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Stay informed, get involved in political process
President Obama's approval rating is down to 46 percent from 55 percent a year ago, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll, and tonight's State of the Union speech isn't likely to convert many of those who are already critical of his leadership.
Frustrated at being unable to push much of his agenda through Congress, the president will report his own steps to raise the minimum wage, at least for government contract workers, and other steps on gun control, job training, climate change, infrastructure development and education.
"Income inequality" is also on Obama's agenda, code words for redistribution of wealth which would have cost him the election in previous outings.
Whatever unilateral steps he is able to take on his own, Obama will be forced to work with Congress to achieve important lasting change during his last years in office.
Involved citizens who watch tonight's speech may want to tune in again Wednesday to find out more about one of the U.S. Senators who may be working with the president in the future.
Four Republican Senate candidates, Sid Dinsdale, Bart McLeay, Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse will take part in a debate Wednesday in the Gering Civic Center.
The debate is sponsored by the Nebraska Republican Party in conjunction with the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation.
Candidates will have the chance to answer questions on farm policy, immigration, federal tax reform, health care reform and national defense.
Live coverage is available in McCook on KICX radio FM 96.1, and a live Internet stream is available at kticradio.com from West Point and bluffsbroadcasting.com in Scottsbluff/Gering.
And, if watching or listening to the political process isn't enough for you, consider getting your feet wet in a local elected office where you might be able to see immediate results in your effort to improve your community.
Feb. 18 is the last day for incumbents to file for re-election, and March 3 is the deadline for non-incumbents.