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I don't do politics a lot...

I don't do politics a lot... I kind of presume you know where I stand (at least as well as I know ;) ), or you don't care, or both (with the majority of you being in the "don't really care" camp), and that we pretty much all agree on "basic civil liberties" and the like (and probably disagree on the details of what that means).

Obama's speech was well-delivered imo (his slow cadence gets on my nerves, but I understand what/why he does it as much as I dislike it). He seemed to say many positive things (though I'm not a fan of "increased off-shore drilling" and I'm willing to believe that my favoring of nuclear power is "blind optimism").

He had enough specifics that I'm looking forward to seeing what factcheck.org has to say about them later. I would have loved more.

But the "rebuttal" speech drove me up the wall. Rhetoric. Basic "Democrat vs. Republican" stuff, nothing that really connected with "now" for me.

I mean, come on--quotes like:

In recent months, the American people have made clear that they want government leaders to listen and act on the issues most important to them.


Umm. Wait. What? We only _just_ made this clear, somehow? Not constantly over the last couple hundred years?

But most Americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government.


a) our medical system may be decent. I'm sure it's better than many. But best? Really? Is that jingoism or is that the pharmaceutical industry?

b) how is it being "turned over [...] to the federal government?"

ending frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals that drive up the cost of your healthcare.


A nice soundbite but how are you going to do this exactly? Is that detailed in one of your "many proposals" at solutions.gop.gov? I searched for "frivolous" on that site and got one hit:


In effect, the bill would allow employees (or other individuals that can argue that they have been "affected" by wage discrimination) to sue for compensation for alleged discrimination that took place years ago. This could result in a litany of potentially frivolous lawsuits from decades ago being brought into the courts. In addition to tying up the judicial system, these suits may place an unnecessary and costly burden on employers forced to defend against illegitimate claims said to have occurred years ago.


Admittedly, it's a Democratic bill. And I'm probably in favor of it. But where's the plans on the site to reduce frivolous lawsuits? Is the plan just legalize more things (like, above, _wage discrimination_)?

But this Administration's policies are delaying offshore production, hindering nuclear energy expansion, and seeking to impose job-killing cap and trade energy taxes.


Admittedly, this goes over my head in parts. I don't understand "cap and trade energy taxes". But I thought Republicans wanted to help _small businesses_. I'm sure anyone producing enough energy to matter isn't a small business. I doubt whatever these cap and trade taxes are will significantly effect how many people a megacorp employs. You get the people you need, and the rest is butter. You don't have megacorp people pulling extra hours to make up for employee shortages.

Americans were shocked on Christmas Day to learn of the attempted bombing of a flight to Detroit. This foreign terror suspect was given the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen, and immediately stopped providing critical intelligence.


I don't see how to read this other than "I'd rather have tortured the sumbitch". Legal rights... representation and due process. There's not much more than that. Seriously, that seems pretty basic and doesn't seem like it should depend on citizenship.

Over-regulating employers won't create more employment; overtaxing investors won't foster more investment.


The #sotu actually talked about removing or reducing existing taxes on investment in small businesses...

. The Scriptures say "To whom much is given, much will be required."


When is it finally going to be a major faux pas to bring your specific religion into politics? Being good to people is great. "The Scriptures" are good for you, but not good for governance.

Government should have this clear goal: Where opportunity is absent, we must create it. Where opportunity is limited, we must expand it. Where opportunity is unequal, we must make it open to everyone.


This doesn't seem very Republican to me. I must be misunderstanding him. I'm sure what it is is that he hasn't enumerated all the "buts". Especially on "Making opportunity equal". That sounds flat-out socialist.

As far as the gov't getting its sticky wickets too deep in the banks and auto industry and all that... my understanding is that the Repubs wanted it as much as the Democrats, or more. Me, I'm agnostic. I don't know enough of the details.

