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st.just • 4 years ago

All popes, presidents, princes, prime ministers, and potentates throughout history have been puppets of their militaries - and, now, the U.S. Military. Modified vintage slogan: It's the (bloated and corruptly-psycopathicly aggressive and belligerent) military, stupid.

Aleksey • 4 years ago

Or to quote Lenin, "Where do we go from here?"

latina4 • 4 years ago

"Now what do we do?"
we, every single person reading this blog, need to educate ourselves on the TPP, or what has been leaked regarding this treasonous "trade" "agreement". then we, every single person reading this blog, call our senate and house representatives and deny our consent. it worked when barack obama wanted to bomb syria the first time (yes, later he went ahead and started bombing on his own authority without a peep from the lawmakers that are supposed to govern bombing sovereign nations). defeating the TPP is the most important task confronting true americans in this lifetime. otherwise, the global corporate leaders gain sovereinity over our laws, our very national bordes. it's obscene in its treachery and decomposition of america's working class and must be stopped. deny your consent. as to the trojan horse now waxing love for the middleclass. really? REALLY? then allow the republicans to dismantle the ACA, effectively "heritage care", and witness where it gets you, barack obama. no where. because this dog and pony show is for our benefit. the corporate politicians on both sides of the aisle , as well as the insurance companies that craffted it, don't want to see it go. it's far too lucrative finacially for them. but, spouting a love for the middle class, our president should see to it that this single act, the ACA, is effectively the single biggest tax increase the middle class will see in this century. when the cadillac tax takes effect in 2018, the middle class can kiss goodbye all those hard fought for benefits and realize a big decline in real wages as they begin to pay health insurance premiums with after tax dollars.inflated health insurance premiums with after tax dollars. for the ACA was simply a shift in financial responsibility for the sick from the insurance companies to the middle class tax payer. there is a reason why it is rolling out so very slowly. as for terrorism....yemen....tax dollars still paying for all those weapons? friend or foe need not matter. arm the middle east. i don't watch him speak , it's too disgusting.

Observer • 4 years ago

The American People have lost the ability to clearly and definitively articulate a set of objectives and demands. The American People have lost the imaginative capacity to conceptualize their society differently, according to a realistic set of specifics, way above the depleted standards they have been conditioned to accept over a number of decades.

For this same reason, Barack Obama was elected on VERY LITTLE. If you go back and look at some of his speeches, what did he promise you, as voters? Yet, yet, yet ---> What did you BELIEVE about what he had promised you, and against all the FACTUAL EVIDENCE in his very speeches?

What do you guys WANT? In exact terms! Get out and demand it!

Stop bs'ing around with this weeping and moaning. The Big Ideas Project put out the top 20 ideas, then nationally polled Americans on their support for these proposals:

https://thinkbig.us/

Over 75% of the American people want to expand social security, and as the number one hitting notion.

Have we heard ANYTHING about that in the last two terms? And ... what was all that b.s. we were dragged through about healthcare when, at the time, 65-75% supported improved, expanded Medicare for all, or, at the very least, a strong public option?

Notice THAT too is on the list, STILL.

What ELSE is on the list? A guaranteed, liveable, basic income, a.k.a. expanded social security (it could be done that way quite easily, just like health care for all via expanded Medicare). Direct abolition of poverty.

Get out there and start pushing these demands people. Tell people what you want. If they put these things through - just in order to achieve these objectives - all the other stuff - like war budgets, killing people, unemployment, the economy -- it WILL fall into place.

We are a big country. We need to united together under a limited set of common and clearly stated objectives and demands to be met NOW.

Karen Levin • 4 years ago

Just more of the same for silver-tongue, timed perfectly to be trounced upon by the current batch "in charge." As a [previous] Occupier let me assure you that we "got it" when the Public Option bait-and-switch appeared, and quickly disappeared. It's not about the glorious words or how they are strung bewitchingly together - it's all about the deeds. Finally, dear Mr. Pitts, I believe they're all one in the same - in it to win it - dynasties of our government yet to be, unless you can call to mind the last time a legislative measure has addressed The People, let alone been successful. Watching congress in action is simply "the show," and I for one, believe that until we all stand up together, what is accepted will quite simply continue. Only a revolution will bring about Hope and Change, and I'm guessing you might well agree. Our song? The Internationale, of course.

Cathy Farris • 4 years ago

WOW!! Bravo W.R. Pitt. Right on as always.

sonofroyrogers • 4 years ago

What do we do?
Kill K street, or may as well do nothing.

Cloudchopper • 4 years ago

Best article about the fairy tale speech yet.

