Bruce Levine's picture

    The President's State of the Union Address and What to Expect

    Below is a checklist of what I am looking for in tonight’s State of the Union address.  In addition to what is written below, I confess to feeling a certain relief—however temporary—in having the opportunity to focus on substantive policy choices and our "normal" divisions on the left and the right . So with this mind, here is what I’m looking for tonight:

    1.            First and foremost, while not a policy issue per se, does the president reach out to unite the American people?   Does he express outrage at recent events like the murder in Kansas City and anti-Semitic events and make it clear that this is not what this country is about.  Clearly, the president can do this if he chooses to.  Perhaps the more compelling outcome would be an SOTU where recent events are ignored.  I don’t expect that. 

    2.            How does the president balance the interests of the traditional, free trade, lower taxes, smaller government conservative Republican portion of his base, with the interests of his supporters who are attracted to the powerful economic populist themes of the president’s message? 

    3.            The president’s proposed military budget will reportedly call for an increase of $54 billion dollars, or perhaps more accurately as I understand it an increase of $16 billion dollars over President Obama’s previous budget.  How will we pay for these increases?   And how much of this increase will be used to improve service members’ lives, those currently serving, and the veterans who are left without options, if and when we return home.  This is one thing that all of us I think are prepared to pay a premium for and then some. Given that, keep in mind that to his credit, the president has bucked much of his party’s establishment and has pledged to hold the line on Social Security and Medicaire. 

    4.            How does the president’s military budget relate to his foreign policy goals, to the extent that those goals are addressed as expected tonight.  Will the president address his apparent plans to reduce “soft war” diplomatic programs reported to be on the chopping block at the State Department?  Remember, as I understand it, “foreign aid” constitutes approximately 1 percent of the entire annual federal budget.  Will he address, as Defense Secretary Mattis expressly has, the direct relationship between military and “soft war” expenditures?  

    5.            Repeal and Replace.  See No. 1 above.   And seriously, let’s acknowledge that the president is not the author of repeal and replace.  I honestly believe that he does not agree with those who would strip the ACA of its most vital protections.  But, given the political bind that creates within his own base right up to and including the leaders of his own political party, I’m looking forward to seeing how this is what is reflected in what the president says.

    6.            The president has pledged, like most of his recent predecessors, to reduce federal regulations.  An endless topic, but I’m focusing on his environmental and labor protection statements, one again to the extent such statements are made.

    7.            Americans have necessarily spent an inordinate amount of time debating immigration.  Tonight, the First Lady will be sitting with family members of Americans killed by undocumented immigrants.  Given everything else above, I’ll just leave this here and note that this is an issue that can override everything else that the president might discuss.  And, of course, there is the wall (which keeps making this lefty recall the themes in the story of that Tower of Babel. . .but I digress). 

                    These are just my own thoughts and for the most I’ve listed what I’m looking to hear – in no particular order, and with no representation that it is meant to be fully comprehensive.   Your own thoughts would be most welcome, and I have written this with the hope of provoking discussion.  Thank you if you have made it this far.

    Bruce S. Levine

    Tweeting when irritated or otherwise impulsively and without due consideration at @levine_bruce .

    Comments

    Two things as I'm continuing to think about this.  I should note that I've spent little time discussing Trump's potential domestic initiatives.  It is very possible that he'll refer to some kind of infrastructure program, which is a major part of his populist side.  And that will be expensive and so it'll be interesting to see how he intends to pay for it.  For example, will it be tax incentives for developers only?  If so, then the projects most likely to be developed will be the ones most profitable, as compared to what's needed most. 

    Second, as to my first point about the need for the president to address recent events, here's an editorial from this morning's Kansas City Star on the president's failure thus far to condemn the apparent hate crime there:

    Trump has offered no words of condolence for the grieving widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died from his gunshot wounds.

    The president has expressed no sympathy for Kuchibhotla’s best friend, Alok Madasani, who continues to recover from bullet wounds and the trauma.

    Trump usually loves to celebrate all-American heroes. But he’s passed on commending Ian Grillot, a bystander who leapt to take the gunman down before anyone else was harmed. Grillot was shot, too.

    Surely the White House team could have cobbled together a statement of some sort, a response to at least address growing fears that the U.S. is unwelcoming of immigrants, or worse, that the foreign-born need to fear for their lives here. The deadly incident in Olathe has resonated across the country and even around the globe.

    During such moments of crisis, people look to the president for strength and guidance.

    . . . .

