Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More #SOTU

7:40 PM: Shorter Marco Rubio: "OBAMA SUCKS!!!"

So that's the Republican response. Oh, that and putting "middle class" in front of policies meant to destroy the middle class. And this is supposed to be "Republicans' rising star". Oh, and he also apparently is OK with violence against women.

7:59 PM: Here's Ed Kilgore on what we just witnessed.

I thought speech clever in how he handled challenge to GOP; very Clintonian in policy offerings (and better than past SOTUs); and pretty good at taking advantage of areas where public opinion pretty much already on his side. Minimum wage increase good example: Republican pols and business leaders hate it, public loves it. [...]

But while Obama’s speech probably won’t move public opinion mountains, and he may have been a mite subtle in calling out the GOP, it was a strong performance that left Republicans looking either clueless (Rubio) or uncomfortable (Boehner). On the big issues, Obama and Democrats were already playing from a stronger hand, and he strengthened it on a pretty broad front tonight.

President Obama's speech clocked in at exactly one hour. And in that hour, he addressed the very issues on the top of most Americans' minds. He evoked the broad consensus among the American people on gun safety, immigration reform, economic justice, climate change, civil rights, and more.

In a funny way, Marco Rubio served as the perfect foil. He just seemed to throw a temper tantrum because Republicans lost last November. And he attacked essentially an artificial straw man of the President. And he used occasionally pretty language to conceal some ugly and unpopular policies, like gutting Medicare and protecting "billionaire bailouts".

Need I say more? Well, I will tomorrow morning.

8:18 PM: Meanwhile in Southern California, an update on Christopher Dorner.

A body was found inside the burned-out cabin Tuesday night where Christopher Jordan Dorner was believed to have kept law enforcement authorities at bay before officers fired tear gas into the structure, a source told The Times.

The body, which was found in the charred rubble of the mountainside cabin, was not positively identified, the source said. The process of determining whether the body is that of the former Los Angeles Police Department officer could take hours or even days, the source said.

As authorities moved into the cabin earlier Tuesday, they heard a single gunshot.

It will likely take days to definitively identify this body, but there are clearly already strong suspicions as to what happened.

Again, it was so jarring to see this story unfold just as President Obama was about to enter Congress. Yet it reinforced what President Obama had to say on gun safety. Dorner may have accumulated his weapons here in Nevada. At the very least, there's evidence suggesting he purchased dangerous accessories like suppressors at Lock N' Load here in Henderson.

However Dorner got his assault weapons, he used them to kill four people and injure three more. The entire nation was reminded again of what happens when dangerous and deadly weapons fall into the wrong hands. And this comes on the heels of the Newtown tragedy where Adam Lanza killed 20 children and 6 adults with an AR-15 assault weapon in December. And yet, the Assault Weapons Ban is "controversial" on Capitol Hill? President Obama clearly wants to change this calculus.

And perhaps tonight can change that. It rests on Congress. And it ultimately rests on the people. What will the people do to make their Members of Congress act on gun violence prevention?

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