While by tradition not a formal state of the union address — presidents since Richard Nixon have waited until after their first year in office — President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress could take any sort of direction.

Still, by tradition when a president visits Congress, it is a moment that usually brings a certain amount of decorum. Usually.

All bets are off on Tuesday night, though. Clearly, Trump is not one to back away from confrontation; in fact, some might say he enjoys, if not revels in, it. But it’s not all on Trump. What will the reception he receives from Democrats in the audience be? Even more so, what will happen on the streets outside of Congress?

As The Associated Press reported in its Sunday story, there is no lack of bad blood between Democrats and Trump. Already, Democrats have made a point of inviting immigrants and foreigners to attend Trump’s speech as a choreographed counterpoint to his exclusionary immigration policies.

What will the speech hold? We hope it will help frame the president’s agenda in more concrete terms. Right now, the flash points for his presidency have been executive orders that have been challenged and struck down by the courts, open warfare with the media in Washington and a frosty relationship with Mexico.

“A tweet-free, optimistic and uplifting message about where America needs to go,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to hear.

Then there are the Democrats.

“How will he respond when several hundred Democratic members of Congress are not giving him the love he’s hoping for from the audience?” Michael Waldman, chief speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, said. “There’s never been anybody who’s stood there before, who’s responded to audiences with as much extemporaneous venom.”

To expect that Tuesday’s speech will carry the same pomp and ceremony that a presidential speech before Congress has had in recent years is the hope.

That it doesn’t turn into a ruckus, though, also hoped.

• Dave Mathews

(35) comments

PD Hyatt

It won't matter what Pres. Trump says or how he says it, you the media will blast him as you all hate everything that he stands for which many of us love him for.... He is not part of the progressives nor is he a RINO, which IMHO makes him a good person to lead our nation....

Jarvis Buckley

Already predicting doom & gloom.
Stacking the deck with non-Americans in the Audience. Proves
Democrats care little for our country.

Jim Forsythe

Jarvis said  "Democrats care little for our country." Which Democrats are you talking about? The ones in arm service to our country, the  Doctor's, nurses, police officers, firefighters, and other hard working. Democrat's ?
Are you talking about all Democrat's, or just the liberal part of the party? Are you including the independents ?

Carlos Ponce

Active military voted 3 to 1 for Trump over Clinton.
Veterans voted 2 to 1 for Trump over Hillary

George Croix

"exclusionary immigration policies"
And so the lies continue by way of half truths...
What part of 'Illegal" or "un-vetted" is so hard for 'the resistance' to understand.....

Jim Forsythe

Will Trump look forward, and lay out what he see in the future? Or will he go backwards and rehash what lays in the past? My  
hope is he stays on track and talks about what most want to know about. Taxes, health care, budget, immigration and other topics.
This is his chance to show he's has leadership and not just do as I say .He needs to forget about fake news,  crowds size, the press , and other small distractions. If  he goes off on a tangent and does not stay on task, he will have lost a good chance to demonstrate his leadership.
As far as what also may happen , remember what happen in the past.
"In September that year, Republican House member Joe Wilson made international headlines when he interrupted Mr. Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress on healthcare reform, shouting "You lie!" at the President for saying his plan would not cover illegal immigrants."

George Croix

If our Pres. Trump doesn't stop nibbling at every piece of bait dangled in front of him, and instead just let the 'resistors' keep making rear ends of themselves, his speech, and a lot of other things, are going to go....south.....
C'mon...let the 'horrific' organized whineybabies, the 'threat to our democracy' shadow government attempt, blow all they want to....shut up, and get to work harder....if you don't want so many leaks, stop saying stuff worth leaking.....
Starting to sound as childish and petulant as your recent predecessor.....

Jim Forsythe

Twitter is not his friend. What is he going to say if someone hacks his account, and causes a international incident? If he wants to find the leaks, maybe he needs to look at John Miller.

