Who will your Congressional representatives will be sitting with tonight? Methinks that more attention will be focused on who is sitting with whom than what President Obama is saying as he delivers his State of the Union address tonight. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing…
Although I don’t expect any great revelations from our president, I am heartened to learn that he will not endorse the idea of raising the age for Social Security or making cuts to Medicare, as his “deficit commission” recommended. We can expect lots of moving forward (lean forward?) talk. Perhaps those are the words we can use for tonight’s drinking game: forward, innovation… or maybe jobs?
One phrase I don’t expect to hear – but would actually go out of my way to praise him if he uttered – is “99ers”. This group of down-on-their-luck people have been ignored by this president and the Congress, and they should be ashamed of themselves.
In fact, we’ll hear the Republican response from Paul Ryan, and the tea baggers retort from Michele Bachmann, both of whom would probably like to put all the 99ers into an internment camp and forget about them. In their “opposite world” they’re fine with cutting the taxes on the very wealthy, and putting all of the burden on the rest of us who are barely squeaking by.
Today on the show, I’ll be joined by a 99er: Rik Converse lost his job three years ago January 31. He exhausted his 99 weeks of benefits last March! He’s taken to the road in a Studs Terkel kind of way, and will talk to people about the economic situation – one state per week – sharing their stories. He began last week in Nevada, is in Utah this week, and moves on to Arizona next week. Should be an interesting journey.
Speaking of those internment camps… We have a very controversial political prisoner who, according to many accounts, is being tortured at Quantico. Bradley Manning has not had even one day in court, yet the conditions under which he is being held are atrocious. Jane Hamser of Firedoglake took David House, the one friend Manning seems to have left, to visit him. The two were detained in an orchestrated effort to keep Manning from having a visitor. FDL’s Michael Whitney will be with us this morning to bring us the latest on what’s happening there.
Last night was the first weeknight in the post-Keith Olbermann era on MSNBC. Did you watch as all the hosts paid tribute? We’ll discuss that story and the others you might have missed in my weekly segment with The Political Carnival‘s Gotta Laff. Among the stories we’ll talk about: