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Books by and about 2012 presidential nominees
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
A Life of Trial and Redemption
about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
No Apology
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2010)
Young Guns
by Rep. Paul Ryan et al (2010)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Promises to Keep
by Vice Pres. Joe Biden (2007)
The Audacity of Hope
by Pres. Barack Obama (2006)
Turnaround
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
by Pres. Barack Obama (1996)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

2011 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the Republican Response and the Tea Party response: Jan. 25, 2011


Pres. Obama requested that Congress sit in a mixed group for this speech, and the members of Congress complied. Traditionally, the members sit with all Republicans on one side of the room and all Democrats on the other side. Then as the President says something favorable to one side or the other, that side of the room applauds while the other side sits in silence, grimaces, or crosses their arms.

It's a silly tradition, which has no consitutional basis -- it's just the way it's been done. So Obama asked to change it on the grounds that it would feel less partisan and more united.

It seems to have worked -- the audience did not have the two obvious partisan viewpoints, since the applauders and the grimacers were all mixed together.

The members of the Supreme Court still sat in the front row, maintaining their poker faces as their tradition dictates. That tradition (also not in the Constitution) is to maintain their impartiality. But since we all know which side they're each on, it too is a silly tradition. Maybe next year Obama will ask the Justices to applaud when they like something and to grimace when they don't.

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, Jan. 27, 2011
 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy
    Mitt Romney: America needs less spending and more jobs.
    Barack Obama: Freeze annual domestic spending for next five years.
    Paul Ryan: FactCheck:Stimulus spending created between 1.4M & 3.6M jobs.
    Steve King: Obama's "investments" really just means "more spending".
    Paul Ryan: Stimulus spending spree created debt but few jobs.
Corporations
    Barack Obama: Now business can write off the full cost of new investments.
    Barack Obama: Lower corporate tax rate; pay for it by closing loopholes.
Education
    Barack Obama: Race to the Top: reward innovation in public schools.
    Barack Obama: FactCheck: Race to the Top has only rewarded 12 states.
Energy & Oil
    Barack Obama: Subsidize clean energy by canceling oil subsidies.
    Barack Obama: FactCheck: clean coal isn't ready; nuke waste is unresolved.
Foreign Policy
    Michele Bachmann: American exceptionalism: indispensable nation of the world.
Free Trade
    Barack Obama: Double our exports by 2014; starting with South Korea.
    Barack Obama: FactCheck: Yes, exports up; but not enough to double by 2014.
Government Reform
    Paul Ryan: FactCheck: all-time high government was 1943, not 2009.
    Paul Ryan: Individual liberty requires limited government.
    Sarah Palin: Cut funding for "fluffery" like the NPR and NEA.
Health Care
    Barack Obama: Repealing healthcare reform would cost $250B.
    Barack Obama: FactCheck: healthcare reform saves $2B to $10B, not $250B.
    Michele Bachmann: ObamaCare replaces finest system with government coverage.
    Michele Bachmann: FactCheck: pre-ObamaCare system was 49th, not best in world.
    Paul Ryan: FactCheck: costs go up just a bit; jobs go down just a bit.
    Paul Ryan: FactCheck: No evidence that healthcare reform explodes debt.
    Paul Ryan: Open-ended healthcare entitlement moves US toward bankruptcy.
Homeland Security
    Barack Obama: New START treaty: more secure & fewer nuclear weapons.
Immigration
    Barack Obama: Stop expelling talented undocumented workers.
Jobs
    Michele Bachmann: $700B bailout & 9000 earmarks didn't keep unemployment at 8%.
    Michele Bachmann: FactCheck: bailout cost $25B, not $700B; and no IRS police.
Technology
    Barack Obama: Space-race-level investment in R&D; biotech; & green tech.
    Barack Obama: High-speed rail for 80% of US; high-speed web for 98% of US.
    Barack Obama: FactCheck: High-speed rail for 80% possible; but not soon.
    Sarah Palin: USSR won 1960s space race, but its debt led to USSR collapse.
War & Peace
    Barack Obama: We've taken the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan, until July.
    Barack Obama: Iraq: 100,000 troops have left; let's finish the job.


The above quotations are from 2011 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the Republican Response and the Tea Party response: Jan. 25, 2011.

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