President Obama

The State of the Union

Another fantastic joint-session address by an "adult" president delivered to petulant children (half of them at least).

Naturally, there were aspects I abundantly agreed with and several things that made me cringe. But the big picture is a president who's making an effort to dismantle Reaganomics during an era of unprecedented divisiveness and obstruction from the opposition party.

He pitched government as a great equalizer, as an engine to both strengthen the American economy but to also force the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share, while also urging corporate responsibility. The Justice Department, for example, has been tasked with investigating the mortgage lenders who helped to cause the crash.

The address was so completely opposite of the Reagan mantra "government is the problem" and a reversal of the Clinton proclamation "the era of big government is over." At long last, a return to the values that gave us our robust middle class and a solid manufacturing base in the post-war era.

What didn't I like? An "all of the above" energy policy which ostensibly would include "drill baby drill" offshore exploration. I didn't like the "any means necessary" approach to Iran. And I winced at the stupid milk joke, which was stupid even by politician standards.

But overall, this was a speech that underscored his willingness to serve all of America while concurrently accusing the Republicans of obstruction for the sake of bring down his administration, rather than any sort of substantive beef.

And the ending was, as Lawrence O'Donnell observed, spectacular.

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn't matter. Just like it didn't matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates -- a man who was George Bush's defense secretary -- and Hillary Clinton -- a woman who ran against me for president.

All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn't deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job -- the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other -- because you can't charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there's somebody behind you, watching your back.

So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I'm reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those 50 stars and those 13 stripes. No one built this country on their own. This nation is great because we built it together. This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other's backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we are joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, and our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.

O'Donnell said he should have saved this for the convention. I think it was perfectly timed.

  • Obama had a major ‘long game’ moment as well last night. By tying clean energy to the military, Obama gets billions to spend on clean energy technology outside the obstruction GOPTEA House. They would never approve of a stand alone clean energy project nearly as large as the military can spend. This will also promote private investment in clean energy technology R&D because new technology companies will try to get those lucrative military contract dollars.

  • I know it’s not popular with progressives but I am an all of the above believer in energy. Face it new technology is not going to show up over night. We are going to have a transition period of a couple dozen years (probably longer) and out of all the old technologies natural gas is not nearly as bad as oil. We have to understand that Obama did not say he wants to dump allot of money into these older technologies but just increase availability.

  • LOTS of double posts. Echoing i_a_c, BITE ME DISQUS.

  • mrbrink

    The real argument the president was making in terms of energy policy was if government can help develop oil, nuclear, and natural gas technologies then government can help to promote and develop cleaner, more sustainable energy sources. If government subsidies works for the dirty stuff so very well, it will work for the cleaner stuff, too. The model is right in front of us. He was making an argument for government promotion of clean energy development by saying what’s good for big oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear is even better for cleaner alternatives.

    If government can help invent the computer chip and the internet, then government can do, can do, can do.

    Contrast that with Mitch Daniels and the GOP who keep trying to convince the American people that being bought and sold as a cotton picker is patriotic.

  • GlassBull

    I agree that the ending was well timed. This President doesn’t need to save inspiring oratory for later. It’s just not something he runs out of. It’s like telling Michael Jordan he should have saved that earth shattering, demoralizing dunk for later in the game and he’s like, “Don’t worry baby, I got this.”

  • Posted on the White House State of the Union FB page by Tangerine Bolen of Revolution Truth:

    Glad to see occupy is getting through, Mr. President. For the record – I loved you. I could not stop crying for relief and pride the night you were elected. I volunteered on your campaign, sent you money, and defended you steadfastly for over 2 years. I was disgusted at how certain segments of the country treated you, and tired of people expecting too much from one man in a toxic system. However – extension of the PA, treatment of Manning, choosing someone from Monsanto (seriously? are you kidding?), Guantanamo, secret renditions, drone attacks, assassination of an American citizen, rabid attempted prosecution of gov whistleblowers, increased domestic surveillance, broadened definition of terrorism, and the icing that took the cake – your wholesale support for indefinite detention of your own citizens (unfathomable). I cannot vote for you, as is. Where is Obama of 2008? Did he ever exist? You had integrity then. At least in your words. You can’t blame this stuff on our system. But thanks to pressure built up from occupy (and co-opted by Moveon – who cares, it’s clearly working) you and others are being forced to see what you’ve done to the American people. The destruction of our civil liberties, our futures, our hopes, our opportunities, our nation. All in the interest of very, very sick people leading some of the worlds biggest corporations. And a federal government that appears to most of us to have lost its mind. Seriously? These elections are embarrassing, they are so fundamentally off the mark.