George Croix

Maybe he needs to look at Shaun Spicer...!

I figure bowing to a foreign leader and apologizing for America as if we are a bad country and repeatedly claiming a large coalition of what in reality were name-only-'allies' was enough of a series of international incidents that a few misunderstood tweets are unlikely to top them....that and laughing it up on the back 9 a few minutes after claiming distress when the 'JV' beheaded another American.....that 'optic' was no doubt interesting to the we-hate-America-bunch....
The budget?
It's a lose/lose for the Pres. even as it tries to rectify the last Admin.'s tendency to shackle the military while using the money to pay for votes and turn lose drug offenders....imho......
No WAY to rebuild a 'sequester' decimated military without blowing up any fiscal responsibility on a large scale, and small scale cutbacks and removal of unnecessary expenses will certainly be appreciated but won't pay for much combat gear. Same for infrastructure that was talked to death for a few years but squat actually done, excpet to 'misplace over 800 billion bucks not 'shovel ready' but sure as heck shoveled into SOMEBODY's pocket(s), somewhere....
Ya GOTTA love the newfound fiscal hawkishness of the Democrats on the Hill who are moaning like a lightning struck plow mule about building The Wall for 20 Billion and change while happily...happily...doubling the national debt and so paying 1/2 Billion a DAY interest on that......could build 5 or 6 walls for the interest paid yearly alone.......
But, D.C. is the Land of the Two-Faced....bith sides.....

Carlos Ponce

".... if someone hacks his account....." He's smart enough not to use "PASSWORD" as his password. [beam]

Steve Fouga

President Trump just released his proposed budget. It is a big deal and NOT business-as-usual. Can't find any reporting on it in today's GDN, but of course it's all over the internet and most news outlets. If it's not a big part of his speech, he's missing an opportunity.

Jim Forsythe

November 15, 2014
The US has announced that an emergency spending program  will be carried out in order to update its ageing nuclear arsenal. Up to $1 trillion  will be spent as part of a 30-year plan to upgrade an array of missiles, submarines and bombers.
US annual spending on its nuclear forces is $16bn and it is expected to increase on average by 10% annually for the next five years

If this is part of the budget, do we need more increases? When is enough , enough? Are we going to  more drones that require less troops?  Or more boots on the ground?
"Trump has said previously he would expand the Army to 540,000 active troops from its current 480,000, increase the Marine Corps to 36 battalions from 23 – or as many as 10,000 more Marines – boost the Navy to 350 ships and submarines from 276, and raise the number of Air Force tactical aircraft to 1,200 from 1,100.
He has not said where he would place the extra hardware and forces or made clear what they would be used for. The United States has been shutting some of its military bases in recent years.
Trump has also said he would bolster the development of missile defenses and cyber capabilities. Last week, he told Reuters the United States had "fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity." He pledged to ensure that "we're going to be at the top of the pack"

George Croix

Better money for a return to the world's strongest and READIEST military (NEVER gonna do away with boots on the ground if an actual end to an aggressor is the goal) AND ALSO money to beef up whatever our first responders need to better control the elements they have to contend with on the homefront to get to NO MORE 'room to destroy', than to pay people to habitually sit on their B-hinds who could work, or pay for illegals to come in and wave their flags around for the sake of 'inevitability'.....
Fewer 'programs' for turtles and mice and endangered mudholes and more for human beings who keep us safe and free is a good place to start.........

Steve Fouga

The reporting I saw said large increase in defense spending, large cuts to domestic and State Dept spending, with medicare and social security untouched. I can't believe this is not in the GDN. I must be missing it.

I've seen the numbers you've quoted above, and to me the troop buildups don't make sense. We're almost entirely out of Iraq and Afghanistan now. I can understand some recapitalization of the hardware, but man, 350 ships is a lot, and they're expensive!

I wonder if the nuke buildup includes the new Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider long-range strike bomber and the new Columbia-class ballistic missile subs. If so, $1T is a bargain, and I expect would have happened with or without President Trump.

