Posts Tagged ‘SOTU’

2020 State of the Union: Re-Runs of 1950s TV Westerns

February 6, 2020

2020 State of the Union: Re-Runs of 1950s TV Westerns

U.S. President and reality TV personality Donald J. Trump performed his State of the Union address on Tuesday. He called it “The Great American Comeback,” and it all seemed to come back to re-runs of 1950s television Westerns. Mr. Trump outlined midcentury America’s whitest historical myths, and his reference points were all TV shows he saw as a toddler, Wyatt Earp (ABC TV, 1955 to 1961), Davy Crockett (ABC TV, 1954 to1955), and, with a nod at inclusion, Annie Oakley (syndicated from 1954 to 1957). He glorified How the West Was Won (MGM 1962 and MGM Televison, 1976 to 1979), seemingly reducing the genocide of Native Americans to some kind of divinely-ordained case of eminent domain. A reference to the Alamo (Disney 1955) overlooked the fact that Crockett and his comrades were illegal aliens in 1836, and some of them enslaved other human beings.

When Americans say “God Save the Republic,” we’re not not talking about the Republic Pictures Western fantasy films of Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers. So Happy Trails, pardner. Only 270 days left before the presidential election. Saddle up.

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SOTU: Guests at the Farce

February 5, 2019

SOTU: Guests at the Farce

Tonight, 10 days before the next Federal shutdown, we’ll have the (rescheduled) State of the Union Address. Most presidents have fulfilled this annual constitutional requirement by submitting a document to Congress (“everything’s great, but here’s what you must give me”). With the advent of broadcasting, the SOTU morphed into an annual public spectacle, and nobody loves a spectacle more than Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump sees this as just another rally, without the red ball caps but with better TV coverage, even if Nancy Pelosi is looking over his left shoulder and half the audience members are sitting on their hands and rolling their eyes.

The event is officially a joint session of Congress, but there are guests. The President is bringing a bunch of them, a ready-made claque. The First Lady is bringing a kid named Trump who’s not even an in-law but says he gets bullied anyway.

The many guests of Speaker Pelosi include: the president of Planned Parenthood, chef and humanitarian José AndrésFred Guttenberg (whose14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting), two active-duty transgender soldiers, Jeremy Butler of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles,  National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García, United Steelworkers president Leo Gerard, carpenters union president Doug McCarron, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, and Mary Kay Henry of the Service Employees International Union.

Each member of Congress gets to bring a guest, and they’re making the most of it. Rep Donna Shalala (D, FL-27) invited DREAMer and grad student Edwin Herrera. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is bringing transgender Navy officer Blake Dremann. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is bringing air traffic controller Ronan Byrne, who worked unpaid during the shutdown. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, NJ-12 ) invited Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant recently fired from the Trump National Golf Club after working there for five years. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) is bringing Diane Whitcraft, a constituent with MS who stopped taking a drug after 23 years because she could not afford it. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) will host Albertina Conteras and her daughter, Guatemalan asylum-seekers who were separated from her daughter by border agents. The guest of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will be Nicole Smith-Holt, whose diabetic son Alec died because he could not afford his insulin. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D, IL-17) is bringing Tom Mueller, a family farmer hit by the Trump trade war.  Ana Maria Archila, the activist who confronted Jeff Flake in an elevator during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, was invited by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY-14).

We regret to say that, once again, nobody invited Stormy Daniels.

More:

“Democrats troll Trump with their State of the Union Guests,” Tina Nguyen, Vanity Fair

“Tonight’s State of the Union guests represent a deeply divided America,” Heather Timmons and Justin Rohrlich, Quartz

Related:

“When the state of the union is scary, the State of the Union gets weird,” Ted Widmer, Washington Post

“3 Reasons That State of the Union Speeches Don’t Matter,” Nathaniel Rakich, Geoffrey Skelley and Julia Azari, FiveThirtyEight

“It’s Time to Abolish the State of the Union Address,” Jared Keller, Pacific Standard

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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It’s On! State of the Union, February 5th.