    It’s time for a sea change. But this time, it’s coming from the people. And we will take nothing less than REAL transformation of our systems. We will take nothing less than the restoration of our Constitutional rights and protections. We will not settle for piecemeal, watered down meaninglessness, and we no longer believe in democrat double-speak. Republicans are insane. Totally against the people – at least in their current iteration. But it is a much deeper betrayal to say you have our backs while codifying into law indefinite detention. While pushing for legislation that makes bankers immune to prosecution and appointing the former head of Monsanto. (There is zero excuse for this. Monsanto is a TERRIBLE corporation – empirically).

    We’ve had enough. I’m glad to see that occupy is getting through just a bit, and affecting you. It’s high time you live up to the spirit of what you promised in 2008. I don’t care what it takes. If you were ever real, then you have what it takes to stand up to ALL of them. So do it. The people are ready for this. President Obama, we will settle for nothing less.

    I couldn’t agree with her more…

    • incredulous72

      Sorry to say, but you and whomever posted this have CLEARLY NOT been paying attention.

      Not to mention the fact that President Obama was FOR Occupy BEFORE Occupy existed. The policies he wanted to put forth were all about what the Occupy movement have been protesting FOR.

      The man said it on the night of his election; “I can’t do it alone. I need your help.” 2010 came around and people were disappointed things weren’t moving fast enough for them, so they sat out an important midterm. NOW those same people are catchin’ hell in states across this country as a consequence for thinking that sitting out an election was going to teach the President a lesson.

      Look who got the lesson and look who’s decided to step up to the plate and participate in the political process?

      • The people of the Occupy movement in comparison to Obama were against bank bailouts and definitely against pushing for legislation that makes bankers immune to prosecution – These are just 2 of many fundamental facts that differ form Obama’s policies…

        As the President he had the power to veto NDAA and the extension of the Patriot Act. He didn’t have to start new wars in Libya and Yemen, escalate drone strikes in Pakistan, ramp up the U.S. proxy war in Somalia, and begin funding the new army in South Sudan and all of this without Congressional approval.

        Obama has taken a much tougher line on whistleblowers than any of his predecessors. He was obviously totally insincere regarding his pledge to create an “unprecedented level of openness in government” when he took office.

        I could go on but I’m aware that in this forum people are not very open to anyone criticizing Obama…

        • incredulous72

          The bank bailout was under the Bush Administration. It was distributed in two installments; one immediately under Bush, the second under the Obama administration and that was planned long before the 2008 elections took place. The Obama administration was not “for” legislation that would make bankers immune from prosecution, however the administration knew that a piece of legislation such as that would never pass Congress (the branch of government that actually legislates).

          He didn’t start wars in either countries mentioned. I have no idea what you’re talking about in terms of “whistleblowers” unless you’re referring to Manning, in which case I feel very bad for Manning but at the same time what he did was extremely dangerous and treasonous. Again, I feel bad for his circumstances.

          This forum is not open to criticisms of the administration that are fraught with hyperbole and unfair characterizations; usually the result of unrealistic expectations on the part of those that are criticizing.

          • Just because you’re not informed about a few things does not mean they didn’t happen or are untrue- Fact is Obama was for the bailouts…
            Here is a link regarding the deal about Banker immunity. I hope you don’t consider Rolling Stone as “left wing propaganda”, as some people do in this county 🙂
            Here is a link regarding the whistleblowers, since the only you’ve heard about is Manning – some other ones are also mentioned in here 🙂,1518,768344,00.html
            Here are some links regarding his extension of the wars. I thought people had heard of the drone strikes etc. . You might not want to call it war but whatever (I think most people would), I know the people that suffer from the “collateral damage” in those countries call it US terrorist attacks:

            Here’s one quote regarding the Manning case from a Democracy Now transcript: Obama said the cases are not similar because “Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified the same way.” In fact, the material disclosed in the Pentagon Papers was designated Top Secret, the highest secrecy designation under law, whereas the material allegedly leaked by Manning to WikiLeaks was marked “secret” or “classified,” among the lowest-level secrecy designations…

            If you are honest you must admit that this forum sometimes seems more like an Obama fan club. The same policies that he and the Democrats heavily criticized or would have criticized (Patriot Act, NDAA etc. etc.) are suddenly ok because a Democratic President has pushed them through or they are justified with some lame excuses – the President always had the power to veto…

          • hockley

            epic fail

          • incredulous72

            EVERYONE WAS FOR THE BAILOUTS. Remember? McCain decided he had to rush back to Washington, trying to suspend his campaign because he was doing miserably on the road. Obama hit him with “a President should be able to multitask” line. They all met with President Bush and Henry Paulson, and Paulson begged Congress to authorize the bailouts? No bailout, the country would have been swirling to the bottom of the toilet (worse than Greece a couple of years later).

            The articles you put forth, while I’m not contesting them, seem to think that individuals that let national intelligence secrets out to the media should be given a handshake and a pat on the head for a job well done. I don’t agree with that (by the way, the link you gave me for the Rolling Stone article was not to the Rolling Stone magazine website). There are consequences for leaking state’s secrets whether you believe those individuals are heroes or traitors. It is a huge risk and one they should be fully prepared to take all the consequences for.

            We had no boots on the ground in Libya and we were helping the rebels whom have now taken power. I admit, Yemen I am not fully aware of all the details. We are not however at war with Yemen.

            President Obama did not “push through” any of the Patriot Act legislation, nor any of the NDAA legislation. If his veto is overruled by a 2/3 vote in both houses, his veto doesn’t mean squat, it still becomes law.

            Again, if there is justified criticism, then by all means criticize. But your examples are not justifiable in my opinion.

          • I accept your arguments but I do disagree with some of them. By dropping the veto thread Obama gave his ok to the bill and people followed his example. With a continuous veto thread a 2/3 rd majority might have been prevented – and he did extend the Patriot Act which he heavily criticized and promised to end during his Presidential campaign.

            Regarding the wars – you’re right they are not officially declared wars, but in a lot of people’s mind s military drone attacks in foreign countries are acts of war. War does not mean that there need to be “boots on the ground”.

            Btw. the link was not to the Rolling Stone website, but to an article that had appeared in Rolling Stone.

            thanks for arguing in a civilized manner…

          • I accept your arguments but I do disagree with some of them. By dropping the veto thread Obama gave his ok to the bill and people followed his example. With a continuous veto thread a 2/3 rd majority might have been prevented – and he did extend the Patriot Act which he heavily criticized and promised to end during his Presidential campaign.

            Regarding the wars – you’re right they are not officially declared wars, but in a lot of people’s mind s military drone attacks in foreign countries are acts of war. War does not mean that there need to be “boots on the ground”.

            Btw. the link was not to the Rolling Stone website, but to an article that had appeared in Rolling Stone.

            thanks for arguing in a civilized manner…

          • Let’s not forget the freak out EVERYBODY did when the government let Lehman go down and the Dow immediately followed with a couple of the biggest drops in history. Everybody who was initially against the bailout sure jumped on that train after a couple really bad days in the market.

        • she/you said: “your wholesale support for indefinite detention of your own citizens (unfathomable)”

          What planet are you on? First of all, he didn’t support it AT ALL. Congress voted and got a supermajority, so Pres. O couldn’t veto it. His only option at that point is to add a signing statement that says it’s not okay and that he is not going to do it. To add a signing statement, he had to sign it. So that is NOT “wholesale support”–he was exercising as much power as he is allowed.

          So you/she don’t understand the Constitution or you want a dictator for President. Morons

          • very refined response… thank you 🙂

            Obviously you need to inform yourself a little bit about the constitution and the Presidential veto power… you can google it… it’s really simple. 🙂
            I will leave the Obama fan club for now with a link to one of your favorite journalists in here, who is by the way also a former constitutional litigator. IrishGrrrl – I’m sure you would tell him that he doesn’t understand the constitution and would also call him a moron… (lovely) 🙂

          • Congress may pass bills by simple majority votes. If the president vetoes a bill, Congress may override the veto by a two-thirds supermajority of both houses.