Jim Forsythe

Projected cost.
B-21 Raider 
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2025
Total Production: 100
Unitary Cost: USD$550 million
Total Cost: USD$80 billion
Also Known As: Long Range Strike Bomber and LRS-B
Origin: United States of America 
Description: The United States Air Force (USAF) Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B), now the B-21 Raider, is a new generation long-range bomber being developed as replacement for the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber and the B-1B Lancer supersonic bomber

A program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy’s current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. The Navy has identified the Columbia class program as the Navy’s top priority program. The Navy wants to procure the first Columbia-class boat in FY2021, and the $773.1 million in AP funding requested for FY2017 represents the initial procurement funding for that boat. A March 2016 GAO report assessing selected major DOD weapon acquisition programs states that the estimated total acquisition cost of the Columbia class program is about $97.0 billion in constant FY2016 dollars, including about $12.0 billion in research and development costs and about $85.1 billion in procurement costs.

Jim Forsythe

When is enough , enough? When we have debt that needs to be lowered, Social Security that needs to be addressed, Infrastructure needs funding , and so on. Is spending more on military, when we have a lot that of  pressing needs, a wise way to spend .our money?

US military spending accounts for 39 percent, or almost two-fifths of the world’s total military spending
US military spending is almost 4 times more than China, almost 8 times more than Russia, and about 70 times more than Iran.
The USA is responsible for 39 per cent of the world total, distantly followed by the China (9.5% of world share), Russia (5.2%), UK (3.5%) and Japan (3.4%)
US military spending is some 54 times the spending of Cuba, Iran, and Syria) whose spending amounts to around $12-13 billion, which is mostly Iran
US spending is almost as   the next top 11 countries.
The United States and its strongest allies (the NATO countries, Japan, South Korea and Australia) spend something in the region of $1.2 trillion on their militaries combined, representing over 70 percent of the world’s total.
The Iran, Syria, Russia, and China together account for about $260 billion or 39% of the US military budget.

Randy Chapman

Yes, but we have to support our military-industrial friends. We can't have them actually producing useful products and competing in an open market for same.

Steve Fouga

Some of my responses take so long to post that it's hard to tell who they're responding to.

Jim, my opinion is that we spend far too much on "defense." The part of defense I think we spend too much on is fighting wars. We have become a country that fights unnecessary wars, a whole string of them.

Fighting wars is by far the most expensive part of "defense." It's expensive because it's personnel-intensive, transportation intensive, wears out equipment, and uses up weapon stockpiles. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are paid a salary, they require training, they eat, they need shelter, they get hurt, etc. And then, because they fought for us, we pay for them in one way or another for the rest of their lives and beyond.

When we fight wars, we have to replace equipment that wore out, was destroyed in combat, or that we decided to leave in-theater because the cost of its transportation was more than its value. When we replace equipment we often replace it with something better, both because that's what's available and because, after all, we're competing with other nations.

In order to replace with something better, we have to pay engineers and mechanics to design and build the new stuff, like the B-21 and Columbia I mentioned above. Developing weapon systems is one of the most expensive undertakings humans take part in, easily as costly as opening a new oil field, and far more than building a "great wall." But much cheaper than fighting a war.

It makes better economic sense to just develop and field the weapons, and dare anyone to fight you, than to actually go to war.

I guess I'm saying I agree that we spend too much on defense, and I think our defense spending should be cut rather than increased. But we should select the cuts carefully.

Steve Fouga

I should add that I hope President Trump's team has the savvy to get this right. I have a lot of confidence in Secretary Mattis. No doubt he'll build his own good team. There are probably some patriots willing to serve with him, if he's allowed to pick them.

George Croix

Enough is a terrible standard for readiness. It's how we got into this pathetic state of low readiness and scavenging plane parts from junkyards, etc......
Sufficient to face known threats...WORST case, not best case....is better.
Because sufficient changes with the actual need, while enough changes with the political wind....