January 29, 2019

It's On! State of the Union, February 5th.

After yanking the rug out from under Donald Trump’s January 2019 State of the Union address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited the president to harangue a joint session of Congress on February 5th and he accepted.

Attention new members of Congress: each of you may invite one guest to observe the State of the Union from the visitors’ balcony. One of you must invite Stephanie Clifford, a Republican and a working Mom also known as Stormy Daniels. She even knows the guy who’ll be talking.

Related:

“Democrats tap Georgia’s Stacey Abrams to deliver the response to Trump’s State of the Union address,” Felicia Sonmez, Washington Post

“The State of the Union is … perhaps outdated?” Jason Dick, Roll Call

Updates:

“Undocumented Immigrant Who Worked for Trump Will Attend His State of the Union,” Matt Stevens, New York Times

“Capitol Police announce street closures, restrictions for State of the Union address,” Michael Burke, The Hill

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Trump Defines Treason

February 6, 2018

Trump Defines Treason

President Trump re-defined Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution on Monday, during a speech in Blue Ash, Ohio. He accused congressional Democrats of treason for not applauding enough during last week’s State of the Union Address.

“You’re up there, you’ve got half the room going totally crazy wild, they loved everything, they want to do something great for our country. And you have the other side even on positive news, really positive news, they were like death and un-American, un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? [They] certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

 

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Trump Porn Partner Response to the State of the Union Address

January 30, 2018

Trump Porn Partner Response to the State of the Union Address

President Donald J. Trump will deliver his first State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern Time. The event will be carried live on every TV channel and Web platform in the known universe. We can expect the same kind of dubious, vacuous, self-aggrandizing sales pitch Mr. Trump recently delivered to real world leaders and business titans in Davos, with a dab of “Build the Wall” (billed as “security”) added to appease his base supporters.

Things will get more interesting after the speech, during the inevitable GOP spin sessions and Democratic responses by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D, MA-4), Rep. Maxine Waters (D, CA-43), and Virginia State Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William). But more Americans will be watching the response of adult film star Stormy Daniels, who will be a guest on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live following the State of the Union. Ms. Daniels received $130,000 in hush money from Trump in 2016, one month before the election, for staying silent about her affair with Mr. Trump. For the record, Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) is a Republican and a working Mom.

Related:

“Why Trump and the porn star is newsworthy,” Carl M. Cannon, O.C. Register

“State of the Union guests to highlight sexual harassment, assault debate,” Elise Viebeck, Washington Post

“Alleged payment to porn star was illegal donation to Trump campaign, watchdog says,” Josh Gerstein, Politico

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Invite Stormy Daniels to the State of the Union Address

January 24, 2018

Invite Stormy Daniels to the State of the Union Address
On January 30, 2018 at 8 PM Eastern, President Donald J. Trump will deliver his first State of the Union Address to a joint session of the United States Congress. Senators and Members of Congress are inviting special guests to observe from the visitors’ balcony, a SOTU tradition. Someone needs to invite Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels), a Republican and a working Mom, to this great national event. She even knows the guy who will be talking. Hey, maybe he’ll invite her — he’s done it before.

On the other hand, if Ms. Daniels can’t get invited to the State of the Union as a guest, maybe Forbes can get her press credentials.

More:

“Stormy Daniels: Donald Trump’s alleged porn star affair and hush money scandal explained,” Dylan Matthew, Vox

“8 wild details from the Stormy Daniels Trump interview,” Louis Nelson, Politico

“Get Caught Up: Trump’s Alleged Affair With Adult Film Star Stormy Daniels,” Danielle Kurtzleben, NPR

Related:

“State of the Union guests to highlight sexual harassment, assault debate,” Elise Viebeck, Washington Post

“Alleged payment to porn star was illegal donation to Trump campaign, watchdog says,” Josh Gerstein, Politico

UPDATE:

“Stormy Daniels to appear on Kimmel after Trump’s State of the Union address,” Dan Snierson, EW

