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The State of the Union Is Rockets, Socialism, Alliteration, and Nazis: Podcast

"The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican Agenda or a Democrat Agenda. It is the agenda of the American People."

Immediately after President Donald Trump stepped down from the dias at his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Reason editors Katherine Mangu-Ward and Peter Suderman grabbed their podcasting mics to talk rockets, socialism, American greatness, alliteration, uteruses, and Nazis.

We give props to some high points in the speech ("Great nations do not fight endless wars.") We note some encouraging hints about Trump's possible legacy as a criminal justice reformer ("Alice's story underscores the disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing—and the need to remedy this injustice.") We also ponder the possibility of a massive new entitlement ("I am also proud to be the first president to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leave—so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.") And we ultimately fret about a vision of national greatness that relies on illegal immigrants and nations who want to sell us cheap stuff as the enemies that will bind us together.

Body Language by Asthmatic Astronaut is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Audio production by Mark McDaniel

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Photo Credit: Liu Jie Xinhua News Agency/Newscom

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  • Nardz||

    That's a good subtitle.
    Who came up with it?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Don't know, but OT, Tulsi Gabbard has been endorsed by Gov. Northam's mentor, David Duke.

    Democrats are really getting back to their Klan roots.

  • SIV||

    Nattering Nabobs of negativism.

  • JFree||

    He may be more serious about criminal justice reform than I've given him credit for. But it's hard to give him much credit since he has the power of pardon/clemency and has exercised it far far less than any President who lasted more than a few months. 7 pardons v 400 for Ford, v 575 for JFK, v 800 for Harding.

    Talk is cheap

  • Qsl||

    It's hard not to see pardons as little more than the selling of indulgences. Having the planets align 800 times to where all other legal remedies have been exhausted and the only means to address these miscarriages of justice is to circumvent the judiciary and plead directly to the lord of the white house seems more concerning to me. Do you suppose Harding scrutinized all 800 cases to determine where the justice system had gone awry, and the best response to this was pardons?

    Maybe you misunderstand what is implied by "reform"?

  • SQRLSY One||

    "...the selling of indulgences"? Such selling is a DAMNED FINE idea when the "crime" is absurdly harmless and-or victimless.

    Just think of all of those who have been imprisoned for blowing on a cheap plastic flute, w/o a doctor's permission! Of all nations on Earth, this is a crime ONLY in the USA!

    To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

  • JFree||

    Do you suppose Harding scrutinized all 800 cases to determine where the justice system had gone awry

    No. The Office of the Pardon Attorney helped him as they have every Prez since Washington (and formally with at least one full-time employee since Andrew Johnson). Course they weren't online back then receiving petitions from prisoners and compiling/researching said petitions for the Prez to approve or deny. And compiling clemency statistics of all that online.

    Trump approved the petition from a nobody brought by everyone's favorite big-bootied celebrity and 6 more 'presented' to him by Fox News - and denied everything else (roughly 200) in the ONE meeting he apparently had with those people who scrutinize such things as part of his enumerated job responsibility (and their 1stA petition for redress rights).

    Maybe you misunderstand what is implied by "reform"?

    No. I hold him at his word re "disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing—and the need to remedy this injustice."

    They exist enough to be mentioned in a SOTU? But he couldn't find one living person in reality that wasn't mentioned in his speech - and has only met once with the office that compiles all the sob stories from prisoners? Sentencing reform was not even in that legislation until Dec and was pushed by black Dems not Trump.

  • Qsl||

    Trump approved the petition from a nobody

    Trump officially recognized April 2018 as Second Chance Month and in the following month organized a media event highlighting the cause (while having the suspiciously named First Step Act introduced) with one of the most recognizable celebrities for a cause that has stalled out in congress more times than I care to remember.

    One might think he had some overall plan on how to actually get this accomplished this time.

    And despite what I imagine is the considerable pull upon Mitch McConnell by black democrats, something managed to catch his ear and put this vote ahead of even a spending bill.

    While not as sexy as touring various prisons and lamenting how cruel and unfair life is, I'll take this over pardons that never addresses why there are so many pardons to begin with.

  • JFree||

    That 2018 April declaration is the one time he met with the pardon attorney to deny those 200 - while pardoning Scooter Libby (in April) and a long-dead Jack Johnson at the May event. Second Chance Month started in 2017 - with congressional resolutions by both houses then.

    Don't get me wrong. I am glad he became visible in favor of prison reform legislation in the works for a year and a half that had already achieved enough votes to override a veto. And that was in fact endangered back in the House if it hadn't been amended because the House had just switched control post-election and so sentencing reform had to be added if it was going to be voted on before Pelosi took over. That's like a massively courageous no-brainer.

