With President Obama's first State of the Union Address tonight at 9:00 pm EST (if you have killed your TV and want to view the speech live, here is a list of places you can go on the web or your mobile phone to catch the SOTU live).
Also, the Cato Institute will be live-blogging and live-tweeting the State of the Union Address.
(For Twitter users, use the hashtag #SOTU.)
All Rhetoric, No Substance
One of the best reads I've had yet on Obama's SOTU is this from the Huffington Post: "Obama State of the Union Address Will Be More Rhetoric and No Substance For the Middle Class":
I can already hear the empty pandering to the middle class in President Obama's State of the Union speech. He will be reading one of the most well written speeches of his presidency since he and his handlers realize their reign in Washington could be on the ropes.
President Obama has a documentable track record of broken campaign promises and policies that have virtually ignored the middle class.
...The only change the middle class going to get from President Obama will be the pocket change that's left in their bank accounts at the end of the month.
Seriously- read the whole thing here.
Advice for Obama
The "libertarian" Andrew Sullivan gives Obama tips on how to sell Americans socialized medicine during his State of the Union Address. Over at Reason magazine, they have better advice:
"So here's some advice for President Barack Obama, who was elected on a platform of hope and change and has, after a year in office, helped dash hope by changing things mostly for the worse. We write not as Democratic Party hacks who are slow to wipe the sparkles from their eyes (we aren't asking you to recalibrate your "cool, detached temperament"), nor as Republican Party dead-enders (who turned against TARP only upon learning it would be administered by you rather than John McCain).
Instead, we write as libertarian enthusiasts and political independents who think that the large majority of Americans that wants fewer government services and less government interference in our social and economic lives should, at long last, be taken seriously. That means no longer pretending that the people who oppose Obamanomics are all opportunistic Republicans or mis-informed voters bedazzled by nefarious special interests.Your policies are increasingly unpopular because they are no good..."
Read the whole article here.
A Libertarian State of the Union Address
Dr. Jeff Miron, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute offers a "libertarian state of the union address," and I have to say I like it except for item #5: "Scrap the Tax Code and replace with a flat tax." Why not just scrap the income tax and replace it with nothing- or more precisely with items #8, #9, and #10 (Cut spending, Cut spending, and Cut Spending)?
And if you haven't seen it, do check out Ron Paul's State of the Republic address here.
President Obama's Lame Spending Freeze
Another Black Conservative points out that "the amount of the Federal budget that this freeze actually applies to is about 1/8th the entire budget. Worse yet, entitlements... remains untouched. Second, Obama is applying the freeze to the 2011 budget."
Reason Magazine reminds us that by the President's own reckoning, the spending freeze will save at maximum, only $15 billion in 2011.
Ron Paul also calls B.S. on Obama's spending freeze (via: YALiberty)
Yet even this meager, symbolic cut in spending is sending "progressives" into a tizzy. A blogger at Daily Kos is calling it "Unimaginable Stupidity": "Great. A single U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts is now dictating fiscal policy for the next three years. It might at least make some sense if it were a smart political decision. But there's nothing to suggest that it's anything but unalloyed idiocy." But another DKos blogger asks a question I agree with whole-heartedly: "How About Freezing Defense Spending?" (but I must add- How About Freezing Entitlement Spending?)
And at the Huffington Post, Ben Cohen is calling the freeze another example of Obama's schizophrenic economic policy. While I don't agree with most of his analysis, I do have to say "schizophrenic" is a good word to describe Obama's economic policy (though for my own libertarian reasons, not for Cohen's Keynesian ones).
Meanwhile, at The Liberty Republican, they are considering the spending freeze among other things to be a sign of a great lurch to the right by the Obama Administration. Yeah right! Don't be fooled, my Republican friend! The freeze is all smoke and mirrors and doesn't represent a serious commitment to reducing spending.
And I can't help but scoff at the idea advanced by The Liberty Republican, that the White House's decision to fund private space companies is a "conservative" act of privatization. More corporate welfare with your tax dollars is conservative? Fiscally responsible? A lurch to the right? If it is, then I definitely am not and never want to be "right."
Boycotting Obama's SOTU:
Christopher over at Conservative Perspective wants you to "just boycott the speech!" With a little more substantive analysis over at the Cato Institute, Gene Healy explains why Tuning Out the State of the Union is actually a sign of political health.
Awesome. I think I'll probably just pop in some Lost DVDs tonight.