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Thursday: So, there was a speech (and other news).

First of all, I don’t get this at all. I think Joan Walsh is just so desperate to say something nice she’s forgotten that by “spine” most of us mean something more than a lame joke:

Finally, some spine

In case he wasn’t fully aware Republicans are impervious to his political charm, President Obama saw it early in his first State of the Union address. After ticking off a list of taxes he’d lowered, the chamber was in cheers — except for the GOP side of the aisle, where traditionally tax-cutters have clustered. Obama smiled and ad-libbed, “I expected some applause for that one.”

Howard Zinn, dissident historian, dead at 87

The cause was a heart attack, his daughter Myla Kabat-Zinn said.

Published in 1980 with little promotion and a first printing of 5,000, “A People’s History” was, fittingly, a people’s best-seller, attracting a wide audience through word of mouth and reaching 1 million sales in 2003. Although Professor Zinn was writing for a general readership, his book was taught in high schools and colleges throughout the country, and numerous companion editions were published, including “Voices of a People’s History,” a volume for young people and a graphic novel.

Really? Oh, Really? I’m surprised they can get anyone in the airport, much less on a plane!

Iata says airlines suffered ‘worst year’ in 2009
Despite the improvement at the end of 2009, Iata said 2010 would be a tough year for airlines the world over.

Tampering — Bugging . . . What exactly is the difference?

The Landrieu Phone Case: Not A Bugging After All?
It’s still a mystery what exactly filmmaker James O’Keefe and his companions intended to do when they allegedly arrived at Landrieu’s office. But the accurate way to describe what allegedly happened would be attempted phone tampering.

The four men (one of whom was reportedly picked up in a car outside) were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony — specifically, “maliciously interfering with a telephone system operated and controlled by the United States of America,” according to the affidavit.


And the speech? I can’t do any better than this from Talking Points Memo:

Not Quite
Dems: Speech Was Health Care Breakthrough (Really?)

Democrats praised Obama for pushing Congress on health care reform. But neither chamber is ready to blink yet.

These are the stories that caught my eye this morning — what are you reading?

119 Responses

  1. Good morning Katiebird! Thanks for the headlines! I posted a little more post-SOTU stuff below.

  2. No one is playing up the “spending freeze” video from the campaign. You know where Obama attacks McCain for using a hatchet when a scapel is needed.

    Not yet anyway. I think that it will go something like this. Hannity, O’Reilly and Limbaugh will go nuts with it, forcing John Stewart and Stephen Colbert to address it and by Monday the MSM will have to at least acknowledge it.

    The MSM does not want to deal with the fact that W2 has no core beliefs and will do and say anything.

    • Actually, I’ve seen it talked about on CNN and other places.

      • Good.

        I have been watching MSNBC this morning and they seem very subdued in their atempts to spin the SOTU positively.

        They don’t have to see His Hopiness as I do, I am glad that they don’t seem to quite as high on Kool-Aid as they usually are.

        No doubt Fox will be so geeked up on “Tea” that they will spin everything in a supply side neocon direction, you know “socialist agenda”, big govenrnment, blah blah blah.

        But still, hopefully regular people (the Tea and Kool-Aid free) can figure out the truth. Obama is floundering because he is a neophyte empty suit just like W. Rhetoric and posturing and style can’t dig him out of this whole.

        We have never needed Hills more than we do now.

        • Candy Crowley is a good bellweather of the Village’s reaction in my experience and her take was that the speech was forgettable and nothing he said would really stick with people by next week.

          • Yes. And then Carville and Begala had a meltdown, trying to defend The One.

            I changed the channel. I suspect lotta people did the same.

          • That is very accurate. I wasn’t “flop” on performance but I think I will have zero political benefits for Obama and the Dems..

          • bellwether* ack

            The speech was way too long for most people. That was poor preparation.

          • All I could take were the sound bites provided by the BBC radio program. They did a good job of highlighting bits and commenting in between. Very short.

          • Poor preparation indeed, Wonk. Again.

      • I nearly spit out my coffee when a Dem congressman said this morning, “last night Obama became the Father of this nation”. How in the hell can they say things like this with a straight face….but it gave me a good laugh!

