Scrolling Headlines:

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison -

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two future UMass hockey players selected in 2015 NHL Draft -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court ruling clears way for same-sex marriage nationwide -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former UMass center Cady Lalanne taken 55th overall by Spurs in 2015 NBA Draft -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second of four men found guilty on three counts of aggravated rape in 2012 UMass gang rape case -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boston bomber speaks out for first time: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King claims sex with woman was consensual during alleged 2012 gang rape -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrongful death suit filed in death of UMass student -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ryan Bamford uses online Q&A session to discuss UMass football conference search, renovation plans, cost of attendance -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Opening statements delivered, first witnesses called in second trial for alleged 2012 gang rape at UMass -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UMass Board of Trustees approves rise in tuition, student fees -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Former Minutewoman Quianna Diaz-Patterson named to Puerto Rican national softball team -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UMass rowing’s Jim Dietz inducted into CRCA Hall of Fame -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jury selection begins Monday in second gang rape trial -

Monday, June 15, 2015

Students turn attention to state legislators as decision on UMass budget looms -

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Alumna and next director of Brooklyn Museum Anne Pasternak ‘created her own path’ -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

UMass graduate crowned head of 600-year-old Indian kingdom -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Committee recommends UMass increase tuition, student fees for in-state undergraduates -

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Darrice Griffin named UMass’ senior associate athletic director for internal operations/senior woman administrator -

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Report: UMass football will host Mississippi State in 2016 -

Monday, June 8, 2015

Obama delivers State of the Union 2011 speech

Obama’s hour-long address Tuesday night sought to repel anticipated Republican efforts to roll back his party’s signature legislative achievements, including the health care overhaul, during the next two years.

He emphasized the need for bipartisanship, calling on Democrats and Republicans to work together to create new jobs. “We will move forward together, or not at all _ for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics,” Obama said.

Obama called for a five-year freeze on nonmilitary discretionary spending in a bid to help reduce the deficit and said he would veto any bill containing pet projects known as “earmarks.” He also endorsed $78 billion in Pentagon cuts and said he would consider other reductions.

But he defended his record thus far and warned that while he may agree to tweaks to his legislative record, his top priority in the next two years will be to preserve that work. Especially on his landmark health care law, he called for changes where needed, but warned he would oppose repeal.

“Instead of refighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward,” he said.

Instead of the fractious reception he received in his previous State of the Union speech, Obama encountered a more somber welcome in which most lawmakers wore black and white ribbons in honor of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and the other victims of the Tucson shooting rampage. Republicans and Democrats sat side by side in a show of unity.

Nonetheless, to Republican critics, his call for government investment sounded like another spending package at a time when deep cuts are needed. “That’s the real secret to job creation, not borrowing and spending more money in Washington,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who delivered the GOP response.

Rather than promising a near-term solution to chronic unemployment, Obama devoted much of the speech to the threat of competition for jobs from overseas, urging programs to “out-innovate, out-educate and out-build” the rest of the world.

Obama outlined an agenda for the second half of his term in office that tracks closely with his re-election strategy, in which he is staking out a middle ground politically.

With several promises, Obama sought to address perceptions that he spent too freely during his first two years in power and is unconcerned by a budget deficit that now stands at more than $1.4 trillion. His proposals include freezing federal spending not devoted to national security, which aides said would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over 10 years.

Obama said he would be reasonable in any negotiations. Waste and inefficiencies are rampant in government, he said.

But he warned that, as with the health care law, certain steps were off-limits.

Obama signaled that he would protect his signature education program, called “Race to the Top,” which offers grant money to schools that make strides in educating students.

He drew a protective barrier around the basic social safety net, cautioning that he would not slash spending at the expense of “our most vulnerable citizens.”

He added: “Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine.”

That message is rooted in a hard-eyed calculation by White House aides. Grand new spending programs and initiatives are unrealistic given the political realignment on Capitol Hill. Instead, the White House wants to preserve programs that resurgent Republicans see as targets ripe for elimination.

In some ways, the speech was in keeping with Obama’s move to the center following the Democrats’ midterm election losses. He called for reducing the corporate tax rate, freezing nondefense discretionary spending and approval of free trade agreements that might expand U.S. exports.

Obama showed a willingness to buck members of his party. He said he would veto any bill carrying an “earmark” _ a special spending project that lawmakers pass with little scrutiny or discussion. That stand sets up a potential showdown with one of Obama’s closest allies, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who defends earmarks.

Equally revealing was what Obama did not say. He said very little new or different about the war in Afghanistan, the effort to halt the Iranian nuclear programs or other foreign policy hot spots. As he has before, he claimed U.S. troops were making progress at stabilizing Afghanistan and at shrinking sanctuaries used by al-Qaida and other militant groups in Pakistan.

He made no mention of climate change legislation, which business interests oppose and which stands little chance of passing in any case. Since his midterm election setback, Obama has tried to repair his relationship with the corporate world.

Obama also sought to reassure members of his liberal base, who’ve bristled over some of his post-midterm moves. He said he was committed to overhauling the nation’s immigration laws and finding a pathway to legal status for the millions of people living in the U.S. illegally. The odds of that happening are low, as Obama essentially conceded.

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One Response to “Obama delivers State of the Union 2011 speech”
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