Letter From New York 01 21 15 After the State of the Union Address…

Last night I finished dinner earlier than I had expected and before the State of the Union speech so I headed to the Café du Soleil and secured a place at the bar to watch as several years ago I cut the cord and do not have cable in either the cottage or in the apartment in New York.

The sound was off but I thought I’d be able to read the captions. Unfortunately, they were smaller than I would have liked and I may need to have my eyes examined as it was very hard to read and I caught just bits and pieces and so have spent part of the morning reading about Obama’s penultimate SOTU address.

He was combative, facing a Republican controlled Senate and Congress, coming out as far as I could tell as if he and his party had won the fall elections. But they didn’t. Obama laid out a populist plan for middle class relief paid for by enhancing taxes for the rich and big banks. I don’t think it stands an iceberg’s chance in hell of getting very far but, as I’ve said, he is now looking to his legacy.

It will be interesting to see what the legacy is of this President, elected in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, African-American, relatively untested in government. We will see.

In the meantime, it is early afternoon in the city and I was awoken, once again, by the beep beep beep of a truck backing up outside the apartment. I thought it was my alarm and I woke wondering how I had managed to change the alarm tone on my iPhone.

Even though a great Bose radio sits next to my bed, I use my iPhone as my alarm.

Drinking coffee, I used it to start reading about the world. Many of the stories and articles were exegesis of last night’s speech and I roamed through them. The first nine stories on the NY Times app were devoted to Obama and the speech.

It has been a quiet morning, emails, the Times and coffee. I have missed the quiet of the countryside and my desk which looks out both on the woods and the drive, have missed the deer crossing the yard and the flocks of geese inhabiting the creek but I have had things to do in the city and so I’m here.

It’s a grey, chilly day with promises of snow for tonight though nothing like the snow that paralyzed the city a year ago, something like twelve inches fell then. The tony Upper East Side did not get promptly plowed which caused some to accuse the then newly elected Mayor DeBlasio of waging class warfare.

I think that’s subsided.

Beyond the fallout to the President’s speech, the world has been buzzing on. In France, more police are being hired to fight terrorism. In Germany, the head of the Anti-Islam movement, Pegida, has resigned after pictures of him as Adolf Hitler surfaced. In Japan, Prime Minister Abe is attempting to find a way to save two Japanese citizens from being beheaded. ISIS is demanding $200 million for them.

The Republican race for President is heating up. The Koch brothers, richer together than Bill Gates, are holding an invitation only event for politicians sympathetic to their beliefs. There’s a bum’s rush going on to get there. Though Jeb Bush won’t be; he has scheduling conflicts. Chris Christie is off to Iowa to court that state’s Republicans, hoping for a warm reception to burnish his tarnished star.

And today, the list of worst passwords was released. Apparently, we are not very inventive when it comes to them. The worst? 123456. Second worst: password. Come on, we can do better than that!

So, all in all, it is a rather ordinary day in America, post the SOTU address. We have a lot of talk about it and we have chosen bad passwords. We can do more about one than the other.

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