So issuing a seating chart like you did in first grade will make Democrats and Republicans work better together? I remember seating charts as being annoying, frequently forcing me to sit by people who actively disliked me and pestered me. I don’t remember the seating chart helping any. Nor do I think they’re appropriate for adults. (Whether “adults” applies to Congress is open to debate.)
I have to say, after the last SOTU performance, I’m glad three of the Supreme Court justices chose not to show up. I think the president should have done more than shake the attending justices’ hands this time. President Obama should have apologized at the beginning of the speech for his grossly unprofessional (and inaccurate) dressing-down of the Supreme Court during last year’s SOTU for a decision he disagreed with.
I heard a lot of discussion of South Korea. They call their teachers “nation builders.” (Do they pay them like they respect them? Do you realize, Mr. President, that Asia holds teachers in high esteem and demands that children perform well in school? If students treated teachers there like they do here, they would be expelled in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, we’re trying to treat American students like contributing adults, not learners needing guidance.) South Korea has better internet access. (Not surprised; they’re much smaller than we are.)
“We have to confront the fact that government spends more than it takes in…” REALLY? You finally noticed that?
Freezing annual domestic spending isn’t much of a solution. We need to cut spending. I don’t know why we were funding “community action groups” to begin with; don’t grassroots fund themselves? We need to seriously consider where the federal government is wasting its money and where it should never have been spending our money in the first place.
Plus, earlier, the president talked extensively about spending more on education (of course, we should point out that the federal department of education is unConstitutional). We have proven over and over that more money on education doesn’t equal improved results. DC spends more than almost anybody else per student, yet their test scores, graduation rates, and other measures of success are consistently some of the worst in the nation. He mentioned that China was doing better in some measures; how much does China spend, as compared to cost of living, per student? I’m betting they spend a lot less and get a lot more.
But that’s ok, were going to fund 100,000 teachers in math and science, so we can innovate more, like Henry Ford and Facebook! (Um, sir? Facebook may be the greatest time sink of all time. It’s also a prime example of why getting internet to everyone isn’t going to solve everything; Facebook is one of the milder time sinks out there.)
“We will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat [al Qaeda].” … at least until July, when he also just said we will be out of Afghanistan, so just be patient and we’ll be gone soon.
I’m glad he said that America stands with all those with democratic aspirations, in commenting on Tunisia. I just wish he had said it forcefully and repeatedly during the uprising in Iran.
“We must not [balance the budget] on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens.” Like the unborn? I know it’s a bit much to ask, but how about acknowledging the several hundred thousand protesters who stood in near-freezing weather for the 38th year in a row to say that we cannot keep murdering the most vulnerable among us? How many of the scientists, innovators, and heroes we could have had are dead?
Sixty-two disjointed minutes, tons of platitudes, a half dozen or so anecdotes. I hope he meant what he said about malpractice reform, simplifying the tax code, and reducing the corporate tax rate, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m rather concerned about a massive reorganization of the government. Saying we need to improve education and compete better is like the football coach on the low end of the scoreboard telling the reporter at halftime, “We need to stop the turnovers and score more often.” Well, no kidding.
“We do big things.” Like Facebook, more high speed rail to nowhere, and more money thrown at our lagging education system (because it’s investment, not spending)? That’s it? That’s all you can come up with?
I was about to get really cynical, but Rep. Paul Ryan’s response was ten minutes of hopeful response. Now, let’s wait and see if the Republicans are going to be conservatives this time.