“Workplace Policies that Belong in a Mad Men episode”
...and a few other one-liners from tonight's State of the Union speech.
Before Obama's speech, talking heads were saying the President needed to play offense instead of defense, and to be upbeat and not too confrontational. He delivered.
Referring to equal pay for equal work and paid sick leave for employees taking time off to care for a sick child/spouse/parent, President Obama said “It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a 'Mad Men' episode.”
His speech basically stressed the broad areas where everyone agrees (hopefully) and avoided doing too much partisan toe-stepping-on. Other memorable quotes included:
“...here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams.”
“And my administration's launched two hubs for high-tech manufacturing in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Youngstown, Ohio, where we've connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies.Tonight, I'm announcing we'll launch six more this year. Bipartisan bills in both houses could double the number of these hubs and the jobs they create. So, get those bills to my desk and put more Americans back to work.”
“And taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet. Over the past eight years the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth.”
“So tonight, I've asked Vice President Biden to lead an across- the-board reform of America's training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. (Cheers, applause.) That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. It means connecting companies to community colleges that can help design training to fill their specific needs. And if Congress wants to help, you can concentrate funding on proven programs that connect more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.”
“Americans understand that some people will earn more money than others, and we don't resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success. That's what America's all about. But Americans overwhelmingly agree that no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.”
[referring to Obamacare] “So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, increase choice, tell America what you'd do differently. Let's see if the numbers add up. But let's not have another 40- something votes to repeal a law that's already helping millions of Americans.”
Anyway, that was just a few highlights.
Apparently, Obama's SOTU speech was so good — how good was it? — it was soooooo good, the GOP needed not one, not two, but THREE rebuttal speeches.
I surfed through all our TV channels, and the only counterpoint speech I saw was the official one from Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Now, nobody will admit it, but the GOP has an unwritten ironclad rule that when their designated drone delivers the SOTU rebuttal speech, he/she MUST maintain a fixed simple-minded thousand-yard-stare smile while bobbing one's head up and down in a GOP-prescribed rhythm. (And if “GOP” and “rhythm” isn't an oxymoron, I don't know what is.)
The one meaningful phrase uttered among McMorris Rodgers' platitudes was “But the real gap we face today is one of opportunity inequality.”
OK, good point. And your solution is ________??????????????????
Uh, we're still waiting...I guess we'll never know. Or, film at eleven. Probably not though; don't hold your breath.
Senator Mike Lee (R—Wall Street) delivered the rebuttal to the rebuttal. I couldn't find anything on TV or the Internet except for this video link. Go ahead and watch in case you care.
And Rand Paul: as of this writing — about an hour and a half after the SOTU speech — the only thing I've found on the Intertubes about Rand Paul's rebuttal to the rebuttal to the rebuttal speech was a few news stories saying Rand Paul will rebut the president's SOTU speech.