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Thread: State of the Union

  1. #1

    Default State of the Union

    President Obama will make a SOTU speech tomorrow. It's done every year, by every POTUS. (It's also done by every state leader, in State of the State speeches, but those don't get as much media coverage.)

    If you could write a SOTU speech, what issues would you highlight...and how would you frame them?

  2. #2
    The wastefulness of having annual state of the union addresses.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  3. #3
    Really? If you were a political speech writer...you'd begin by saying "this is just wasteful and useless, but listen to me anyway"?



    POTUS is required to make a SOTU speech, addressing the populace and their elected legislators. That's changed quite a bit over the years, especially in the wake of technology. My grandparents' generation used to huddle by the radio, or wait for next-day newspapers. My parents' generation was the first to watch televised speeches, but only available to households with TVs. Even then, it was broadcast in black-and-white, folks were busy arranging "rabbit ears", and "social media" meant the local coffee shop, golf group, or dinner party.

    I'm amazed by the rapid changes and advancements in technology, and disappointed at the same time. More people will watch award ceremonies for music and movies....than SOTU speeches. We seem to care more about entertainment and pop stars than elected officials and public policy. Maybe we've put them all in the same boat, and can't distinguish between popularity, populism, or principle.

    That's a pretty tough environment for any politician, let alone their speech writers. One part of me wants brutal honesty, while another part wants promises.....they're both seductive, in their own ways. But this isn't a screen test for Hollywood movies, or art imitating life. This is real shit.
    Last edited by GGT; 01-28-2014 at 05:47 AM.

  4. #4
    I'd start with "I'm sorry, I have no idea how to get out of this mess."
    .

  5. #5
    No, you wouldn't do that. That kind of honesty doesn't work.

    *But I appreciate the sentiment*. The US is no longer an "exceptional" democratic nation, or an economic super-power. We're just one part of a larger global economy, with constantly changing centers of power.
    Last edited by GGT; 01-28-2014 at 07:11 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    The wastefulness of having annual state of the union addresses.
    "He's required to give Congress information on the State of the Union. If he buys Congress a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, he's fulfilled his constitutional obligation."

    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    The wastefulness of having annual state of the union addresses.
    Isn't it a non-optional part of his job description in the Constitution?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Isn't it a non-optional part of his job description in the Constitution?
    Incorrect. Article 2 of the constitution only states thus:
    Quote Originally Posted by The US Constitution
    He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.
    So, 'from time to time' is essentially as frequently or infrequently as he likes. Annual state of the union addresses were not the norm until FDR; before Wilson, it wasn't even a speech but a letter.

  9. #9
    Its fascinating how he can say how wonderful things are and then turn around and say how awful things are.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Its fascinating how he can say how wonderful things are and then turn around and say how awful things are.
    All political speeches have to balance the good/bad, try to sound optimistic and problem-solving at the same time.

    The "responses" were more interesting this time around....and that Republicans couldn't settle on one official party response, but needed four. Some of the (R) statements were truly bizarre: saying he doesn't respect the military, and used the Army Ranger for political purposes; calling Obama a lawless dictator, and threatening to sue him for using Executive orders.

  11. #11
    It's depressing, but the reality is.....the US is treading water, and will continue to do so for a while, at least until the next Presidential election and political cycle. We have too many concurring political, social, cultural, ethnic, economic, and ideological divisions...that our current electorate system can't overcome. We're not the Democracy other nations think we are, and we're not the Republic we believe ourselves to be. We're less united, and more divided, with internal strife that's more destructive than any "outside" force.

    Our states are fighting one another, as "competitors" in global Capitalism. Yet, we're not acting as a Unified nation in a global economy. We seem ready to sacrifice certain states, and their main industries, to international corporate profits. For products like orange juice or milk, or pharmaceutical patents, or financial services. Replete with corporate subsidies, and crony capitalism, from paid lobbyists and their chosen legislators.

    There is something seriously wrong, and rotten, in the US system of democracy.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    It's depressing, but the reality is.....the US is treading water, and will continue to do so for a while, at least until the next Presidential election and political cycle. We have too many concurring political, social, cultural, ethnic, economic, and ideological divisions...that our current electorate system can't overcome. We're not the Democracy other nations think we are, and we're not the Republic we believe ourselves to be. We're less united, and more divided, with internal strife that's more destructive than any "outside" force.

    Our states are fighting one another, as "competitors" in global Capitalism. Yet, we're not acting as a Unified nation in a global economy. We seem ready to sacrifice certain states, and their main industries, to international corporate profits. For products like orange juice or milk, or pharmaceutical patents, or financial services. Replete with corporate subsidies, and crony capitalism, from paid lobbyists and their chosen legislators.

    There is something seriously wrong, and rotten, in the US system of democracy.
    Crony capitalism is awful. Wouldn't it be great people just told the government to fuck off and demand that they remove themselves form the economy?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Crony capitalism is awful. Wouldn't it be great people just told the government to fuck off and demand that they remove themselves form the economy?
    No. Crony capitalism can't be corrected without legislation or regulation from "the government". But it would be great if we could snip the ties between cronyism in politics and corporatism.

  14. #14
    *sighs* You really have to stop misusing/misunderstanding the terms you use someday GGT.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    *sighs* You really have to stop misusing/misunderstanding the terms you use someday GGT.
    What do you mean? I could have said nepotism, or graft, but the gist was private/public, institutional, symbiotic corruption.

