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The State of the DisUnion

Just once, after a State of the Union message, I’d like to get the sense that the member of the opposing party making the comments on the President’s speech had listened to it.

Gov. Mitch Daniels (R – Indiana) was the opposition leader commenting last night, and he was content to give a list of everything the Republicans consistently say is Obama’s lack of policy decisions. This, of course, ignored just about every statement the President made that not only contradicted the Republican positions, but backed up each statement with statistics and examples proving their fairness and worth.

Daniels, however, accused President Obama of doing the things which just about everyone who watches this stuff would lay at the feet of Republicans:

“No feature of the Obama Presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others,” he said.

Obama dealt directly with reducing the deficit, with everyone playing “by the same set of rules”, by adjusting taxes on the rich and saving deductions for the middle class. He gave support to businesses, while the Republicans stated that he ignored business.

Obama’s speech was positive and moving. The total result of the Republican response was that they could only solve all our problems by reducing the deficit. The President gave the outline of what is going to be a very strong campaign. The Republicans seemed to be on the ropes.

Tonight is Obama’s State of the Union Address…

President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union speech tonight at 9 p.m. EST. It is expected to last at least an hour, after which Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana will deliver the Republican response (there will be a Tea Party response from Herman Cain… don’t miss it. All speeches like this should end with humor.)

Obama is expected to use the State of the Union to pitch new initiatives on jobs, taxes and housing, in what will be billed as his opening salvo in a long 2012 election race. He will probably push tax breaks for bringing manufacturing jobs home from overseas, give ideas to help the troubled home-mortgage market and create incentives for alternative energy development. Expect him to call again for higher taxes on the wealthy – despite consistent Republican opposition – and to speak of further pressure on China over currency and trade practices.

There are a number of ways you can watch and follow the speech online. The official White House website, which will not only be streaming the speech live, but will be accompany it with charts, stats, and data that reinforce the address. On television, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC will all air the speech live. The Huffington Post will also run liveblog coverage of the event, accompanied by an embedded live video feed.

Some items based on recent Obama remarks leading up to the address:

“Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.”

The President has promised to let the Bush tax cuts for millionaires expire at the end of 2012.

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“[The Affordable Care Act] is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage.”

At least 2.5 million young Americans now have health insurance through their parents’ health care plans until 26 years of age. As of November, more than 2.2 million people with Medicare had saved more than $1.2 billion on prescriptions (I’m one of them. I support this whole heartedly. – Bill)

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Expect the Republicans to make it clear that they will continue to oppose Obama’s positions… but also expect Obama to say that he will be seeking bi-partisan progress even though it is an election year.

It should be noted, however, that State of the Union messages have historically not effected increases in a President’s poll ratings (an exception being Bill Clinton’s 2nd address which increased his numbers by 3%.)

Quote of the Day – Haley Barbour is out of the race…

“I will not be a candidate for president next year. This has been a difficult, personal decision, and I am very grateful to my family for their total support of my going forward, had that been what I decided.

“Hundreds of people have encouraged me to run and offered both to give and raise money for a presidential campaign.  Many volunteers have organized events in support of my pursuing the race.  Some have dedicated virtually full time to setting up preliminary organizations in critical, early states and to helping plan what has been several months of intensive activity.

“I greatly appreciate each and every one of them and all their outstanding efforts.  If I have disappointed any of them in this decision, I sincerely regret it.”

– Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (R)

So who will Haley support for the Republican nomination? Best guess is his good buddy, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R).


What is going on with the Republican presidential choices?

Republicans Don’t Like Their Candidates

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds just 43% of Republicans are satisfied with their choices in the 2012 presidential field, far below the 65% who said the same at this time in the 2008 race.

The Fix: “Put Simply: The opportunity is ripe for someone with the fiscally conservative focus of an Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels or, less likely, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, to get into the race and immediately begin winning over Republicans dissatisfied with their current options.”

And what is even more interesting, the leading candidate, with around 26% of the Republican’s approval, is Donald Trump. Trump is entertaining the Press with statements pertaining to the “Birther” movement, demanding Obama’s birth certificate and spreading misinformation about his birth location, citizenship, education, etc. At the same time he is attacking  both Democrats AND Republicans, tearing down Mitt Romney last week by insulting his professional business record, his gross income, and, of course, his Massachusetts health plan which has a great similarity to our Affordable Health Care plan passed last year. I won’t even get into the statements he made this week about foreign policy.
Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

The Donald

How someone like Trump can have such a lead in the polls is either because they are polling Democrats who are masquerading as Republicans and would dearly love to have Trump running against Obama (perhaps with Michelle Bachman as the VP candidate), or Republicans are using this as a front to lure out someone like Mitch Daniels that they would really like to have running. It is hard to believe that Republicans are that unconcerned with the stability of this country to really want someone like the Donald as our National Leader.
You would think that the Press would ignore all this and focus on the real news in the world – there’s plenty of it that we should talk about and understand how to respond as a people. You’d think so, but between this garbage about Trump and the Royal Wedding, a whole lot of our broadcast news not worth turning on.
Thank goodness for the internet.

