President Obama’s State of the Union deserves attention

East Front of United States Capitol

Two of the biggest domestic policy proposals that President Obama plans to introduce in his State of the Union address tonight are right in my wheelhouse: community and technical college being affordable for all, and broadband infrastructure throughout rural America. Their connection to one another? Both involve investing in people and their own ability to access a free and fair system of modern communication, economics and democracy.

The president had already wheeled out these ideas in recent weeks, and there must be at least some support because Obama’s anemic approval rating has returned to the 50 percent threshold entering the speech tonight.

So he went and did it. Despite the lackluster, largely ineffectual politics of our times, President Obama might actually have my attention tonight. Let’s see what he has to say.



  1. After 7 years, it’s well know what Obama will say. He’ll offer a bunch of free goodies, (but not really free as we all know) and he’ll say the free goodies should be paid for by the rich. In addition, he’ll offer no signal whatsoever that he’ll work with Congress, the House & Senate, recently elected by the majority of U.S. citizens.

    i.e. – After Democrats took an historic beating in the midterm elections, Obama indicated corporate tax reform as an area where he and Congress might get something done. But his actual proposals will consist of a list of new taxes on the job creators, further complicating the tax code and totally disregarding any real constructive tax reform.

    So, why listen? If you’re on the receiving end of the free goodies to see what and how much you’ll be getting, that’s why. No??

  2. Would constructive tax reform mean more cuts for the rich ?

  3. Lyle…Constructive tax reform is – “tax change that is useful and helpful to all Americans”, amen. What say you?

  4. Sure , there’s some sticker shock if you have to pay 50% instead of 40%, but gotta keep things in proportion- you’re pulling down 80-90% of everything on the table . I say that there should be a huge tax on rent-seeking activities , for example trading ever-weirder financial instruments , essentially inert money that certainly exists – if not an outright vacuum – in a closed-loop that doesn’t create jobs outside of the low-end service sector .

  5. proportionate perspective

  6. We’re in agreement on proportion Lyle. Let’s see if Obama keeps things in proportion and proposes anything at all to get all Americans in the tax game, even those who contribute 10-20% of our GNP. Wait, here comes the community organizer now…gotta go get a beer!!

  7. Geez…I been waiting for this all year, so exciting!!! Oh look! There’s Michelle, back from Hawaii!!!!

  8. Smart cookie – pretty savvy in leveraging the power of her office to enact low-cost good . Diet and exercise can go far in reducing American health care costs .

  9. Damn, there he goes, proposing a minimum wage of only $10 per hour. Why not $40 for God’s sake!! What a missed opportunity..fool!

  10. Wait, here he goes on the free community college! Why in the world not propose FOUR years of free college!!! Another missed opportunity…what an idiot!

  11. Thought you were going to get a beer ?

  12. I wonder if he’ll bring up the good work he did on bringing down gas prices via all his fracking effort..let’s see!

  13. I wish his teleprompter would give out for a moment…I need another beer.

  14. Here we go Aaron…he’s on to your free internet! Opps, moved on to our defunct space program.

  15. ‘Bout time, he’s on to taxes…let’s see if he mentions a proportional tax system Lyle. Geez…all he mentioned was taxing the rich again. Damn, what an old worn proposal…and certainly not one that gets everybody in the game. Same ole, same ole..

  16. Now on to our military. Wonder if he’s read the latest surveys on him by our fine military folks. 10-12% favorable..( I doubt if he’s seen the record breaking American Sniper). What a great tribute to these guys. You must see it if you haven’t!

  17. Oh s**t, he’s trying to compare himself to Putin. Hope he doesn’t take his shirt off…

  18. Here we go, pretending he’s Christian by quoting the pope…sigh.

  19. My oh my, his fourth veto threat…against the will of a congress which represents the will of the American people. That’s too bad. Reflects really amateur leadership skills by insulting more than half of those he’s supposed to be leading…two more years only thank God.

  20. I love this one…global cooling, global warming, climate change, extreme weather, CO2 is a pollutant, etc., etc., etc…(shhh – don’t tell the plant world).