“Kimmel to interview Stormy Daniels after Trump SOTU,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“Trump State of the Union Risks Being Upstaged by Stormy Daniels Interview on Jimmy Kimmel,” Maria Perez, Newsweek

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Bread Bags Full of Government Cash

January 23, 2015

Bread Bags Full of Government Cash

Montgomery County, Iowa is know as the site of the Villisca Axe Murders and as the childhood home of Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA). On Tuesday, in a recycled campaign speech mislabeled as a State of the Union Response, Senator Ernst explained that when it rained she and other Iowa school kids wore plastic bread bags over their shoes as galoshes, an example of Hawkeye State thrift and self-sufficiency.

But Ms. Ernst’s family may have paid for their Wonder Bread with money from the federal government. Her Uncle Dallas got a bushel full of agricultural subsidies, $370,000, and her Grandpa got $57,479. And while her Poppa pocketed a mere $38,395 in USDA corn subsidies and conservation payments, he landed $215,665 in building contracts from the Montgomery County Government during the years when daughter Joni was the County Auditor.

So much for pork-busting, honesty, and good government. Joni Ernst should be right at home at the slop trough that is the U.S. Senate.

Related:

“GOP Response: The Breadbags of Empathy,” Paul Waldman, The American Prospect

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A Living Wage for All Working Americans

February 15, 2013

“Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.” Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, February 12, 2013

“I’ve been dealing with the minimum wage issue for the last 28 years that I’ve been in elected office, and when you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it.” House Speaker John Boehner (R, OH-8).

“Economists: A $9 minimum wage won’t hurt jobs,” Natasha Lennard, Salon

“A history of the minimum wage since 1938 [chart],” Annalyn Kurtz, CNN Money

“Obama proposes $9/hour minimum wage. OK, says business owner,” Elizabeth Fuller-Wright, Christian Science Monitor

“40% Of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage,”  Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future

“Minimum Wage 101,” Mike Konczal, The American Prospect

“Minimum wage a bad idea? Ask execs who pay even more,” Charles Wilbanks and Alain Sherter, CBS News

“Minimum Wage Battle May Wound Republicans,” Steven T. Dennis, Roll Call

“Who would be affected by President Obama’s proposed minimum wage increase?” Natilie Sabadish and Doug Hall, Economic Policy Institute

“Why isn’t raising the minimum wage considered a no-brainer?” Robert Reich, Salon

“If You Notice That $9 Is More Than $7.25, Are You a Communist?” Kris Benson, Wonkette

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Marco Rubio Takes to Drink

February 13, 2013

Marco Rubio Takes to Drink

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was stuck with the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address last night. His dry-mouthed dive for a drink was the highlight of his dismal desperation demo:

@AlbertBrooks: I didn’t see Marco Rubio’s speech but I just got a residual check.

“Marco Rubio’s ‘water bottle-gate’ moment,” Lucy Madison, CBS News

“Marco Rubio’s Nervous Sip of Water Is the Only Thing Anyone Will Remember About His State of the Union Response,” Leah Beckmann, Gawker

“Botella de agua de Marco Rubio inunda las redes (Marco Rubio’s bottle of water flooded the networks”), La Opinión

Sen. Marco Rubio’s swig of water during GOP rebuttal goes viral,” Marc Caputo, Miami Herald

“Water under the bridge? Rubio slips and sips; his GOP speech response goes viral,” Ken Thomas, AP via Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Everyone On Twitter Made The Exact Same Joke About Marco Rubio’s Water Break,” Andrew Kaczynski, BuzzFeed

“Marco Rubio’s Gulpgate,” Alex Rogers, TIME blog

“How Marco Rubio is trying to turn his sip slip into a political win,” Sean Sullivan and Aaron Blake, Washington Post

“Marco Rubio’s Water Break: Jokes Not Drying Up Online,” Alyssa Newcomb, ABC News blog

Senator Rubio made light of the episode, but a question remains: Awkward pause or product placement?

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