  3. Howard Zinn wrote this two weeks ago before he passed away yesterday, it was in The Nation (emphases mine) :

    Howard Zinn


    I’ ve been searching hard for a highlight. The only thing that comes close is some of Obama’s rhetoric; I don’t see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies.

    As far as disappointments, I wasn’t terribly disappointed because I didn’t expect that much. I expected him to be a traditional Democratic president. On foreign policy, that’s hardly any different from a Republican–as nationalist, expansionist, imperial and warlike. So in that sense, there’s no expectation and no disappointment. On domestic policy, traditionally Democratic presidents are more reformist, closer to the labor movement, more willing to pass legislation on behalf of ordinary people–and that’s been true of Obama. But Democratic reforms have also been limited, cautious. Obama’s no exception. On healthcare, for example, he starts out with a compromise, and when you start out with a compromise, you end with a compromise of a compromise, which is where we are now.

    I thought that in the area of constitutional rights he would be better than he has been. That’s the greatest disappointment, because Obama went to Harvard Law School and is presumably dedicated to constitutional rights. But he becomes president, and he’s not making any significant step away from Bush policies. Sure, he keeps talking about closing Guantánamo, but he still treats the prisoners there as “suspected terrorists.” They have not been tried and have not been found guilty. So when Obama proposes taking people out of Guantánamo and putting them into other prisons, he’s not advancing the cause of constitutional rights very far. And then he’s gone into court arguing for preventive detention, and he’s continued the policy of sending suspects to countries where they very well may be tortured.

    I think people are dazzled by Obama’s rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president–which means, in our time, a dangerous president–unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.

    RIP H. Zinn

  4. my promised “after” screen shot from B0botland

  5. I saw “The Blindside” yesterday and enjoyed it very much. I am not a sports fan. I don’t watch sports except for the Olympics, nationals for skating and an occasional play off or world series for baseball. But I am a sucker for a good movie about sports where the poor.disabled etc…. person overcomes the odds…..
    The Natural, Field of Dreams, Hoosiers, Rudy, Breaking Away, Remember the Titans….
    There are many of them and I have seen some lame ones, but this one was very good. So if you like that sort of thing, go see it.

    Oh, and there is a funny line spoken by Tim McGraw who was very good as the father…. “”Whoever thought we’d have a black son before we knew a Democrat?”

  6. I believe Holder’s decision to read the underwear bomber his Miranda rights 50 minutes after being taken into custody is a shining example of the complete ineptness of this adminstration. Then to come out and claim that they got all the info they needed from the suspect withint that 50 minutes is just absurd. Common sense would indicate that there would be little, if any time for any information to be gathered from the time he was taken off the plane given his injuries were also being tended to within that period.
    How could they be so stupid at the SAME TIME there is such an outcry from many that KSM is being tried in NY as oppossed to a military hearing.

    • News from Malaysia reporting that 10 suspects arrested (on their way to U.S.) , connected to a church group the underwear bomber was a part of. He DID say there were “more coming.”

      And then they read him his Miranda rights.

    • Anything they got before they Mirandized him should be inadmissable in court. A subject has to waive his rights voluntarily and explicitly for anything he said before being read the Miranda warning to be available to prosecutors.

      • exactly, and one of a gazillion reasons why this guy and others like him should be tried in military tribunals as war criminals,

        • What’s absolutely stunning, though, is that the DNI—Obama’s director of intelligence—wasn’t even consulted. Neither was Homeland Security.

          Holder made that decision on his own.

          • Holder has his own agenda. He pushes through what he wants and doesn’t want to involve many others. It’s what you do when you know that other people would have strong objections.

        • And more reasons: every citizen living in New York City. I can’t even imagine how they might feel about the decision to hold the trials there. Hillary, as a previous Senator from NY would never have done this to NYC.

          And out here in California, I’m still angry about stupid B0 and his minions screaming about Hillary’s supposed “war vote.” Did any one of them read the statement she read from the Senate floor? She was NY’s senator, she’d been to the rubble and breathed the smoke and stench there. She’s got compassion. But the cold one in the WH doesn’t care a whit about Americans. This trial issue reminds me of the photo-op he pulled with the planes in NYC. It stinks.

  7. Too bad Alito didn’t shout “You lie.”

    • Nah, he should have shouted:

      “With all due deference to separation of powers, YOU LIE!”

