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State, national columnists

State of the presidency: Pretty bad

By From page A7 | January 30, 2014

Suppose you are president, you’ve stumbled, fumbled, slipped and crashed, it’s time to give a State of the Union speech and millions will be watching. What do you do – say you are sorry and will try harder or take credit for good things you did not do, blame the bad things you did do on others and propose solutions that sound good to the gullible even though they will make things worse?

President Obama chose the latter course, pumping up his presentation with bravado of a constitutionally abrasive kind that said he would get done what needed to get done whether Congress helped or not.

After all, he made clear, it was up to him as the great American hero to save the weak and helpless from economic evils and dastardly Republicans. He may be the president who gave us the still scary threat of Obamacare and the most emaciated, laggard economic recovery since World War II, but he is a razzle-dazzle showman.

Look, it’s true, too, that he occasionally came close to worthy ideas, as in telling us how he wanted to increase the earned income tax credit that is essentially welfare for low-wage working people. I applaud that because I think this approach is a way to rely less on welfare programs that too often discourage work and a much better means of helping low-income families than the fraud of hiking the federal minimum wage, which Obama urged Tuesday night.

The facts are that only about 3 percent of workers get the minimum wage, that high percentages of them are one of two or more workers in families with healthy incomes and that hiking the wage would provide minimal help for some while costing others working hours or jobs. More economists than not see hiking the wage as more harmful than helpful to workers, though any half-alert political scientist would know that promoting it is helpful to Democrats.

In this sleight-of-hand speech, Obama talked persuasively about the need to improve education, but he also wants floods of new immigrants coming into the country every year. Does he know how hard it has been for a great many schools to accommodate their children and still make some pretense of performing well?

There’s little question that immigrants with needed abilities can and do make a positive difference in America and that we can also absorb a smaller number of the unskilled and uneducated. But does Obama not see that we have to cut the numbers somewhere and that having fewer unskilled would also mean less poverty, less income inequality?

Does he see no contradiction between wanting to prepare our young people with skills to flourish and still wanting to bring in scads of adults whose incapacities will keep them from flourishing?

Has it ever occurred to him that this tactic increases the number of unemployed and of people on welfare and that it is finally cruel to the immigrants themselves to bring them into such tough circumstances in a culture they barely know how to navigate?

Some other points.

Obama talked about the energy boom as if he caused it when it is happening despite him. Remember the Keystone XL pipeline he did not want to build even though scientists had spent three years and filled eight volumes showing it was safe?

He talked about cutting deficits while failing to mention that the potentially ruinous debt has grown under his watch by leaps, bounds and negligence.

But you’ve got to admire his performance. After his term is over, some TV network could make a billion with him.

Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune. Readers may send him email at [email protected].

Jay Ambrose


Discussion | 28 comments

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  • Tax PayerJanuary 30, 2014 - 5:15 am

    Good riddance in 2016!

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  • Mike KirchubelJanuary 30, 2014 - 7:50 am

    What a pile of fact-free sowell. Just a rant, no data to back up any of the Foxisms.

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  • patrickJanuary 30, 2014 - 12:37 pm

    Words can come back to haunt us. The Quote of the Decade: "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better." ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 30, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    Keep repeating it Patrick. Never going to change anything.

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  • Keep Regurgitating CD, sooner or later you will feel better....BARFJanuary 30, 2014 - 2:08 pm


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  • Mike KirchubelJanuary 30, 2014 - 1:57 pm

    yawn. heard it before. disposed of it before. yet, here it is again.

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  • Mike KirchubelJanuary 30, 2014 - 2:00 pm

    This article should be called: "The state of right-wing thought: Pretty Vacant." (and yes, I'm expecting StR to post the video.)

