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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Western Opinion Sampler: State of the Union ...

‘They deserve a vote’: Obama’s ideas also require scrutiny — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Most of President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address was policy wonk stuff. Dull but important things such as deficit reduction, tax reform, energy independence, entitlement reform and education. All of it, as the president said, key to rebuilding the national economy and re-energizing the great driver of that economy — a growing and secure middle class.

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The emotions in the House chamber, though, rose when Obama spoke of the need for federal action on various proposals to reduce the amount of gun violence that stalks our streets, our public places, even our schools. Not every member of Congress, the president said, needs to agree with, or vote for, every gun safety measure.

But, of the victims and the survivors of Newtown, of Aurora, of Tucson, Obama chanted, "They deserve a vote."

And indeed they do. Measures supported by significant majorities of the American people, even majorities of gun owners, include universal background checks on gun purchases and limits on high-capacity magazines. These proposals should come to a vote in Congress, and no member should be allowed to hide from taking a stand.

The same is true, though, of the president’s other proposals, as well as of rival ideas for how to control the deficit and rebuild the economy. They, too, deserve a vote. ...

Obama's State of the Union strikes chord with gun regulation — San Jose Mercury-News Editorial

For awhile there, Barack Obama's fifth State of the Union address Tuesday harkened back to the Bill Clinton recitations of program after program, from preschool to free trade, mostly good ideas but barely outlined before the next one rolled out.

Then came guns. ...

Budget solution will require cuts — Denver Post Editorial

Democrats must do more with entitlement reform as part of a "balanced approach" to federal budget.

Obama uses State of the Union address to gives Congress ambitious agenda — Des Moines Register Editorial

Obama’s bold plans deserve action in Congress — Kansas City Star Editorial

Obama: Time has come to rebuild on home front — Sacramento Bee Editorial

Americans should be heartened by the core message of the first State of the Union address of President Barack Obama's second term: It is time to concentrate on nation-building at home. ...

Rubio, responding to Obama, calls for an about-face — Orange County Register Editorial

... "So, Mr. President," he said, "I don't oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors." ...

In State of the Union, Washington speaks to Oregon — Oregonian Editorial

... Just a few minutes into the speech, the president pledged, "We'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for medical care." Oregon may be the first place to see whether that can work. ...

Obama's new vision: Doable? — Los Angeles Times Editorial

In his State of the Union speech, the president argued for progress on the environment, common sense on guns, decency on immigration. Will Congress go along?

Obama reaches high, issues challenges — San Francisco Chronicle Editorial

... His claim that none of the proposals he laid out Tuesday night would add "a single dime" to the federal deficit defies common sense. Worthy as those programs might be, guarantees of universal preschool and government investments in struggling communities, infrastructure improvements and myriad other government endeavors are going to cost money. ...

A constrained presidency — Eugene Register-Guard Editorial

... The speech was upbeat in tone, but its substance left forebodings of missed opportunities: The prospects of cooperation are so poor that the president didn’t even ask for much. ...

Obama's State of the Union cluttered by long wish list — Arizona Republic Editorial

... Perhaps the most promising take-away from the president’s speech was its relative lack of partisan baiting, per most post-election speeches. That could auger well for immigration reform, especially, since that proposal either thrives or dies on the degree of bipartisanship it can muster. ...

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