Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address Rocks | They Deserve a Vote

Congratulations once again President Obama on giving a great heartfelt speech. In much of it he addressed the economy in need of repair. He stressed closing the loop holes that people of wealth and power tend to use to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. In much of it he talked about investing in America; in providing pre-school education to all kids across America as well as to offer joint high school and business sponsored technical training, to prepare kids who have received a high school diploma to join the work force. He spoke a lot about rebuilding America, incorporating the same type of public works (WPA) which Roosevelt employed which I alluded to in my blog about Obamaworks Notch Up the Government’s Role with “ObamaWorks” | A Version of Roosevelt’s WPA | to bring the country out of recession and ensure a stronger economy, by rebuilding the infrastructure to attract companies here. He spoke again of offering tax incentives to companies to keep their plants here on U.S. soil, to employ Americans; saying that for the first time Apple will be building its products here in the United States.

Barack Obama as usual, gave a flawless speech; fluid and candid. If he does use a teleprompter, I never see his eyes flickering to read from it. He definitely has a strong intellect and integrity of word. I simply ‘believe him’.

His reasoning was sound, if you invest in education and the infrastructure to lay a foundation for bringing more opportunities, then the children growing up here will make more educated and intelligent choices, resulting in fewer teen pregnancies and less violence (stemming from the rift between the haves and the have nots). He talked about more transparency in general. And of reforming the U.S. voting procedure; starting with a bi-partisan group to oversee this, so that people (like the 102 year old woman from Florida sitting in his audience) won’t have to wait for 6 hours in line to vote, as she had done in order to ensure that her voice would be heard.

Finally, he ushered in the topic of gun violence; regarding increasing the back ground checks, limiting the amount of assault weapons and ammunition magazines. President Obama had a number of people in the audience who were direct and indirect victims of this violence. He ended his speech with the powerful and emotional words imploring both parties to vote on this issue, echoing the words ‘they deserve a vote’. In fact, much of his speech talked about the importance of thinking beyond one’s own immediate, personal wants and needs; thinking of the larger picture and doing things for the benefit of the whole.

Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords, a U.S. Representative, attended the event with her husband. She was among eighteen other shooting victims at a public political event in which six people died. A mentally ill individual whose aim was to assassinate Giffords, shot her at close range in the head, managed to acquire a weapon.
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Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews Cathy Cohen, founder of the Black Youth Project in Chicago, regarding gun violence.

Hadiya Pendleton was shot in a park in Chicago, a victim of a stray bullet by gang gun violence. She had performed as a majorette with her group for Obama’s 2nd Inauguration just a week before her death.
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