Mr. BillyHounddog • 4 years ago

And really, what does a President that has been hamstrung from the beginning and now has lost both houses, say in the SOTU. Does he say OK Folks, this is what I want to happen or does he say OK Folks, I was hamstrung and now I'm somewhat crippled so lets just remake a little history and skip the SOTU and go get a few beers. Which way is best for the country ?

hamburger helper • 4 years ago

The best way for the country is to not get into yet another wage crushing, job killing, environment decimating, corporate empowering trade agreement. The best way for the country, and the world for that matter, is to stop this madness of fossil fuel exploration and mining, end subsidies to that industry, and invest fully in renewable alternatives. In lieu of that, nothing else holds water. Period.

Tonyandoc • 4 years ago

And the worst thing for the "free world" by its self-appointed leader is to promise to go on fermenting "regime changes" that destroy nations and ferment chaos and slaughter.

Gina Mariposa • 4 years ago

I believe you meant to write "foment" not "ferment". I heartily agree with your comment, just not the word choice so much.

A TV character I heard recently said "grit and bear it" instead of "grin and bear it". What could "grit and bear it" possibly mean?

I was lucky to be educated when women had to go into teaching or nursing to pursue professional careers. Now that they are somewhat more welcome as engineers, doctors, etc., and we have failed to pay teachers, our children and their children are not reading classics or getting the language education that was available in my childhood.

As I turn 69 this week, I tend to look back and compare and it seems to me that the US, where I was born and live, never quite does anything well or to completion. Where is the equal pay for women in their new work? Where is the minimum wage? Where is the protection for public workers' pensions and those of teachers? Why did Obama mention free childcare during WWII and then state that now we need "affordable" childcare? Why do European workers have required 30 days per annum vacations and US workers are working three jobs to make ends meet? Why are so many people in prison here? And why are so many Black men in prison and subject to execution for nothing at all? Remember Troy Davis. Why are so many children hungry and so many people homeless? When will people have had enough of the lies and theft of our public wealth? When will we start building the US and stop killing and torturing for oil magnates to become wealthier? Why wasn't Obama shouted down? I guess they didn't let anybody in where that would happen. I know I could not have helped myself if I had been there.

angeldog • 4 years ago

I too am 69 and have thought long and hard about the issues you bring up. Here is my basic observation: Human beings always escalate. We have no governor to slow us down or limit our speed even when common sense tells us we should. If a firecracker is good, an atom bomb is even better. If we know how to drill for oil, why not frack and get more oil? If we can go 35 mph, why not 70? If you can get rich on the stock market, why not cheat on the stock market and get even richer? If you have a god you like, make sure everyone else likes him/her too, and if they don't, cut off their heads!! If you like having sex with a 16 year old, why not an 8 year old or an infant? One small idea or behavior grows until it has turned on itself like a snake eating its own tail. It's not just Americans, it's a trait of most human cultures. Any kind of laws or ethics that protect us from ourselves are easy enough to change to accomadate our escalations - especially when it's the fox guarding the hen house. I am of the opinion that we are pretty much doomed as a species. We are escalating ourselves into extinction.

Tonyandoc • 4 years ago

To be more serious and answer the non-semantic part of your post. The bit with all the "whens".
Unless something socially seismic happens the answer to most of your questions is "never".
The era of the nation-state is fast waning in the face of globalization. Anyone following the the history and forward plans of what are termed "trade" agreements should be aware of this transition.
Quickly mentioned and, just as quickly, glossed over in the SOTU speech was a reference to TPA - Trade Promotion Authority. If this is passed it will be another major step in the process of turning governments around the world, elected or otherwise, into managers of the policy of the global elite. That it arose in the speech alongside grandiose promises of "good jobs" and breaks for the US middle class is reason enough for one of your questions - " Why wasn't Obama shouted down?". Part of the reason is another point you allude to - the prioritizing of teaching over educating.
We're not all stupid but a lot of us appear top be ignorant. And I believe that is by design.

Tonyandoc • 4 years ago

No , I meant ferment.
Creating a toxic mix in what was a nation state and letting it simmer until it boils over and corrodes its surroundings.
Granted fomenting the environment in which nationalism becomes tribalism and then terrorism are necessary early steps. Once set in motion it only takes minor fomenting to keep things fermenting.
Case in point is the ease at which the US divisiveness can be sustained and grown.

Hohenstaufen • 4 years ago

Obama gave this speech to keep Democratic base voters from looking for a way out of the inevitable Hillary Clinton nomination. With today's Democratic Party you get a pro-Wall Street, pro-war, and pro-domestic espionage conservative establishment. With today's Republican Party you get all that AND religious control freaks dedicated to suppressing abortion, contraception, and any non-procreative sex (for regular people, that is). What great choices!

sonofroyrogers • 4 years ago

A joke I manufactured and told for forty years now...always gets laughs (which is kind of sad since laughter reflects truth)
You know what a Democrat is don't you?
That's just a Republican who hasn't gotten his hands on the money yet.

