Tuesday SOTU Open Thread [2/12/2013]

Filed in National by on February 12, 2013

President Obama is delivering his State of the Union Address tonight and the usual suspects are spinning up expectations and related goo. DD covered a report from Politico that noted that President Obama won’t be extending any olive branches to Republicans this year, and I have been listening to NPR a decent portion of the morning and they are repeating the same thing. What I don’t hear is WHY the President should be extending olive branches to a party who works hard at not cooperating in the business of government. I suspect it is the same old — Democrats are supposed to cooperate and Republicans get a pass on obstructing (with the excuse of sticking to their principles). Anyone else noticing this narrative?

Members of Congress Camp Out All Day for a Chance to Meet the President

Having the president greet dozens of lawmakers as he enters and exits the House chamber for the State of the Union already seems like a huge waste of time, and the situation is even worse than it appears. To secure an aisle seat, members of Congress have to claim the spot ten to twelve hours in advance. According to the Washington Post, there’s a devoted group of State of the Union squatters, and scoring five seconds of inane conversation with the president involves a surprising amount of preparation.

Competition for aisle seats is fierce, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy sent out a note on Monday reminding members of Congress that simply leaving your jacket on a chair doesn’t count. “Members may reserve their seats only by physical presence,” he said.

I’m not sure that I knew this. But I note that they don’t mind asking for a physical presence for reserving seats to this event, but a talking filibuster is out of the question.

The list of the President and First Lady’s guests for the speech includes quite a few victims of gun violence — including a teacher from Newtown.

Marco Rubio is supposed to deliver the GOP response to the SOTU in both English and Spanish. Except some of his party think that English-only is the only way to go:

“There’s a conflicting message that comes out from the Republicans if we want to recognize the unifying power of English, and meanwhile, we send out communications in multiple languages,” King said in an interview with National Journal. “Official business and documents needs to be in English.”
The resistance behind closed doors contrasts with the public posture taken by most Republican Party leaders since seven out of 10 Hispanic voters rejected Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, and may give the party more reasons to worry about King’s possible run for the soon-to-be-open Senate seat in Iowa. Already, the Karl Rove-backed super PAC American Crossroads has launched the Conservative Victory Project to help quash primary candidates it views as outside the mainstream and destined to lose a general election. Since he is often seen on the fringe of the party, King could be a target if he runs for the seat left vacant by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin.

Way to fumble the ball again, gang.

Research on the influence of video games on violent behavior — basically the games might be one small factor out of many:

A burst of new research has begun to clarify what can and cannot be said about the effects of violent gaming. Playing the games can and does stir hostile urges and mildly aggressive behavior in the short term. Moreover, youngsters who develop a gaming habit can become slightly more aggressive — as measured by clashes with peers, for instance — at least over a period of a year or two.

Yet it is not at all clear whether, over longer periods, such a habit increases the likelihood that a person will commit a violent crime, like murder, rape, or assault, much less a Newtown-like massacre. (Such calculated rampages are too rare to study in any rigorous way, researchers agree.)

“I don’t know that a psychological study can ever answer that question definitively,” said Michael R. Ward, an economist at the University of Texas, Arlington. “We are left to glean what we can from the data and research on video game use that we have.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. cassandra_m says:

    Today’s good guys with guns incident:

    “I was just sitting there, talking to a lady and all of a sudden we hear this huge boom … we just [gasps] … ‘Oh, my God!’” a wide-eyed Christina Burley told KTVZ reporter Kim Tobin, shortly after an accidental shooting at a McDonald’s in Bend, Oregon last Thursday. Richard Lee Cooper and his wife, Barbara Annette Masters, were sitting down to enjoy their lunch of pink slime and animal byproducts at their local McDonald’s, when Masters leaned forward. The 48-year-old woman’s .22-caliber Derringer pistol fell out of her pocket, hit the floor, and accidentally fired. The bullet struck Cooper in the abdomen.

  2. Geezer says:

    That’s remarkably similar to what happened to then-TNJ reporter Phil Milford (husband of Maureen) at the old courthouse back in the ’80s, when there were no metal detectors. A rather elderly lady was carrying one of those tiny .22s in her purse, which fired when she bumped the purse against the door jamb. The bullet struck poor Phil, who fortunately wasn’t too badly wounded. But he was teased for years about being the only reporter in America willing to take a bullet for Gannett.

  3. puck says:

    Barbara fired first!

  4. John Manifold says:

    GOP fills scant 20 tables at Lincoln Day dinner:


  5. Miscreant says:

    “What I don’t hear is WHY the President should be extending olive branches to a party who works hard at not cooperating in the business of government.”

    Just a wild guess, but perhaps the President should make an attempt to represent, and respect, the entire country, not just the percentage of low information voters and the massive political machine that got him elected.

  6. cassandra_m says:

    This is an awesome textbook low information response from the heart of Fox Noise Sussex. The President represents more of the entire country than the other party does, by definition. And this President has spent more time trying to work with the other Party at the expense of good policy way too much. Although perhaps you don’t read those parts of this blog. But still — elections have consequences which was the mantra of your side when GWB was running it all into the ground, yes?

  7. SussexAnon says:

    Obama has offered so many olive branches to the party of no that there is an olive shortage in DC.

    ‘memba when Bush won second term and he had all that political capital and we had to follow him? No olive branch there.

    “Fer’us or against us” Was the Republican phrase of the day back in the 00’s

  8. mike says:

    I thought his “story” about the girl killed in chicago he used so he can push his infringements of Constitutional rights was particularly despicable, even had her parents sit next to Michelle Obama while she pretended to be all choked up.

    Yeah, a girl killed in Obama’s hometown, the murder capital of the country, in the only state with NO provision for lawful carry, and in a city that already has all of the gun control infringements that Obama is pushing for…..and they aren’t working. This is my shocked face :O

  9. Jason330 says:

    “Obama has offered so many olive branches to the party of no that there is an olive shortage in DC.”


  10. socialistic ben says:

    is it even worth mentioning that you can buy a gun NEAR Chicago and bring it there?