A magnificent speech and the Democrats behaved appropriately.

Henri_Rousseau_ macaco na selva

IMO it will be recorded as one of the best addresses to a joint session of Congress in our history.  It was carefully balanced in content and tone.  The Loyal Opposition behaved themselves well.  I am  surprised at that given their recent proclivity for street theater.  pl


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75 Responses to A magnificent speech and the Democrats behaved appropriately.

  1. Eric Newhill says:

    Truly magnificent. Very unifying. Lots of strong leadership. Reinforced my pride in being an American – not just the ideas and emotional chords in the speech, but the behavior of the opposition.
    I am glad the Ds didn’t act out as anticipated. There is hope for the republic.

  2. Merca says:

    I expected a bit more and new definitions. I didn’t like much the statement about the unconditional support for Israel and more aggression against Iran. If he keeps on going like this, I think my short dream of America leading the way to peace instead of keep on leading the war way, will be gone soon.

  3. Stumpy says:

    I would regard this as the Trump Moonshot speech — he set the agenda and put the onus on the opposition party to play along. Let’s see if they follow through on a good defense spending plan and support for vets.

  4. raven says:

    There is a time and place for everything.

  5. alba etie says:

    It will be interesting to see which part of the Muvaney budget President Trump actually can get approved . Do we really need a fifty four billion dollars plus up for the DOD ? But yes it was a masterfully written and delivered speech by POTUS 45 .

  6. Lars says:

    I think what was not said is important too. Nothing about Russia, Syria, Afghanistan. A lot of rhetoric that will require a lot of political skills to enact. No mention of how to pay for the rather large proposed programs.
    I think it was more theatrical than substantial and pretty soon, we will have the @realDonaldTrump back and then this speech will soon be forgotten.
    Politics is still broken and reading a speech will not change that. Getting down on the floor in that sausage factory has to happen. I have seen very little of that yet. It will not be easy when you have to work with the ones you spent a year insulting.
    While it was nice that he celebrated a fallen hero, but after awhile it became exploiting a widow’s grief for political gain. Possibly because there are bothersome questions about the action that got that soldier killed.
    Those who think this was Trump 2.0 will soon find that it was just Trump 1.1.

  7. Edward Amame says:

    Good speech bad speech, I dunno and don’t really care. Actual legislation is somewhere in limbo and and “Who knew health care is so complicated” suggests Trump’s in over his head regarding the policy issues facing him.

  8. Now, it’s up to Congress to figure out how to lower our taxes while paying for everything POTUS wants without increasing federal debt. Good luck!
    I’m waiting to see whether or not DJT can follow his own request/advice to stop engaging in “trivial fights.”

  9. makelovenotwar says:

    It is time that we, as professional military officers, accept the fact that we lost the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Objective analysis of the U.S. military’s effectiveness in these wars can only conclude that we were unable to translate tactical victory into operational and strategic success.1 As military professionals, it is not sufficient to offload the responsibility for these failures, at least in their entirety, to decision makers in Washington or in perceived lack of support from other governmental agencies. We must divorce ourselves from the notion that criticism of our performance is an indictment or devaluation of the sacrifices our Marines made on the battlefield. Like many of you, I lost Marines in the “Long War” as well. It has taken several years of personal struggle to arrive at the conclusions I am writing now. What makes this necessary, however, is that if you accept the objective, yet repulsive, fact that our Marines died on the losing side of our most recent wars, you cannot then accept that the status quo of the Marine Corps, and the larger defense establishment, is in an acceptable state of affairs. This is further compounded by future forecasts of conflicts with adversaries that are beginning to look like more like peers despite the self-aggrandizing “near-peer” label we assign them.2 We allow ourselves to look at our impressive defense budget and expensive systems and throw around hyperbole about the United States having the greatest military in the world. How, then, have we been bested by malnourished and undereducated men with antiquated and improvised weaponry whilst spending trillions of dollars in national treasure and costing the lives of thousands of servicemen and hundreds of thousands of civilians? Judging military capability by the metric of defense expenditures is a false equivalency. All that matters are raw, quantifiable capabilities and measures of effectiveness. For example: a multi-billion dollar aircraft carrier that can be bested by a few million dollars in the form of a swarming missile barrage or a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) capable of rendering its flight deck unusable does not retain its dollar value in real terms. Neither does the M1A1 tank, which is defeated by $20 worth of household items and scrap metal rendered into an explosively-formed projectile. The Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Organization has a library full of examples like these, and that is without touching the weaponized return on investment in terms of industrial output and capability development currently being employed by our conventional adversaries.