David Bolduc • 4 years ago

Thank you, thank you, sir. And again, thank you for your outstanding career of truthtelling, Mr. Williams Rivers Pitt.

The other jeff • 4 years ago

The speech was of course well-delivered, and sounded good, but this ridiculous chorus of "he kicked Republican ass" and "he's done with 6 years of appeasement - now the real liberal's going to appear", and "he was just baiting them and now that he's lost the house and the Senate he' got them right where he wants them" is beyond stupid. I wonder if this swooning lust that enables people to forgive the damage done to the party and the country was part of the plan all along. A clue to the fan club - no progressive legislation is going to pass, period. The speech was snarky and biting, but total BS.

sonofroyrogers • 4 years ago

The only thing that is going to "kick Republicans"..as far as the leaders go, are their own obstructive nuts whose votes they need at the polls, who will keep Boner on track to be the most ineffective speaker in our history.

markpkessinger • 4 years ago

The President said a lot of good things. Certainly his mild barbs towards Republicans were more than richly deserved, and the President was right to point to recovery in some areas. And I rather enjoyed his quick-witted, off-the-cuff response to Republicans who applauded sarcastically when he said that he had “no more campaigns to run,” by reminding them, “I know, I won both of them.” Good one, Mr. President – your rejoinder certainly shut them up in a hell of a hurry! But in a speech that purported to be all about "middle class economics," I found his renewed call for authority to fast track trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (the TTIP), both of which are currently being negotiated by the Obama administration under utmost secrecy, and his attempt to characterize those agreements as something that is in the interest of "middle class economics," to stand in rather glaring contradiction to that broader theme of middle class economics -- at best disingenuous, at worst, well . . .

We don't know the full details of these agreements, and so far, neither do members of the House or Senate. There have been some leaks, however, of portions of each, and what has been leaked is truly alarming. Trade deals such at the TPP and TTIP serve primarily one set of interests: that of multinational corporations. To accept the President's insistence that such deals will redound to the benefit of American workers is to continue to buy into the failed laissez faire, trickle-down, neoliberal fraud model that got us into the economic mess of 2008. And for the President to continue to act as if he can have it both ways -- as if there were no fundamental conflict between addressing issues of economic justice and kissing the collective ass of multinational corporations suggests he is either woefully out of touch with economic reality or that he is trying to sell us something we really ought not buy.

I applaud the President's community college proposal -- I see expanded access to educational opportunity as being a good thing. But I am concerned that he is selling this as a kind of ticket for working class and poor students to lift themselves into the middle class. The President seems to have bought into the myth -- a myth proffered by corporate interests -- that our unemployment problems have stemmed primarily from a lack of sufficiently skilled workers. But I know far too many people with advanced degrees, and far too many experienced, highly skilled middle aged IT professionals who remain unemployed, or who have been unable to find jobs at all, let alone jobs that pay them commensurate with their level of experience and skill, to believe that myth. And the notion that, absent some serious restructuring, working class or poor students, having completed a course of study at their local community college, will find themselves suddenly availed of significantly expanded employment opportunity, is pure fiction. (And those trade agreements, if passed, are likely, if history is to be any guide, to make it still easier for businesses to outsource American jobs.) Whatever merit the proposal may have, selling it as something it really isn't, at least at this point in time, and to promote it without a serious discussion of where, exactly, the jobs for these newly skilled workers will come from, is simply wrong.

I appreciated the President's nod to "saving the planet," but here, too, trade deals such as the Transpacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would inhibit the ability of participating nation's governments to regulate corporate practices that impact the environment, and would subject the taxpayers of the participating nations to lawsuits for alleged "damages" to expected profits incurred by these multinational corporations as a result of legislation aimed at regulating such practices. In effect, based on what has been leaked so far, these trade deals would effectively cede national sovereignty over matters such as environmental protection and occupational safety, among others. These agreements would render our government, and the governments of other participating nations, totally subservient to the profits of multinationals. This cannot be a good thing for the people of any of these participating nations, including us.