Steve Fouga

Low readiness? Low readiness?

Where the eff do you get that? From Trump? Come on, Dude. Do some reading.

Steve Fouga

Sorry George, that was too strong. but please, do some research before branding our military as having a readiness problem. The military always scavenges parts. Always, just like we do if something breaks down and there's a way to fix it with scavenged parts. It just makes sense.

Just my opinion, but our military would kick @ss quickly if ever unleashed in a no-holds-barred scenario. Not likely in anything less than all-out war, though.

George Croix

Mr. Fouga, thanks for your suggestion to do research...I only ask why do you think I have not done so....? As for the knee jerk diversion, no need to apologize, because I never take such keyboard oriented stuff seriously, anyway, as I only do real attitude across the table over a couple of cold Diet Cokes.....I enjoy your comments, just as I enjoyed negative feedback at work...nobody benefits from always being agreed with.
Anyway, my several current active duty relatives disagree...as do my several former military family members, including my Marine son-in-law, with 2 Iraq tours and one in Afghanistan, and my Army Major nephew, with 3 tours in Afghanistan, and looking at another one....etc......
Admittedly, a dozen people do not a complete consensus make, but it's likely representative....and across three branches of service ....
It's noted that there's a difference between scavenging for parts while waiting for resupply, and doing so because there are NO other parts to be had....period.....
Can we still beat anybody?
We can win when we are allowed to...!!
But there's no reason for anyone to die solely due to lack of supplies and materials needed to do a job, or to stand by changing uniforms several times while Americans are pleading for help as they get shot to pieces......etc. again.....
There's certainly no need to prioritize 'social justice' over survival as a nation....imho again.....
I'm sticking with the low readiness, based on my personal observations, as all my posts are based on.....unlike so many these days, nobody gives me my opinion, but me, but I do value input from a range of sources to assist in making it....
Thanks for yours.

Steve Fouga

I hope this reply appears in proper sequence. I'm responding to George Croix's 10:22 post.

George, I take your point that the military itself feels its readiness is low. It almost always does, no matter what. But the culprit is that we're fighting too many wars and staying in them too long. That's what's aging out our equipment, wearing out our men and women, and draining our coffers. My suggestion to President Trump would be to quit fighting the wars that other presidents got us into, don't get us into any more, and replace our broken equipment with newer, higher-technology equipment. Continue to evolve our military to be less personnel-intensive and more technology-intensive, a path we've been on since the Vietnam era.

As for my comment about not doing your research, I'll just admit it: it was knee-jerk and I was wrong.

Carlos Ponce

Low readiness. Note the following came from before Trump was elected:
"Army readiness at 'historically low levels'" March 11, 2015
"Military Services Report Low Readiness Levels as Russia, China Demand Increased Commitments"September 8, 2016
"Marine Corps Aviation Head: Poor Readiness, Low Flight Hours Led To Helicopter Collision And 12 Dead Marines" September 8, 2016
"Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the head of Marine Corps Aviation, told members of Congress on Wednesday that there's no tie between the low readiness rates and Class A aviation mishaps that result in the loss of life or damage greater than $2 million" July 6, 2016
October 27, 2016

Steve Fouga

Carlos, all good articles. It's possible to find just as many stating that our military readiness is just fine. I guess my point is that if I had to choose between bolstering an already effective fighting force and spending money on something in worse shape, I'd spend it on something else. I can't remember a time when generals and admirals didn't want more spent on the military.

On the other hand I'm not too disappointed in President Trump's first budget. I think he made a good first pass. There are certainly worse places to overspend than the military. Now we'll see what congress thinks.

