#SOTU drinking game: One way of getting through an hour of an Obama speech

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Well, to be responsible about this, I don’t recommend drinking through the ENTIRE speech – should you have the stomach to watch it – but a couple of beers might help you get through the hour.  Suggested words to drink to, courtesy of the Debate Drinking website:

Start off right. Take a drink if the state of the union is‘strong’ – take two drinks if it is anything other than strong.

Take a drink* when you hear any of the following words or phrases

Let me be clear
Invest (ing/ment)
Together
Values
Future
The time for (anything) is now
Opportunity
Robot Uprising
Infrastructure
Immigration
Lincoln
Jobs
Middle Class
Challenge
Energy
Reagan

They’ll also have “real-time, live-streaming, drink-totaling, super-hyphenated, magic scoreboard” you can follow as well.  For those of you who are REALLY into it. :) Just please make sure to drink responsibly, and all that.

Yours truly won’t be watching the speech, but will be monitoring the “festivities” on Twitter, where the translations from fellow conservatives of what Obama says usually prove to be right on the money.

Following the President’s speech (excerpts) will be the GOP response, which will be given by Senator Marco Rubio  (FL) (excerpts).  Senator Rand Paul (KY) will provide the Tea Party rebuttal to Obama (excerpts).  Not sure if Rubio and Paul will be speaking at the same time or not.  Daily Caller makes it sound like they will be back to back. I suspect this is the case.

If you can’t get to a TV for the 9pm ET speech, you can – of course – catch it on C-SPAN.

The progressive war on the middle class: Kansas vs. California

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**Posted by Phineas

A few days ago, reactionary liberal E.J. Dionne wrote a piece in The Washington Post, part of which he devoted to bashing states that implement conservative fiscal and governance policies. And he singled out Kansas, the state with perhaps the most “Tea Party” government, for a ritual “two minutes hate:”

In some states where Republicans control all the levers of power, they are rushing ahead with astonishingly right-wing programs to eviscerate government while shifting the tax burden toward the middle class and the poor and away from the wealthy. In trying to build the Koch brothers’ dystopias, they are turning states in laboratories of reaction.

As Neil King Jr. and Mark Peters reported in a Wall Street Journal article on the “Red State model,” Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has slashed both income taxes and spending. This drew fire from moderate and moderately conservative Republican legislators, whom he then helped purge in primaries.

Note the requisite invocation of the demon Koch brothers, lest any of the progressive faithful miss the clue that these conservative reforms are EVIL!!!

Anyway, Washington Examiner columnist Conn Carroll read Dionne’s screed and did something increasingly unusual for journalists these days: he looked for facts before turning on his word-processing program. Imagine that.

So, first looked at how things are going in Mordor Kansas:

If Dionne were to bother to visit Kansas, he would find a state with an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, a full 2.5 points below the nation’s 7.9 percent average. Despite “eviscerated” state government spending, Kansas’ fourth- and eighth-graders beat the national average in both math and reading scores. The state’s 11.2 percent poverty rate is also well below the national 15.8 percent national average. And despite all those evil tax cuts for the rich, the gap between Kansas’ wealthiest and poorest citizens is also much smaller than the national average.

The most recent Jayhawk Poll showed Brownback enjoying a 55 percent to 37 percent approval rating. But I’m sure the backlash Dionne predicted is just around the corner.

Then he compared it to the progressive Paradise, my beloved California, where Democrats control the governor’s office and have super-majorities in the legislature:

At 9.8 percent, unemployment is a bit higher in the Golden State then in Kansas — or the rest of the country, for that matter. Despite California spending far more per student than most states, its fourth- and eighth-graders perform far worse on reading and math proficiency scores than the average American students. A third of all the welfare recipients in the United States live in California, and the Census Bureau reports that the state also has the nation’s highest poverty rate. Almost one-quarter (23.5 percent) of Californians live below the poverty line.

And there is plenty of wealth to go around in California, but it also has one of the nation’s highest levels of income inequality. According to the Census Bureau, it is getting more and not less unequal.

Oh, and Governor Brown’s claims that our budget is at last balanced turned out to be a total lie, too. No word about Kansas’ budget, but I’m willing to bet they’re in better far fiscal shape than we are. Even Albania is.

Anyway, based on just this brief comparison of two states that most embody, respectively, what Walter Mead has called the Red and Blue models of government, if anyone is waging a war on the middle class, it’s the liberal/progressive/statist Democrats. Instead of looking at conservative states and shrieking “My God, what are you people doing,” Dionne should look to places where “his way” rules and ask “My God, what have we done?”

PS: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. That California isn’t yet in flaming ruins after decades of progressive misrule is evidence of just how powerful this state’s natural economy was and could be, again, if only the oligarchs in Sacramento would pull their heads out of their collective backsides — and their hands out of our wallets.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

LOL of the Day: Sneering WaPo blogger goofs big time on Sarah Palin hit piece

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Oh, this is SO delicious. Dylan Byers at Politico writes (hat tip):

The Washington Post has erroneously reported that Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate and former Fox News contributor, is joining the Qatari-owned news network Al Jazeera.

“Late last week Al Jazeera America announced the former vice-presidential candidate would be joining their news network,” the Post’s Suzi Parker writes today in a post on the She The People blog, titled “Sarah Palin’s plan to reach ‘millions of devoutly religious people’ through al-Jazeera.”

Parker calls this “a cautionary tale about what can happen when politics and celebrity meet.”

But Parker’s report is a cautionary tale about what can happen when writers cite satirical websites, such as The Daily Currant.

On Feb. 4, the Daily Currant published a satirical piece stating that Palin was “bouncing back by joining the fledgling Al Jazeera America news network as a host and commentator.” Parker cites this piece and uses quotes that the Currant attributes to Palin, including:

“As you all know, I’m not a big fan of newspapers, journalists, news anchors and the liberal media in general,” Palin told the Web site The Daily Currant. “But I met with the folks at Al-Jazeera and they told me they reach millions of devoutly religious people who don’t watch CBS or CNN. That tells me they don’t have a liberal bias.”

Al Jazeera spokesman Stan Collender confirmed to POLITICO that Sarah Palin is not joining the global news network, which — as Parker notes — was recently called “an anti-American terror mouthpiece” on Fox News, where Palin was a contributor.

As National Review Online’s Nathaniel Botwinick notes, it would appear that the Washington Post will believe anything unflattering about Sarah Palin (shocking!). Here’s more from the original piece. It’s fun to know that as you’re reading it, it’s not true but the writer so passionately thought it was and used the satirical piece as a gotcha that in reality wasn’t:

The Sarah Palin Story is a cautionary tale about what can happen when politics and celebrity meet.

Fox News and their once-upon-a-time darling Palin recently parted ways after three years. But never fear. Palin has a new media outlet by which to share her commentary.

Late last week Al Jazeera America announced the former vice-presidential candidate would be joining their news network. Al Jazeera America recently bought Al Gore’s failing Current Media that broadcasts the Current TV channel. Ironically, Fox News recently called Al Jazeera “an anti-American terror mouthpiece.”

Oops! As Twitchy.com points out, he WaPo has since issued two corrections – the first correction to the original reporting even needed correcting. And the headline has changed. LOL.

And yet critics call Fox News “faux” ….