Mitch Daniels Can’t Save The Republican Party: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) gave a perfectly serviceable speech last night. It was a bit dull, maybe, but it wasn’t a wrenching exercise in self-humiliation. Which is to say, by the standards of post-SOTU responses, it was a stunning, historic success. But it was also a reminder of the difficulties Daniels, a fantasy-draft presidential pick for many Republicans, would face if he entered the campaign.“When President Obama claims that the state of our union is anything but grave,” Daniels said, “he must know in his heart that this is not true.” And the reason for Daniels’ gloom was debt. We have too much of it. Much too much of it. And over and again, Daniels signaled that Republicans were not blameless in the rise of red ink. “The President did not cause the economic and fiscal crises that continue in America tonight,” he said. “To make such action happen, we also must work, in ways we Republicans have not always practiced, to bring Americans together,” he admitted. Continue Reading…
Obama Pledges Economic Equality In SOTU Speech: US President Barack Obama has used his last State of the Union speech before the November election to paint himself as the champion of the middle class, by demanding higher taxes for millionaires and tight reins on Wall Street.
Taking advantage of the huge national platform of his annual speech to Congress, Mr Obama defiantly defended his record after three years in office and laid blame for many of the country’s woes at the feet of banks and an out-of-touch Congress.
He proposed sweeping changes in the tax code and new remedies for the US housing crisis as he made the case for reducing income inequality in America.
While the biggest proposals in Mr Obama’s election-year speech are considered unlikely to gain traction in a divided Congress, the White House believes the president can tap into voters’ resentment over the financial industry’s abuses and Washington’s dysfunction. Continue Reading…
The Economy And Politics To Dominate State Of The Union Address: President Barack Obama will make the domestic economy the centerpiece of his last State of the Union address before he seeks re-election in November.
The speech is expected to call for sweeping initiatives to bolster the U.S. manufacturing sector and the labor and housing markets, and seek broad reform of the tax code.
At the same time, Obama will undoubtedly be making a case that his shepherding of the economy for the past three years warrants another four-year term.
That case was made slightly easier for the president in recent months as the unemployment rate has unexpectedly dropped to its lowest level — 8.5% — since early in Obama’s term.
The economy — and the unemployment rate as its most widely watched gauge — is certain to be the central focus of the presidential campaign.
It’s unlikely any large initiatives will be approved by Congress in an election year, a point certainly not lost on the president. That should open the door for him to call for an array of big picture reforms without any realistic belief of their passage.
The speech will be delivered before a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. EST. Indiana governor Mitch Daniels will give the Republican response. (Watch it live on the FOX Business Network.)
Analysts believe Obama set the tone for tonight’s speech during an address in Kansas in December in which he described America being divided by economic inequalities.
Using populist themes that closely echoed the rallying cries of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, Obama has suggested the U.S. economic playing field has grown uneven. In effect, the president has complained that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. Continue Reading…
Websites Go Dark To Protest SOPA PIPA Bills: In the first strike of its kind, thousands of popular sites such as Wikipedia, Reddit and Boing Boing shut down for up to 24 hours Wednesday to protest a pair of federal antipiracy bills that they said amounted to censorship of the Internet.
The online grass-roots campaign is directed at the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, which aim to crack down on foreign websites that traffic in pirated movies, music and counterfeit goods.
To protest the bills before they go to a vote, pages on Wikipedia’s English language encyclopedia site have gone dark and now feature a short note that tells visitors to “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge.” The note went on to say: “Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”
Visitors are given a link where they can learn more and then are urged to contact local legislators by plugging in a ZIP code. Continue Reading…
Day Of Service Honors Martin Luther King Jr: The nation pauses Monday to remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights icon who would have turned 83 this year had a bullet not cut short his life.
President Barack Obama will mark the holiday with a service project at the Browne Education Campus in Washington on Monday morning, and the first couple will attend the Let Freedom Ring Celebration at the Kennedy Center on Monday evening.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to speak at the King Day at the Dome rally in South Carolina on Monday, according to organizers of the event. The event will “commemorate Dr. King’s life, draw attention to economic and educational equalities in the state, and protest the Confederate battle flag flying in front of the (state capitol) building,” organizers said.
A federal holiday to honor King, who was assassinated in April 1968, was first observed in 1986. In 1994, Congress also designated it a national day of service. Continue Reading…