      • You know, for a president chastising everyone in the room for a lack of civility, his choice to humiliate the SC justices on national TV was pretty churlish.

        One doesn’t have to agree with the SC, to be offended by Obama’s tackiness.

        • I agree. He’s such a bully.

          Did everyone stand up to applaud that bit? That was the worst.
          I’m surprised BO didn’t start handing out TP rolsl & water ballons.

      • LOL… absolutely

  8. joan walsh gives me the wililes!

  9. I FOUND A GOOD ONE! I cannot give up the dream…

    A Hillary Clinton Primary Challenge to Obama in 2012?


  10. Can’t wait to see who’s going to believe Barry after he’s lied. And lied. And lied some more. About pretty much everything. Then they’ll be all “OMG, I can’t beleeeeeve it – Obama lied to me AGAIN!!”


  11. Barry’s gone from being an embarrassment to straight up terrifying. How can someone who has been in the White House for a year with a majority in both houses
    rail angist and wag a fingerWashington DC??
    Did he just get there? Was this awful year, but a dream? It feels like being in an air plane in a nose dive and when you open the cock pit door , you discover there’s no one in there. Well of course Barry was never there…but he’s not even interested in letting others see to anything whatsoever besides Hill who insists on doing a great job…the day Hillary cashes in her flier miles, we are total toast…and that could be at any time.

    He will give the same speech the next three years and his re-selection will be “justified ” as the need foreven more time to deal with the decades long problems he found 4 years ago( gag barf )..and I really resent his pointed refusal to say the name Clinton when he says the word surplus… bastard.

  12. Voters to president: Less talk, more action

    Many have become so disillusioned with their economic situations that they are tired of all the politics and promises and want action.

    “He just says so many things,” the 41-year-old Melquist said of Obama. “I just don’t trust what he says is actually going to happen.”

    “I’m cautiously hopeful,” said Carrillo, 47, who voted for John McCain in 2008. “You talk a good talk, now walk the walk. Let’s see you walk the walk.”


  13. How pathetic is EJ Dionne?

    Obama Ready to Do Battle
    By E.J. Dionne


    If this is true (and we know it is), he should have run as an Independent, not a “Dem”

    Reality check: President Obama gropes for a strategy

    He sounded at times like a Bill Clinton-style centrist, at others like a bank-bashing populist. He taunted Republicans, and also presented himself as a lonely tribune of cooperation and bipartisan civility in Washington.

    In a favorable light, his State of the Union speech may have revealed the mind of a leader who has never cared much about traditional ideological categories and is determined to create his own results-oriented composite of ideas from across the spectrum.

    Less charitably, the address could be interpreted as the work of a president who is desperately improvising by touching every political erogenous zone he and his advisers can think of.


    • “a president who is desperately improvising by touching every political erogenous zone he and his advisers can think of”

      Ouch. Too true.

    • I grew irritable with him when I read his hectoring lecture on passing HCR. I don’t need some Beltway insider with a cushy gig lecturing me.

  14. Market response this am was slightly positive but has now slipped into negative territory. Os speech not a market mover really.

    • More layoffs announced today:

      “AstraZeneca, which is eliminating 11 percent of its workforce by the end of this year, will cut another 8,000 positions in addition to those it has previously announced, Brennan said on a conference call.”

      (No indication as to the number of US jobs involved.)

      • Seems like ever since we hired Obama for the Oval Office everyone else’s job has disappeared.

      • Walmart was said to be shedding something like 11,000 from sams clubs. Geez, things are NOT looing up for people on the jobs front.

    • they are like Chinese food, except they don’t taste good.

  15. A friend of mine is going to a Town Hall meeting in Florida with Obama & Biden. He’s got a stronger stomach than me.

  16. oops, posted this on the wrong thread, reposting here:

    I saw this cited on a comment at politico

    “History shows that presidents rarely, if ever, get bounces out of the annual ritual. Since the 1970s, Clinton was the only president to get any kind of bump in his approval ratings, according to Gallup, with an average increase of 3 percentage points after his State of the Union addresses. Jimmy Carter , Reagan and George W. Bush each lost an average of 1 point, and George H.W. Bush lost an average of 4 points.” By Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers Steven Thomma, Mcclatchy Newspapers – Wed Jan 27, 10:26 pm ET

    I miss Big Dawg. *sigh*

  17. My reaction to the SOTU is best stated by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
    What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.

