President Obama

President Obama’s Ambitious State of the Union

He didn’t call for a ban on human-animal hybrids, but the president’s State of the Union address last night was astonishing for its ambitious inclusion of a lot of new and recently announced agenda items.

Here are some of my favorite bits:

I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.

Never heard that before in a big Obama address. Most presidents have lamented the American addiction to oil, but few have actually proposed a plan to completely replace fossil fuels. By the way, they came up with a motor that uses water for fuel — 20 years ago.

Why don’t we start there? And what’s DARPA working on, Mr. President? Hopefully something other than herky-jerky deathbots.

Here’s something Ted Kennedy would’ve cheered for:

Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.

You can rest assured, Marco Rubio, who’s so concerned about his working class neighbors, will vote against this.

On education:

Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America.

The president also called for a vote on gun control and, according to CNN, support for new gun control legislation jumped from 61 percent to 70 percent following the address. Let’s go!

And infrastructure:

Tonight, I propose a “Fix-It-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.

You can’t probably guess what I didn’t like about the address. I don’t care that we produced more oil. Oil is a destructive antique of a gratuitous era of human self-destruction. I also didn’t like the downplaying of “bigger government.” In fact, it contradicts many of the positive things he’s said about government, most recently in his inaugural address. Also, the first half of this:

But we can’t ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful.

Deficit reduction shouldn’t be thing, but since it is, how about not making seniors and working families reduce it? Because they can’t, you know, afford to. If we have no choice but to cut the deficit, the rich people who bitch about it the most should carry the entire burden. Full stop.

Your thoughts in the comments.