Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA'S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
A surprisingly good percentage of viewers (80-90%), but the hardest core Republicans and potential presidential competitors, thought reasonably well of President Obama's State of the Union talk yesterday. Yes, it was somewhat visionary and called for the country to pull together for the common good, and the general bipartisan seating was an encouraging initial step.
Those were fine and expected, but even some liberal pundits were underwhelmed with the mixed signals. A few Republicans were especially on the mark, indicating the deficit reductions Obama suggested only amounted to $40 billion/year for ten years, with the total sum of $400 billion but a third of only the 2010 budget deficit. Obama tried to placate everyone--he should have been a lot more Governor Abercrombie-esque (photo below by Julio Bayez) who pissed off everyone, even his supporters, but did it in a manner that had most thinking, yes, we must do something, as long as we share equally in the burden.
My further disappointment with President Obama is more specific. The greatest opportunity for budget reduction is in defense. I've said it a hundred times, and most recently only three days ago, but initially summarized in my Huffington Post article of August 2008. As a Commander in Chief who leans in the peace direction, with a Secretary of Defense at least open to significant reductions, Obama nevertheless felt compelled to state that the defense budget was immune to any cutback or freeze. Why? Even Congressman John Boehner and Congressman Eric Cantor have recently indicated their willingness to consider the bloated defense budget. Yes, Obama wants to get re-elected, but talk to Governor Abercrombie, please.
All this negativity on my part begs for a story that takes me 30 years back to 1981 when I somehow was selected by Senator Spark Matsunaga to gain a seat in the balcony of the House to view President Ronald Reagan's State of the Union message. I cannot recollect anything of what he said. However, how many of you remember that, exactly like the economic collapse Obama faced two years ago, President Ronald Reagan arrived in 1981 under similar recession circumstances, as the Second Energy Crisis had sent oil prices skyrocketing just as they did in 2008. Congress gave Reagan a $750 billion stimulus package (which today would be worth almost $2,000 billion, or $2 trillion). What boggles my mind is that Republicans caused the crash of 2008, had to help provide $789 billion to prevent a depression, and then criticized Obama for breaking the budget. And people believe them!
Why this ending diversion? I don't know, I guess I'm just upset with the general populace for doing nothing much about the next coming monumental shock to be sparked by Peak Oil and Global Heating. Yes, blame Congress, the White House, oil companies, the military-industrial-complex, whatever...but the fault is yours, and mine.
The Dow Jones Industrials jerked around 12,000 for much of the day, but only went up 8 to 11,985. 12,000 tomorrow???? World markets mostly increased, gold jumped $12/toz to $1385 and NYMEX petroleum is at around $88/barrel.
There remain two hurricanes, Tropical Cyclone Bianca (75 MPH) West of Australia, and Tropical Cyclone Wilma (130 MPH) to the East, just above New Zealand. As the following shows, Wilma is expected weaken on her trek south: