#rsrh Have we reached diminishing returns on debates?

Jim Geraghty thinks so, I think: and certainly the way that my brain snapped last night during the Terry Schiavo question – WHAT THE [EXPLETIVE DELETED], NBC? – and I started chanting invocations to Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth on Twitter would be evidence arguing against even more debates.  And I have a State of the Union address to watch tonight!  Oh, boy!

Seriously, they should never schedule one of these things back-t0-back to a legitimately major speech, ever again.  I feel almost [nauseated] at this point.

The Salmon SotU.

The question before the board: below is a word picture of the reaction of NPR listeners to Tuesday’s State of the Union address (this can fairly be called a ‘receptive audience’ for a Democratic President).  They were asked to describe the speech in three words: the larger the word in the picture, the more it was used – which presumably means the biggest word is one that can be reasonably be seen as the word that people will tend to most associate with the speech.

The word of the day was apparently ‘salmon’:

(H/T: @jeffemmanuel)

So here goes: Did President Obama intend for his speech Tuesday night to be about salmon? – Serious question: the President has a definite problem with generating memorable bits on his own for his prepared speeches*, and at least this one was a deliberate joke.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Now that the first rush of secular Messianic hysteria has subsided, can we all just admit that President Obama ripped off “Yes we can!” from Bob the Builder?  We’d be better off as a country if we just faced this unfortunate truth head-on, as it were.

Why the SotU seating buddy system…

…was, overall, not an advantage for the President: it made things dull.

Well. Duller. You kind of need that seating polarization to give you the feedback at how well or poorly the President is doing at the SotU. Mind you, the seating buddy thing also did something really, really cruel to President Obama: it denied him an opportunity to look over the crowd and think to himself Damn, but we got our heads handed to us last year.  That’s something that he really, really needs to remember for the next two years, lest he end up watching the 2014 SotU address from a private residence in Chicago.

Hey, if I thought that he was actually listening to me I’d never be writing this out.  It’s not like the President has me over every Sunday for cakes and tea…

Moe Lane

#rsrh Blah blah, blah blah blah…

…blah blah:


Sorry: it’s just that I’ve just heard that tonight’s SotU is going to be a heck of a lot like last year’s SotU, and the only things of any kind of interest that happened at last year’s SotU were the two reactions to two damfool things that the President said.  Couple that with the fact that Enzio is STILL stuck in that stupid tomb in Assassin’s Creed 2, and the end result is that I am bored, bored, bored.

#rsrh PotUS disses OfA members, four seconds in.

Not to pile onto the President – yes, it is amazing that I manage to avoid random lightning strikes, isn’t it – but I have a bit of advice to the Second Stage Lensman currently slumming as American chief of state: when your organization has gone through considerable time and trouble to create an email list which attempts to give its members the (illusory) feeling that they are part of a politically activist Gideon’s Band… do not insult said members’ intelligence by implying that they default to being unaware of when the State of the Union address is.

Yes, yes, I know: if the administration thought that the average OfA member was capable of tuning in to watch the President on Tuesday without being reminded of it first, the administration would never have sent out the email in the first place.  But there’s subtle.  And then there’s unsubtle.  And then there’s “As some of you know…”

Sheesh.  A simple “As you know…” and I wouldn’t have been able to do this post.  Real elementary goofball error there, Team Barry.

Moe Lane

PS: No, there’s no semantic content in the rest of the remarks.  Was there supposed to be? – Seriously, I think that it’s unfair to ding the President for that; it’s like dinging the sky for not being plaid.



President Barack Obama will call for new government spending on infrastructure, education and research in his State of the Union address Tuesday, sharpening his response to Republicans in Congress who are demanding deep budget cuts, people familiar with the speech said.


The new spending could include initiatives aimed at building the renewable-energy sector—which received billions of dollars in stimulus funding—and rebuilding roads to improve transportation, people familiar with the matter said. Money to restructure the No Child Left Behind law’s testing mandates and institute more competitive grants also could be included.

If you want expansions in Big Green payoffs and road pork, Mr. President, pay for it by cutting elsewhere first.  And if you want to enhance your re-election prospects by fiddling with NCLB, do it on your dime.  Until then… The People Have Spoken, and they have said: Stop wasting our money, you daft idjits.

Via Hot Air Headlines.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: What?  What else needs to be said?  Cuts first, cuts that hurt; then we’ll talk about what to fund, and at what priorities.  Welcome to the New Order Of Things: that ain’t Pelosi holding the gavel anymore.

PPS: Clearly, the President has decided to not take my advice and adopt a mindset not notably different than, say, Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s.

Paul Ryan to give GOP SotU response.

The Washington Post reports that Representative Ryan will be giving it from the House Budget Committee room, which is simultaneously: nicely symbolic; and a reminder that there’s a reason why Ryan is now the House Budget Chair.

It’s an interesting choice.  As the WaPo noted, the last two choices were Governors Jindal (2009) and McDonnell (2010).  While I actually liked Jindal’s response, there’s no denying that the message being conveyed by both of the GOP’s picks was more or less parallel to the actual speeches themselves.  In Jindal’s case, the Republican message was The Democratic party lies when they claim that we hate minorities; in McDonnell’s, it was You ain’t so tough, Barry.  You can be beat.  Knowing what I know of Rep. Ryan – I expect to see at least three graphs during his response – the underlying message here is We will be talking about fiscal responsibility, whether or not the President chooses to himself.

If President Obama is smart, he’d be well-advised to not permit too much of a contrast in that regard between his remarks, and Rep. Ryan’s.  He’d also be well-advised to take Ryan’s advice, but I’m not about to start relying on “And then a miracle occurs” when it comes to domestic policy.

Moe Lane (crosspost)