Current Events: State of the Union

By Brittany Plange

This year’s State of the Union address was filled with lots of applause, slight shade, and promises for future. President Obama touched on various issues, ranging from net neutrality to advances in western medicine, and access to higher education. Obama spent a large portion of his time talking about the economic gains that have been made since he was elected into office and the strides his administration will be taking to ensure this success continues. President Obama also made it very clear to Congress that he plans to veto any bill that attempts to undermine the work done to healthcare, rules on Wall Street, any sanctions on Iran, and immigration. Ultimately the majority of what was said in the speech was expected, except for the historic mention of transgender people: “As Americans, we respect human dignity…and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender” (source). What was unexpected was what was not mentioned in the president’s speech. President Obama neglected to mention Boko Haram and the recent tragic events in Nigeria when discussing his administration’s plans to address terrorism on our planet. This left me wondering if the U.S. would intervene or continue to stay silent while thousands of Nigerians and citizens of Africa are being massacred. Immigration was also seemingly left out of the speech in comparison to last year’s speech when the president called for a comprehensive reform bill by this year. This may be due to the president’s recent executive order on the topic; nonetheless, we are are still entering the new year with no sign of a partisan comprehensive immigration reform bill coming out of congress.

The lack of bipartisanship is still very much present in Washington. With republican control of both the House and Senate, we may actually see a more productive congress than last year. Ultimately we will just have to wait to see what this year will hold and hope our future will be bright.

Current Events: Resources

2015 State of the Union

Transcript: Obama’s State of the Union address 2015

Republican Responses: Republicans reject Obama’s economic proposals

Republican Responses: Four republicans rebut Obama’s State of the Union speech – and expose their own internal divisions

What didn’t make the SOTU: Obama avoided immigration, ObamaCare, gun control, and campaign finance reforms

What didn’t make the SOTU: Obama makes no mention of Boko Haram 

What didn’t make the SOTU: Obama discusses Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan far less than in previous speeches

SOTU and the economy: Obama’s proposals add to growing 2016 debate

SOTU and the economy: A view of the economy from ground level

SOTU and the economy: But is the economy fixed?

On terrorism, the State of the Union is strangely quiet

Obama warns against terrorist fear factor

Obama confronts race relations and Ferguson

Obama mentions policing in address, but no Ferguson-related guests in audience

Police brutality activists angry Obama glossed over Ferguson ‘events’


U.S. not expected to fault Darren Wilson

Judge rejects request for new Ferguson grand jury

Push in Ferguson for criminal justice reform draws comparisons to 60’s fight for civil rights

Climate Change

Senate votes 98-1 that climate change is real and not a hoax

Obama: No greater threat to future than climate change

Everyday climate change in photos

Op Ed: Dangerously in denial on climate change

Pope’s climate-change stance deepens conservatives’ distrust

Boko Haram

Boko Haram boasts of slaughter as it rampages in Cameroon and Nigeria

Freed German hostage calls Boko Haram captivity ‘total darkness’

Boastful Boko Haram leader throws down gauntlet to ‘kings of Africa,’ saying ‘come and get me’ 

Boko Haram leader claims Baga raid

As Nigerian election nears, Boko Haram looms large

United States intervention in Nigeria is complicated, officials say

U.S. Secretary of State says Boko Haram attacks are threat to humanity

Hillary Clinton’s refusal to put Boko Haram on terrorist list will hurt her in 2016

U.S. says Nigeria vote a factor in Boko Haram attacks

Boko Haram affects west Africa in its entirety because the Nigerian government isn’t doing enough to stop it

With schoolgirls taken by Boko Haram still missing, U.S.-Nigeria ties falter