2011 SOTU

The teleprompter in chief will be speaking at prom night in DC the State of The Union address tonight at 8:55 eastern.  Or as Michelle Malkin as put it, “talk like a Republican day.”

The SOTU  is usually extremely long because of the applause the President is inevitability interrupted with during his message, but on the bright side we don’t have to stare at Nancy Pelosi throughout the speech.

I will be liveblogging the speech here so if you do not want to watch it or just want to read my commentary be sure to check it during and after the speech. I will also likely be liveblogging Paul Ryan’s response after the President’s speech.

Michelle Bachmann will be giving a Tea Party response which will be broadcast online.

Chief Justice John Roberts will be there tonight but Samuel Alito will not which is not surprising considering this happened last year.

Text of Obama’s speech here and according to Dana Perino of the 6,082 words only 207 relate to health care.

Text of Ryan’s rebuttal here

8:16 PM Central: Obama’s first portion of the speech is centered around Congress working together because now bills must be passed by support from both Republicans and Democrats. Is that what the November elections told him?

8:26 Oak Ridge getting some love from 44

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities.  With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

8:31 Obama keeps referencing “winning the future” and other Newt Gingrich ideas. Several people on twitter are noticing this.

8:37 “The third step in winning the future…” more Gingrich. I can’t wait to hear what he says about this speech.

8:48 After a brief note on health care Obama begins talking about the spending freeze which before the speech a great rebuttal was given by Jim DeMint

9:00 Obama praises Republicans and Democrats for passing the START Treaty. Unfortunately TN Senators Alexander and Corker BOTH voted for it. It was a terrible piece of legislation.

9:06 Obama mentions repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and the camera cuts to millitary men who sit without applauding. Democrats give standing ovation.

9:12 “From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.” More Gingrich…

Now let’s see what Paul Ryan has got.

9:27 Ryan is doing a good job of talking about what the President has actually done versus what he says he is going to do.

9:29 “Americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified.” He goes on to say that Congress owes it to the American people to do a better job.

Very interesting Ryan is focusing almost solely on the economy and jobs. This is what Americans want to hear.

9:34

Millions of families have fallen on hard times not because of our ideals of free enterprise – but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals; because of poor decisions made in Washington and Wall Street that caused a financial crisis, squandered our savings, broke our trust, and crippled our economy.

Great job focusing on jobs and the economy. Also he didn’t blame just the Democrats but all of Congress.

Really interested to hear what Michelle Bachmann has to say, I know it will be interesting.

9:49 In opening she says that she was invited to speak and it is not meant to compete with the official Republican response.

Bachmann uses a chart that shows unemployment from the Bush presidency to the Obama presidency.

9:55 “We will push forward…we will proclaim liberty throughout the land.”

Michelle Malkin points out that Bachmann practices what she preaches even though Congressman Ryan does not always do so.

People seem to be up in arms over Bachmann’s response. Apparently pointing out how Obama’s agenda has hurt our economy is uncivil.

rick perry

Rick Perry the Governor of Texas was inaugurated for his 3rd term on the 18th. His remarks Tuesday were dead on as usual. At about the 3:30 mark in the video is where Governor Perry begins the main portion of his speech.

On the topic of spending Perry says, “there is no such thing as the government’s money, it’s the people’s money.”

On the huge increase in job creation Texas has had, “those jobs are more than just statistics.”

Towards the end of his speech he speaks to how Texas can bring the whole country out of our economic downturn. “Our state is the new best hope for small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Although Texas has not experienced the gigantic troubles that many states have they still have a large deficit this year. However they are handling it the right way by cutting expenses which is a crazy concept isn’t it?

As a Tennessean I hope that newly elected Bill Haslam can accomplish half as much as Perry has. Perry is very popular all across the country and he has been making appearances all over the U.S. promoting his book, but unfortunately he has denied having any interest in running for president. I definitely hope this changes because Perry would be a great candidate.

santorum likely to run / UPDATED

“What the president has done — and this is the typical left: We know better, we’ll structure the marketplace, we’ll run it and it’ll be better than if people do it in the private sector. It’s a lie. It doesn’t work.” These are the words of former Senator Rick Santorum in an article from The Hill today about a possible presidential run. In the article written by Shane D’Aprile he says that Santorum has been to Iowa more than any other GOP possible presidential nominee.

Here are a few thoughts about a probable Santorum run…

UPDATE (January 20th) : As I mentioned above there is a good chance that Santorum will say something stupid and he has already done that. Playing the race card on Obama is not a good idea…

Herman Cain 2012?

Herman Cain has announced he will be forming a presidential exploratory committee. Unless there is some major setback, controversy, etc. I believe Cain will announce his candidacy. He has already launched a website and is accepting donations.

Cain has a strong business background and a truly American story. He became very popular during the early stages of the tea party movement and has continued to increase his support. I will certainly list more biographical information if he officially announces his candidacy, but now I want to list a few immediate reactions I have to his possible candidacy.

