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2010 US State Of The Union Preview

Tonight
Art will be a featured guest at the Des Moines Register’s web site tonight during the President’s speech in an online chat.  You can join us at this link [1] starting at 7:45 PM Central Time.

Well, friends, tonight could well be one of the most anticipated State Of The Union Addresses in many years.  In a period of disappointment following the grand illusion of hope put forth by the President and Congressional Democrats, tonight’s speech may well a pivotal driver to the 2010 Congressional Elections.

Health Care

Look for President Obama to sound confident and yet cautious on this topic.  He may well fire barbs at the Republicans in Congress, but the fact is that House and Senate Democrats had the ability to make this happen months ago if they had the intestinal fortitude to put personal pride, personal gain and “pet ideas” aside and come to a consensus on what most of us would agree is a critical issue in America.  But the President won’t point any of that out.

The Economy

There will be more demands to pour money into the hands of businesses and citizens to fuel jobs… unfortunately it will likely be more of the same non-stimulating “stimulus” money, feeding the friends of the powerful and leaving the rest of us to pay the bill.  And also a continued call for banks and other big corporations to give their money to the government, since the government knows best how to re-distribute it (the government as Robbin’ Hood… ironic, eh?).  The call for a partial budget freeze will certainly be included, but is not yet enough to solve the continued spinning deficit.

Afghanistan

The President will likely try to provide a date, but will be careful not to state a definitive withdrawal by that date.  Talk around town now is to look at opportunities to work with the Taliban, but it’s doubtful Obama will stick his neck out that far.  If nothing else has happened in the past year, the Commander-in-Chief has clearly become more aware of the role he plays and complexities associated with working through the conflicts we are in.  However, it does not seem likely he will get us out of the Afghan theater anytime soon.

Homeland Security

In spite of the abysmal performance of the department’s resources in protecting our national interests on Christmas, and the foolish way in which they reacted to the attempted bombing of the flight to Detroit, the President will provide a glowing report of how these issues are being addressed and the insignificance of the event itself.  Hopefully, what we will hear about are real solutions to ensure that valid threats are dealt with properly and that reasonable controls will ensure that mass transportation and other high-value targets are kept safe from serious threat.

Haiti

Finally, we should hear about the great sorrow that we collectively feel here in the US for the devastation that occurred in Haiti.  We will also hear about the incredible sacrifice that many Americans are showing by traveling to that nation and providing relief to the impoverished survivors.  Expect themes of caring and kindness, and the American Spirit of never turning our backs on our friends.

Or maybe he’ll talk about something entirely different.  Watch tonight and see!

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One thing I continue to find disconcerting is when the president holds his head up high… that is, where his chin is about 4 inches above his Adam’s Apple and you are looking long the ridge of his nose to see his eyes.  Honestly, I don’t understand why he ever takes that position unless it is to demonstrate that he is not using the teleprompter… or perhaps because that’s the only way he can read it clearly.  Regardless, it always looks very condescending to me, and I hope that he tempers the behavior.  If not, I will be keeping count tonight of how many times he does that.

Not to be mean, just because someone should do it.

I hope you plan to join us this evening as we live blog the speech at The Des Moines Register’s web site [1].