  10. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Sorry Pat, all the man did was read. I’ve yet to see anything with substance that he’s written by himself. If I’m wrong I’ll gladly stand corrected. Punt.

  11. In this speech Trump showed us the President he aspires to be. It certainly hasn’t been the President he’s been for the last few weeks. It was inspirational, true to his agenda, but without a path forward to accomplish that agenda. He should have given something like this at his inauguration. But if he governs as the President who gave that speech last night, he will go much farther in finding a path to fulfill some of that agenda. I don’t know if he has it in him to keep it up.

  12. Fred says:

    Do we really need federally directed policies for bathrooms? One can easily pick and choose from last year’s budget what isn’t needed – but that’s a political decision decided on November 8th, wasn’t it?

  13. JJackson says:

    I saw the Israel good, Iran bad bit and the repeat of ‘an inherited mess in the Middle East’ but again I do not see which bits he means and what he plans to change or do about it. The two FP aspects he has referred to seem to be at the heart of the mess and without a change in attitude towards these two countries I can not see how he hopes to do other than continue the misadventure.

  14. Thomas101st says:

    Empty words intended to further inflate the bubble economy and the ponzi stock market. Trump plans an increase in military spending and a trillion dollar infrastructure program while reducing taxes by trillions more on trust fund babies and corporate fatas*es. Oh, and of course, spend billions/trillions defending the Israeli invaders of Palestine against the “evil Iranians”. If Congress goes along it looks like a replay of Bush 43 to me.

  15. Tyler says:

    Agree on all point. The Democrats had to resort to passive aggressive antics. It seems like using US steel and honoring the wife of a dead SEAL really bothers them.
    Its going to be a long eight years for them.

  16. Valissa says:

    Trump critic Van Jones: ‘One of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period’ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/28/trump-critic-van-jones-one-of-the-most-extraordinary-moments-you-have-ever-seen-in-american-politics-period/

  17. turcopolier says:

    1. All presidents read speeches to Congress. If they do not, they are fools. 2. His legislative program is not yet passed into law. This is an impossibly high standard. The man has only been in office a few weeks. pl

  18. Tyler says:

    Some of you need to drop the autistic insistence on “he has to be THIS or THAT”. He can mix it up on an individual level and give grand, stirring speeches.
    Both are effective rhetorical tools to get one’s point across.

  19. Tyler says:

    One of the better comments of the night was Ann Counter responding to a picture of a wide eyed, obviously worried Mitch McConnel with “When you realise that you have to tell your big business cronies thier cheap labor influx is done”.

  20. BillWade says:

    Tyler, I liked this one from Thomas DiLorenzo, “Nancy Pelosi had a look of horror on her face, as though President Trump had just announced a moratorium on plastic surgery.”

  21. LeaNder says:

    I wondered if she felt a little uncomfortable, with all the attention centered on her. But then? Also the most effective rallying point.
    Possibly because there are bothersome questions about the action that got that soldier killed.
    A little background on what led to the invitation of Carryn Owens, the widow of “Chief Special Warfare Operator William ‘Ryan’ Owens”. In any case the raid was planned before Trump took over.
    Trump: We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our Nation.
    I just spoke to General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.” Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom — we will never forget him.