    And from a link someone posted that I have to agree with:
    A Self-Reverential State of the Union Address

    What made the speech a bit bizarre, and somewhat alarming, is how detached from reality the president is.

    He said, “Washington may think that saying anything about the other side, no matter how false, is just part of the game” – yet his White House has played that very game with zest and delight.

    Having gone on a spending spree that is unprecedented in American history, the president castigated the political class for “leaving a mountain of debt” to future generations.

    It was as if we were being lectured on marital fidelity by John Edwards or Mark Sanford.

  18. A Self-Reverential State of the Union Address from Politics Daily

    President Obama’s State of the Union address should unnerve Democrats in Congress and throughout the country. It was one of the worst State of the Union addresses in modern times – a stunning thing for a man who won the presidency in large measure based on the power and uplift of his rhetoric.

    If substance was the main take-away of this address, it would have been merely mediocre. But what made it downright harmful for Obama and Democrats was its tone. The speech was defensive and petulant, backward-looking and condescending, petty and graceless. He didn’t persuade people; he lectured them. What was on display last night was a man of unsurpassed self-righteousness engaged in constant self-justification. His first year in office has been, by almost every measure, a failure – and it is perceived as a failure by much of the public. Mr. Obama cannot stand this fact; it is clearly eating away at him. So he decided to use his first State of the Union to press his case. What he did was to set back his cause.

    It was as if we were being lectured on marital fidelity by John Edwards or Mark Sanford.

    What we are seeing play out on a very large stage, it seems, is a man of extraordinary self-regard having to deal with punishing political set-backs, with the fact that his high hopes have come crashing down around him. The nation has turned against his agenda. They are turning against his party. And they are tiring of him as well. This is something he cannot seem to process. So the president marches ahead, pretending up is down and east is west, embracing an agenda the country has rejected and that is doing terrible damage to his own party.

    It was quite a thing to witness.


    • This was accurate too:
      “What was on display last night was a man of unsurpassed self-righteousness engaged in constant self-justification.”

    • Okay, just what is his agenda? It seems rather ethereal to me.

      If this guy says health care reform the vast majority of Americans are for health care reform approaching socialized medicine. No sane person thinks the state of health care in this country is acceptable.

      The reason people are tiring of Obama and quickly is because he was elected along with the Democratic party to put an end to Bush’s disastrous policies including conducting 2 foreign wars, having indefinite detention, kidnapping people off the street and routing them to pro-torture states, yada, yada, yada. Obama and the Democratic Congress has done nothing we wanted them to do including invest in this country to build jobs. It isn’t the liberal agenda that Americans are tired of. Heck, that has never been tried.

  19. There’s something like domestic violence going on here in my community. LGBT finally realized that Obama was LYING. They marched in Washington. They have been organizing against him. Last night he says he’ll try this year real hard to repeal DADT and suddenly they are having sex with him again. HE IS STILL LYING. Stop going back for more! His brand of HOPE is like alcohol and if you keep doing the same thing, you are just beating your head against an immovable brick wall and bashing your own brains out. It’s sick. Why do people listen any more?

    • Bu..but.. but he mentioned DADT in the speech! This time it’s for real, baby. You gotta believe him!

      You’re right, a lot like the abuser-victim dynamic. It’s the same with NOW.

    • People actually believe him?

  20. “You know, for a president chastising everyone in the room for a lack of civility, his choice to humiliate the SC justices on national TV was pretty churlish.”

    I COMPLETELY agree. That was astonishing to me.

    • And what good does it do for a president to scold the Supreme Court? They don’t even have to be there at the speech.

      • All it did for me was actually give me a moment of solidarity with Alito, and for cryin’ out loud, I think he’s the worst SJ on the bench!

    • Frankly, I thought it was his best moment. These imbeciles need need to be shamed, castigated and humiliated in every way possible. Their decisions since 2000 have been unbelievably unconstitutional and pretty much counter to the values of our citizens. From deciding that actual human beings could be considered non-humans to giving multi-national corporations equal status to people these people have proven to be completely insane no matter their rationalizations or justifications are. These people need to be considered pariahs and shunned until they either get with the program or retire. Unfortunately, we can’t impeach them unless they commit high crimes.

      • You gotta be kidding, right?