And on health care... I'd be fine with the federal gov't not doing anything about it if states were doing as well as I've heard Mass. is, now. Though a large part of what the fed tries to do is, imo, due to the economy of scale. It can be done cheaper and better when done larger. True for businesses, right? And while declaiming "one-size-fits-all government", I don't think states should be allowed to _allow_ discrimination, etc. Nor allowed to impose religious viewpoints on their constituents. And isn't the federal gov't in a better place to provide opportunity than any one state (again, economy of scale)?

I think the above pullquotes were the only bits of dissent in the "rebuttal". The rest were general platitudes that you got from listening to the #sotu just minutes earlier. Point for point, just with a poorer speech-writer.

I would have loved to see an actual rebuttal. Something that gave me food for thought.

Really, why can't the rebuttal be delayed a day? Seems absurd to pretend it's a rebuttal when it's being given minutes later. Or if they're handed the #sotu ahead of time, then why can't they do a better job of it?

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
mackatlaw
Jan. 28th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC)
Just wanted to be the first one to post and say, "I read it!" :)

More to say later. But I don't think we get all that many frivolous lawsuits that are not tossed out. I think when people in power screw up (health industry or manufacturing, whatever), they should be sued and have the truth come out in the wash. So I'm pro-plaintiff's lawyer in that I think those lawyers keep corporations in check.

Didn't even see the speech, I'll read about it tomorrow and get back to you!
girlspell
Jan. 28th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Nothing ever changes. The parties are sharply devided and will always have the same beliefs. Democrats want a strong federal government, with a strong government interest in your taxes. Republicans don't want a strong fedeal government except a strong givernment interest in your sexual life. So there you have it. Tax and Sex.

I'm a Libertraian myself. No government interest in taxes or sex. That'll make me happy.
jongibbs
Jan. 28th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
If I had my way, all politicians would be fitted with a lie & BS detector, which would give them a severe electric shock every time it went off.
kaolinfire
Jan. 28th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
I'd vote for that. :)

factcheck.org is my barometer, but they're not tightly enough integrated.

their response ~ basically folks stretched the truth a little, but nobody outright lied (excepting perhaps the republican quoting of thomas jefferson which left an important first bit out).
agent_diamond
Jan. 29th, 2010 05:50 am (UTC)
Interesting post, thanks for it and for the link to factcheck.org
yessod
Jan. 29th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
In re: "When is it finally going to be a major faux pas to bring your specific religion into politics? Being good to people is great. 'The Scriptures' are good for you, but not good for governance."

Speaking as a Christian, it'll happen right around when the "Christian" voters that make up the majority in this country actually bother to read Matthew 6:5-6 and Matthew 22:21.

This stuff really bothers me sometimes. One of the funniest things that has happened in recent memory is a bunch of conservatives praying for the Dow to recover by laying hands on the bull on Wallstreet. Yes, people who call themselves Christians literally prayed for money on an actual, physical statue of a golden bull.
kaolinfire
Jan. 29th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
One of the funniest things that has happened in recent memory is a bunch of conservatives praying for the Dow to recover by laying hands on the bull on Wallstreet. Yes, people who call themselves Christians literally prayed for money on an actual, physical statue of a golden bull.

I just choked on my cereal. That is beautiful! Well, not the milk + detritus... but... you know. :)

Thanks. :) And thanks for the verse--I hadn't read Matthew 6:5+ before; looks like good stuff.

Edited at 2010-01-29 10:40 pm (UTC)
yessod
Jan. 30th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
Yeah, and I'm not even going to start on the whole Moloch thing.

Honestly, the 4 gospels are pretty great and I'd recommend reading them when you get the chance. There's a lot of stuff in there that Christ said that is pretty mind-boggling, especially when compared to what most people say Christianity is. In my view, a lot of the problems with religion in the U.S. (and thus with politics in the U.S. thanks a lot for that guys) come from people ignoring what Christ (probably) actually said and focusing on the teachings of Paul (AKA most of the rest of the New Testament). That or they start thinking the Revelation of John is something other than a letter about how incredibly lame Nero is.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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