  22. ISL says:

    your question is excellent and one would hope will re-invigorate a critical post mortem to address obvious strategic, logistical, and structural deficiencies (but probably not as they would interfere with some big contracts, like the F-35).
    I think even more important is to evaluate tactics, strategies, and weapons used by the Russia in Syria not to get bogged down in as Obama predicted with a gleam in his eye “a quagmire.” Aside from the details, I think Russian politics and strategies were better integrated than US policies (military, financial, geo-political) have been.
    We are the Microsoft of the world, getting by with buggy lousy software thanks to a near monopoly. (Warning note for resting on laurels, computing is shifting to the cloud (Google) and Bill Gates got his money out of Microsoft at the right time.

  23. LeaNder says:

    I thought I saw applause on some matters on the side of the Democrats, not least including US steel and the killed US Navy Seal …

  24. Fred says:

    “It is time that we, as professional military officers,…”
    The constitution places all authority over the US military entirely in the hands of the civilian government.

  25. Valissa says:

    Chris Wallace On President Trump’s Speech: One Of The Best Speeches I’ve Ever Heard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sp5Zb0uL9Y
    I thought Trump did a great job on the speech. But it was just a political speech reaffirming his beliefs and goals. Why people are looking for more policy details (like Obama or Bush always gave? /snark) from a speech that’s meant to be inspirational and agenda setting is beyond me.

  26. different clue says:

    Eric Newhill,
    Perhaps the Dems have people reading these posts and threads.

  27. hans says:

    U.S. imports in 2015 = $2.3 Trillion
    20% tax on that is $460 Billion.
    Should pay for a few things.

  28. Tyler says:

    Pelosi is pretty emblematic of the problems the Democrats face holding the Coalition of the Fringes together.
    Also: lmbo

  29. SR Wood says:

    Wow, quite a reply. Too bad we can not replay the general election with Sanders vs Trump. In my opinion he is correct on military spending. At the height of the Vietnam conflict in ’68 the defense budget was 500 billion in constant dollars. Now we are somewhere in the range of $590 – $610 billion. In ’68 we had 3.5 million men (and some women) in the military, now ~1.35 million. In ’68 we had something like 500,000 fighting in Vietnam, we had ~ 350,000 soldiers and airmen in Europe facing off against the Warsaw pact, and a lot more Air Force bomber wings, missile wings, fighter wings and many more Navy vessels. If any of our astute readers can tell me what the difference is between ’68 and now, in funding the military I would be interested in the reply.

  30. Fred says:

    My boss pointed out to me today that they all remained seating during that applause and she thought that was a very bad move on their part.

  31. Fred says:

    The topic came up in our weekly staff meeting at work (politics thankfully seldom does). Our department director mentioned that his wife, who he described as “to the left of Castro”, thought that was a great speech and very well delivered. I think that is why some of the professionals on the left sounded panicked when I listed to NPR during the morning commute.

  32. Sylvia D says:

    @ makelovenotwar “Objective analysis of the U.S. military’s effectiveness in these wars can only conclude that we were unable to translate tactical victory into operational and strategic success.” Thank you for posting your comments. I’m civilian, but I share your concerns and I agree with your observations. I can’t pull up a cite but in a conversation between an American commander and a Vietcong commander the American reportedly said: “We never lost a battle.” To which the Vietcong replied: “This is true, but it’s also irrelevant.”
    You also said: “We allow ourselves to look at our impressive defense budget and expensive systems and throw around hyperbole about the United States having the greatest military in the world. How, then, have we been bested by malnourished and undereducated men with antiquated and improvised weaponry whilst spending trillions of dollars in national treasure and costing the lives of thousands of servicemen and hundreds of thousands of civilians?” Again, what you write is so true. In Afghanistan the US has spent billions training and arming the local armies only to watch them defeated by those same “malnourished undereducated men”. We have seen much the same in Iraq, Georgia and many other places.
    I don’t blame the line officers or the troops they lead, I blame the policy and the politicians who make that policy and who decide to fight wars we never should have started, which apparently cannot be won by conventional means.
    BTW Trump’s $54 million request for additional military spending represents 80% of the entire Russian military budget. https://theintercept.com/2017/02/27/trumps-proposed-increase-in-u-s-defense-spending-would-be-80-percent-of-russias-entire-military-budget/
    If you add up all the components–we spend almost $1.2 Trillion.
    I’m for a strong national defense, but hasn’t this gotten completely out of hand?