        • I am not kidding. The only kind of pressure that can be generated on those guys is through public backlash. Can’t impeach them. Can’t rescind their laws. Can’t do anything to them except for us to pass a constitutional amendment which takes years to accomplish. Meanwhile just what do you propose. Send them milk and cookies and tell them it is alright that they dismantle centuries of established law and reduce our democracy into a fascist state.

          We have separation of powers for a reason. It isn’t so the government can declare anyone they want a non-human. It isn’t so Congress can pass laws that violate the constitution and get away with it. It isn’t so the executive branch can do anything it wants. Aren’t you afraid of what this bunch is going to do next? Our only avenue here is to be vocal about their stupid decisions. That is all we can do. That is all anyone can do. And while you are defending Alito here exactly what was untrue about Obama’s statement concerning that decision? It wasn’t like he attacked them personally. He just told it how it was for a change. Perfectly acceptable.

          • Should actually read can’t rescind their decisions. What they decide become law.

          • It was untrue that the part of the law they addressed was over 100 years old. Not so. Nor was the “foreign influence” thing true. The justices specifically addressed the foreign aspect.

            BTW, the ACLU, in it’s amicus brief, agrees with the court. I’m certain no one would accuse the ACLU of being favor of a fascist state. The section of law in question is not 100 years old. The laws regarding donations are older (which are still intact), but the laws regarding advocacy are more recent.

            There is room for disagreement here, among people who are by no means part of a right-wing agenda. The role of money in campaigns does indeed need to be addressed, but not all agree that restricting speech is the best way to go about it. The court basically said that the First Amendment holds, even for citizens as conglomerates as opposed to them as individuals, and even when you find the results of that constitutional line in the sand abhorrent. Maybe especially then.

            Please don’t ascribe ill intent to everyone who differs on the issue. I myself am not quite decided on what I think, as I can see both arguments.

          • gregoryp,
            You haven’t actually read the decision, have you? Why are you for banning books?

          • wmcb, Itoo am not quite sure how to view this ruling. However it seems to me that there is a difference between a conglomeration of citizens and a Corporation. Yes a corporation is made up of many citizens, but those citizens do not have a say in whether they want their bosses donating that money. It’s not like Mom and Pop got together with their sole proprietorship and decided to send money to a candidate. A corporation does not in my opinion deserve free speech. A corporation is not a person and it is not even a conglomeration of citizens, not really. It is a legal entity.
            Unions on the other hand have the right and the power to decide on their leadership and so they DO have a say on what gets donated and to whom.

          • Thank you, WMCB. I just wasn’t going to engage with gregory’s misinformation.

            I didn’t say you couldn’t disagree with the SC, or think there are decisions you dislike or with which you disagree.

            What I SAID, was, humiliating them publicly that way, with all the Democratic Congressmen around them clapping loudly, was not appropriate in the chamber. Obama sucker-punched them.

            Whole lotta articles out there today showing Obama’s facts were wrong, AGAIN, just like the time he mouthed off about the Cambridge cop.

            It’s pure demagoguery.

          • wmcb, I too am not quite sure how to view this ruling. However it seems to me that there is a difference between a conglomeration of citizens and a Corporation. Yes a corporation is made up of many citizens, but those citizens do not have a say in whether they want their bosses donating that money. It’s not like Mom and Pop got together with their sole proprietorship and decided to send money to a candidate. A corporation does not in my opinion deserve free speech. A corporation is not a person and it is not even a conglomeration of citizens, not really. It is a legal entity.
            Unions on the other hand have the right and the power to decide on their leadership and so they DO have a say on what gets donated and to whom.

          • teresa, the shareholders (owners) of a company do indeed elect their decision-making officers, just like a union does. And unions do not poll their members before supporting specific candidates, any more than corporations do. So “they do not have a say” applies equally to both unions and corporations.

            Also, you have the inconvenient fact that media outlets and news organizations are also corporations – and they were allowed all the speech they want. Is it constitutional to favor one corporation over another? There are a LOT of things here that make it not so simple as it seems.

            I am still ambivalent on this. But I see enough sense in the opinion that I’m not going to just knee-jerk call it bad because I don’t like the potential results of that decision. Whether or not I like the results should have no bearing where free speech is concerned, which is pretty much the stance the ACLU took.