  • Running a business gives you credibility to be an elected official. Anyone who has ran a business knows what kind of hurdles they must overcome that the government throws at them. They also know what life is like for the vast majority of Americans who do have to work a job to make a living. Especially in this day and age we feel politicians don’t listen to the American people or have any idea what is going on outside the beltway but Cain does. Cain has been a businessman virtually his whole life and he has had a great deal of success.
  • Going off my last point he is the prototypical non-establishment candidate. This was extremely appealing to constituents in 2010 and it could possibly be appealing to Republicans in picking a nominee for President. If the Tea Party movement continues to have success and influence the fact that he has spent his whole life outside of the Washington bubble will help him tremendously.
  • He has never been elected to public office. This would be a big setback and a point of major criticism right from the start. However going back to my first reaction this can easily be changed into a positive.

Matt Lewis has a very detailed column about Cain written 6 months ago which gives some good insight into his chances to win in 2012.  I will be interested to see what people’s early receptions are to Cain and how much early publicity he gets because that will define his chances.

decision points

I looked out the window to the treaty room. In the distance I could see the Jefferson Memorial, where the words of the Declaration of Independence are carved into the wall: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Across the Potomac sat the scarred Pentagon. For twenty-six days after 9/11 we had planned and prepared. Now the wait was over. America’s counterattack was under way. The liberation of Afghanistan had begun (p. 184).

This is an excerpt from the memoirs of the 43rd President of the United States aptly called Decision Points. The book is not an autobiography but rather a combination of policies and decisions that Bush made during his two-term presidency. Bush gives an in depth look into his decision making on a variety of policies. Each chapter is broken down into separate issues where Bush explains why he did what he did. Below are a few reactions I had to the book.

1) You would feel differently about the world if every morning the first thing you did was get an intelligence briefing. This seems obvious but in Bush’s book you really get a feel for what it is like to have the pressure of protecting a nation weighing down on you at all times. For example, there was a great deal of intelligence relaying that there was an imminent attack planned for October 30th -31st 2001, that would be, “bigger than the World Trade Center attack.” Dick Cheney was moved to a safe undisclosed location, but Bush decided not to change any plans and on the 30th the President famously threw out the first pitch of the Yankees/Diambondbacks World Series game.

2) In my international relations classes in college we often spoke about how if Bush had to do it over again he probably wouldn’t have entered Iraq. I agreed with this assumption, but after reading the book I could not have been more wrong. If you only read one chapter of the book it should be the 8th which is on Iraq. Bush sums up his thoughts on Iraq with this statement.

I strongly believe that removing Saddam from power was the right decision. For all the difficulties that followed, America is safer without a homicidal dictator pursuing WMD and supporting terror at the heart of the Middle East. The region is more hopeful with a young democracy setting an example for others to follow. And the Iraqi people are better off with a government that answers to them instead of torturing and murdering them (p. 267).

3) 15 billion. That is the amount President Bush committed to give the people of Africa to fight AIDS/HIV with the PEPFAR plan (President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief). This is something that does not get talked about nearly enough. Most people are unaware that Bush did anything to fight AIDS, but I believe that this is something that will have a lasting impact. Bush sums up the immediate impact PEPFAR had.

By the time I left office in January 2009, PEPFAR had supported treatment for 2.1 million people and care for more than 10 million people. American taxpayer dollars had helped protect mothers and babies during more than 16 million pregnancies. More than 57 million people had benefited from AIDS testing and counseling sessions (p. 353).

I certainly am not the only one who has gotten the book, Decision Points has already sold more copies than Bill Clinton’s My Life Another book that is already out which gives great information on the Bush presidency is Karl Rove’s book.

no labels = no impact

On several occasions last week Rush Limbaugh spoke about the new No Labels non-party. As usual he made several good points, but my favorite had to be his statements of how ridiculous the name “no labels” is for a political affiliation.

This No Labels business, I’ve been thinking more and more about this.  I just saw a guy talking about them and the guy said exactly what I imagined them saying:  “For those of us in the middle who don’t really want to be held hostage to the far right or the far left but we have our solutions to issues, we want to be heard, too.”  Okay, fine.  Somebody explain to me in what walk of life there are no labels.  Religion?  No labels?  Business?  No labels?  Gender?  No labels?  What?  Somebody tell me where there aren’t any labels.  Go to the grocery store and get rid of the labels and then what would you have?  Well, you’d have a lot less government because you wouldn’t have those phony ingredient labels on there.

read the full transcript here

George Will blasted the party in his article Sunday in which he provides line after line of blows to the head of the non-party like a heavyweight champ fighting an over matched competitor.

No Labels, its earnestness subverting its grammar, says: “We do not ask any political leader to ever give up their label — merely put it aside.” But adopting a political label should be an act of civic candor. When people label themselves conservatives or liberals we can reasonably surmise where they stand concerning important matters, such as Judge Hudson’s ruling. The label “conservative” conveys much useful information about people who adopt it. So does the label “liberal,” which is why most liberals have abandoned it, preferring “progressive,” until they discredit it, too.

