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Obama's State of the Union Silent on Yemen and Soft on Banks, Did Cite CFPB

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 20 -- US President Barack Obama's speech on the State of the Union on January 20 was long on stories and domestic issues, short on foreign policy including the day's near-coup in Yemen, once cited as an Obama success story. Yemen was not mentioned; nor was Somalia, nor Libya.

  Obama said clearly he would veto any new sanctions on Iran at this time. He spoke about fighting ISIL in Syria, helping “moderate opposition” to do so, with no mention of Bashar al Assad. There was some triumphalism on Ukraine, about Russia's economy being in tatters. One wondered if it would be repeated at the January 21 UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine.

  The UN wasn't mentioned, even in the section about climate change. Obama said he's “worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained.”  One wondered if civilians in Pakistan would agree. Or, from the day's (UNmentioned) news, in Yemen.

 Mortgages appeared three times, with little anti-bank analysis. Little surprise: Obama nominated Lazard's head of mergers to work in the Treasury Department, which even after the withdrawal of nomination he will still advise. Banker Landon has been nominated to the Federal Reserve. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it's true, was cited, and Elizabeth Warren showed up twice, at least in the feed on NBC.

   How will these issues play out, with the new split between Congress and the White House? Watch this site.


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