        • Why do you think he’s kidding?

          4 justices (5 if you count retired OConnor) dissented on this opinion.

          It’s absurd that people would think that because gregoryp’s opinion is different than his that it has to be some kind of joke.

          • Read it again.

            We weren’t arguing that gregory’s opinion was “different.”

            We were arguing that Obama’s public belittling, when his facts were wrong, was inappropriate in the Chamber.

            Obama “acted stupidly.”

  21. How is this for irony? last night on TMC they played The Manchurian Candidate. I wonder if they were making a statement.

    I did not watch backtrack as my stomach would not stand it. I did watch Hillary Clinton. The difference of what each has done in the past year was astounding. She was busy trying to put our fires, he was golfing, vacationing and selling the people to the highest corp bidder.
    I am glad that I lived long enough to see such a strong woman represent us to the world. The first woman president will owe a lot to Hillary Clinton. I only wish the first woman president would be Hillary Clinton.



  22. I’m sure Obama must be puzzled over why the campaign rhetoric that the public once so loved is no longer helping him. Last night’s speech was an awkward attempt to return to those halycon days.

    The problem is that Obama has nothing to offer, not even words, in the context of actual governing. He is a community organizer, an agitator, and nothing more. Solutions are not his thing, and never have been. He can only define himself as juxtaposed against some largely exaggerated and cartoonishly defined “enemy”. When you take that familiar role away from him by handing him actual power, he flounders most pitifully in his efforts to define himself against…… himself and his own allies.

    Arguments over whether in his speech last night he was similar or dissimilar to the Obama who campaigned miss the point. The similarity or lack thereof does not lie in Obama, or his words, which are mush the same. It lies in the context in which those words are spoken. Obama’s entire rise has been predicated on railing against those in charge. Last night’s speech was a rudderless flailing to find someone, anyone, against which to define himself, up to and including the Supreme Court.

    There isn’t anyone, Mr. President. You have the power now. You are The Man.

    • You can say whatever you want about Palin but where she is right, she is right:

      ‘I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities’

      The man never held any responsibilites – no wonder he is in the deep!

      • That quote was flitting through my mind yesterday when I was thinking about B0’s utter lack of executive experience and how last night showed how he isn’t grasping or can’t face how badly he is doing.

    • Bravo, and well said!!! (As usual, of course)

    • Agree totally. Big speeches are fine when you’re campaining, but once you actually hold the office people want big ideas.

      I’m convinced that when Obama was convinced to run he was told two things: 1) Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you win the primary; and 2) Don’t worry about a specific agenda, because all we need to do is implement the Dem. agenda that Congress has had for years. Well, his cronies delivered on the first one, but they couldn’t deliver on the second one because the Dems have never really been in agreement on what, exactly, they have for an agenda. My take on his speech last night is that he’s still hoping Congress will work out a plan for him that he can sign off on. Pathetic, and frightening.

      • This is a variation of the movie ‘Dave’ – they just got anybody (like any community organizer would do) to play president while someone else (NancyP & Co) is having the agenda!

        A bit like Tiger Woods…he is in commercials of watch maker TagHeuer – I mean the man does not actually know anything abt watches (shock)…..same for O, he is just the face of the WH, but he does not really understand what is required…..obviously there is a big difference between O and Tiger: the guy actually knows how to play golf!

    • Last night’s speech was a rudderless flailing to find someone, anyone, against which to define himself, up to and including the Supreme Court.

      That sums it up perfectly.

    • The whole mo of the community organizer and agitator is to protest, to arouse, to proselytize. Ever in history the big problem for movement politics has always been to move from the hustings to governing. It is how these angst based efforts are alike despite their political, socio-economic leanings.

  23. “Thirty Congressional websites were defaced early Thursday morning, following President Obama’s State of the Union Address. The defacements were aimed at websites used by both Democratic and Republican Congressional members, as well as Congressional committee pages.”


  24. So after I have now watched some shocking extracts of this ridiculous speech – a few minutes are already enough to drive you up the wall – here Mr. Sarkozy.