    If you want to be pedantic about terminology, go pick on Lewk.



    Until then, I will continue to focus on the parts of the USA that make us a Union.
    Last edited by GGT; 02-09-2014 at 04:09 AM.

  16. #16
    Crony capitalism cannot be corrected by legislation and can only be stopped by not regulating (which would be worse), and corporatism flat out doesn't mean what you think it means. You are getting it confused because it shares a linguistic root with corporation.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Crony capitalism cannot be corrected by legislation and can only be stopped by not regulating (which would be worse), and corporatism flat out doesn't mean what you think it means. You are getting it confused because it shares a linguistic root with corporation.
    I think "cronyism" is a broad enough term to include nepotism, inside deals and special favors, the kind of 'soft' corruption that runs up to the edges of cornering a market, bribery or extortion -- that do need legislation and regulation in order to be considered crimes and warrant prosecution.

    You may think I used "corporatism" improperly, but taken in context it's the difference between political power and corporate power, how laws are written, and by whom. When Lewk said, "Wouldn't it be great people just told the government to fuck off and demand that they remove themselves form the economy?" I was reminding him that "the government" means legislative and judicial branches, that "the economy" can't work without business/corporate laws and regulations to curb white-collar crimes...and the revolving door between political and corporate interests.

    Maybe you should parse Lewk's posts and critique his use of terms first.

  18. #18
    The govt. needs to return to legislation that limits it's own ability to interfere with "The People" instead telling everybody what not to do. Sounds silly, simplistic, ignorant, whatever, I know. But one the greatest legal documents to come into existence almost exclusively limits govt. and leaves people to their individual conscience. Yes, the U.S. Constitution, naive according some folks, but more limiting to govt. than the citizenry. It's entire purpose is to protect the people from the govt., Ironic?
    The worst job in the world is better than being broke and homeless

  19. #19
    omg it's rumrunner! So glad to see you post again.

    Yes, the US Constitution and Bill of Rights are great legal documents. Written for The People, it recognizes the need to protect against any over-reaching entity, not limited to "the government".....but also private wealth that can "buy" its way to government influence. Ironic, for sure, seeing that many of the originators owned human slaves at the time, and didn't think women were equal to men.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    I think "cronyism" is a broad enough term to include nepotism, inside deals and special favors, the kind of 'soft' corruption that runs up to the edges of cornering a market, bribery or extortion -- that do need legislation and regulation in order to be considered crimes and warrant prosecution.
    If one decides to use terms broadly enough (and you certainly always do) then literally everything can be made the same.

    You may think I used "corporatism" improperly, but taken in context it's the difference between political power and corporate power, how laws are written, and by whom.
    Corporatism refers to the organizational perspective of arranging groups by field of interest. It doesn't matter what "context" you were trying to use it in because you're not referring to anything about corporatism at all. It is not in the slightest about things betwixt political and corporate power. And what the hell is "corporate power" anyway?

    When Lewk said, "Wouldn't it be great people just told the government to fuck off and demand that they remove themselves form the economy?" I was reminding him that "the government" means legislative and judicial branches, that "the economy" can't work without business/corporate laws and regulations to curb white-collar crimes...and the revolving door between political and corporate interests.

    Maybe you should parse Lewk's posts and critique his use of terms first.
    Lewk hasn't misused terms here that I've seen. You may imagine he has because you've got no clue what the terms mean and just assign them definitions they don't have but the person wrong there is still you.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    And what the hell is "corporate power" anyway?
    I'm using terms in a modern and contemporary way that I think most people use and understand, without looking it up in the dictionary. I use "Big Banks" or "Wall Street" in the same way. "Corporate power" has connotations for lay people and "Main Street"---that means multi-billion dollar profits for Walmart or McDonald's, while paying poverty wages, and employees needing food stamps. Or AOL's CEO announcing 401-K plans were reduced because they had a couple of "expensive" babies drawing million dollar healthcare benefits.

    Lay people have known that 'corporate power' has meant control over their economic lives for a very long time. Not just in wages and income, but also disability and unemployment insurance, retirement plans...and affordable health insurance. Plus corporate donors funding political campaigns and economic agendas. It's hard for me to believe you don't already know this.


    Lewk hasn't misused terms here that I've seen. You may imagine he has because you've got no clue what the terms mean and just assign them definitions they don't have but the person wrong there is still you.
    Pfft. Every time Lewk says "liberal" or "government", he's misusing/abusing terms.

  22. #22
    Does Wall Street also pay poverty wages?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  23. #23
    Sure, when Wall Street crashes, it takes millions of Main Street retirement investments right down the tubes. Do you disagree?

  24. #24
    Are you physically incapable of actually answering a question? Do the people who work on Wall St. make poverty wages? If not, why do you suppose that is?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Are you physically incapable of actually answering a question? Do the people who work on Wall St. make poverty wages? If not, why do you suppose that is?
    Well, no one is employed by "Wall Street". If I was wrong in assuming you used the term metaphorically, pardon my error.

    People who trade with Wall Street work for financial institutions, fund managers, analytic groups, hedge funds--and don't generally earn minimum wage. But some of their employees might...like phone operators, janitors, security, messengers, food caterers....even though they work "on" Wall Street.

    How pedantic do we need to be?

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