The state of the union is…

I’m watching the State of the Union. I could listen to Obama talk all day, but when he says “POCKeestohn” it drives me nuts. That’s mitigated by watching the GOP text through all of the best applause lines. And there are so, so many.

Because I know you’re going to talk about this… ooh! ooh! They just showed Kim Davis, scowling, frumpy, stupid hairdo and all. Could the contrast be any starker? Which America do you want to belong to? Hers? Or the smart guy talking?

So let’s talk SOTU. Alternatively,

People are sending dildos to Vanilla ISIS? I did not know this.

A smart thing about the Oregon situation Sherri posted yesterday in comments, but you should read if you’re not a comments person, because it’s good.

She wore her best sweater. Really, give her a break:


Posted at 10:20 pm in Current events |

44 responses to “The state of the union is…”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 12, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    It’s still a little shocking to realize, even in this speech, how much Trump’s presence in the race has affected our political discourse. An awful lot of lines in that SOTU were there to respond to and/or counter Trumpianisms. I still can’t quite wrap my head around it.

    I really liked the four questions. I think they may have some lasting life in shaping discussions, not to say debates, for well into the next Congress. There may be answers we disagree on, but the questions were very well put, and I think all progress begins with asking good questions.

    560 chars

  2. alex said on January 12, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    I was watching on CBS. I had no idea Norah O’Donnell was the brunette Megyn Kelly. All in all, I thought CBS was trying to create false balance to preemptively appease the assholes who would accuse them of being liberal if they didn’t take up for the GOP after a well deserved drubbing.

    It was hinted that Nikki Haley will be the GOP’s veep choice to soften/moderate/color/feminize/babe-ify the ticket when Cruz clinches the nomination. She pulled off the rebuttal with a straight face and was much more well spoken than Sarah Palin ever was even though she was talking through the tightliest clenched set of pearly whites ever to grace an asshole.

    651 chars

  3. Dexter said on January 12, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Kim Davis…I thought “WTF is SHE doing there!?” I was failing to recall names of all the people there who I had seen on the news but couldn’t put a name on them. Too much , and I am no longer a political junkie anyway…one just came to me now…Steny Hoyer…is that right?
    Some of the repuggs were on phones and some were on tablets…one had a Galaxy Android just like mine.
    Obama was great, until he said his bit about closing Guantanamo prison. Cool that jive, Mr. President. You promised that a full eight years ago on the campaign trail. You ain’t getting that bone from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    My favorite part was when I immediately switched to C-Span after the speech to watch the interaction of Obama and his crowd. Best part was when some idiot wanted Obama to stick his head into this cretin’s selfie. Obama said , “no, I don’t do selfies” . Gotta give him points on that. One dumb ass wanted Obama to sign his program and asked the POTUS if HE had a “pencil or something.” This clown probably planned on encountering the President for an autograph and he asks him for a PENCIL! Tip: Never ever get an autograph in pencil. Also a lady brought a Sharpie but didn’t prime it…it was dry to start…you don’t do that dumb shit to a President. I just cringed.
    I still feel like Bernie will end up like Gene McCarthy…go down in flames in the middle primaries. Trump? I can’t believe he’ll head the ticket , then I remember how they grabbed a befuddled old
    “guvnah” named Ronald Reagan and foisted him upon the electorate twice. Then again, Trump isn’t a propped-up old pol; he’s some weird renegade crazy bastard , so who knows?

    1668 chars

  4. David C. said on January 13, 2016 at 6:25 am

    She looks like my jr. high gym teacher, Mr. Banaszak.

    53 chars

  5. Connie said on January 13, 2016 at 7:00 am

    While you were watching the President I was sitting through a three hour township board meeting, which started with fire dept promotions and ended with my agenda item.

    Today is supposed to be the final beam ceremony for my new library building. I am thinking it is too cold out, the high is supposed to be 17. Will a Sharpie marker write on a steel beam at that temp?

    If we do it there will be pictures on the facebook page for Commerce Township Community Library. Where there are already steel pictures if you are into that sort of thing.