    Tuesday night, the country and the world will be watching when Trump addresses a joint session of Congress. He should use the opportunity to thoughtfully —and belatedly — address this brazen act of violence.

    Because with each passing day, Trump’s silence is even more telling.

     

    Mostly good questions, Sleepy and especially good to see you highlight the fact that Trump will allow no cuts to SS or Medicare as he promised. Many in the media are disappointed by this because they were projecting, hoping for,  cuts to these programs and were ready to pounce on Trump for not keeping his promise. There was a list of our bloated or unnecessary government departments released showing what can be cut to cover this military increase and it was comprehensive.

    This demand for calming PC words from Trump because of these violent incidences is a useful tool for the resistance. He has to weigh his words against how they will be used by the vipers waiting to strike whatever he says. Trying to make him somehow share responsibility for the violence is the intent and if he addresses the incidents he will be cleverly portrayed as somehow admitting his responsibility which is BS.

    The current meme of trying to connect the rise in hate crimes against Muslims to Trump is weak dependent on what the media have written about what he has said and often not what he actually said. Using the 70% increase in Muslim hate crimes looks horrible but it represents 257 incidents, a terrible but not horrible number. Of course for impact reasons the fact that over 50 people were mass murdered by Muslims in the US is downplayed if mentioned or that that might incite aberrant behavior  in some disturbed people.


    Thanks for the considered points, which I address in turn:

    1. On SS and Medicaire, we agree that Trump has promised to leave them alone, and I will assume he means it at this point.  The key then becomes how the president, beyond Laffer curve supply-side mishigas, will pay for his wall, and more specifically, his proposed increases in military expenditures.  I'm not sure how he does that.

    2. On PC words, I'm not going to argue what is PC and what isn't PC.  I will assert that this president, or any president, is the leader of this country, and shoulders responsibility to work to tamp down hate against minorities and disadvantaged.  I believe there is a direct line between the president's rhetoric and recent actions, but I can't prove that and ultimately, given the president's role as the nation's leader, I think he should speak out against a pattern of bomb threats and cemetery desecrations, and of course this heinous murder in Kansas City.

    3. You win on your statistical point because to the extent I understand it to be a cause and effect analysis, I think my assertion about who the president is in paragraph 2 above, i.e. the leader of this country, leaves him with a duty to speak out.  

     


    Trump is walking in and it looks like very few representatives are pushing forward to shake his hand.  Strange looking.

     


    "Sleepy?"


    A call out to your fav of the 7 Dwarves I assume.Me, I always liked Sneezy, as I assumed he was doing inhalants, whereas Dopey had done a few too many. As for Snow White's aberrations, too many to account for - certainly her family life gave her some abandonment issues, but the adoptive family thing - whoa girl, lucky it didn't turn into Spahn Ranch 2, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to "work" we go...  A lot of things happen out in these woods at night..


    Did you know that Happy and  Grumpy were actually Siamese twins joined at the nostrils?  Some said they were bipolar, but they really switched moods just to fuck with everyone.  But like Chen and Eng, they married and had many children.  They died within minutes of each other, when they sneezed simultaneously.


    Heartbreaking. Actually, nosebreaking.


    He seems to be preparing $2 tirllion in infrastructure spending to spread out to his closest friends.


    Please don't edit to correct your spelling of trillion.  Reading it spelled that way makes me more aware of the actual amount (which I can't wrap my mind around, but tirllion helps me nonetheless)


    Sure thing. I think Tirllion is a famoous supermodel or an intergalactic species.  Not sure what I was thinking.


    I read in several places and several ways that he and his team already know the whole infrastructure thing has to be put on a back burner. That if he decides to push the theme tonight, that is a very risky choice since he very well knows he will not be able to do anything about it for a year, if ever.  Just pie in the sky bullshit for now. The risk is in disappointing or alienating those who voted for him mainly because of that. Or in alienating Congress by putting the blame on them, when he full well knows his priorities sync with theirs. Can't find the exact pieces I read yesterday, which made it very clear that the administration knew that major infrastructure spending wasn't going to happen soo, but here's similar

    Despite Trump's pledge, governors expect little federal spending on infrastructure

    The News Tribune - ‎21 hours ago‎

    President Trump said again Monday that he was preparing to spend big on infrastructure. But even as he spoke, administration officials and congressional leaders were telling governors to expect little new federal investment in roads, bridges, transit systems, dam repairs and other water works.