  21. What???? I thought he closed Gitmo in the first year of his presidency. Must be another Gitmo he’s talking about…

  22. Now he’s one to something – values! Let’s see what he says about transparency. Oh geez, he’s on to his Kenyian upbringing, LGBT’s, etc. Nothing at all about not killing babies, not killing cops, mom & dad staying together type familes…another missed opportunity! Not looking good and he’s running out of time..

  23. Now he’s on to “a nation of laws”?…That is really hypocrisy at it’s finest.

  24. Funny….his “we won” narcissistic comment changed to “I won”….and not even the DFL’ers stood and clapped…what an a**hole. He still doesn’t get it that he was elected to lead America. sad.

    • Why would DFL’ers ( you might mean Democrats at large (?) ; DFL’s just a MN thing ) applaud discretionary wars that siphon funds from pressing domestic issues ?

  25. What a waste of time. I should’ve gotten that second beer and played with the dog.

  26. Now, if you want to hear some common sense leadership, listen to former hog castrator, Joni Ernst…wearing camo hi-heels!

  27. Too bad your invitation to comment was taken to mean an opportunity to hold a one-man snarkfest.

  28. You’re confusing snarking with facts Norsk…

  29. Fess up, Ranger. It was you who wrote “Dad Delivers State of the Union Rebuttal Directly to the Television” in the Onion.

  30. Trout Laker says

    Ranger47 you need to get a life!! Your absolutely ridiculous.

  31. What???? This is serious stuff!
    Tell me Trout Laker, which is ridiculous – the 2 year free college or the 4 year?

  32. Ranger47, consider that you are confusing content with tone. Snark is the expression of facts, observations and personal opinions IN A MANNER that also conveys sarcasm, moral superiority and/or mean-spiritedness. Snark shuts conversations down.

    One of the things I value the most about MN Brown blog is that it manages to express facts, observations and personal opinions in a manner that is, well, not snarky. It gets conversations going.

    But this section is, after all, entitled “Speak Your Mind,” and that is what you’re doing, so…

  33. Norsk – Hmmm, snarky…you mean kinda like when Obama said “I have no more campaigns to run,” which drew applause from some Republicans in the chamber. But then, he added: “I know because I won both of them”. This in turn caused Republican senators, among millions of others, to say they took issue with the overall tone of Obama’s whole speech.

    Is that the kind of snarky you’re referring to? Or is it the snarky tone of the 4-5 veto threats Obama promised? Regardless, you’re correct, it does shut down conversation. In this case between the executive and legislative branches of government. And sadly, for the next two years.

    Back to my comments however….when a snarky speech is given, it really does prompt a snarky critique.

    • Maybe you are drastically overestimating the impact a president has on your life. Most of this probably had nothing to do with your day. Won’t have anything to do with tomorrow either. Not much on television, in newspapers, or on the web really pertains to daily life.

  34. We’ll have to disagree on this one Trevor. It is an unfortunate common view that politics (that’d include B.O.) is unrelated to everyday life. It’s an unfortunate view because EVERY aspect of our daily lives is influenced by politics….

    …..From when and where we can smoke to whether or not the Sunrise Bakery can refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple, to the taxes we pay to use our cell phone, the taxes I just paid to fill my F-150, the social security, state, federal and FICA taxes they stole out of my check last Friday, the increased sales tax I just paid on my new Lynx 2000 (nice machine!), the radon test I had to pay for when selling my last house and all those damn taxes on my latest cable bill. Not to mention paying Tomassoni twice to do what he wants verses paying him once to do what we want done. Oh yea, politicians affect our daily lives..

    • I see your point Ranger. I feel like too many citizens interpret democracy from the perception of a consumer. We should look at the politicians as nameless, faceless creatures we bend to our will. We shouldn’t look at elected leaders as bodies filled with our favorite ideology. I believe the president is merely a cheerleader for one particular group of people. You see Obama as a brand you did not purchase. However, electing the other brand won’t make you feel any better. There is nothing new here.

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