            Soooo, I was right…if he vetoed it they would have just overridden his veto…plain and simple.

            You and Greenwald (who is a libertarian at heart and NOT a true progressive so yes, he’s a moron too) can both bite me. Please take your condescending bullshit elsewhere.

          • sure – I’m glad you’ve found your place here and in the desert… 🙂

          • Does your last name imply that you always have to have the last word too? BTW, emoticon smiles that don’t match up with your posts are useless

          • hockley

            you are correct.
            condescending bullshit is what you are being fed by that poster

          • i_a_c

            To these emoprogs, it doesn’t matter what the end result is, as long as the president pays lip-service to so-called progressive principles. That’s why they always call on the president to just pound the podium a little harder; certainly that would have made Ben Nelson vote for the public option and to nationalize the banks. Getting a presidential veto overridden is embarrassing to the executive and weakens him, and also gives his opponents an extra political attack for no reason whatsoever.

          • i_a_c

            double post. BITE ME DISQUS

          • hockley

            epic fail

        • Miranda

          People here are not very open to anyone a)making shit up b) being too immature to understand the reality of governing and c)mostly a.

          The USA is at war in Libya and Yemen?My military friends are unaware of that – that can’t be good.

          I wish someone from OWS would really lay out which laws the “bankers” violated and tell me how a long protracted case which wouldn’t end before any of our deaths would better than the Financial Reform Bill and the AG Settlement that’s being worked out.

        • If I had the time, I would show you, via a fact check, that your head is up your ASS.

          Stop getting your info from the minority lefties, the emoprogs, and DO YOUR OWN FUCKING RESEARCH on sites that aren’t run by fucking opportunists such as hamsher and greenwald the libertarian.

          • aahh yes the minority lefties :)) – just slide one more inch to the right and you’ll fit right into the FOX box…
            you certainly have the redneck lingo down..

          • hockley

            Do your own research.
            heed that advice

          • Never mind, Steve. Now I know you’re an idiot.

        • “As the President he had the power to veto NDAA..”

          Um, no, he actually didn’t. The legislation was passed with a veto-proof majority.

      • Miranda

        I’m sure there are some geniunely good folks in OWS, but for the most part of what i’ve seen and read, there are too many crazed LaRouchies and privileged petulant children running up in there making a mockery of whatever good OWS was supposed to be about in the first place.

        • incredulous72


          Forgive my ignorance (and amusement), but what are “La Rouchies”?

          I’m being sincere, I have no idea (and I’m hoping whatever it is I can steal that moniker from you). 😉

          • Miranda

            The followers/disciples of Lyndon LaRouche. Just google up the name or LaRouchePac….but be warned, you’ll mysteriously start to smell weed just from that alone. I swear you have to pretty damn high to even get through a paragraph trying to read those tin foil hatters theories.

          • incredulous72

            Oh, anarchists. NICE! /snark

            Thanks to both you and schemata for the info.

          • Adherents of the Larouche Movement. The clowns who were in Harlem calling the president Hitler.


        • missliberties

          Completely agree. I have a hunch that these folks, some of them long time posters at dKos, do not support Democrats and have never supported Democrats. They basically do not support our government period.

    • villemar

      Screw that stupid jerk Obama. I’m voting for Ron Paul in 2012! He is a level 37 gnome wizard who will cast spells of cleansing fire.

      • incredulous72


        I can’t breathe . . . LMAO!

      • hockley

        free country.
        vote for whomever you like
        not my business, mind you

        • that was snark coming from villemar.

    • OCCUPY showed promise when it started out, but then they got lost in the quagmire.

      They allowed the emoprogs to determine their POV instead of researching and thinking for themselves.

      Big mistake, and it has cost you a lot of support. Including mine.

      This president, even though you apparently don’t know nor understand it, is the only thing standing between you and the modern fascist GOP. And, while he has worked his ass off, it isn’t enough to gain the support of people in the OCCUPY movement (which is now pretty much finished) because their heads are up the asses of Emo Jane and Glenn.

      Adding……..OCCUPY DC smoke-bombing the White House was one of the single dumbest thingsmoves I have ever seen a protest movement make. UTTERLY disrespectful and purely STUPID. Not to mention, worthy of time in jail.