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  • I will follow him....PS Google THE CLINTON DEATH LISTJanuary 30, 2014 - 2:14 pm


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  • OK 4 U Michael....Really every 1 check this out....reallyJanuary 30, 2014 - 5:25 pm


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  • Seeds Of Death - Full MovieJanuary 30, 2014 - 5:31 pm


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  • CEO Billionaires Defend Obama's NSAJanuary 30, 2014 - 6:18 pm


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  • What I always Ponder is the level of the PSYOPSJanuary 30, 2014 - 8:17 am

    See how the Power Elite keeps us focused on the person of the Presidency?....All the Presidents in recent times, Republican and Democrat work for the Power Elite....But also the entire system of Government...Executive, Legislative, Supreme Court...Federal Reserve ( especially bad, because he who controls the money really controls everything ) many of the top Military Brass, the Intelligence Agencies...State Governors, State Legislatures all are controlled by the Power Elite.....yet they keep up the Right/Left Dialectic by keeping the focus on the President.....We need to look at how the Complete Structure of Government has been altered and that we are not following the Constitution....like why can the Executive Branch keep taking us to war, without a Declaration of War approved by the Congress.....Having said this though, the Illuminati is ramping up the power of the Executive, this needs to have a stop put to it as soon as possible.....IMPEACH OBAMA FOR WAR CRIMES AGAINST LIBYA?......For NDAA?......oh and we need some Bumper Stickers that say....Google....THE CLINTON DEATH LIST

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  • http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2012/04/13/12_ways_to_use_saul_alinskys_rules_for_radicals_against_liberals/page/fullJanuary 30, 2014 - 8:44 am

    12 Ways To Use Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals Against Liberals John Hawkins | Apr 13, 2012....for example....4A) Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. Conservatives have a tendency to try to win every debate with logic and recitations of facts which, all too often, fail to get the job done because emotions and mockery are often just as effective as reason. The good news is that liberals almost never have logic on their side; so they're incapable of rationally making the case for their policies while conservatives can become considerably more effective debaters by simply adding some emotion-based arguments and sheer scorn to their discourse. This has certainly worked on Twitter, where conservatives keep making the Obama campaign look like buffoons by taking over its hashtags.........Now that we have taken a look at this, ( if you read the article )....still remember all the right/conservative....left/liberal stuff as promulgated is part of the PSYOP......just as Free Market Capitalism/Conservatism was corrupted to become Crony Corporate Neocon Capitalism ( run for the profit of the Corporate Bank Structure, subservient through the Federal Reserve to the City of London Rothschild/Rockefeller Banking Structure ).....The Liberal "quest for Justice" has been corrupted through the Unions and Treaties which deindustrialized America...also all the "radicals" were either created or infiltrated by the very same Power Elite Structure...all opposition is controlled opposition...Tea Parties have been infiltrated, Occupy Wall Street infiltrated....especially the "communist" ones....The power elite "set up the best enemies money can buy" on all levels.....they funded and installed communism in Russia and China.....they always try their best to Balkanize a country they are trying to control...set us all up against each other on many levels.....the true concern is not for the poor, but to establish control, so that we do not rebel against the hand that feeds us, so that in general the mass of the population is dependent on THEIR Government, not ours.

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 30, 2014 - 1:23 pm

    What a waste of ink in your presentation! Saul Alinsky was considered a hero to many. I have pointed that out repeatedly to all you "community organizer" snipers. The lie-repeating machine AKA GOP/FOX and the three amigos cannot present a fact because they have edited them out to suit their evil agenda. It really IS time to wake up folks this is utter nonsense without a substantive argument. The writer as usual, has no cogent worthwhile material. None.

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  • Mr. SmithJanuary 30, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    Hey, CD: Wasn't Osama Bin Laden considered a hero by many? Does that make him a good guy? Good grief, man. Get a grip!

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 30, 2014 - 3:22 pm

    Mr. Smith, that is probably the most asinine comment to ever hit this board. If you can make that comparison you obviously know little of anything. I had hope for you but wow...good grief.

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  • Mr. SmithJanuary 30, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    CD: What we seem to have here is a failure to communicate. BTW, I don't make assinine comments, unless it serves a purpose.

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 30, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    Mr. Smith, I don't play games, say what you mean please. From my end there was no miscommunication in your comment. But please, if I'm mistaken spell it out.

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  • Mr. SmithJanuary 30, 2014 - 4:45 pm

    CD: Perhaps I misinterpreted your allusion to Saul Alinsky as a hero to many, and therefore worthy of praise. If that is the criterion for praiseworthiness, then Osama Bin Laden would also be praiseworthy. Not worth arguing over. Miscommunication no doubt.

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 30, 2014 - 5:21 pm

    Mr. Smith fair enough. I probably over react to this discussion because I spent countless hours researching then presenting my findings here to stop what I considered some pretty rotten comments towards a man that helped people against great odds. Either way, he didn't kill people and blow up buildings. That's where I found the comparison out of line. Thanks for the explanation, I appreciate it.

