Skip to main content

2014 State of the Union Reaction


If you read (which you should) the Dome Pondering 2013 Year in Review, you know that I wasn't particularly happy with the year of results from our President. Receiving the Dome Pondering "Biggest Letdown of the Year" award might be fun and games, but in all seriousness, the first year of President Obama's second term was a disaster. 

Because of that, I really was looking forward to his State of the Union address this year. Would he acknowledge the tough year? What are his plans? What key issues will he touch on? Of course, what are his plans to solve them?

Barring a few points, unfortunately, much of the President's rhetoric sounded like something we've heard in the past. President Obama is such a great, charismatic, and gifted speaker, it becomes easy to get lost in the realm of his charm, but this year's speech sounded very similar to last years.

I appreciated the statistics in his opening remarks regarding the improvements made throughout the nation in the housing market, manufacturing, and home-produced oil. All great, which is very nice to know, especially when it sometimes feel like progression isn't being made, but, his other points regarding natural energy, middle class reestablishment, immigration reform, and education importance seem like more rhetoric, though very important issues, that take a back seat to Healthcare reform aka "Obamacare".

It just felt like President Obama built up these issues toward talking about healthcare reform, still treating the idea like his personal project. After all, truth be told, it will be his signifying trophy on the mantel next to being the President to capture Osama Bin Laden, for lack of a better analogy. The President touted lofty sounding numbers and threw in some pathos with a story about a woman who received surgery right after registering for the Affordable Healthcare Act. Of course (not that I expected him to), he never mentioned the many who have lost their health insurance and have been inconvenienced by this new initiative. 

Maybe it is because we hear about it frequently and it is such a hot topic, but it seems like since he has been president, the Affordable Healthcare Act has been his main focus, with other issues and topics taking a back seat. Which is probably why this song and dance feels very, very similar. 

However, despite the somewhat stale feel of the speech, I must give him credit, there are some other things that I took away from the State of the Union address, and one in particular that really got me fired up. 

- The President's emphasis on early education and the push nationwide for it is something that got me really excited. DP devotees would know how much I believe we need real education reform in this country, and starting the movement towards mandatory early education for our children is something I believe leads us in the right direction. 

I also felt like standing in my living room and applauding like I was in the chamber to this quote: "The problem is we're still not reaching enough kids, and we're not reaching them in time. That has to change."

- "And I'm reaching out to some of America's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential."

This really peaked my interest as I was hoping the President would go further, but he left it at that after stating he wanted those same opportunities he and Mrs. Obama enjoyed for everyone. 

I truly hope at some point, especially now in a second term where he doesn't need votes or support for future elections, that he truly gives an honest speech directed to children of color. As one myself, I can honestly tell you the community needs it. And what better person than from President Obama. Someday I guess...

- Increased Minimum Wage and Equal pay for women? I still can't believe these are topics of discussion and debate in 2014. Get it done already. 

- I still think our government is too involved in things such as school loan deferment and retirement savings options. Sure, social security is tanking, but I still believe retirement options and it's responsibility should be left to the individual. Why do we, as a nation, need to "encourage" others to do this?

- Wasn't overly crazy about the international policy laid out, but I'll say this, President Obama has been very revealing and transparent of his intentions when it comes to war and international issues. I get the idea and am in agreement with the plan to slowly exit Afghanistan, but sometimes this feel likes the war that just never ends. 

- I totally agree with the idea of getting immigration reform done. Our laws have too many holes, aren't clear enough, aren't strict enough, and at the same time, aren't practical enough to keep innovation and development in our country at a high level without jeopardizing the integrity of our population and its needs. 

As the son of two immigrants who came to this country the right way, I believe there is a way to get this done. Those who are opposed to immigration reform altogether are flat out xenophobic, and are the ones who truly cheapen the essence of the "American dream". Just my opinion. Just bloggin'.