  33. Looked good from here. Magnificent, in fact. I thought the Democrats took it with admirable stoicism.
    Just have to accept that the Israel stuff is compulsory for anyone hoping to get anything done in American politics.
    Is Trump seriously hoping to get his budget proposals through, or is he expecting them to fail and then say “look how they’re blocking the rebuilding of America” at the next elections?

  34. turcopolier says:

    OK. You say you are a “professional military officer.” Since you have made that claim we need to evaluate your credentials in order to judge the worth of your statements; rank, level of military education, length of service, which component (Regular or Reserve), level of command, combat service (where?), MOS?, level of staff service. pl

  35. Eric Newhill says:

    No doubt because some clearly comment here. Over the years I have think I have seen Col. Lang sniff out and ban or otherwise run off some obvious troll operatives of various stripes.

  36. Tyler says:

    Lindsaaaaay Graham is already crying cause Trump’s State budget is gutting the neoliberal front groups that go around formenting Color Revolutions.

  37. Valissa says:

    EO, Trump is a high achieving Type A alpha male. I think that answers your question.

  38. turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    Yes. I have become increasingly able to spot trolls and eliminate them as I do.

  39. Randy says:

    Three months from now I want to see a reporter ask Trump this question: Who was that SEAL that got killed in Yemen? What was his name?

  40. different clue says:

    Eric Newhill,
    But I am wondering whether a “smarter grade of Democrats” have people reading here to learn what is really happening and maybe even take real-world behavioral advice based on what they are seeing here. I was thinking of the Dems maybe sending thread-readers of a higher and better quality than trolls.

  41. turcopolier says:

    Why should he? Do you want the CinC to become paralyzed by grief? Perhaps you do. pl

  42. Lars says:

    No matter what, it was political theater and Mr. Trump indicated as much as he ended the salute with the claim it had set the record for applause.

  43. turcopolier says:

    ALL presidential addresses to joint sessions of congress are “political theater.” pl

  44. Valissa – you may be in for a disappointment there. I’m generally recognised to be a high achieving Type A alpha male because of the remarkable decisiveness and speed with which I accomplish the washing up. I’ve been known to clear a dinner table for eight before the coffee’s brewed. Trump’s good, very good, but is he in that league?
    Draining the swamp, restoring the American economy, things like that I reckon you can safely trust him with. But I wouldn’t pitch your hopes higher. Think how disillusioned you’d be if you ever found out he used a dishwasher.

  45. Babak Makkinejad says:

    From Grauniad of the UK – From the lab of Dr Frankenstein
    The robot is surprisingly mobile, shifting gears and changing posture as per the obstacles in its way. You wouldn’t want that to go rogue.
    Boston Dynamics unveils ‘nightmare-inducing’ hybrid robot
    Meet Handle, the two-wheeled, four-legged creation from the Google-owned robotics firm that even company founder Marc Raibert says is frightening

  46. Tyler says:

    LMBO you are so little.

  47. Tyler says:

    Only if we can ask Hillary the name of Kazir Khan’s son, and Obama to name one of the Dallas PD he got killed with his “kill whitey” anti cop rhetoric.
    My money is still on the Emperor.

  48. LeaNder,
    The whole scene over SCPO Owens’ widow struck me as a “thank you for your service” moment on steroids. I’m certain damned near everyone in that room was sincere in their condolences for her, but it always strikes me as a near meaningless gesture. Trump’s comments earlier in the day about first blaming Obama then his generals for SCPO Owens death left a bitter taste about the kind words and applause of last night. If he wants to be the Commander in Chief, he should start acting like one. Man up and take responsibility.

  49. Fred says:

    Can we ask Barack the names of the 756 people killed in Chicago by civilians (not cops) in 2016? He sure didn’t think it worthy of comment that year.