    Instead, the administration and congressional leaders plan to take a more incremental approach of spurring public-private partnerships – such as toll roads – by loosening environmental reviews, removing other red tape and possibly approving new tax credits. While some governors say private projects will provide little help in repairing their aging infrastructure, others say they will be forced to embrace the fiscal reality [....]

     

    Donald Trump's populism is a charade

    Chicago Tribune - ‎6 hours ago‎
    First, Trump's big infrastructure bill seems not to be happening anytime soon. Between the mammoth tax cuts for the rich and a needed, but expensive, buildup of the military, there aren't funds to pay for a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. When you ...

    Also the NYT Editorial board, published yesterday:

    Missing: Donald Trump's Trillion-Dollar Infrastructure Plan

    New York Times-Feb 27, 2017
    Which of Donald Trump's many campaign promises would bring real benefits to the economy? Which would almost certainly win support even ...

    Thanks for the various responses I've not addressed directly but have just read now and which are very much appreciated.  Coupla things.  First, note to daggers, I get it, nobody expects the president to act any differently than he ordinarily does, in which case I guess you could say that it is a worthless exercise to listen to the speech or take it seriously at all.  Not arguing with this at all.  I don't expect anything from the president, and certainly not the pivot that was referenced in at least one of the comments. But sausage may still get made, and I'm interested in the possibility of what that could mean.

    Second, there's the "stuff happens" rule.  For example, and kind of as a postscript to my original piece, I understand that the president might address comprehensive immigration reform tonight, or at least someone appears to be leaking that.  I think that would be worth discussing, and given that Trump is a person with absolutely zero principles other than further enriching himself in one way or another, he might bulldoze a coalition to do something that Republican obstructionism prevented President Obama from doing for years.  Or maybe he'll just mouth the words and it won't mean a thing.  But I'm going to check it out and perhaps we'll have something to write about--or not. 

    P.S. Sorry, this was meant to appear below as a general response.  My bad.

     


    Not sure how any statement by the president about the threats to Jewish community facilities and schools would square with his apparent suggestion today that Jews could have been behind the threats as a means of drawing attention to themselves.


    I wonder if he can, or is even willing, to leave the realm of campaign speechmaking for one of governance speechmaking.  Dang, it seems a naive question even as I type it.  He can't do it. He's going to blah blah bigly about America being great again and it could be a bigly deal if he manages not to accuse Obama of sabotaging his presidency with leaks about Russia.


    I wouldn't bet against you Michael.  I guess he was somewhat controlled in his nominations speech, and perhaps even on election night.  And I think he did read from prepared text when he was sworn in, but I'm not sure it made what he said any more compelling or less kooky..  I guess it's fair to put a big caveat on my checklist, such that it is written on the oft-chance that the president behaves himself this evening.  Point taken!


    I won't be watching tonight. There has been little rational behavior from the White House, so I don't expect specifics from Trump tonight. I'll wait to see what the Republican Congress does. 


    Totally understand one's decision not to watch.  I've not watched any of his previous major "official" speeches for the reason you express.


    PBS is doing a series on Great African Civilizations, a better use of my time.


    Drat. They are carrying the pumpkin. On to college basketball 


    lol, seek and ye shall find!


    Doesn't that orange orb in the college gym remind you of...? At least slammed into the boards and occassionally the bleachers.


    I'm expecting he'll give special time to trashing Democrats, the media and foreigners. He's already let it be known that the anti-Semitic actions are the fault of liberals and the failure of his first military mission on his "respected" generals. A bit more respect they'll find themselves in the brig. I expect him to abandon vets except for a photo-op here and there. He's had his Condi Rice moment - "no one could have expected terrorists flying planes into buildings" - in his 1st month over Obamacare - "it's so complex, who knew?" - but incomprehension's never stopped him from acting before - some animals are much more dangerous cornered. The 37% cut to State & USAID is just looney tunes, especially in light of his supposed foreign policy goals. The environment will be in trouble as it coalesces all the rush to tap into energy reserves and freebies for corporate cronies, plus those high-profile standoffs with park rangers and such. But somehow Graham Nash's song is going through my head: 

    It's dying - if you believe in justice
    Dying - and if you believe in freedom
    Dying - let a man live his own life
    Dying - rules and regulations, who needs them open up the door

    Is this why Trump's going to Chicago, not to clean up the rise in murders, but a nostalgic trip back to the '68 Democratic convention? is he seeking his Mayor Daley affirmation? or he's really a yippie trying to have his moment in the sun?


