogatory term for consistency, which can be a very good thing. You should try it sometime, since many of your posts are confusing or simply wrong. Please don't misquote me Emerson now.

Posted by: Dan at January 26, 2011 5:14 PM

otl-don't ask me about the Tea Party,Beck,or Palin,since I don't belong to the first and I don't pay attention to the second and third.
I think the House will try to undo some damage from Obama's first two years and stop card check;cap and trade(it already passed the House,but if it passes the Senate,they can kill it in the conference committee);and any asinine gun control legislation.
They might also shine some light on misdeeds relating to the home mortgage meltdown.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 26, 2011 7:03 PM

"They might also shine some light on misdeeds relating to the home mortgage meltdown."

This would be the best bet if the Republicans want to gain ground in 2012. Lefties are fuming that Obama isn't the all-powerful hopey-changey working man's friend that they thought he was.

Posted by: mangeek at January 26, 2011 7:14 PM

I, too, joined the bipartisan non viewing of the SOTU. I, though, cannot even in a bipartisan sense see myself joining hands with the flipflop wearing rabbit Dan. He goes about his libertarian business only caring about himself. My father used to say of those people who say " I am only looking out for number one" that they are doing a bad job of it. Dan goes out in a snowstorm with no shovel, no blanket, nothing with him that could potentially help someone else. The libertarian creed. I call it selfishness. He applies that to government. Good riddance Dan

Posted by: David S at January 26, 2011 7:33 PM

A better comment on Marc's post shouldn't include Dan. What was missing from the discussion? Two wars that are completely unnecessary to US citizens and a total disaster to some other world citizens. I quess this missing component is an example of bipartisanship. No one wants to admit the mistake. And how much the mistake will cost. Or should cost.

Posted by: David S at January 26, 2011 8:08 PM

David, you know essentially nothing about me or what I believe, you have made that very clear. Your posts have gone from childish and insulting to just plain strange and incoherent. I have no problem disagreeing with people in a civil way or having discussions on the issues, but you haven't been contributing anything even resembling substance for some time. Furthermore, you are becoming repetitive and boring to the readers here repeating the same old lame jokes over and over. I don't think anyone here gets the "rabbit" thing you repeat over and over, which you apparently think is funny for some reason.

Posted by: Dan at January 26, 2011 8:37 PM

You have no authority to speak for the readers of this blog(did you supress an "achtung" while writing). I am a reader of this blog, and I don't think David S is repetitive or boring. I suppose that your authoritarian instincts take hold and that is when your delusions set in. That might explain why you can be doctrinaire and flip-flop at the same time. See Dr. Strangelove for graphic example and try to keep your arm from involuntarily performing a Nazi salute.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at January 27, 2011 12:10 AM

What do you think Gandhi meant when he said, "My dedication is to truth, not consistency"?

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at January 27, 2011 12:14 AM

Dan has no authority to speak for the readers of this blog. OK, then let's have a poll: How many readers consider OTL to be an irrelevant, belligerent, obnoxious waste of space here?

Posted by: Contrarian View at January 27, 2011 5:32 AM

Now OTL calls me "authoritarian" and a "Nazi." For anyone unfamiliar, my political philosophy is libertarianism and my ethnic background is Jewish.

If the immediate family is reading this blog, you may wish to consider professional intervention at this stage. His demented ramblings have become all but incoherent and no longer have any basis in reality.

Posted by: Dan at January 27, 2011 9:03 AM

"OK, then let's have a poll: How many readers consider OTL to be an irrelevant, belligerent, obnoxious waste of space here?"

You forgot to mention delusional.

Posted by: MadMom at January 27, 2011 10:30 AM

Wow! Is this an episode of Gerry Springer breaking out on AR?

Posted by: Max Diesel at January 27, 2011 11:47 AM

"A sputnik moment?"

Time has translated this into a "competition" between ourselves and the "Soviet Union" (remember that?)

What is forgotten is the "Cold War". We were confident that our weapons were technologically superior to the Soviet Union. Russians being first in space gave us the impression that we were losing the "arms race" and that nuclear weapons would rain down on us from space. In the 50's nuclear weapons were large and heavy, who could "deliver" them was the "question". ICBM's were still in their infancy, "long range bombers" were a real concern. The Russians had proven they could "deliver" without giving us a handy target like a bomber.

The Chinese have just given us a similar shock, with their long range anti-carrier missles. We have no practical defense. Our carriers now have to stand almost a 1000 miles off shore. Launching aircraft from almost 2 hours away gives the Chinese that much more time to intercept. If they launched an attack against Taiwan while we stood off 1000 miles, we would be unable to contest the attack. Watch for more AA missles to Taiwan.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 27, 2011 3:52 PM

If you are so delicate, don't throw around invective yourself.

I did not call you a Nazi, I said "try to keep your arm from forming an involuntary Nazi salute. Look up "involuntary" in the dictionary. However, you are an authoritarian.

Government, bad; business good" is not an argument it's an assertion, but you seem so wrapped up in your beliefs (Yes, the true believers are the most dangerous of people) that you mistake statement for argument.

P.S. How boring can I be, if this thing continues to attract comment somebody must be reading and reacting. I'll say no more in this blog to you.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at January 27, 2011 5:46 PM

Good post Warrington. Mad -mutually assured destruction in the cold war was an actuality Marc- mutually assured regime control. Both the US and the USSR had vested interests in keeping their citizens afraid and cowed. Good Republicans in the US and In the USSR could always count on fear mongering and foreign invasion. Poor Tea Party people - you have to feel sorry for them- they have no easy foreign enemy that really scares people.

Posted by: David S at January 28, 2011 7:36 PM
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