      • incredulous72

        “Adding……..OCCUPY DC smoke-bombing the White House was one of the single dumbest things I have ever seen a protest movement make. UTTERLY disrespectful and purely STUPID. Not to mention, worthy of time in jail.”

        I second that.

    • i_a_c

      Bradley Manning? Yeah, totally Obama’s fault for not personally getting involved in military justice matters. Christ.

      • He actually did get involved and called him guilty. At that point Manning had not even seen a judge yet…

        • i_a_c

          So answering a question someone asked about Manning is the same as getting involved in military justice matters? Should he have said “allegedly broke the law”? Yes, that would have been proper, but that’s totally different from wading into the military justice system and telling them how to do business.

        • Manning is guilty of treason.

          Are we really supposed to feel sorry for a guy who knowingly committed a treasonous act?

          And never mind the fact that pretty much everyone knows that the penalty for TREASON during a time of war is death. Yes, it is.

          In any case, the military has full jurisdiction.

          • i_a_c

            He’s been charged with “aiding the enemy,” which does carry the risk of the death penalty. Even if that doesn’t work out, leaking of classified documents is definitely a crime, and that’s also something he’s been charged with.

            I don’t get the obsession over whistleblowers. I don’t think that leaking classified documents is whistleblowing. That’s a crime, and if I understand “law” correctly, crimes are normally prosecuted. There are avenues which one can go down if there’s a desire to blow the whistle. Leaking classified documents is not one of those avenues.

          • Manning committed treason against his country. Our country.

            He can go fuck himself. I don’t care if his fefes are hurt.

            In any case, the military has full jurisdiction.

          • i_a_c

            Yeah, I couldn’t really give a shit less about Manning, and even less about those who hold him up as some kind of martyr and blame Obama. You leak classified stuff, you pay the price. End of story.

        • Manning committed treason against his country. Our country.

          He can go fuck himself. I don’t care if his fefes are hurt.

          In any case, the military has full jurisdiction.

          • Manning committed treason against his country. Our country.

            He can go fuck himself. I don’t care if his fefes are hurt.

            In any case, the military has full jurisdiction.

            Adding………the comments are wonky. Sorry for the double post. I only intended to post this one.

        • villemar

          Hey Steve I have a question for you. There is a historical example of someone who deliberately leaked classified United States diplomatic cables to alter what he perceived to be bad foreign policy. Tyler Kent, a diplomat at the US embassy in London in 1940, wanted to stop President Roosevelt bringing America into the war to help Britain.

          Two Democratic Presidents and two leakers, both trying to stop international engagement. Why is one considered a heroic martyr and the other not? Or are they both heroic martyrs?

      • MrDHalen

        So people who were screaming for Dick Cheney to be held accountable for leaking a classified CIA agent’s name to the media are now upset over Manning being held accountable?

        • i_a_c

          Excellent point.

        • incredulous72

          WHOO WHOOOOO!!!!

          Book ’em Dan-O! 😉

  • GrafZeppelin127

    About the GOP response….

    Yeah, I’m not sure that “The President is lying about how much America really sucks right now” is a winning strategy. But beyond that, as inoffensive as Daniels’ speech was, it was still loaded with a lot of that … adolescent nastiness that characterizes how the Republicans talk about the President (or, to be more accurate, the fictional character they’ve created as a stand-in for him).

    “[T]he President and his allies tell us that we just cannot handle ourselves in this complex, perilous world without their benevolent protection­.” Neither the President nor his “allies” have ever said any such thing, nor anything resembling or implying that, to anyone. Likewise, the President has never, let alone “constantly”, expressed “disparage­ment of people in business.” Neither has he ever proposed to “build a middle class out of government jobs paid for with borrowed dollars.”

    This is the way teenagers talk about their least-favorite teachers. When I was a teacher, I was constantly bombarded with accusations from kids of having said things I never said or implied. For example, one thing I used to do with certain writing projects was require the students to write their first revision from scratch; instead of giving them back their first draft, I’d give them some feedback on an index card, with some suggestions on how to revise the piece. I had found that more often than not, students would simply copy their first draft with a few corrections here and there, meaning they would edit but not revise, hence defeating the purpose; the idea was to teach the process. After the first revision, I’d return both versions and the student would then produce a second revision, followed by a final submission that would be graded.