    What I am expecting is a pack of lies.  I expect to hear that Obamacare is "a disaster."  I went to a town hall on Sunday and there were quotes from our Republican House member (since he didn't slow up).  He said the same thing.  We were supposed to ask a question to him, which would be sent in a letter.  I didn't get called on, but I wanted to ask what I have NEVER heard any "journalist" ask:

    What is your definition of a disaster?  The ACA has insured millions of people who had no hope prior to it.  Yes, premiums rose.  But not as much as prior to the ACA, and without any help from those who continue to vote according to the wishes of Big Pharma and others who bribe them.  Yes, a $15,000 deductible is huge, but with preventive care covered, serious illnesses will no longer bankrupt people and lifetime caps will no longer doom a child with a heart defect.

    I watched CNN today and I was profoundly offended by the ridiculous and gratuitous comparisons between president Obama's comments about being better at messaging to those of trump's giving himself a "C or C+" on messaging, but an "A" on his MANY achievements in these 39 days.  Barf!

    I expect at least one reference to his "mandate" and also a few BS comments about Jewish Bomb threats, but they will be as empty as his promises to "BRING BACK CLEAN COAL!"

    In short I am expecting to be as pissed off as I am as I write this.  There is nothing that this ignorant mammal can say that will placate me.  He is beneath contempt, and at the ripe old age of 70 he shows no hope of becoming curious, educated, wise, empathetic, logical, principled, honest, self-aware, or even a desire to increase his effing vocabulary!   (And for those of you who migh respond -- Oh, Jan -- tell us how you really feel -- don't get me started!)

    I just hope that the fact-checkers will be out in force during this speech.  There is no way that the famous "pivot" will happen during this speech.  


    Trump will follow tenets of fascist demagogues as described by Aldous Huxley:

    (1) Remarks will be intended to produce a great deal of social coherence among his disciples. ("He has to weigh his words against how they will be used by the vipers waiting to strike whatever he says..."  a disciple speaks, validating also point 4 below).

    (2) The demagogic propagandist is consistently dogmatic. All his statements are made without qualification. There are no grays in his picture of the world; everything is either diabolically black or celestially white. 

    (3) Never admit that he might be wrong or that people with a different point of view might be even partially right. 

    (4) Opponents should not be argued with; they should be attacked.


    Just finished Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here", which was chillingly similar to the events leading to Trump's election.  Highly recommended as well.


    He will stand at the podium and imitate what he thinks a president should look like when addressing Congress. Expect fierce looks and plentiful haranguing. The media will be copiously harangued and Democrats too but mainly the media because he hates them the most. Judges will be harangued, naturally. Congress may get some haranguing for the sake of appearances, but he doesn't hate Congress yet, so wait for the sequel on that one.

    The actual content of the speech (as dutifully rendered by the teleprompter) will be Bannonish populist claptrap about forgotten, voiceless Americans (read: white working class) and the immigrants who want to kill/rape them and the elites who want to destroy everything they stand for.

    It will transpire in a precisely Trumpian manner so that many people will be appalled but no one will be surprised. Afterward, there will be extensive outrage and earnest attempts to ascertain how his words will affect the country even though the country will be just as shitty as it was before the words were uttered, only slightly more debased.

    There is really only one mystery for the night: how politely Republicans will clap when Trump calls for trade protection.


    Speech excerpts from Brad Jaffy of NBC News. Nothing to write home about really.

     


    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    He has taken the low road, so far.  This is why I'm not a gambling man.  Repeated lies first five minutes.  Cites companies that he allegedly caused to keep jobs in US (lies). . .

     


    The president’s speech is the same speech he gives at a typical rally, except he’s giving it in an eerily somber tone. Caveat is that he's stayed away from the media.

     


    One more missed opportunity for the president.  


    Surprised?


    how do you make a stick your tongue out emoji? lol


    Emojis are the enemy of the people. From now on dagblog will only permit American emojis. 


    And they will be the best emojis. Believe me.


    Even the name emoji sounds Japanese or vaguely Hindu. Can't we call it the EmoGrab or the DagFeelie or to be patriotic, the AmiWrite.


    The networks are complimenting Trump for sticking to the teleprompter. He's a talented guy. 


    I'm listening to them.  Chris Matthews basically said that the slain seal's wife looking up to the ceiling was a mike drop moment so nothing else matters.

    I think you and others were spot-on, with the caveat that he didn't focus on the press in this speech.


