NCR Today: State of the Union address; suffering of Appalachia people; starving in Syria; gender pay gap among clergy; Christian and living under ISIS
State of the Union
Last night's State of the Union was not the best or the worst such speech. And it reflected the political realities of the day. Gone is the aspiration to change the way Washington works. Gone is most of the hope and change. The agenda has shrunk in the five years of Barack Obama's presidency.
The State of the Union speech is, admittedly, one of the worst speeches to have to deliver on the planet. Every White House speech-writer will tell you they begin with the idea that, this year, the speech will not turn into a laundry list, but each year, a laundry list it becomes. Additionally, since these speeches have been broadcast, the president has two audiences, the members of Congress in the room and the television audience outside, and it is often difficult to speak to both groups at the same time.