Indiana Dems: This Is Our Moment And We’re Seizing It

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com

Indiana Governor Mitchell Daniels delivers his...
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) changed his tune on Wednesday, after Democrats said they’re staying put in Urbana, IL rather than letting the GOP majority push through Daniels’ education reform agenda. Gone was Daniels’ conciliatory tone from Tuesday, when he told his party to drop the right-to-work bill that sent House Democrats across the border to Illinois. In its place a was a pledge to wait out the Democrats and keep the Indiana legislature open as long as he has to in order for votes to take place.

Color Indiana Democrats unimpressed.
“At first we thought the Governor was being the good cop and [House] Speaker [Brian Bosma] was being the bad cop,” state Rep. Scott Pelath (D) told TPM in a phone interview from his Illinois hotel room. “Now it looks like the governor is taking both of those roles in his own person.”
Democrats are also upset over Daniels statewide school voucher plan, which would let public school students use state money to attend private schools if they chose.
blog it
State Democratic Party chair Dan Parker said his party is seizing a political moment. 

“Is there a certain political benefit? That’s yet to be determined,” Parker told TPM. “But I can tell you the base of the Democratic party is pretty riled up in the state of Indiana right now.”

“We may not have a lot of numbers right now,” he added. “But this shows…we’re not just going to roll over and play dead.”

I am a member of the Middle Class and recognize that Republicans want to destroy my world…

What does it mean to take away bargaining rights from public employee’s unions? As we watch the Republicans in Wisconsin, it might be worth it to look at Indiana where, 5 years ago upon being elected, Republican Governor Mitch Daniels eliminated collective bargaining for public unions in that state. Now their state legislature is carrying things a step further…it’s going after the PRIVATE UNIONS (just what the Wisconsin Republicans are denying will ever happen). And, according to Politico, their getting the same kind of response that is occurring in Wisconsin now:

“The Indiana bill bars unions from negotiating contracts and requires that non-union members pay fees. In response to the Indiana bill, just two of the 40 House Democrats showed up in the state legislature Tuesday.”

It is not going to be enough, however, for Democrats to just avoid showing up to prevent votes from happening. We have to get to the point where Republicans agree to the Democratic principle of COMPROMISE… something that has distinguished this country since it was formed in the eighteenth century. Yet, Scott Walker is insisting he will not compromise on the matter of collective bargaining, even though the Unions have agreed on salary cuts and just about every other request…wanting only to retain their major human right to negotiate and compromise.

Governor Daniels in Indiana, probably because he is heading for a presidential primary run and doesn’t want to appear offensive to anyone, has now come out publicly to have his Republican legislative majority to stop campaigning to eliminate bargaining rights for all unions.

Of course, Republican Governor Kasich, to make sure managers maintain control of public unions…especially teachers…has steered the Ohio General Assembly to consider a proposal similar to legislation introduced by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin that would roll back collective bargaining rights for public employees, including teachers. While saying that this move is not meant to destroy unions, how can it be looked at any other way given the occurances in Indiana and Wisconsin?

Republicans nationally, led by John Boehner in the House, have publicly come out opposed to compromise, especially with Democratic workers. Leslie Stahl caught him on 60 Minutes on Sunday:

STAHL: But governing means compromising.

BOEHNER: It means working together.

STAHL: It also means compromising.

BOEHNER: It means finding common ground.

STAHL: Okay, is that compromising?

BOEHNER: I made it clear I am not going to compromise on my principles, nor am I going to compromise the will of the American people.

STAHL: What are you saying? You’re saying, “I want common ground, but I’m not gonna compromise.” I don’t understand that. I really don’t.

BOEHNER: When you say the word “compromise,” a lot of Americans look up and go, “Uh oh, they’re gonna sell me out.” And so finding common ground, I think, makes more sense.

Then, Stahl noted that Boehner compromised his position on the Bush tax cuts to get a deal with Obama last week, noting that he had wanted the all the Bush-era tax cuts extended permanently but only got a two-year extension. Boehner again said it wasn’t a compromise. “Why won’t you say you’re afraid of the word,” Stahl asked. “I reject the word,” Boehner said.

OK. My wife is a community college teacher who works for the State of Maryland. I am a retired Social Security recipient who must start Medicare and Medicaid in May. If we are anything we are, and have always been, Middle Class. And we see the Republicans coming directly at us… and we are prepared to do something about it. We will campaign for candidates who will refuse to send this country back to the days of Herbert Hoover. I will make this blog a source for truth and information protesting the Middle Class destruction that the 1% rich, like the Koch Brothers, are investing their assets in. Together we will continue to fight for the Middle Class and try to make the members of that Class who voted for Republicans in the last elections realize how they were..and still are…being used.

I advise all my readers not to give up…and not to give in