    546 chars

  6. ROGirl said on January 13, 2016 at 7:02 am

    She looks SO pleased to be there. Who invited her?

    50 chars

  7. Jolene said on January 13, 2016 at 7:05 am

    Dexter, it’s not the Joint Chiefs who are preventing the closure of Guantanamo. As with everything else we can’t do, but should, it’s the Rs who are in the way.

    For years, they have refused to provide funding to bring the remaining prisoners to the U.S. I believe, in fact, that they may have even passed legislation preventing it.

    Thus, Bam is limited to placing the people deemed safe for release in whatever countries will agree to take them. That’s how we’ve ended up with oddities like Middle Eastern men who speak no Spanish being transferred to Uruguay.

    689 chars

  8. alex said on January 13, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Some GOP congressman who denies knowing how she ended up with a ticket.

    71 chars

  9. alex said on January 13, 2016 at 7:08 am

    63 chars

  10. Jolene said on January 13, 2016 at 7:15 am

    ROgirl, the Family Research Council got her a ticket, apparently by obtaining one that would otherwise have been unused from Rep. Jim Jordan, a conservative from Ohio, who says that his staff gave away the ticket without his knowledge.

    352 chars

  11. Jolene said on January 13, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Ah, I see that Alex was posting while I was typing.

    51 chars

  12. Jolene said on January 13, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Dexter, a recent story on where things stand with Guantanamo.

    214 chars

  13. Suzanne said on January 13, 2016 at 7:59 am

    I watched the SOTU while following the Twitter feed. Bad idea.

    Scariest thing I read yesterday (here? Can’t remember) was a scenario in which Trump is elected President & nominates Cruz to the Supreme Court. I do admit, though, that it is a little bit fun to watch my old party struggle with how to corral the ungainly beast they’ve created.

    349 chars

  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 13, 2016 at 8:16 am

    So the options are: keep Gitmo open for the last 75 prisoners, bring them to the US for confinement, or release them to countries which may or may not monitor their next steps.

    Bringing to the US means some new legal options for them, which includes the complication of their being able to put into public testimony matters of intelligence or just making statements of their position that the government doesn’t want out there; it also probably quintuples the cost factor of imprisonment from what you can do at Gitmo, and as Jolene’s already noted, Congress wants them neither on the mainland nor will pay for their secure custody here.

    Releasing them means we’ve already seen some go into (if not back) to terrorism; one argument made is that this last 100 is the cohort most likely to do so, no matter what fraction of the previous released captives did or didn’t. Is this a credible argument? It seems like it could be, although what does the net cost to us all constitute for what they could or would do, given the total phenomemon? Or more to the point, would their insertion into Middle East/West Asian terrorism give a boost to their cause in general, that could generate more problems than the release solves?

    Or, you punt. And keep the place open, getting it smaller as you can, but keeping some there as a least worst. Given the statement’s Obama made early on, and the boost it would give him and the Democratic base to be able to actually close the darn thing, I’m assuming that he and his team are sincere in wanting to, and haven’t simply because — and here’s my argument with what you make a political thing, Jolene — Americans don’t want ’em here. It’s been tested and hinted and run up the flagpole enough times, and the popular sense is “just don’t do it.” Not in Illinois, not in Colorado, not in Florida, not for a chunk of money to the local economy, not for a whole pile of logs rolled. And if Obama’s team hasn’t been able to figure out where else to send the remainder by now, I think we can safely assume there’s good reason for them not to have done so.

    Hence, stalemate. You can say we never should have opened it in the first place, and there’s a good conversation to have on that subject before we end up doing such a thing again (and what you do in an international context with ambiguous detainees in a terror-framed context), but I think Gitmo is an artifact of something that doesn’t get noted often enough — our special operators take prisoners. Think about it. I don’t see other countries with this problem, in large part I’d argue because they don’t take prisoners. They just “successfully conclude operations.” Our SEALS and Force Recon and Rangers all take prisoners, and that is something to take some small satisfaction in. But once taken, you have to do something with them. I dislike what Gitmo stands for, but in some modest ways it does stand for the fact that we don’t shoot them when captured.

