Obamacare? What Obamacare? That’s what Fox News First notes following the president’s State of the Union (SOTU) address. Plus, Politico’s “Morning Energy” highlights the president’s energy message- “rinse and repeat.” Meanwhile, The Daily Caller notes that this is the third SOTU in a row where the president mentions a supposed “all of the above” energy strategy with no mention of coal. That and more, including the Army Ranger who stole the show, is included below.
Fox News First: OBAMACARE? WHAT OBAMACARE?
You’d have thought ObamaCare was some piffling little bill, not the presidency-defining, Midterm-wrecking disaster currently strewn across all four lanes of the American political highway like an overturned poultry carrier in a rush-hour ice storm. But President Obama barely found time to mention his law in his State of the Union address for this, the year when it is actually going into effect. Obama was more than 40 minutes into his speech before he even mentioned what he called “insurance reform.” Now, political wisdom dictates that one not needlessly remind voters of unhappy events, but the magnitude of ObamaCare and its centrality to his legacy would seem to demand at least a defense of the troubled law. Instead, Obama riffled through his 2012 talking points about uncontroversial provisions, ignored the central aims of the law, skipped his administration’s pratfall of a rollout entirely and fudged again on the numbers.
Politico’s “Morning Energy:”ON ENERGY, NO-DRAMA OBAMA
When it comes to energy, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was more “rinse and repeat” than “hope and change.” Obama called Tuesday night for helping communities withstand the damage of climate change, improving energy efficiency, repealing tax breaks that benefit the oil industry, expanding wind and solar energy and promoting natural gas. But overall, his energy proposals echoed longtime themes of his presidency, while the handful of new items face a major uphill climb in Congress. Andrew Restuccia and Darius Dixon have the policy story for Pros: http://politico.pro/1ef4bj6
GOP RESPONSES: Republicans blasted out emails last night countering Obama on energy policy. From the Senate Republican Conference, ‘Keystone Snubbed Again,’ http://1.usa.gov/MdzeRK. And ‘Coal Country ‘Hurting” http://1.usa.gov/1i9qVSt. From House Speaker John Boehner’s office: “President Has Repeatedly Stood in the Way of Energy Jobs & Independence” http://1.usa.gov/1csQzAx . “Energy Production Is Up Despite the President’s Policies, Not Because of Them” http://1.usa.gov/1fb28e2. “Up to President Obama to Make the Case for Trade Promotion Authority” http://1.usa.gov/1bxaoTa
The Daily Caller: Third State of the Union in a Row with No Mention of Coal
This is the third State of the Union address in a row that Obama has touted his “all-of-the-above” energy plan without specifically mentioning coal power — the largest source of electricity in the U.S.
“The president ignored the opportunity to level with the American people about the damage his Climate Action Plan will have on the U.S. economy and jobs across the country,” said Mike Duncan, president and of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity in a statement.
“In a puzzling paradox, President Obama decried income inequality, while touting progress on his climate change initiative – bypassing the fact that increased energy costs place an outsized burden on lower and fixed income families and make it more difficult for businesses to succeed,” Duncan added.
The Hill: Natural gas big winner in Obama SOTU address
Obama credited natural gas as one of the key factors in bringing the U.S. closer to energy independence for the first time in decades.
In a “fact sheet” accompanying the speech, the White House called on Congress to establish “sustainable shale gas growth zones.”
“We can’t drill or frack our way out of this problem,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Make no mistake — natural gas is a bridge to nowhere.”
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/196790-natural-gas-big-winner-in-speech-to-green-groups-dismay#ixzz2rnbt0Zpa
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook
The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro: Obama offers his policies as the cure for the Obama economy
President Barack Obama is offering himself as the miracle cure for his own failed policies, even though his polls remain at dangerously low levels, the economy has stalled, and the public’s 2008 hopes have changed into near-80 percent pessimism.
“Average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled,” he declared.
“The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by — let alone get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all. Our job is to reverse these trends,” he declared.
Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer said President Obama’s State of the Union address was full of so many old chestnuts you could call it “The Chestnut Speech,” explaining that, “When he repeated Guantanamo — which is a cause he gave up on himself years ago — you knew he had run out of ideas.”
“I would call it ‘The Chestnut Speech,’” Krauthammer contended. “There were so many old chestnuts that were shown it was almost embarrassing. When he brought out stuff he tried last year and that went nowhere — with minimum wage, with this idea of extending unemployment insurance — and when he repeated Guantanamo, which is a cause he gave up on himself years ago, you knew that he’d sort of run out of ideas.”
President Obama’s tribute to the Army Ranger severely wounded on his 10th deployment to Afghanistan brought the entire House chamber to its feet, offering a bipartisan ovation far longer and stronger than for any of the president’s proposals.
Remsburg, in fact, commanded the room 30 minutes before Obama even arrived.
Lawmakers chatting on the House floor and awaiting the arrival of dignitaries stopped to applaud as the uniformed Remsburg, blind in one eye and with only partial use of his left side, struggled down a handful of steep steps to his seat in the front row of the House gallery in first lady Michelle Obama’s box.