How Last Night's Speech Resonated in Congress

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

President Obama's State of the Union Address touched on several key and pressing issues facing the country, from transportation, to immigration and innovation. The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, shares his thoughts on the speech and what it could mean for the coming year in the halls of Congress. The Takeaway partners with Transportation Nation, to examine the president's commitment to high speed rail in this country; Obama said he wanted to connect 80 percent of Americans via high-speed rail in coming years.  


Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

David J Fazekas

Comments [2]

Jerry Fields from brooklyn

A second comment for Glenn Wilson, from Oklahoma, who was on today's show. Glenn, the educational system won't change, no matter how many speeches are given. The reason? Each city, or each state, runs their own systems. They set the standards. The Republicans came up with three strikes and you're out so they could route tens of billions of dollars to religious schools so their religious friends would work to get out the vote. The democrats won't set any national curriculum, teacher qualifications, or parental involvement standards because the teacher's union makes huge contributions to the Democratic party so that nothing is changed. They have very secure jobs, with good pensions, no accountability and four months off a year. So the protect this by buying every Democratic congressman and the president. The teacher's union in buying congressmen also controls school board elections so these boards maintain the status quo. How do they control these elections. In buying congressmen they have changed the dates of when these elections are, so they don't coincide with bigger elections which have a bigger turnout. This way, the teachers, their families and friends have a disproportionately large influence on the vote count. Educational quality won't improve because neither party has an interest in improving it. Until there are national curriculum standards, national teacher qualification standards, until tenure is removed and teachers are accountable for results, until parents are also made legally accountable for their children's results or face fines and even imprisonment, and until children are not allowed to drop out, as they do to the tune of 75% in some of our cities, such as Detroit, or face a list of serious, government imposed consequences, absolutely nothing is going to change with our fourth rate educational system. The nation will continue to rapidly lose ground technically, artistically, competitively, economically to China, India, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and half a dozen other nations.

Jan. 26 2011 08:38 AM
jerry Fields from brooklyn, new york

This is for Glenn Wilson, who was just on the air: Glen, the parties won't stop fighting because they only reflect what people want. And people want them to fight because of media instigators like Glenn Beck, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and until recently, Olberman on MSNBC. Why do these guys egg the nation on to tear itself apart? Aside from being angry guys themselves, it's about making millions of dollars. There are a hundred stations today. Not three as there were 20 years ago. This means that when you make your network an angry network, where people stretch the truth, and flat out lie, like Fox does for example, millions of people will watch. You know how people gawk at car wrecks as they drive buy, it's the same with television. People will tune in if there is something ugly and angry. This kind of programming gives these networks higher ratings than they would otherwise have in a sea of 100 stations. Higher ratings mean they charge more for their advertising. So angry media people, and the drive for more money by the media, is what has caused all this right vs. left hatred in the nation, and it's the tune that our congressmen dance to now to get votes. They're not going to change unless the stations are forced to change, at which point the American people will change back to being civil, and more united as a nation. Bottom line, money is what's turning neighbor against neighbor. Network owners are not entitled to own these stations, it's a privlege, but they abuse this privlege. Issues such as truthfulness, and fostering a healthy, positive, constructive national discourse should re requirements for owning a station. They are not. Until the government decides that they are, and regulates the media accordingly, the media will continue to hobble the country and make it a much sadder, angrier, less intelligent place.

Jan. 26 2011 08:22 AM

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