Finally, what I found most disturbing about the speech was that for all the happy talk, there was no discussion of how the President proposes to get any of the good ideas he mentioned past a Republican-controlled House and Senate. If the past six years have shown anything, it is the utter unwillingness of Republicans to work with this President in good faith on anything at all; and I have no reason to believe anything has changed in that regard. None of the ideas the President suggested has a snowball's chance in hell of passing (save, of course, the trade agreements). So, as appealing as some of his ideas may be, I'm afraid I have little patience for fairy tales at the moment. And sorry, when it comes to trade negotiations, I have little faith that this administration will do the right thing. After all, this President, if he had his way, would still be taking economic advice from the likes of Larry Summers.

sonofroyrogers • 4 years ago

Excellent and sad take, reflecting what might have been, on Barack's tenure.

Bergolts • 4 years ago

Nice piece well said .The TPP and the TTIP are basically designed to exclude the Chinese on the one hand and the Russians on the other . Whether these agreements will work or not will ultimately depend on the Chinese and the Russians .

Guest • 4 years ago
Bergolts • 4 years ago

I wonder why the Chinese put up with it . I guess that they need to close the technological gap .

sonofroyrogers • 4 years ago

Yep, dealing with "the commies" while wearing American Flag lapel pins.

Gypsy Roberts • 4 years ago

...right next to their israeli flag lapel pins.

Kevin W • 4 years ago

Can't the same questions be asked about everyone of his speeches. I mean he has great writers and reads what they write for him amazingly well. But, he never does what he says, he just says it, which makes it as useful as if he didn't say it.

The problem is that this is the same thing the Majority of Washington does. They all talk, they all separate the people, they all give us promises that they never intend to keep unless they are being paid enough to keep them from somewhere else. Our whole political landscape is a dog and pony show. Horrible actors with great suits, letting those that pay them make the decisions and write the laws to our detriment as citizens. It isn't a them (dem) vs us (rep), liberal vs conservative, no it's them (big business, big money, big lobbyist vs us (the people, the workers, the citizens the laws were meant for).

Until people, the citizens come together and stop letting them divide us then it will only get worse and worse and worse. Congress had the lowest confidence in them ever, it has never been lower, yet look how many of them retained their jobs. The majority of Americans want to believe that they are being represented by their elected official, it's got to be all the other idiots that are being elected that are causing the problems in Washington. Until people wake up and figure out that yes, it is that guy that you've voted for the last 5 elections that is causing the problem, then it won't stop being a problem.

sonofroyrogers • 4 years ago

Got's' 'ta kill K street.
That is the most immediate and only answer.
Outlaw Corporate Lobbying with hard time in a Federal prison mandatory.
No punishment...no change.

Word Warrior • 4 years ago

It can realistically be said of him that he does actually write good speeches himself. At least he's not one of those typical prompter readers; he's got a brain.

Kevin W • 4 years ago

I don't care if he writes it, reads it or draws it out. If it's just words to invoke hope and change, but then he doesn't do any or very little to actually change things then who cats e what he says. Sure all the numbers they show sound great at face value. But he came in at the time of the banking crises talked big and did little to nothing to prevent it from happening again. I could go on and on with the hope he gave me for change, but it doesn't matter because overall things have changed very little and it's still all balanced in a fine edge. With that said. I have no desire to see how much worse off we'd been with the horrible policy the GOP candidates would have enacted. They didn't actually give any hope of change though, just promised to continue the same quagmire of the Bush years. The problem is he continued it also.

Word Warrior • 4 years ago

Just responding to your "he has great writers and reads what they write for him amazingly well." Don't assume I'm an Obama worshiper; I've said the same things you have.

Cloudchopper • 4 years ago

Most con artists have superior brains, otherwise they would not be able to pull it all off.

DC Madman • 4 years ago

We do elect great cheerleaders. I like a higher scoring game.

sonofroyrogers • 4 years ago

chuckle

lynjensen • 4 years ago

You leave out the worst part of the SOTU--when Obama bragged that he was going to seek use of force against ISIS.

Sleapie Neet • 4 years ago

Attacking his own shadow army... well, they outlived their usefulness just like OBL.

DofG • 4 years ago

Like most, if not ALL, profound truths, the answer is so simple but too difficult to realize because "we the people" are conditioned to the falsities that we blindly except as truth. And the truth of the matter is that if we don't know what democracy is beyond the narrative of the state, which is oligarchical in its construction, we'll be chasing our tails to the end. However, the truth of the past is also bitter medicine that most people would prefer to avoid.

henst123 • 4 years ago

Place holding rhetoric for Hillary. Obama is an empty suit. Let's hope he goes out before any "grand bargain."

saskatchistani • 4 years ago

On the subject of empty suits, Mrs. Clinton spoke here yesterday. In a week in which it was announced that the top 1% now own 99% of everything, she said that the greatest dangers we face are Islamic extremists and "Putinism."

henst123 • 4 years ago

Yes. An empty pants suit. She should add Clintonism {TPP} to her list.