  50. Valissa says:

    As a realist and non-partisan political skeptic (though I try not to be too cynical), I tend not place hopes or trust in politicians and haven’t for many years. Therefore I rarely get disappointed by them. Personally I think the only thing that Trump can do about the swamp is change the ecosystem a bit. Given his drive and big ego, I think he’ll do his damnedest to achieve his goals but have no idea how far he’ll get with them. No one does.
    The US gov’t is a yuuuge bureaucracy, and it changes slowly if at all. If he can make a few positive changes in a few areas, I will appreciate it. But I don’t expect it.
    What I like most about Trump is that he makes me laugh… he is a very entertaining politician (especially when he triggers shrieking in the establishment)… IMO we could use more of those… it’s why I like Nigel Farage too 😉

  51. makelovenotwar says:

    Capt Joshua Waddell
    Capt Waddell is an infantry officer who was stationed in Sangin, Afghanistan, with 3d Bn, 7th Marines, in 2010 and 2011. He has a master’s of science in information technology management from the Naval Postgraduate School.
    Marine Corps Gazette Gazette February 2017Innovation Volume 101, Issue 2

  52. Fred says:

    “Nothing about Russia, Syria, Afghanistan.”
    You raise an important point but I disagree with your observation. I believe Trump’s comment covered all those quote well:
    “Free nations are the best vehicle for expressing the will of the people –- and America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America.”
    I hope he puts special emphasis on the last line.

  53. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    “Magnificent, best (maybe) in history…” Looney Toons. Pat. NATO being around for WW1&2/Germany whacking itself twice is parallel universe talk. Punt.

  54. Imagine says:

    The Iraq war was pre-planned by Cheney and the Zionists, it simply had to wait until 9/11 to be forced down the throat of the American people. Other pre-planned conflicts include Libya, Syria, and the ongoing plus coming debacle with Iran (who sponsors the MENWFZ). The civil war, chaos, and anarchy in Iraq and Syria, generating refugees and costing Europe and America trillions of dollars, is a feature of the Yinon plan, not a bug. The army did what it was supposed to do.
    At some point America might learn that the solution to all problems isn’t to overthrow a disliked government and replace it with chaos. This may or may not happen before WWIII.

  55. jld says:

    No, no, no, that kind of “wisening” never happens and this is not peculiar to democrats or the US.
    Political opinions of whatever taking are ENTIRELY IRRATIONAL, akin to religious beliefs, and therefore impervious to arguments or even glaringly contradictory facts.
    This, as rightfully pointed out by Scott Adams, leads to cognitive dissonance but only rarely to minor changes.

  56. Cee says:

    Who is really responsible for the death of Owen?
    Meet The Awan Brothers – The (Not-Russian) IT Staff Who Allegedly Hacked Congress’ Computer Systems

  57. LeaNder says:

    That was ad-lib, thus unlikely scripted, Lars. Ditto, to the extend I recall, Carryn didn’t seem quite prepared for what followed. Not even quite prepared to stand-up and thus stick out initially…
    But yes, the dramaturgy of the speech was quite good, to pick up your reference to the theater.

  58. LeaNder says:

    OK? Well that explains a lot. …
    To stand up and stick out in a sea of white would have been the appropriate decorum?

  59. alba etie says:

    The voters in the Rust Belt may not have voted for a fifty four billion dollar DOD budget at the expense of their Medicare Insurance . But I am with you on the taking issue with the gender bender micro management from Washington .

  60. alba etie says:

    Ahem – how much money ? IMO this Emperor has no clothes , at the very least we should see POTUS 45 ‘s tax returns.

  61. Lars says:

    I agree, but some more than others. Some have more substance than others and some much less. In this case, I think much less. It was an effort to distract from and sugarcoat rather divisive proposed policies. When faced with very low expectations, it is not hard to rise a little above them. I doubt his colleagues in Congress are not all that enthusiastic about having to make all those “miracles” reality. And having to pay for them.