    I don’t want to go too much into the mechanics of this; my point is that everyone was required to write the first revision from scratch, and did not get their first draft back until they did, regardless of the objective quality of the first draft. This was the required, standard procedure and I explained it repeatedly to every class. It was even spelled out in the Class Handbook I published, and on my website.

    Long story short (I know, it’s already long, but bear with me), what some of the students were telling themselves, each other, their parents and the principal was, as it was put to me by the latter, “You said that their draft was so bad that they should just give up.” Of course I had said no such thing to anyone.

    This is the vibe I get from Republicans when they talk about this President. Whether it’s deliberate misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what the President has said and done, or if it’s the result of immaturity and petulant self-indulgence, or both, these people remind me of no one so much as teenagers making their teachers out to be Bond villains.

    • Not to defend the teenagers, but they are too sensitive by far and it mostly relates to their lack of self esteem…in re: to Republicans……for some it may be true, for others it is projection and for the vast majority of them, this kind of “re-characterization” of what the President says, is just purposely lying in order to manipulate voters.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        By the time they get to high school, kids have grown accustomed to only ever being told that whatever work product they produce in school is nothing less than utterly marvelous. The idea that anything they do would need to be done a second time, for any reason, under any circumstances, is offensive to them. The way they see it, it’s the equivalent of being told that they and their work both suck, even though it is in fact nothing of the kind.

        What bothered me more than this narcissistic self-indulgence was that the principal there (demented piece of shit that he was) actually validated it, instead of helping me teach the students that revision is standard practice for writers. This was the same principal who let the students get away with brazen plagiarism because, in his words, “You must have made the work too hard, so they had to cheat.”

        He would have made a great Republican. (For all I know, he was one.)

        • Those indulged students make it into college as well…After one term of really bad papers (so bad I wasn’t sure they actually understood English), I made the students start to submit drafts to me before the final due date (with points associated for encouragement). I would give them back the drafts completely marked up and you should of heard the bitching…”This isn’t an English class!”….”You’re a grammar Nazi!”…..”I get A’s in all my other classes!”….made me want to tear my hair out.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            Don’t get me started. I’d direct you to my education blog but it would give my identity away. 🙂 I did, however, write a few pieces for a Daily Kos diary:

            The Great Failure
            Testsing 1-2-3…
            The Reading Problem
            The Reading Problem, Part II
            Boo Frickity Hoo

          • Oh you can tell me your true identity, Spidey. I promise I won’t tell anyone…. LOL

          • GrafZeppelin127

            It’s all part of my Secret Evil Master Plan™.

          • cheeriogirl

            My guess is wherever your students are now, they’re remembering you quite fondly as their favorite professor. I admire your courage and convictions.

    • muselet

      Off-topic, but oof. I’m sure you were a great teacher, but I’d have hated you, too. Page-one revisions? *shudders*

      For what it’s worth, the second most worthwhile skill I learned in high school (after typing) was the ability to produce quality research papers in one pass, editing right in the typewriter, so to speak (I learned to do it because I tended to procrastinate). I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the technique to anyone else, and I probably couldn’t do it now, but I could surround myself with my notes (on index cards, in spiral notebooks, however and wherever I took them), skim over them and develop a decently-structured paper on the fly, complete with footnotes (not endnotes). I spent more time on research (which is the fun part, but it also let me dig deeper into the literature) and less time on writing (the nowhere-near-as-fun part) than anyone I knew in college (got good grades on the papers, too).

      As I say, I wouldn’t recommend the practice to anyone else—unless they had a brain as weird as mine.

      On-topic, I think you’ve correctly diagnosed the Rs’ pathology: they’re snotty adolescents who will lie shamelessly to divert attention from their own failings.


      • GrafZeppelin127

        I wouldn’t have required a from-scratch revision for a research paper, literary essay or any other academic/expository writing project. Typically I’d do this for what most people call, quote, “creative writing” (although I object to the term because I believe all writing is creative), viz., fiction and poetry, the latter of which I almost never assigned. Most students when they tried to write fiction would write an abstract (i.e., a one-paragraph plot summary) instead of an actual narrative; the vast majority of the feedback I gave on first drafts was to write the story instead of an essay about the story.

