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Posts Tagged ‘State of the Union’
February 14th, 2013 at 5:10 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The State of the Union
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez. 

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

February 9th, 2013 at 4:44 pm
Death of Deliberative Democracy?

If you’re someone who thinks that democracy works best when citizens and their representatives take time to deliberate (i.e. reason and think together), then a new Fox News/Bing collaboration will not excite you.

From Politico:

Bing is teaming up with Fox News to bring State of the Union viewers an interactive experience with real-time polling and social media aggregation.

The project is spearheaded by Microsoft’s Mark Penn, the Democratic strategist and pollster, and promises to meet the “growing need for up-to-the-minute political information and second-screen experiences that are a great companion to political broadcasts.”

Bing Pulse will allow anyone to vote every five seconds on their feelings about the address and the results will be shown live on the site and on Fox News Channel.

“We think this will be the largest live online poll in history,” Penn writes in an announcement of the project.

It’s also history’s most useless poll.  Allowing people “to vote every five seconds on their feelings” about a message as they’re hearing it would be great if we wanted to know people’s reactions to words instead of sentences.  It’s bad enough that most political dialogue has been reduced to competing sound bites.  But at least sound bites are designed to trigger reactions based on thoughts.  From Penn’s description, this new venture is tracking little more than raw emotion in five second intervals.

January 25th, 2012 at 9:13 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The State of the Union
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 24th, 2012 at 3:50 pm
Oil Prices Up 161% Since Final Week of 2008
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

During tonight’s State of the Union speech, Barack Obama will trot out his usual energy platitudes, Solyndra now excepted.

Regardless of Obama’s rhetoric, however, the real-world facts speak perfectly clearly.  Since the final week of 2008, according to the Thomson Reuters Datastream, the price per barrel of crude oil has increased an astounding 161%.  That year, Obama famously suggested that his election would mark the date on which Earth began to heal, the seas stopped rising and magic unicorns began delivering free In ‘n’ Out burgers to those of us on the east coast.  Instead, we’ve seen deficits rising, unemployment rising and oil prices rising.  As they say in Latin, “res ipsa loquitur” – “the fact speaks for itself.”   Namely, that Obama’s grandiosity and his actual performance maintain an inverse relationship.

January 28th, 2011 at 4:32 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: Interpreting Obama’s State of the Union Address
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 25th, 2011 at 11:31 pm
Liberals, on Another Planet
Posted by Troy Senik Print

If you thought President Obama’s tin-eared State of the Union speech was the last word in liberal misfires, then you clearly haven’t been paying close enough attention to the early machinations surrounding the 2012 U.S. Senate race in Connecticut. According to The Hill:

Liberals want Keith Olbermann to run for retiring Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) seat.

The ploy to coax the former MSNBC host into the Democratic Senate primary was hatched by activists attending a conference in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

Facebook and Twitter pages are already active and a website is expected to go up in the coming days.

“We’re using our full set of campaign tools but they won’t go active until we get a little downtime while we’re in D.C.,” a blogger by the name of Stranded Wind wrote on the liberal website Daily Kos.

Nice of Stranded Wind to get involved. Also nice of him to have a handle that will perfectly describe the Olbermann campaign the day after it goes down to defeat.

January 25th, 2011 at 1:36 am
D.C. School Vouchers Will Test Obama’s Commitment to Bipartisanship
Posted by Troy Senik Print

As President Obama uses Tuesday night’s State of the Union address to attempt a pivot to the center (a topic you can hear me discuss at length with my fellow former White House speechwriters Peter Robinson and Bill McGurn in last week’s Ricochet podcast), newly minted Speaker of the House John Boehner is preparing to call the president’s bluff by teeing up an offer that the president — who has long claimed to be a proponent of education reform — shouldn’t be able to refuse: the renewal of school vouchers in Washington, D.C.

D.C. schools have long had a reputation as the nation’s worst. In response, a five year pilot program of Opportunity Scholarships (a fancy term for school vouchers) was begun in 2004. Then, in 2009 — despite years of positive results — an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress bent to the will of the teachers’ unions and shut the program down. Ninety percent of the children who had to leave the program then found themselves back in failing D.C. schools.

If Speaker Boehner has his way, that trend will be coming to an end soon. According to a story in Politico:

The day after President Barack Obama makes education a centerpiece of his State of the Union address, House Speaker John Boehner will try to force his hand on the issue of school vouchers in Washington, D.C. as a test of the White House’s commitment to bipartisanship.

The Ohio Republican, along with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), will introduce legislation on Wednesday to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, the speaker’s office said Monday, making a school voucher initiative that Democrats, including Obama, have strongly opposed as a bargaining chip for beginning discussions on the administration’s desired education proposals.

It’s likely that the media won’t say much — or at least won’t say it for long — if this proposal doesn’t go anywhere. That’s to their shame. How the Democratic Party can ever expect to be taken seriously in its self-appointed role as defender of the downtrodden is inexplicable if they don’t take action to heal the wounds of poor minority children whose first, best chance at a better life is crushed beneath the weight of government bureaucracy.

October 16th, 2010 at 2:05 pm
Justice Alito Planning to Skip President Obama’s Next State of the Union Address

You may remember Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s reaction to President Barack Obama’s scolding of he and other conservatives on national television last January.  According to Alito, he’s finished with the farce of sitting stone-faced while being harangued.