    But that legislation even if it is perfect does NOT amend his constitutional authority and it won't end petitions for redress. Nor will it end his narcissistic laziness. More likely it will make it easier for him to ignore it even more. A different measure from those stats for the WoD Prez's - Action (clemency granted OR denied)/Inbox of new petitions

    Trump - 2%
    Obama - 61%
    W - 85%
    Clinton - 47%
    HW - 81%
    Reagan - 50%
    Carter - 71%

  • JFree||

    Oh and all those Presidents have denied 90%+ of the petitions they act on. The difference is - and what the above is intended to show - previous Prez's all generally treated those petitions as if they were petitions to the govt for redress rather than letters to Santa Claus not even needing a reply.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Don't most pardons come at the end of a term?

  • Fancylad||

    400 for Ford, v 575 for JFK, v 800 for Harding"
    In keeping with tradition, most of those were bought and paid for.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Trump stinks on free trade and immigration.

    The Democrats are better than Trump on immigration, but, apart from that, they're a wash or a shit show compared to Trump on every issue.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I think he's great on immigration. As far as trade goes, some of it we have to wait and see if he's right. The jury is still out on the arm twisting he's doing. I can only hope it will be successful.

  • ||

    I am a little disappointed this morning as I browse my usual blog hot spots at how little reaction there is to Trump's spotlighting the recent advancement of late term abortion in New York state and the attempt to do so in Virginia. Democrats just lower a cone of silence over the issue and slink away from it, as do many Republicans, but conservatives tend to talk about it a lot.

    Most Americans were probably really surprised to hear it brought up because the mainstream media blackout curtain has been so effective they have no idea.

    However, once RBG finally kicks the bucket and as all the Democrat 2020 hopefuls begin fighting out their nomination blood-baths, I think we are going to see the issue of late term abortion of viable babies at the whim of the mother no real medical substantiation required loom much larger in the national consciousness. Much larger.

  • Wizard4169||

    Historically, "great" nations have fought endless wars, which is why I have no interest in "making America great". I would prefer to live in a nation that is peaceful, prosperous and free. At least some degree of those attributes have always been sacrificed as the cost of "greatness".

  • SQRLSY One||

    Amen and well put!

  • Azathoth!!||

    I would prefer to live in a nation that is peaceful, prosperous and free

    Then move to it.

    There's nothing keeping you in the US, move to the 'peaceful, prosperous, and free' countries that you prefer.

    What's that?

    They only exist in your imagination?

    Ah.

    Historically, great nations fight only when they absolutely must. And they only stay great when they fight to win.

  • AustinRoth||

    You could have just had your podcast be the two of you chanting "Orange Man Bad! Orange Man Bad!"

  • Peter Duncan||

    So you are a spanked-ass Republican on a libertarian website upset because no one drops to their knees in worship to the Trump.

    Fuck off, pussy! Wear a cup when you come here.

  • Fancylad||

    Your new here, huh?

  • Fancylad||

    Poor Pete Suderman tuned in to see Hitler ...and there they were, singing 'Happy Birthday' to a Jew.
    Then Trump wrecked Pete's favorite trick of conflating legal and illegal immigration, and finally made a commitment to criminal justice reform and ending eternal war.

    Worst. Nazi. President. Ever.

    Suderman's devastated.

  • BioBehavioral_View||

    President Trump emphasized economic well-being. That well-being is generated by debt impossible to repay amounting to $200-400-trillion plus a budgetary deficit of $1-trillion . The economy of this fragmenting, declining nation on fire is fragile not stable.

    "The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived." -Petronius (1 A.D.)

    Politicians understand that most people rather hear pleasant lies knowing that they are lies than unpleasant truths knowing that they are truths. Scientific studies corroborate explicitly that understanding.

    "As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible; .... ." -President George Washington

    Resolving a problematic, economic situation involving debt via more debt isn't necessarily the wrong approach. The fatal error made by most politicians, however, is failing to discriminate between debt for consumption and debt for production.

    Excerpt from the novel, Retribution Fever:
    Despite the U.S. Treasury buying its own debt dumped by the Chinese, not only were American stocks plummeting but bonds and the dollar. Gold and silver were skyrocketing.

    A full-scale rout of the American financial system appeared underway. Once again, with prices having fallen 10%, officials stopped trading and closed the financial markets.

    The First Fury had struck. Another massive world-wide economic collapse had begun.

  • mtrueman||

    " That well-being is generated by debt impossible to repay amounting to $200-400-trillion plus a budgetary deficit of $1-trillion ."

    The banks keep lending, don't they? Would they do so if they believed they'd never be repaid?

  • ElvisIsReal||

    They'll be repaid, either in dollars or real assets because people can't pay their loans.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Who invited the guilty remnant to the sotu?

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