        I only did this for a few years, not because the kids couldn’t handle it but because it just got too onerous to give that much feedback to that many kids (I had as many as 170 some years) and put in that much time on assessment for what amounted to one grade, especially after I started law school. It was one of those things where I felt like I was putting more effort into it than the kids were, so it just didn’t seem worth it anymore.

        • incredulous72

          Well, I would just like to curtsy to you and IrishGrrrl for being educators and I applaud your dedication.

        • muselet

          Aha. I wouldn’t have hated you nearly as much, then. :^)

          I’m wondering if your students weren’t carrying over some habits from writing research papers. Academic writing and fiction writing require two very different skillsets. I remember learning the deadly dull process of doing increasingly-detailed outlines followed by a series of drafts which—in theory—would result in a sparkling gem of a paper—in practice, all the sparkle would have been ground away by draft #3. Trying to write fiction, especially if one’s not used to it, by following that plodding, step-by-step process would probably begin by producing what the entertainment industry calls a logline, more or less what your kids were handing you.

          Not that I’m excusing your students’ attitude. It sounds like you were too diligent for large class sizes; seminars or workshops would have been ideal. It also sounds like it would have been an honor to be one of your students.


          • GrafZeppelin127

            Yea; basically it was a result of a lot of long-held bad habits carried over from elementary and middle school. “In this essay, I’m going to talk about…” So many schools manage to turn writing into algebra that it’s a wonder kids can think at all when they get to high school.

            I always did a short-fiction study unit before having students try to write it; we’d read about a dozen short stories and discuss the characteristics of the genre, then set up parameters for the writing based on what we’d read. The hardest parts, I think, was getting them away from thinking of short stories in terms of movies, getting the story ideas down to singular incidents in the life of one character, getting the dialogue past stenographic transcription of empty scenes, but mainly in getting kids to show what the characters did, said, thought and perceived from moment to moment instead of explaining what happened from a distance.

  • He could not have saved this ending for the convention when it was intended to shame the Congress into action. If they cannot move anything now, they really look like pricks.

  • eljefejeff

    No mention of the evening’s best line: “anyone who tells you otherwise….doesn’t know what they’re talking about!”

    • sherifffruitfly

      My fav line was the one that started with “Either with or without THIS Congress….”.


      • One of my fav lines: “But I intend to fight obstruction with action….”

  • sherifffruitfly


    • incredulous72


  • As a fan of terrible Fozzie Bear jokes and the fact that we have a president that’s a giant dork, I loved the milk line.

    • I enjoy corny stuff like that too but it’s an acquired taste (see what I did there?) Anyway, I think America’s reaction will be the same as the First Lady’s….she shut her eyes, pressed her lips together in a half smile, half grimace, and thought, “I love him but sometimes he is such a dork”

      • It’s why I don’t get how people can actually hate this man. Disagree with his policies, get annoyed by liberals, fine whatever, but hate? He’s such a lovable dork, how or why could someone possibly hate him?

        • I honestly think it is a combination of things. People frequently don’t like the smartest person in the room. They also don’t like looking like a fool and he frequently makes the opposition seem downright stupid. And to add insult to injury (at least in their shriveled brains) he has brown skin.

        • holyreality

          I see him cool as a cucumber, a dork blinks when confronted with a dire situation, President Obama has not let us see him sweat.

  • ArrogantDemon

    No one like the corny ass spilled milk joke?

    Yeah, ole Mitch “Cuckold” Daniels “we’re all doomed, everything is bad, vote GOP” response was just lame. And I loved how he called President Obama was “pro-poverty”, just another way of saying “foodstamp president”, glad he made it all polite and shit.

    GOP, just give up on 2012, he’s got this, alright

    • That’s the dog whistle I was talking about…that pro-poverty bit….I was looking for it earlier in the text but was reading too fast. I remembered hearing it and thinking “oh please, how friggin blatant can you be?!”

  • missliberties

    I thought it was great.

    The GOP response was so depressing. GOP to the President. No. America is not great and don’t say that again.

  • The milk joke was the go-code for the Somali rescue. 🙂