Jim Forsythe

Is this the reason  to increase of the Troops, and increase the military budget ?
The exchange between Donald Trump, and Anderson Cooper on CNN
Not winning on trade?   Send in  “real killers” to beat other countries into submission.    
Mexico not willing to build his wall? Build up the military and threaten them so they don’t ‘play war’ with us.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 was put in place to prevent DC from overspending and increasing the size of the budget , as in the past. So we want to forget what was passed in the Senate and the House , and go back to spend , spend , spend. Infrastructure, military, the wall, increase in boarder force, a man back to the moon. Can we do it all, and still be on budget?.  

$430 billion increase over five years
Just days after Congress convened, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R- Ariz., released a white paper that calls for an immediate $54 billion increase in defense spending for fiscal 2018 as part of an overall $430 billion increase over five years. 
The first thing McCain calls for is an end to sequestration, the automatic and equal cuts to defense and non-defense programs that were part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. 

The Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub.L. 112–25, S. 365, 125 Stat. 240, enacted August 2, 2011) is a federal statute in the United States that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on August 2, 2011. The Act brought conclusion to the United States debt-ceiling crisis of 2011, which was widely believed would have led the United States into sovereign default on or around August 3, 2011.
The agreement also specified an incentive for Congress to act. If Congress failed to produce a deficit reduction bill with at least $1.2 trillion in cuts, then Congress could grant a $1.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling but this would trigger across-the-board cuts ("sequestrations"), as of January 2, 2013. These cuts would apply to mandatory and discretionary spending in the years 2013 to 2021 and be in an amount equal to the difference between $1.2 trillion and the amount of deficit reduction enacted from the joint committee. There would be some exemptions: reductions would apply to Medicare providers, but not to Social Security, Medicaid, civil and military employee pay, or veterans. Medicare benefits would be limited to a 2% reduction.
As originally envisioned, these caps would equally affect security and non-security programs. Security programs would include the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Nuclear Security Administration, some management functions of the intelligence community and international affairs from the U.S. State Department  However, because the Joint Select Committee did not report any legislation to Congress, the act reset these caps to defense (essentially the DOD) and non-defense categories. This became one of the important elements of the fiscal cliff
In December 2013, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 increased the sequestration caps for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 by $45 billion and $18 billion, respectively, in return for extending the imposition of the cuts to mandatory spending into 2022 and 2023, and miscellaneous savings elsewhere in the budget

Steve Fouga

As I remember it, sequestration does not apply to fighting wars, which tends to be the biggest part of defense spending.

Also, as I understand it, President Trump intends to offset the increased military budget with cuts to domestic programs and Dept of State, while holding Medicare and Social Security constant. So maybe his intent is NOT increased overall spending.

Jim Forsythe

This is what I found about Defense sequestration. They make rules to make themselves look good , then they try to get around them. Nothing new.
Defense sequestration
After several months of denying that they could or would plan for the implementation of sequestration cuts, the Department of Defense finally began such planning in December 2012, with less than one month to go. The nature of the budget cuts have had the most significant impact on Operations and Maintenance (O&M) accounts, particularly for the training and readiness of combat units during their "at home" cycle between overseas deployments. For example, as of April 17, 2016, out of 276 F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters in the U.S. Marine Corps inventory, only about 30% are ready to fly, according to statistics provided by the Marine Corps. Similarly, only 42 of 147 heavy-lift CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters are airworthy.

Jim Forsythe

The dues for the UN that.we will save ($654, 778, 938 )  will increase are needs for troops, as we will no longer have the other countries in the UN as back up troops . Is this why he wants to increase the number of troops.

The Donald Trump administration is drawing up executive orders to curtail U.S. funding to international agencies — including those connected to the United Nations — The New York Times reported.
The newspaper said one order would apply to agencies that support causes which the Trump administration has vocally denounced. The drafts suggest the orders would apply to organizations that, for example, fund abortion or those that are "controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism," the Times reported.