    I overestimated the haranguing, but my prediction that the country would beat  just as shitty as it was before the words were uttered, only slightly more debased, was spot on. Naturally. 


    No, No, I didn;t watch it, and since BBC America isn't playing Star Trek reruns  I've been forced to watch Enchanted, next up Big, all while cleaning the kitchen and some floors. I will not watch Agent Orange nor any cable opinion network particularly MSNBC. You know NBC still employs Trump as a producer on The Apprentice. I figure they don't get my Nielsen because they have a reason to continue to push Trump on America. They are his original boosters along with Fox and CNN. No, never.  

    :)


    Just to add a bit more color to the scene, I recently learned that he gets a six figure pension from the screen actor's guild.  


    Of course he does. 


    I didn't watch but I know Trump cannot tell you any of the details of the policy speech he read.


    LOL. rmrd wins comment of the day.


    There were no details


    Isn't Home Alone 2 a metaphor in so many ways?


    Yes it is.


    "Broken record" - are we talking like? bizarro.

    “Ryan is looking down right now, you know that? And he’s very happy, because I think he just broke a record,” Trump said of the applause. 

    Uh, no, dude, he's very pissed cause he's very fucking dead and u r a mo ran [sic].

     

     


    I just want to say:

    A. This is so way past my bedtime these days.

    B. Whoever wrote, was it Michael W?, that the media would laud the speech, wins a special gold star.

    C. RM wins for steady action.  He said he wouldn't watch and he just didn't.  Good call.

    D. That speech was more than awful; it was creepy.  


    Careful - you know what happens to gold star family members under this regime...


    Hey Bruce...

    No. I didn't bother to tune in to the same old bullshit. We filled in our time with this video. Alan Rudolph's Premonition. Filmed in Topanga Canyon in 1972, I had a cameo in it as the "Hippie in the Cabin."

    Now as to this:

    5. Repeal and Replace.  See No. 1 above.   And seriously, let’s acknowledge that the president is not the author of repeal and replace.  I honestly believe that he does not agree with those who would strip the ACA of its most vital protections.  But, given the political bind that creates within his own base right up to and including the leaders of his own political party, I’m looking forward to seeing how this is what is reflected in what the president says.

    He might not have authored this crap but he owns it now.

    dagblog.com/reader-blogs/gaslighter-chief-health-care-same-smoke-and-mirrors-folks

    ~OGD~


    Yes he does own it OGD, and last night he said one word,ACCESS, over and over when talking ACA, and that's really all you need to know.   He's not going out an limb based on last night to preserve guaranteed coverage for all. Oh well, I thought like a broken clock he could be correct now and then. 


    Bruce... One more...

    dagblog.com/reader-blogs/aca-biggest-line-of-crap-of-the-night

    And there's a link to the Democratic response from Steve Bashear there.

    Thanks for starting this thread. I've read all the comments.

    Unity and Strength through Union

    ~OGD~


    Thank you OGD, nice work.


    This is the critique I wish I had written.  It's an op-ed written by Jonathan Bernstein in this morning's Bloomberg View.  In short, this was a "something for everyone" speech that was completely devoid of details.  Bernstein writes:

    There was simply nothing in this speech to break the deadlock Republicans in Congress are facing on health care. Nothing to reconcile Trump's instincts for promising huge tax cuts and huge new spending with budget realities, let alone with his complaints about the debt. He talked big on infrastructure, but we know the Republican leadership in Congress has already indicated they have no interest, and it's hard to see anything in this speech to change that. And the immigration section followed a day of flipping and flopping around on the topic. 

    Meanwhile, there was hardly anything on foreign and national security policy. Or trade policy. Oh, he used the words "radical Islamic terrorism," and he complained as always that everyone is taking advantage of the United States on trade. But he didn't, for example, say anything about what new trade deals he might want, or how he would propose to fix the ones he considers unfair. On Islamic State, he merely said he had asked the Pentagon for a new plan to defeat it. 

    At best, this speech, in which Trump declared that the "time for trivial fights is behind us," could be heard as a promise to make up for the time he lost during the campaign, the transition, and during his first month. Or at least not to lose any more time. We'll see soon if that's a promise he'll really keep. 



    Well, if he watched (rather than read) the speech he might have picked up on trump's waving his hand in the direction of the Democrats as he spoke the words "trivial fights."  He made the same gesture when he commented on the "disaster" of Obamacare.

    He is incapable of being the adult in the room.  I'm sure he believes that compromise is for pussies.