  62. turcopolier says:

    Who is responsible for Owens’ death? This is a nonsensical question. He was killed in action in a firefight. In such circumstance any stray bullet can kill you. The operation was not briefed to Congress so the Awan brothers could not have known of it. pl

  63. turcopolier says:

    You don’t usually talk nonsense. Presidents have made addresses to joint sessions of congress throughout our history. How did you miss that? NATO did not exist during WW1 and 2. pl

  64. turcopolier says:

    I recognize the sorrow and grief of the widow, but the display of such grief at a political event and its encouragement by the president seems inappropriate to me. Perhaps I have seen too many men killed in action and traveled to share the family’s sorrow when I could eventually do so. “The thanks of a grateful nation” is the usual formulation no matter how many have fallen. pl

  65. turcopolier says:

    Are you that Captain Waddell? It is easy to quote something from a newspaper. pl

  66. LeaNder says:

    If I may descend on a more personal note, and strictly we seem to dislike some of the same continuities in his narrative, but to the point challenged by Fred below on decorum. I wondered if I would have found a standing ovation the appropriate response to Carryn’s fate. Considering … well yes.

  67. John Minnerath says:

    I haven’t made a comment here for some time. Lately. mostly from the anti-Trump crowd, there has been an unending string of unsubstantiated statements and plain untruths.
    And some that make me wonder if the writer has any idea of real events. Like the recent one concerning NATO.
    I also agree completely with PL about using the grief of a soldiers wife to basically score political points, it doesn’t sit right with me.
    Otherwise, I thought his recent speech to the joint session was excellent and well presented.

  68. Fred says:

    They chose to wear, take your pick of adjectives: the colors of surrender, the colors of the KKK, white, pt ivory to make a trivial fashion statement. Decorum: behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety. Sitting and pouting like children on the edge of a temper tantrum doesn’t fit the definition. The only one I can vote for is Debbie Dingel, who got her job because of her husband’s 5 decades in office. She’s in a safe D+10 district.

  69. Seriously, I think there’s more to it than that. I hope there is.
    I started following the American elections closely because it struck me early on that Trump was more than the usual “hope and change” politician we’re used to here and in your country. In particular there seemed a chance that the killing abroad, that I’m now fairly sure we in the West have set off in most cases, might let up.
    Then I found that on other subjects he was saying things that great numbers of us say, but that it hasn’t been regarded as sensible or acceptable to say – on outsourcing, immigration, cronyism. Maybe, I thought, you’ve got yourselves a Stolypin but more successful. Someone who’ll push through the necessary reforms before it’s too late.
    That’s why I’m not that keen on the comparison that is sometimes made with Farage. Farage was single issue. He stuck to his guns admirably but that was all. Trump’s a politician who’s put the whole together and managed to get it across. It astonishes me how much the media here and in America miss that point and concentrate on trivialities. Maybe you shouldn’t expect the ancien regime and its entourage to be that quick at getting the point though, should Trump succeed, he will of course be saving their bacon as well as ours.

  70. Valissa says:

    Seriously EO… I was making light hearted commentary. That does not mean I’m not knowledgeable regarding the depth of the political situation. Beware your assumptions about people.

  71. turcopolier says:

    They had no access to the data on the operation. More likely that the UAE military had a leak in it. pl

  72. Sincere apologies. Misread the comment. Shouldn’t have.
    And you’re quite right. It’s good to see Trump or Farage telling off the cronies and the hangers on to their faces. Cathartic, you might say. I’m not at all sure what Marine Le Pen is up to but she’s quite handy in that line as well. If you want to know what glum looks like watch Mrs Merkel as Madame Le Pen informs her that Festung Europa is running out of happy campers.

  73. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Half the politics, perhaps more than that, is theatrics, though, and I mean this with sincerity.
    The “substance” of politics gets worked out behind the scenes, by people who have both serious stakes and/or expertise. But vast majority of the public do not always know the nitty gritty, nor should they be expected to. Good politicians provide linkage between the nitty gritty and the public, and when they are successful, can sell them to the latter. Being seen as sincere, credible, serious, and caring–all parts of the “theatrics,” but, at the same time, are critical components of providing that linkage. Trump has done on excellent job with the speech and, “theatric” though it may be, that’s a dimension that should not be underrated compared to the (alleged) “substance.”

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