SOTU LIVE-BLOGGING…. Rumor has it that Live-Tweeting has replaced Live-Blogging as That Which Bloggers Are Supposed To Do. But where’s the fun in that? State of the Union thoughts in 140 characters? Pshaw.
The motorcade arrived on the Hill a few minutes ago, and President Obama will be heading into the House chamber in about 10 minutes. Here it goes….
[full live-blogging after the jump]
9:01: It’s a minute after nine and the SOTU hasn’t begun. I can only assume an RNC press release attacking the president for being “tardy, too” is on the way.
9:07: I find it interesting to think those folks camped out all day just to get those prime seats along the walkway. They even had a picnic this afternoon.
9:12: “Again, we are tested.” Ain’t that the truth.
9:15: Still no applause lines. Somber tone.
9:16: Making clear he gets it: “Some are frustrated; some are angry. They don’t understand why it seems like bad behavior on Wall Street is rewarded but hard work on Main Street isn’t; or why Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems. They are tired of the partisanship and the shouting and the pettiness.”
9:17: “I have never been more hopeful about America’s future than I am tonight.”
9:18: “Despite our hardships, our union is strong. We do not give up. We do not quit. We do not allow fear or division to break our spirit.”
9:19: Yep, everyone really hates that bailout.
9:20: Notice that no one on the GOP stodd for this: “If these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.”
9:21: I think Obama wants us to understand something about cutting taxes.
9:23: Damn straight: stimulus works.
9:24: “Jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill tonight.”
9:26: It’s going to be tough to oppose this one: “I’m proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat.”
9:28: High-speed rail rocks.
9:29: Straight out of the ’08 stump speech: “It’s time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs in the United States of America.”
9:30: There’s that theme again: New Foundation.
9:31: Good questions: “How long should we wait? How long should America put its future on hold?”
9:32: More of this, please: “China’s not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany’s not waiting. India’s not waiting. These nations aren’t standing still. These nations aren’t playing for second place. They’re putting more emphasis on math and science. They’re rebuilding their infrastructure. They are making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs. Well I do not accept second-place for the United States of America.”
9:33: Financial reform comes first on the list.
9:34: Veto threat!
9:35: Sounds like Obama is on board with an all-of-above approach to energy policy.
9:37: Wait, there’s “overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change”?
9:37: Thomas Friedman is smiling: “The nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.”
9:39: Wonder why GOP applauded a lot less for this one: “Realizing those benefits also means enforcing those agreements so our trading partners play by the rules.”
9:40: “In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education.”
9:41: This should be such a no-brainer: “To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer-subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let’s take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants.”
9:42: “Because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.”
9:43: “It is precisely to relieve the burden on middle-class families that we still need health insurance reform.”
9:44: “And by now it should be fairly obvious that I didn’t take on health care because it was good politics.” Cute.
9:45: Defense of the plan. Doesn’t sound scary, does it?
9:46: HCR reduces the deficit? Why, that’s a great idea!
9:47: “I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber.”
9:48: This plan works. If you can do better, let’s hear it.
9:50: Thanks, Bush, for screwing us all over.
9:52: “Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years.” No applause from either side.
9:53: There’s that deficit commission idea the president likes.
9:55: “That’s how budgeting works.” Not in the prepared text — needling GOP.
9:56: Dear Republicans, we tried it your way. It failed. “It’s time to try something new. Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let’s meet our responsibility to the citizens who sent us here. Let’s try common sense.”
9:57: “We face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust — deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years.”
9:58: Trashing a Supreme Court ruling in front of the justices. Awkward.
9:59: Earmark reform.
10:00: “Every day is Election Day.”
10:01: Senate reform: “Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can. The confirmation of well-qualified public servants should not be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual Senators.”
10:02: Dear Dems, don’t “run for the hills.” Good advice.
10:03: Now we’re talking: “If the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions.”
10:04: Dear Cheneys, “Let’s leave behind the fear and division, and do what it takes to defend our nation and forge a more hopeful future — for America and the world.”
10:05: He probably should have said this twice: “In the last year, hundreds of Al Qaeda’s fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed — far more than in 2008.”
10:07: “This war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home.”
10:08: Real investment in taking care of returning troops and their families.
10:09: JFK and Reagan have the same approach on ridding the world of nukes.
10:10: Iran will “face growing consequences.”
10:11: “As we meet here tonight, over 10,000 Americans are working with many nations to help the people of Haiti recover and rebuild.”
10:12: “For America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity.”
10:13: Damn straight: “My Administration has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil rights violations and employment discrimination.”
10:14: About damn time: “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It’s the right thing to do.”
10:16: President Grown-Up: “Each time a CEO rewards himself for failure, or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people’s doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates into silly arguments, and big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away. No wonder there’s so much cynicism out there.”
10:18: Can I get a witness? “The only reason we are is because generations of Americans were unafraid to do what was hard; to do what was needed even when success was uncertain; to do what it took to keep the dream of this nation alive for their children and grandchildren.”
10:20: “We don’t quit. I don’t quit. Let’s seize this moment — to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more.”