OldTulsan • 4 years ago

Mrs. Clinton supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, described by some as NAFTA on steroids, as Secretary of State...

http://www.upi.com/Top_News...
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: U.S.-Japan relations 'secure' - UPI.com

"WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S.-Japan relationship is a "very secure one," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, adding the Trans-Pacific Partnership would enhance the ties.

[snip]

She said Japan and the United States have comparative advantage in that the two are "high tech, we have highly educated workforces," and that the TPP "is one way that could really enhance our relationship."

Sleapie Neet • 4 years ago

And she helped make bankruptcy a debtors' prison as Senator. Just another debt collector for venture finance.

OldTulsan • 4 years ago

Yes.

sofast3 • 4 years ago

10# shit in a 5# bag that's what my dad called a blivit

Guest • 4 years ago
Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME • 4 years ago

I like your idea. If nothing else, it MIGHT wake a few of these gullible "Ready for Hillary" voters up to the fact that corporate owned candidates IN BOTH PARTIES will NEVER serve anyone but the greedy wealthy, and maybe they should stop listening to the Wall Street owned party "elite" and the corporate media that serves them. It's frustrating to see all these people whining about the corruption of money in politics who repeatedly choose the Wall Street financed millionaire candidate over the single mother candidate or the high school history teacher candidate (as if having money somehow makes you better at solving problems in government). Money does NOT make you smarter, or more compassionate about the plight of "We, the people." In fact it tends to go the opposite way. The days of FDR are long gone. Overcoming the party "elite" and the corporate media's efforts to marginalize or eliminate any non-Wall Street candidate will be one of two major hurdles in the next election cycle. The second major hurdle will be dealing with the manipulation of uninvolved and unaware voters' preferences due to that marginalization. Wall Street greed owns both major parties now and these parties and the media that serves them have colluded to keep everybody but themselves out of our electoral process.

StarryOrange • 4 years ago

Thanks, please feel free to disseminate (any version of) it. I'm done posting it - starting to feel like an egomaniac, or even worse, a spammer. Hoping it makes it through moderation.

einsteinsoldman • 4 years ago

Sadly it didn't make it. But I'd love to have seen it.

StarryOrange • 4 years ago

here's an even more long-winded version.... (the first one was probably deleted because it started out like spam... so and so making such and such...)

__________________________________________________________

FREE PARTY!!! Democrats, Greens, Libertarians... are invited to address issues, and debate and discuss an agenda for positive change to be effected upon setting aside the backward and corrupt Citizens United trumping united citizens paradigm.

Citizens United doesn't say that spending xillions to run for office is required, and this may be nothing more than a misconception.

A new party might be considered, maybe not right away, or maybe just in time for the 2016 go-round.

The "Red" team and the "Blue" team, will likely continue to attempt to marginalize, ignore, and suppress any kind of "third party" voices (Heard that Jill Stein was once shackled to a chair(!!!)) that might present a serious challenge to the status quo.

They can't stop us from having a(n even better) conversation.

Why not a FREE PARTY that runs on ideas, not money. Why play the losing game of competing for bribes with an opposition, whose wealthy and powerful masters can invest in politicians with their pocket change, whereas most Americans can't readily afford to (and shouldn't have to), even if they had more interest and faith in the democratic process.

Government should be more than a lobbying/trade group for the various non-citizen interests it seems to have come to represent.

Politicians should be doing their jobs and not spending half their time fundraising.

Many elected offices provide decent salaries and benifits. The public should
not have to fund politician's SuperPAC's, Powerful "dark" special interests should certainly not be allowed to. (Heard Huckabee turned his PAC into a generous welfare program for his friends and family.)

What if the likes of Marianne Williamson, Jill Stein, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Ralph Nader, Jeff Merkley, Peter DeFazio, Russ Feingold, Sherrod Brown, Jerry Brown... (and
their ilk) were to have some electrifying discussions, presentations, hearings, debates... (maybe the Greens could debate the Browns).

The public could enjoy these via You-Tube... (maybe even C-Span, PBS...), and engage in lively discussion and debate.

Maybe at some point, they could come up with a slate of candidates for all sorts of elected offices... running as Greens, Browns, or...

Cost: ?? (might be worth it regardless)

Maybe when the "prime time" debates are held in 2016, the people who care about the issues and want to work for a better future (many of whom actually vote) will be paying attention to this convention/these debates (great ratings on C-SPAN?). Maybe being excluded from sharing the stage with the august "Blue" and "Red" teams will be out of the question.

Maybe the bribers and bought-and-paid-for set can spend all they want on getting their messages out, but if they fail to address the real conversation... who knows?