    It's odd  after all the flack you wrote about Trump not publicly addressing the killing of the Indian that after he does address it and more with skill and meaning you have nothing to say. He even included the hoax bomb threats made to the Jewish centers where that investigation could produce some interesting results.

    It's hard to imagine fake bomb threats are intersecting with fake news media but anything seems possible today. I doubt that White Supremacists are organized or bright enough to act like this. Real terrorist bombers don't call ahead with warnings so there could be other motives behing these calls. The intent of the bomb threats seems to be to bring attention and blame to Trump supporters but it could be a Sros false flag attack using his unstable correct the record troopers. It's also possible that this comes from a feral group of snowflakes striking out on their own to assist the faltering Pink Revolution.


    You left out the possibility that the bomb threats are coming from space aliens.

    No bombs have been found, but that could be part of a tactic to create panic before inflicting pain. The bomb threats would be fake if you are saying Jewish people are calling in  bomb threats to Jewish institutions as a means of seeking attention.

    Most bombs threats do not result in finding a bomb. Calling in a bomb threat is a crime. Most jurisdictions label a bomb threat as a felony. The threats are not benign hoaxes. Law enforcement has to mobilize. Bomb squad face risk of injury.

    https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31836

    Thanks again for demonstrating the warped mindset of the Trump supporter. 


    When any negative act by a Muslim immediately gets one of Trump's 5AM tweets but the bomb threats, toppling of Jewish gravestones, the murder of Indians in Kansas, mosque burnings, etc. get no mention until the pressure gets too high to ignore it's not odd that people are less then thrilled when he finally condemns them.


    "False flag attacks/the Jew Soros".....Social coherence among the disciples, core doctrine of fascism. Once out there it supports their warped ideology.


    Peter,

    I'm satisfied with how I've addressed, to the extent I've chosen to, the president's statements about recent events.  I am glad he said something finally, yes.  Of course, it's your nickel and I'm happy to read how in particular you've concluded that the president addressed these events with "skill and meaning".  My comment thread, but your nickel.  Tell it. . .

    Yes, it's possible that the bomb threats, some or all of them, are fake flags, and that one or more Jewish person is involved with that kind of operation.  So be it.  I guess what we should attempt to do -- to the extent possible -- is to apply the same standards and presumptions across the spectrum of human beings, and in particular to apply those standards and presumptions to cases like the current ones involving Indians and Jews and now I'm reading Muslims too.


    Michael Wolraich

    Oh Boy Howdy Doody...

    This here is some serious bait dumped by nothing less than a troll. Dablog is better than this.

    The intent of the bomb threats seems to be to bring attention and blame to Trump supporters but it could be a Sros false flag attack using his unstable correct the record troopers. It's also possible that this comes from a feral group of snowflakes striking out on their own to assist the faltering Pink Revolution.

    That's some real happy horse crap.

    ~OGD~


    Interesting, and wish somehow we could get the president to review this.


    Why was the SEAL's widow standing next to Ivanka and not the First Lady?


    Not sure.  It was all very surreal.  There is a meme going around now that Democrats stood for a shorter time than Republicans and therefore Democrats hate Gold Star family members.  And I thought the 80s were weird.


    In the Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn related an incident from the Stalinist era when a standing ovation for Stalin continued for 1/2 hour because Party members were deathly afraid to be the first one to stop clapping.

    The GOP is nearly as rigid and doctrinaire as Stalinists in their steadfast adherence to lying, destroying government and serving wealth.


    Normally, I like to get all this stuff right from the horse's mouth, but in the case of donald, I just can't take it. Watching him, listening to him - it makes me crazy after a few minutes, so I have to just wait and listen to the pundits tell me what I missed and show me small segments. Seriously. It's all I can handle.

    So color me incredulous when I heard the accolades.

    Even Van Jones said, "People, we have a President." 

    But then the bloggers and print media weighed in, and it was like they watched a different address.

    What the hell is up with the tv anchors these days? Out of everyone I watched (and I saw snippets of many) only Rachel Maddow had the guts to call it what it was, a person reading a speech he didn't even understand.

    We're screwed.

     


    Van Jones has been attacking Trump consistently since the election. My guess is he wanted to play the support the troops card and to show he can be fair. MSM tv pundits won't attack constantly. No matter how much they dislike someone they'll always try to find an occasional good word.


    One way autocrats come into power is via a fatigued media. The media serves to normalize some behaviors of the autocrat, the public interprets this as normalizing the autocrat.


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