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 30, 2014 - 8:29 am

    Dude, your Party just censured John McCain. John-friggin-“he’s too liberal for us” McCain! We could trade Party mistakes back and forth all day but the bottom line will remain. The GOP is imploding if that’s a surprise then you haven’t been paying attention. This is just more deliberate tripe in an effort to deflect the obvious truth. Good luck with that.

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  • rlw895January 30, 2014 - 8:50 am

    What's Obsma done or not done to require him to apologize in a State of the Union address? He's already apologized for the messy ACA Web page rollout and moved on to fix it.

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  • Puddin TaneJanuary 30, 2014 - 9:46 am

    I thought Obama showed some rare backbone and was rather on point when he called out the House for trying (and failing) to repeal the ACA over 40 times. It's one thing to be an opposing party when you have ideas, but when your platform has devolved into stomping your feet and throwing a tantrum you're on your way to political obscurity. It's unfortunate, because our republic needs two parties with ideas (at minimum) to function. It'll be interesting to see if the Republicans put their money where their mouth is and come up with a viable alternative plan. And no, going back to the old system is not a viable alternative.

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  • Has anyone stopped go consider that.....January 30, 2014 - 10:02 am

    The United States is on the verge of Economic Collapse? How much longer can we just keep creating virtual digital money? How long will the petro Dollar last? When will the Rothschilds direct the rest of the world ( like China ) to stop accepting the dollar for payment...How will oil imports by paid for then?.....With the economy on the verge, ACA is just one more step closer to collapsing the economy......more bread and circuses while the Republic crashes......I am so tired of this....you people just refuse to WAKE UP....What true madness you do display.....I am going on strike/vacation to write Rules for Sabbaticals.......I will take over the World by Spreading the Yuppie Flu......we will all just sleep through all this stress.......NARCOLEPSY for EVERYONE.

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  • A Blatant takeoverJanuary 30, 2014 - 10:12 am

    Quoting someone else here.....yes the Liberals work for the New World Order....they are being used to Break, Divide and Bankrupt this country......What happens when all the illegals are overnight made legal and they all vote Democrat? One party rule and totalitarian Government put fully in to place...not enough people smart enough to fight back compared to these overwhelming numbers.....30 Million more Democrats....Oh Goody!.......line up to get tattooed and chipped....line up communist stile for your food rations...and your death panels when "the usless eaters" are eliminated by the New World Order.

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  • WAKE UP PEOPLEJanuary 30, 2014 - 10:13 am

    On the Thursday, January 30 broadcast of the Alex Jones Show, Alex breaks down how immigration reform could spell disaster for the Republican party, as the nation prepares itself for yet another distracting sports spectacle. Alex continues crashing through the lies and disinformation presented in Obama's SOTU, and looks at how the Federal Reserve manipulates financial markets in real time at their whim. On today's show, Alex also reviews Attorney General Eric Holder's inability to cite the constitutional basis for Obama's executive orders, and examines the hypocritical vitriol casually spewed from MSNBC's Twitter feed. He'll also cover the relentless assault on gun owners and the Bill of Rights and increased tensions between the U.S. and China.wwwinfowarscom

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  • See....January 30, 2014 - 1:52 pm

    Fed to reduce pace of bond buying by another $10B..... By The Associated Press From page A10 | January 30, 2014....From today's Daily Republic................................No one wants to acknowledge that all the central banks in the world, including our Central Bank the Federal. Reserve really serve the City of London/Rothschild Banks....which if you peel another layer off the onion....serves The Old Money Venetian black nobility and other Private Banks.....and THEY do not just want all this money for their own personal benefit and enrichment...if it was so, they would just enjoy the extreme luxury such money buys and leave the rest of us alone ( not be so intent on eventually killing us off and getting us to sell our souls to hell )....no it is about control of the masses worldwide, and encouraging war and starvation and dependency on THEM, the evil masters.

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  • http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2014-01-29.htmlJanuary 30, 2014 - 10:18 am

    GOP CRAFTS PLAN TO WRECK THE COUNTRY, LOSE VOTERS January 29, 2014........or check The Drudge Report...and yes Ann Coulter is a propagandist war monger on the right ..... but this piece is true.....more Balkanization of the Country against upholding the Principles of the Constitution and Limited Government.

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