It’s almost unfair for someone of Will’s intelligence to debate the validity of a movement such as No Labels.

It’s not a good sing that proponents of No Labels are already trying to defend it.  Joe Scarborough attempts to do that, but the attempt is about as successful as the early perception of the non-party itself. I wonder if this non-partisan party will be significant enough to have ludicrous accusations thrown at them?

mitch daniels

In July I listed my top 4 nominees to run for president in 2012. One candidate on the list who was and is still a dark horse candidate is Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Being the governor of a low profile state in the Midwest does not offer the publicity of states such as California, New York, etc. However, what does offer good publicity is taking a multimillion dollar deficit which he inherited and turning it into a $1.3 billion surplus by the end of his first term.

Mona Charen had a great piece on Friday about the governor which lists his past success and possible bid for the White House. As with any potential candidate right now there are few if any signs that he may or may not run and also like any candidate there are certain downsides to a presidential bid. As the above article states, “he favored a temporary truce on social issues.” Overall though he is  a strong conservative and one that looks more appealing as a presidential candidate as time goes on.

arizona law in tennessee

Today the Tennessean has an article detailing the plans to produce a bill that is similar to the Arizona immigration bill in the 2011 Tennessee State Legislature. This should come as no surprise because last year after the bill was passed in Arizona the Tennessee House voted 67-27 commending Arizona on their bill.

State Senator Bill Ketron R-Murfreesboro plans to file a similar bill by Thursday.

Of course the Tennessean gives very small mention to what the bill will actually be about or details about the bill. Instead most of the article is spent talking about special interests and their impact and influence on the bill as well as the negative economic impact a bill like this would have. It’s unfortunate that this is viewed so negatively by the Tennessean however conservatives can take solace in knowing that with the big Republican majority in Tennessee this bill should easily pass.

is palin the best choice in 2012?

It’s all but certain that Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012, especially with her aides looking for office space in Iowa.  That added with her new book and tour seem to indicate that a presidential run is a certainty.

It seems that many Republicans from those who are more moderate to those who claim to be a part of the tea party are hesitant to support such a run.  Mona Charen wrote a piece over the weekend detailing why Palin shouldn’t  run. Everyone seems so willing to give answers as to why she should not run listing all the things she has done wrong during the time between her bid as the Vice Presidential nominee until now. Most fail to mention the success candidates she endorsed had in the mid-term elections. 51 out of the 61 candidates she supported in the primaries won and so far 32 of those candidates have won in the general election. Two of the biggest races where a Palin backed GOP candidate won were the gubernatorial races in South Carolina and New Mexico which saw Nikki Haley and Susana Martinez win. She has brought about a great wave of support among women to the right and that support came to fruition with these women winning and both becoming the first female governors of their respective states.  Her PAC produced a great video highlighting the support she has created among women.

One thing I have trouble comprehending is the absolute hate the left has for GOP women in general but especially Palin. Michelle Malkin has detailed what she has called “Palin derangement syndrome” since the last presidential election. Here is her post describing the left making fun of Palin for referring to the tea party of 1773. The left went crazy over how stupid she was for referring to a tea party in 1773…nevermind that was the actual year of the Boston Tea Party.  I could write a novel on the absurd number of false attacks she has endured over the past few years but I need to sleep at some point and more importantly I’m not getting paid for this.

The main objection most Republicans seem to have against Palin is that she is not electable in a general election. Many think she could win the primary but she would fail in the general election. Quinnipiac University released a poll today giving evidence to support that argument. I felt the same way in 2008 about a certain presidential candidate. This person came from nowhere and was running against the establishment of his party. He seemed to be entirely too radical to ever get elected in a general election so I was really hoping he would win. Then Barack Obama went on to win the presidency in a near landslide. Besides the obvious ideological differences, Obama and Palin are about as different as two people can be and Palin winning in 2012 would be very different than Obama winning in 2008, but there are certain parallels that can’t be ignored.

Will Sarah Palin be the Republican nominee? No one knows for sure. I don’t even know if I would vote for her. However, she is certainly more qualified than this bozo and the rest of the Obama clan. All I know is that I can’t wait for 2012 because if it’s Palin, Gingrich, Pawlenty, or an unknown there will be a Republican elected President.

jindal speaks out against ban on drilling

Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wrote an excellent op-ed in the Washington Post Saturday. You can read it for yourself here. Not surprisingly he is highly critical of the federal government’s involvement (or lack there of) in helping out with the oil spill.

He is most critical of the moratorium that has stopped deep water drilling. He says it adds “insult to injury”, while also creating a “second disaster.”

Jindal’s best statement comes near the end when he says the following:

“Louisianans, of all people, don’t want to see another drop of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. It is our land and our way of life that are being harmed. Yet the administration tells our people to simply file a claim with BP or file for unemployment. Our people want to work, not collect unemployment checks.”