- And finally, while the buildup to his big healthcare issue left me a bit jaded regarding his rhetoric, the story regarding Seargeant First Class Cory Remsburg was fantastic. Absolutely, fantastic! Such a touching and emotional story (and well placed by the President's speech writer). Just amazingly, fantastic stuff. 

"My fellow Americans, men and women like Cory remind us that America has never come easy"

Damn, after that was said, I seriously just wanted to find a way to be a better American. 

I might be a bit skeptical to some of the issues discussed, I guess until really seeing action, but I can't deny that the President's closing comments didn't leave me excited to be an American, and even more driven to get involved, in any small way may it be, in attempting to change our country for the better. 

Recently Read Posts

Thoughts on the 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

I honestly had zero interest in this year's Hall of Fame Ballot.  I know, I know...how dare I?  For me, the 2023 ballot wasn't as sexy or overly interesting. I really thought this would be another year in which no one got in. From the names on the ballot, the controversial ones like Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield that we knew the outcomes for, and the lost hope for guys like Jeff Kent, I found myself feeling like the theme which now clouds Scott Rolen's 2023 selection - just a lot of VERY good guys.  There isn't anything wrong or disrespectful about that. A lot of the names are now those that resonate with me as I get older and can honestly decide on without extrapolating numbers from baseball references. Call it old school, or somewhat ignorant, but like many, I'm at the point of my life where my first evaluation is instant - did he feel like a Hall of Famer?  If the answer is yes, then it's settled. If the answer is no, I'll do my due diligence in look

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/29/22

3 Up 1. Five Memphis Officers Charged - It's a bittersweet "Up", but one of necessity. The five officers who brutally beat Tyre Nichols to death in what has been determined as a traffic stop filled with procedural violations and a hellacious video of their beating to go with it being charged is a step in the necessary direction.  2. City of Memphis - Kudos to the City of Memphis and their office for understanding the duty and responsibility of releasing the videos of the murder of Tyre Nichols. We've seen in various cases where these kinds of evidence are withheld - that office deserves credit.  3. Royal Rumble Event - On a much lighter note in the "Up" section - and in the world - is the Royal Rumble event this weekend. So much fun. Check out my thoughts and reviews here .  3 Down 1. Tyre Nichols Video - Just utter disbelief, and worthy of a shake my head. We need answers, justice, and of course, change. Some of my immediate thoughts on the video release t

Royal Rumble 2023 Review: "Absolute Drama. Wrestling at its Best"

Absolute drama. Wrestling at its best.  That's all I can say as the 2023 Royal Rumble premium live event went off the air. This is not some rare take or outlier perspective I'm going to offer. The wrestling was good. But damn, everything that is the Sami Zayn and The Bloodline storyline is why pro wrestling is the best form of entertainment there is. Yes, they've twisted and turned along the way, even in some areas where you thought this was going to be predictable, but the entire thing has been layered magnificently where it's honestly conceivable to understand anyone's perspective in the entire thing.  I've long thought Sami vs. Roman wouldn't headline Wrestlemania with the E opting instead to go with The Usos vs. Zayn and Owens, but I honestly at the posting of this, cannot state that's the best direction.  Although, while it may not be on the front burner (and it'll probably eventually get there), having Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns where both of

Hard to Kill 2023 Review: "A Great Way to Kick Off 2023"

Impact Wrestling continues to be the most solid pro wrestling product - at least for this fan. Yes, there are some other exciting things going on in different companies, but for me, Impact does the most with the least, and that's a good thing.  As noted in some previous posts on Impact Wrestling, I was all about bringing in Bully Ray. I get the hesitancy because,  here we go with old stars taking up television time , but everything about the Bully and Josh Alexander storyline has been done well. It's been personal. It's a different look for Alexander. And it's a nice blend of history for the company with Bully returning, a nice mix of a veteran and your current top guy, and overall, something very different we've yet to see from Alexander as champion.  This is the case up and down the roster and the product for Impact. Add to this theory Mickie James vs. Jordynne Grace. And the tag team scene. And everything else. The company continues to rehabilitate older stars, l