The 60-year-old justice, an appointee of President George W. Bush, acknowledged with a smile that his colleagues “who are more disciplined refrain from manifesting any emotion or opinion whatsoever.”

Alito, answering questions following a speech Wednesday at the conservative Manhattan Institute in New York, also said, “Presidents will fake you out.” The institute provided an online video link to Alito’s talk and question-and-answer session.

The president will begin a sentence with an invocation of the country’s greatness, Alito said. If justices don’t jump up and applaud, “you look very unpatriotic,” he said.

But, Alito continued, then the president may finish the thought by adding “because we’re conducting a surge in Iraq or because we’re enacting health care reform.” Justices aren’t supposed to react to statements about policy or politics.

The better course, Alito said, is to follow the example of more experienced justices like Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and the recently retired John Paul Stevens. None has attended in several years.

“So I doubt that I will be there in January,” Alito said.

H/T: The Associated Press

January 29th, 2010 at 8:02 pm
Obama Plagiarizes From Jimmy Carter in State of the Union
Posted by Troy Senik Print

If George Will and Charles Krauthammer are the brains of the conservative movement in print, then Peggy Noonan probably has a good claim to be the heart. While you rarely see her dissect policy minutiae, nobody does an ethereal meditation on exactly where America is at in any given moment quite as well.

Noonan’s reaction piece to the State of the Union in today’s Wall Street Journal is characteristically strong, but one passage jumped out at me:

They’ve chosen a phrase for the president’s program. They call it the “New Foundation.” They sneaked it in rather tentatively, probably not sure it would take off. It won’t. Such labels work when they clearly capture something that is already clear. “The New Deal” captured FDR’s historic shift to an increased governmental presence in individual American lives. It was a new deal. “The New Frontier”—we are a young and vibrant nation still, and adventures await us in space and elsewhere. It was a mood, not a program, but a mood well captured.

“The New Foundation” is solid and workmanlike, but it attempts to put form and order to a governing philosophy that is still too herky-jerky to be summed up.

Not only is the phrase a bit too pedestrian … it’s also a retread from the Carter Administration.  Readers of Robert Schlesinger’s excellent book “White House Ghosts: Presidents and their Speechwriters” may remember that “The New Foundation” was actually the title that President Carter chose for the agenda he presented in his 1979 State of the Union. Both the policies and the tag line failed spectacularly.

As the Obama Administration starts contemplating staff shakeups, someone in personel might want to start asking around about which White House staffers think that plagiarism is (a) necessary and (b) best accomplished by borrowing from the work that came out of dying days of the Carter Administration.

January 28th, 2010 at 7:31 pm
More on POTUS vs. SCOTUS

Those watching last night’s State of the Union Address may have noticed that a third of the Supreme Court wasn’t in attendance. It couldn’t have been an ideological statement because the absentees included Associate Justices John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. After President Obama castigated the Court’s recent ruling on national television, ABC’s Jake Tapper reports that insult could lead to the other six members finding better things to do during next year’s speech.

At the end of Tapper’s piece is an intriguing quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt about his thoughts while getting sworn in by the Chief Justice for his second term as president.

After his second inaugural, FDR recalled to an aide, when “the Chief Justice read me the oath and came to the words ‘support the Constitution of the United States’ I felt like saying: ‘Yes, but it’s the Constitution as I understand it, flexible enough to meet any new problem of democracy—not the kind of Constitution your Court has raised up as a barrier to progress and democracy.’”

Tapper doesn’t comment on the quote, but it’s worth mentioning that FDR’s deviation from the Constitutionally-prescribed oath says a lot about the Executive’s abuse of power up through Obama. Is there any doubt FDR’s current successor feels any differently about his ability to judge how flexible our fundamental laws are?

January 28th, 2010 at 10:37 am
President Smacks the Supreme Court
Posted by Sam Batkins Print

The recent weeks haven’t been kind to President Obama.   Support continues to drop for his health care bill, his poll numbers are falling and his filibuster-proof majority has been lost.

Well, last night, President Obama took out some of his frustration by criticizing the Supreme Court in front of a national audience.  As the President, he has the power to trounce on judicial independence, but his display last night was historic.

According to the Legal Times, only once has a President publicly criticized the Supreme Court during a State of the Union address.   Not surprisingly, it was President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937, and even FDR didn’t call for Congress to overturn the Court (thought the justices would eventually start to capitulate shortly after the address).

Here is FDR’s attempt at judicial intimidation:

The Judicial branch also is asked by the people to do its part in making democracy successful. We do not ask the Courts to call non-existent powers into being, but we have a right to expect that conceded powers or those legitimately implied shall be made effective instruments for the common good. The process of our democracy must not be imperiled by the denial of essential powers of free government.

Here is President Obama’s criticism:

Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.

As Justice Alito gestured during the remarks, the Court did not reverse “a century of law” in its Citizens United decision.  Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce was decided in 1990, not 1910.  Linda Greenhouse over at the New York Times calls out the President on this as well.

As a former constitutional law professor, President Obama should either fire his speechwriters or hit the books.

January 27th, 2010 at 4:46 pm
Follow CFIF on Twitter for State of the Union Coverage
Posted by Sam Batkins Print

The Center for Individual Freedom will be tweeting live during tonight’s State of the Union Address and subsequent Republican response.

President Obama’s address begins around 9:00 p.m. (EST) tonight.

You can follow CFIF on Twitter by clicking here.