A quick note before the SOTU sum up: Readers of my old blog often requested these posts for big events, with a few even telling me that they use these posts for their un-Conventional Wisdom Machine perspective. That’s wonderful, I’m flattered and will continue to post these roundups when I can. I, however, don’t blog enough for anyone to rely on me. If you want to be well informed about a variety of news, then I recommend adding The Transom newsletter to your existing news circuit.
Now on to last night’s show.
If you have no time, here is the sum up:
If you saw last year’s SOTU, or the one before that, then with the exception of the gun talk, you’ve basically seen this SOTU. It was the same naive and ignorant rhetoric that suggests that the President is well insulated from experience and facts. This morning, Yasha mused that the President’s comments on the economy “make perfect sense to anyone who has never studied economics.” Similar statements could be made about most of the speech. Obama’s call for another early education program completely ignores the failure of Head Start. (In case you missed it, that study about the Head Start failure was released on the Friday before Christmas, to achieve maximum circulation, I’m sure.) His invocation of the scientific consensus on Global Warming suggests that he knows nothing about the scandal to create the illusion of that consensus. His comments about the fix-all solution of changing how we pay for government programs could only be true if their were no connection between supply and demand. The great economists’ debate, Keynes v Hayek, at its essence is about which drives the other. Keynesians basically believe that supply dictates demand, Hayekians that demand drives supply. No one, except this Administration it seems, thinks that supply and demand move independently. The only silver lining: Obama often makes soaring promises that he doesn’t deliver. We will be well served if he plays golf rather than pushes these policies.
For Further Reading:
About Global Warming, more links than one could ever read on global warming and supposed consensus. And here’s Watts Up With That? on the SOTU, it was just soaring boilerplate.
Unicorns Unicorn references are becoming more popular to describe belief in economic realities that don’t exist. Have you ever heard the joke about the physicist, the chemist, and the economist stranded on a desert island when a can of soup washes ashore? The physicist and the chemist make practical suggestions to open the can while the economist says, “Ok, assume a can opener.” Unicorns are the new can openers.
According to my Twitter feed, feminists focused on the Violence Against Women Act, specifically that the good Democrats are for it, while the bad Republicans are against it. Two points: 1. A vote against the VAWA isn’t pro-violence. A tweet from @BobbyJindal last night, “A vote to end violence would be unanimous. After which we should vote to end poverty, disease, war, divorce and mosquitoes.” Some act if all we have to do is vote for or throw some money at any given problem, and voila! Such hands off actions rarely do anything beyond making the actor feel smug and righteous. 2. Objection to the VAWA is about objection to federal criminal statues. Most criminal law is a state matter and the VAWA is just another federal encroachment of state law. Here are Sen. Ted Cruz’s comments.
On the gun stuff, honestly, I’m tired of rehashing this again and again. Anyone who wants to write about guns should read this. Gun control won’t work, it precedes a spike in violent crime, and it makes the innocent sitting ducks. As I tweeted in response to NoOne’s tweet about the ‘they should get a vote’ meme, “but some of them might vote to have a self defense option other than hiding, begging, or looking for some scissors.” By the way, I didn’t make an idle scissors reference. That’s a Department of Homeland Security recommendation: if you can’t run or hide, then defend yourself with scissors.
About Sen. Rubio and the drink of water: Rubio gave his first big national speech to a camera. It’s a tough skill, speaking only to a camera. The speech was great, corralling Obama’s herd of unicorns, but many are focusing on his not-so-slick sip of water. I agree, Sen. Rubio needs to practice his camera speeches. As pols have known since the Kennedy/Nixon debate, public speaking style matters. That said, anyone who thinks that Rubio’s sip mattered, they only signal to me that they are unserious. Many times, public speaking problems can give us insight into a personality, as when Obama hardly made eye contact with Romney during the first debate. Lack of eye contact hints at a lack of confidence or perhaps a lie in progress. But what does the sip of water suggest? Anyone who thinks the sip of water should matter either knows little about the substance of the speech or is using any silly excuse to avoid confronting that substance.
For future fun: Stephen Green drunkblogs such events, so he gets progressively humorously exasperated. Always fun.