SHMOOZE NEWS: The State of the Union is Strong… er than the State of the Pope

Wha’ Happened This Week?  So You’re Never LATE TO THE PARTY.

1. This week’s State of the Union address was, as they usually are, less a status update and more a to-do list — or in this case, a “we can fix this” list, a theme Obama hit on a bunch.  So what are the biggies on his list and how awesome are they?  Top four: go!

* Obama surprised even his own party with a call to raise the minimum wage from the currently ultra-lame $7.25/hour to $9.  Republicans aren’t gonna let this one pass anytime soon, and Speaker of the House (and tan, sad man to the right) Boehner has already shot it down, along with Senator Marco Rubio in his post-SOTU speechy speech.  But here’s why “it’s good politics” anyway.  Oh and also it would, um, actually help people, so there’s that.

SATP minimum wage* Obama went all old skool and brought back an idea that died on Nixon’s desk in the ’70s: quality pre-school for all!  As Gail Collins at The New York Times put it,

People, think about this for a minute. We have no bigger crisis as a nation than the class barrier. We’re near the bottom of the industrialized world when it comes to upward mobility. A child born to poor parents has a pathetic chance of growing up to be anything but poor. This isn’t the way things were supposed to be in the United States. But here we are.

But the right seems to agree with everyone’s favorite evil uncle Pat Buchanan who once proudly stated: “the federal government should not be in the business of raising America’s children.”  (Click on that link for an amazing view into the super early beginnings of what we can now call the Tea Party movement… traced back to one ill-informed man in Kansas who’s already said “oops.”)

* Not to sound repetitive here, but Obama suggested some pretty cool climate proposals (which you can read all about here) and they probably won’t get very far in Congress either.  That said… there’s stuff he can do without Congress and he may very well not be doing them either, so all ’round, this whole subject could use an injection of optimism.  Maybe beer will save us all.

science* In the evening’s most moving moment (literally, everyone was all standing & clapping… and crying) Obama spoke eloquently about how much we need gun control or, really, how much we need Congress to actually like TAKE A VOTE on the matter.  Watch:

2. Wait, popes can quit?  Apparently.  Benedict-16 fully put in his two weeks notice.  And told the world he’s fallible.  Or old.  Or really really guilty.

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3. Things you might have heard a little about: the LA Police were on a manhunt and found their man.  Whereas FOX news just thought they found their man:

SATP women kissingMarco Rubio (the Republican “savior,” as this week’s Time Magazine cover dubbed him, and likely 2016 candidate) gave a thirsty, awkward public after-speech on Tuesday night but they never really go well.  The real news is that he’s a rap enthusiast.  So watch out.  The coolness factor of the Republican party just got ratcheted up a whole… unit of measure.

SATP Marco Rubio ideasAnd talking about falling stars (buh dum chh)… a meteor that was kinda supposed to burn up in the atmosphere, didn’t.  And about a thousand Russians got injured when the resulting rain of mini meteors fell to Earth yesterday morning.  Although at least one Russian politico known for conspiracy theories has announced it was really US weapons testing.  Oy.

BUT!  There’s an unrelated asteroid that’s gonna come surprisingly close to us around 11:25am PST today (Friday)… like 17,000 miles close.  But NASA’s super sure we don’t have to brace for impact. Their “Near-Earth Object Program can rule out any chance of collision in the foreseeable future,” they say, but feel free to watch.

And pass around The Smarty at the Party!  I like readers — and commenters 😉 Happy week, all!

*****

Quote of the week:

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