    3093 chars

  15. beb said on January 13, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Cruz on the Supreme Court? I don’t think so. He is, apparently so widely hated in the Senate that I doubt that they would even want to put him there. Besides there are a lot of solidly Movement Conservative judges out there one hardly has to stunt by nominating Cruz. Then again the GOP seems more interested in administering purple nurples to Dems than in actually governing.

    376 chars

  16. Kirk said on January 13, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Jim Jordan: one of the biggest assholes representing Ohio in Congress

    69 chars

  17. beb said on January 13, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Jeff, I disagree that we have prisoners at Gitmo because US special forces take prisoners and other countries just kill them. Other countries take prisoners, too, they just sent them to Black Sites whereas we put all ours in a very public prison. Also a significant portion of the prisoners were turned over to US forces for bounty money and weren’t actually part of the Taliban or Al Queda.

    President Obama has wanted to bring the Guantanamo prisoners to the US but the Republican controlled congress has refused to appropriate funds for doing so. The US has several maximum security prisons, from which no one has ever escaped. And these prisoners already are holding some terrorists. Republicans — not “the people” — has objected to bringing the prisoners into American soil. They object because they are chronic pants-wetters. They also object to putting any of these prisoners on trial. I suspect they privately realize that since all of these prisoners have been tortured none of their testimony is admissible in court, and also it would open up discussions of who authorized torture, which of course, would lead up to President Bush, making him an official war criminal.

    Bringing the prisoners to an existing maximum security prison has to be cheaper than keeping them on Guantanamo.

    As for just releasing the remaining prisoners. They’ve been out of circulation for 13 years. They’re rather out of it militarily. As propaganda vehicles, yes, they have some currency but no more than the continued existence of Guantanamo. Fear of recidivism is not excuse for keeping them locked up. That’s something the nation has to deal with every time a murderer or banking fraudster has served their sentence and has to be released. We are able to live with that. I think we can live with a few dozen extra terrorists in the world. There are enough terrorists in the world that the few in Guantanamo would disappear like raindrops in a pond.

    But the bottom line remains: Obama has tried to close Guantanamo but the Republicans block his every effort. The GOP wants to sound tuff on terror but they’re just a bunch of bed-wetter

    2139 chars

  18. Deborah said on January 13, 2016 at 9:54 am

    There have been some trials of prisoners in Quantanamo. Little Bird has a friend who works for the Office of Military Comissions and that made me curious about what’s going on down there. I have read some transcripts that are available on the website of the OMC and they are sort of ridiculous. The logistics are crazy with the judge and prosecutors being here in the US while the prisoner, his lawyers and translators in Guantanamo being video-ed. More time is spent asking people to repeat what they just said than anything else. It will take a long, long time for any resolution, that’s for sure.

    599 chars

  19. Icarus said on January 13, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I received in the mail a 2016 Congressional District Census Document from the Republican National Committee. I’m probably one of the last people in the world the Republicans would want to hear from.

    of course i plan to fill it out and check the identify with Conservative Republican checkbox just to throw their dataset off

    327 chars

  20. brian stouder said on January 13, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Count me with Jeff, regarding ‘accentuating the positive’ on Gitmo.

    Here’s a Fox News headline that says it all:

    Obama calls for unity in last State of the Union address but we are farther apart than ever

    In fairness, this essay is a little more thoughtful than the brainless headline makes it sound.

    Still, the ‘we are farther apart than ever’ bit can only be spoken by someone who is genuinely ignorant of US history – even including 20th century American history

    629 chars

  21. Jolene said on January 13, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Jeff, you may be right about the political viability of bringing Guantanamo detainees to the U.S., but you are wrong about cost.

    According to this PolitiFact analysis, it is approximately 75 times more expensive to keep a prisoner at Guantanamo ($2.7M/year) than in a high-security U.S. prison ($34K/year). Even if there were some added cost for these prisoners, it seems unlikely to come near what we are currently paying.