    A have no strong views on him, but I am currently in France and he gave this week a big TV interview and discussed with ‘normal’ citizens. Even if you dont speak French it gives you an idea of how different he is from O-zero. No teleprompter-coherent speech pattern etc


  25. Crook at the Atlantic deconstructs Obama’s strange “noble victim of TBTB” tone:

    The weirdest paragraph was this:

    “Our administration has had some political setbacks this year, and some of them were deserved. But I wake up every day knowing that they are nothing compared to the setbacks that families all across this country have faced this year. And what keeps me going – what keeps me fighting – is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism – that fundamental decency that has always been at the core of the American people – lives on.”

    One could spend a while untangling that. Are we supposed to empathize with Obama for the setbacks he has suffered at the hands of voters-and admire his resilience in the face of these misfortunes? It is as though losing political support and an election or three is not a judgment on the administration’s performance: it is an accident, an injustice even, akin to somebody losing his job. But Obama will carry on, just as America’s people will carry on, because he is righteously determined to ignore the voters’ opinion.

    When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound so good.


  26. Rassmussen polls

    backtrack before speech -15
    backtrack after speech -17

    either the speech went over like a lead balloon or they polled the supreme court justices.

    At No Quarter a commenter asked ” did backtrack acknowledge the two heroes of Fort Hood that were there?
    I did not watch backtrack so I do not know the answer.

    Libreral Rapture has the practice speech from backtrack. It is a very good read.



    • And it’s a 3-day rolling, so he had to have tanked BAD for the 3-day average to dip by 2 points.

  27. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/01/27/harry_reid_yawns_during_obamas_state_of_the_union.html

    I guess the lecture did not get through to his enablers.



  28. Saw on NQ last night that o did not acknowledge the two heroes of Ft. Hood shoot out last night. They were seated with mo and such special guests are usually acknowledged at the beginning of the speech. They were ignored last night. The female who actually took down Hasan and stopped his attack was just out of the hospital.

  29. From Rasmussen:

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17 (see trends).
    Rasmussen Reports has compiled a summary of voters views on topics raised in the State-of-the-Union Address. Later today, data will be released on the president’s proposed freeze on discretionary spending. Voters strongly believe that cutting taxes is a better job creation tool than increasing government spending.
    Additionally, the president proposed a college lending program that would give preferential repayment terms to government workers. That may be a tough sell at a time when most Americans already believe government workers are overpaid. Government workers are more bullish about both the economy and their own financial condition than private sector workers.

    As noted above, his approval index was -15 before the speech.

  30. ROTFLMAOAPMIP!!!! Okay, you guys have to go read this. Conservative Chris Buckley (son of William F.) has been even worse than Tweety in his Obama-love. He wrote a veritable love sonnet to Obama last night, where he swooned and got tingly and claimed he was moved to tears by the greatest speech evah from the One.

    Ace of Spades (yeah, I know, also conservative) pulls him apart, snarkily, cruelly, and hilariously. He’s like, like, like a MAESTRO of mockery of Buckley:


    • Best line, IMO:

      Gee, when you came up with “symphony” (nice on that, by the way), how long did it take you to come up with the metaphor-extending notion of a “maestro”? Did you, like, sweat that one, Chris? When it finally came to you, after 0.22 seconds, were you like, “Zut alors! Le bon mot!”

  31. SPIN METER: US jobs picture mixed for rail grants


    But the jobs to design and make the rail cars and engines, signaling and track for the fastest trains will mainly go abroad to the European and Asian companies because it will take time for the U.S. to develop its own domestic high-speed rail industry, rail experts said. There will be U.S. manufacturing and engineering jobs for slower trains often described as “higher speed” or “midspeed.” Much of the domestic high-speed work, however, will be the kind of construction and earth-moving work typical of highway projects, they said.


  32. Pundit Rule Number One: Praise Obama’s great speech first.

    As long as the lame Joan Walshes don’t understand that they will undermine the serious State of our Union with this kind of sycophantic talk, as long as they keep glorifying Obama by regulary admiring his speeches (yawn) and refuse to get real and honest, they are not just useless to the country but downright dangerous.

    There are a few brilliant journalists out there. But they are being ignored by the mainstream media.

    I wonder how many “progressives” actually read, listen to, or even heard of Noam Chomsky, the greatest thinker the US has. I have seen him on CSPAN along with other greats like Tariq Ali. But you will not see them on mainstream news, TV or paper. And bloggers very rarely talk about him. Certainly not the popular blogs like kos etc.

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