George Croix

Mr. Fouga, you are a pleasant person to agree to disagree with....[beam][beam]

To sequestration: Quite a lively discussion via Skype last Christmas with the Major, and he pointed out that it DOES impact actual fighting, and the major reason is fewer trained and ready military personnel means longer or more frequent deployments for the rest.....he's got a point...a good one...
I'm sure the results are even worse than when we fought major industrial fires with sometimes too few replacements to allow rehab/cool down...nobody was shooting at us...just stuff blowing up....[beam][beam] All the good equipment in the world is useless unless it's manned, and effectively....
My thoughts about technological improvements in warfare, with machines more often taking the place of people, are that it's a good thing, but not 100% good.
Why not?
It's an imho thing....my opinion is that war will always be with us because the planet is populated by essentially the same people, with the same basic faults and motivation, that were populating it back in clubs and caves days....they just dress differently.....IF...if...we ever fight wars strictly impersonally, without personal loss or catastrophic changes, what then is the incentive NOT to go to war......??
As always...imho.....

George Croix

Jim, even I'd agree not ALL UN troops are useless when it comes to actually fighting battles rather than 'peace keeping' as it's so often humorously called...but those 30 or 40 guys we can make an exception for....[beam][beam][beam][beam]
Best place for the UN is OUT of the US.
Let them go huff and puff at the folks in their OWN countries wishing them physical harm....while they can.....
Spend the money wasted on the UN on something benefiting...America First....

Jim Forsythe

A quick look at UN active solders in the world, it looks like about 100,00 at any one time. For us to replace these troops,  it would take about 300,000, as would it takes 3  for each spot. It takes this many, because of rotation , and training requirements'. Also they would have to have all the gear required.  If we have to replace
this number of troops , the cost would be huge.

Theses are the troops we have depended on in case we need extra troops in a short tine span.
This is one example of what the UN troops do.
March 2015 ,
President Joseph Kabila, who is headed for elections in November 2016, had sought an immediate cut of 6,000 troops and a clear commitment to shut down the UN peace operations in the near future.
The troop reduction did not affect the UN-mandated ceiling of about 21,000 forces, which suggested that the Security Council could decide at a later time to again boost UN troop presence in the DR Congo -

 UN Missions Summary of Military and Police 
Month of Report   31-Jan-17
(total troops).
Total in PKO   100,231  

If you want number's in the past.

George Croix

All the UN troops are not engaged in activities specifically beneficial or necessarily related to the interests of the United States, so why exactly would we have to replace them.
As for the Congo, we've been there 'supporting' for a half century...plus....
And to what avail?
The whole idea is to re-assess 'commitments', and determine why and to what end...rather than continue pouring blood and treasure into situations where we endlessly, seemingly, do the same thing(s) over again, trying for a different outcome....just because we have been doing so since Somebody Else Long Ago said we should...
Long past time for...in more cases than not. America First....
Let the UN join the other 'resistors' and do their badmouthing of this country on their own dime.....

Jim Forsythe

For us to get out of the UN , the House, Senate, and President would have to ok it. Is this what they all want?

Maybe the President is not aware of the following.  Very few are in arrears.
 Under Article 19 of the Charter, a Member State in arrears in the payment of its dues in an amount that equals or exceeds the contributions due for two preceding years can lose its vote in the General Assembly

. NATO members agreed that nations currently not meeting the 2 percent of G.D.P. bar would so in the next decade, and that nations meeting it would continue to do so — but they did so in September 2014, nine months before Mr. Trump announced his candidacy.

How many are  in arrears?
As of 21 February 2017, the following six Member States are in arrears under the terms of Article 19 and the General Assembly decided that they will not be permitted to vote in the Assembly until the end of its 71st session
Cabo Verde
Papua New Guinea
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
On 3 October 2016, the General Assembly adopted resolution 71/2 by which it decided that the following four Member States, currently in arrears under the terms of Article 19 of the Charter, can vote in the Assembly until the end of the current session:
Sao Tome and Principe

I think that we need the reserves that the UN gives as far as troop strength, if we do not have the UN to fall back on , then we need to have that number in our troop strength.

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