Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama's First State of the Union Address

We all know that Obama speaks extremely well. I never managed to sit through any of George W.'s garbled speeches, but Obama's State of the Union Address was strong and forceful. Great to hear a political leader pronounce the word "nuclear" right for a change. Here are some of the main points that attracted my attention:
  • Obama reminded that he inherited the economic crisis from the previous administration. This is a point that needs to be hammered home as often as possible.
  • "American people should get a government that matches their decency." Hear, hear. But there is no hope of that any time soon. The field of politics mostly attracts hugely indecent people. It's rare that you see so many nasty faces in the same room as you do when you watch Senate hearings.
  • "What unites us is that we all hate the bank bailout. It's as popular as a root canal." Then he proceeded to tell us why it was still necessary (not convinced!). And said there will be high fees on big banks. In my opinion, until Blankfein, Summers and Co are getting their bonus in the form of an extra TV hour in high-security prison, these "fees" are not nearly enough. It's not the bailout we hate, it's those disgusting criminals who are still at large robbing us blind.
  • Support for small businesses - it's about time, but something tells me it will be super hard making this work. Huge companies are set on destryng small business as a concept.
  • Gays should be allowed to serve in the military.
  • China, Germany, and India aren't waiting, so why should the US?
A good, powerful speech. Obama is a fantastic public speaker.

There was a very scary moment in his speech, however. He said the following sentence that made me cringe: "Universities should cut spending." I really wish Mr. President had elaborated on that thought. Exactly what kind of spending are we supposed to cut? All our funds have been frozen 100%. My department could not even buy a pizza to thank people working in the lab for their efforts. I'm not into pizza, so I don't know how much it costs. Must be something like $6-7? Well, this type of cost has been cut already. What else can we do? Eliminate chalk, have me moisten my finger with saliva and try to write on the board in this way? Or substitute even more tenure-track positions with overworked, underqualified "instructors"?

I still have no idea what this scary statement meant. If anybody has any insights, please feel free to tell me.


Anonymous said...

I'm actually getting tired of his voice. The way he says "Americans" is grating.

Oh and he hates women too. zing

Clarissa said...

I hardly think he hates women. he has 2 small daughters and seems to love them. So I wouldn't make statements like that with no proof.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm have you seen his plans for health care? And since when does having daughters make everyone love women?

Clarissa said...

I have to say, you are right. The helthcare bill is totally anti-women. I don't think it's because he hates women. It's rather because he doesn't really give a damn.

Now that I think of it, your statement seems to make a lot of sense.