    584 chars

  22. MichaelG said on January 13, 2016 at 10:46 am

    This is chemo week at my place. Five hours a day for three days. Today is day three. I sat down to watch the State of the Union speech yesterday evening and fell asleep about ten minutes in. Didn’t wake up until around nine. Just in time to go to bed. I was also feeling a bit of David Bowie survival guilt.

    At the infusion center yesterday I read a scary story in the 12-28/1-1 (I think it was) edition of the New Yorker. It was about rising water in Florida. The take away is that Florida is basically fucked. All the advice in the world from the Netherlands and Venice won’t help. All the pumps and dams and levee systems in the world won’t help. Florida is limestone and the water is coming up from underneath. It’s just rising up from down below, as well as encroaching seaward as it does in other places. Projections are that the water will rise at least six feet by the end of the century. At least. The highest elevation in South Florida is six feet. Many people, including some officials are saying that the only option is retreat. The gov and all the rest of the conservatives are standing around with their fingers in their ears and going Wah, Wah, Wah. They are so screwed. Don’t buy any property down there.

    1252 chars

  23. brian stouder said on January 13, 2016 at 11:08 am

    …unless Trump is elected – and then, he can build his ^*&%$@^# WALL –

    around Disney World!!

    101 chars

  24. Peter said on January 13, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    My retinas are still trying to adjust after seeing that Dollar Store mannequin in the gallery. Ai yi yi.

    Talk about being typecast – one shot contained Al Franken and Bernie Sanders and my lovely wife said – “Oh look – it’s Al Franken and Larry David!!”

    257 chars

  25. jcburns said on January 13, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Cracking up at Al Franklin and Larry David, Peter.

    Now available at Cabela’s: The Kim Davis Patented Gay-Repellent Sweater. Available in Very Tightly Wound, Fervent, Fanatic, and Extra-fanatic.

    196 chars

  26. Charlotte said on January 13, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    More on the right wing attempts to grab Federal land out here in the West — the Bundys are the useful idiots being used by the Koch brothers and their ilk (who are also buying up big swathes of land/grazing rights and locking out the public). This came from Senator Tester’s FB stream this morning:

    406 chars

  27. Brandon said on January 13, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    69 chars

  28. Jakash said on January 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    “…watching the GOP text through all of the best applause lines”


    “we are farther apart than ever”

    Maybe not, Brian, but seeing people sit on their hands as the Pres. talked about the potential to eradicate AIDS and malaria, e.g., seemed remarkable to me. As we watched, I tried to imagine what such folks were thinking. “Boo! advances in dealing with diseases in Africa.” “Boo! social security.” “Boo! we’re the strongest military in the world.” “This country sucks, what’s he thinking, anyway?!” One of the odder aspects of the current political environment is that the “Morning In America” party is now the party of “look how terrible everything is!” Especially given the relative situation between what his predecessor wrought and where we are now, that sure seems like some willful denial of reality to me.

    According to Brandon’s link, Obama “stretched” some of the facts in his speech. Largely because the economy had not finished cratering by the time Bush walked out the door. Big deal. Stretching the facts is still preferable to ignoring them or refusing to believe them, which is the go-to option for many of his opponents…

    1167 chars

  29. Deborah said on January 13, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Is it just me or is Cruz getting uglier? Granted looks don’t matter, but either he isn’t taking care of himself physically or the press is going out of their way to find the worst photos of him, or shooting him at horrible angles or something. He looks pudgy and ashen, his jowls are sagging.

    292 chars

  30. Jolene said on January 13, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Life is tough on the campaign trail. Lots of bad food and not enough sleep. Not good for anyone, but especially not for someone who is not particularly fit or attractive to begin with.

    184 chars

  31. LAMary said on January 13, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Deborah, that’s because he’s pudgy and ashen with saggy jowls. He’s an ugly guy. It goes with his personality.

    111 chars

  32. brian stouder said on January 13, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Bah! Shows what you know, Mary.

    Afterall, if the Duck Dynasty doofuses like Cruz, then ‘Murica must surely, too!

    Ya gotta scroll down halfway, and see this odd-duck’s photo – in black-face!! (no kiddin’!)

    331 chars

  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 13, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Jolene, my quibble with PolitiFact’s analysis is that you can’t “sift” the Gitmo prisoners out among the max security lock-ups existing. We’ll have to build a new one. There’s a site that looked ideal, a speculative construction that was ultimately unused while mostly finished in Illinois, and apparently a feasibility study was done on making it the ultimate destination of the ongoing “detainees” (I really don’t know *what* the right term is here, and am generally in favor of charging them with military crimes and going through the hearing process, but obviously I’m not a JAG let alone a lawyer). But state politicians immediately scotched that idea.

    ADX Florence is at capacity; it cost $100 million in site and structure to build . . . then you get to the $35K a year maintenance cost per prisoner. At this rate, it would “pay for itself” in a year or so (Guantanamo is actually much more than Gitmo, so the cost figure is a little backed-up, too), but yes, the GOP isn’t interested in authorizing money to build something that right now no state wants.

    Are they all safe to release, age and injury considered? I suspect it’s the propaganda value alone that concerns those who don’t want them put back into circulation; I’d think there’d be a propaganda value to releasing them, if handled right. And sooner or later, at least one would serve as a suicide bomber or get shot in an attack somewhere, but it’s just not clear to me it is serving any national interest to keep them in custody. Give them a Timex watch, an unused prophylactic, one pair of sunglasses, and twenty-three dollars and seven cents; tell ’em to sign here and send them home. I know I’m not alone on the right in wanting this done.

    1717 chars

  34. Brandon said on January 13, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Obama is a decent man who managed to accomplish a lot. But he couldn’t do it all himself. And, for those who despair of a Hillary-Trump matchup, be glad to know Jill Stein is running on the Green ticket:

    The People’s State of the Union.

    381 chars

  35. LAMary said on January 13, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I think it’s been mentioned here before but the joke in DC is, “why do people instantly hate Ted Cruz?” and the answer is “to save time.”

    138 chars

  36. Deborah said on January 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I never thought Cruz was good looking but he looks especially bad now. Jolene, I think you’re right about the bad food etc of the campaign trail. He’s not that old. On the other hand sometimes when people are so hideous personally it makes them seem uglier than they really are, so LA Mary has a point too. It has gotten to the point that I can’t stand to look at him, Trump too. Last night I was so distracted by Paul Ryan’s mug behind Obama that I had to put my hand up to block my view of him.

    496 chars

  37. Hattie said on January 13, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    We’re all fashionistas now.

    27 chars

  38. alex said on January 13, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Cruz just exudes toxic personality. If all you had to look at was his corpse, it would be rather more pleasing.

    111 chars

  39. Sue said on January 14, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Alan Rickman, sexiest voice in acting, has died.

    48 chars

  40. beb said on January 14, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Alan Rickman! What a shock and disappointment. I really only saw him in two movies, the harry Potter series and Quigley Down Under, a Tom Sellack vehicle. Rickman palyed the smary Australian rancher who had hired Quigley, an American marksman, to exterminate his Aborigine problem. Rickman apparently played a lot of villains but that voice, unforgettable.

    356 chars

  41. Sue said on January 14, 2016 at 8:42 am

    beb, Alan Rickman is the reason to watch the first Die Hard movie. Also he’s the first among equals for Galaxy Quest. Plus he made a stodgy Jane Austen character quite yummy.

    176 chars

  42. Judybusy said on January 14, 2016 at 9:20 am

    And he delightfully played the repulsive Rev. Obadiah Slope in an adaptation of Trollope’s Barchester Chronicles.

    113 chars

  43. Deborah said on January 14, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I loved him in the little throw away move Truely, Maddly, Deeply.

    65 chars

  44. Deborah said on January 14, 2016 at 9:37 am


    5 chars