SOTU LIVE-BLOGGING…. It appears that Live-Tweeting has successfully replaced Live-Blogging as That Which Bloggers Are Supposed To Do. But I will resist the trend for forge ahead, knowing that (a) keeping messages to 140 characters is overly challenging when responding to and quoting a speech in real time; and (b) there’s a certain charm in playing it old school. (Yes, the norms of online media circa 2007 now qualify as “old school.”)
By the way, I’m not going to embed it here because it would interfere too much with load times, but the White House is apparently running an interesting live stream of the State of the Union here. If all goes according to plan, it’ll be an “enhanced” version — supplementing the speech with relevant charts/ photos/ stats, side by side with the video, in real time. It might be worth checking out.
And with that, we’re about 15 minutes from the scheduled start. Get comfortable.
8:54: I’m watching a live feed online, with literally no punditry or commentary at all. I remain confident I’m not missing anything.
8:56: In case anyone’s curious, the cabinet secretary who, in case of catastrophe, isn’t in the chamber is Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
8:58: In light of last year’s SOTU, there’s probably more interest than usual in Supreme Court justices in attendance. Six are there — Scalia, Thomas, and Alito aren’t.
8:58: First Lady Michelle Obama arrives. I’ll look forward to conservative bloggers explaining the far-reaching significance of the color of her address tomorrow.
9:02: There are a whole lot of folks wearing ribbons. They’re in honor of Gabrielle Giffords.
9:06: POTUS is in the chamber.
9:10: I miss Pelosi. Just sayin’.
9:12: Gabby Giffords clearly not forgotten tonight.
9:13: “We are part of the American family.” A theme emphasized in Tucson, too.
9:14: “…Not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.” A not-so-subtle reference to the mixed seating of the evening.
9:15: “It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world.” See? American exceptionalism.
9:17: “We’ll move forward together, or not at all.” Didn’t Jack Shepherd say something similar on Lost?
9:17: The first of many references to the theme of the night: “To win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.”
9:20: “We are home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on Earth.” Wait until the Republican Study Committee’s proposed cuts take effect.
9:21: “We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”
9:23: Yes, government spending produces results: “That’s what planted the seeds for the Internet. That’s what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS.”
9:24: “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.”
9:26: “At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars.” Really? Here’s hoping that’s true.
9:27: Why didn’t Boehner clap for this? “We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”
9:28: McCain should like the all-of-the-above thinking: “Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas.”
9:30: Nerds rule: “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.”
9:32: Sounds good: “In South Korea, teachers are known as ‘nation builders.’ Here in America, it’s time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect.”
9:34: Student-loan reform really does get forgotten too easily: “That’s why we’ve ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students.”
9:36: I’m really glad to see/hear the DREAM Act shout-out. It deserves to be high on the agenda.
9:38: I do love it when he talks up infrastructure through an international lens: “Our infrastructure used to be the best — but our lead has slipped. South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do. Countries in Europe and Russia invest more in their roads and railways than we do. China is building faster trains and newer airports. Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation’s infrastructure, they gave us a ‘D.'”
9:40: Someone tell the governors of Wisconsin and Florida: “Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying — without the pat-down.”
9:41: Why it matters and why it should have bipartisan support: “All these investments — in innovation, education, and infrastructure — will make America a better place to do business and create jobs.”
9:41: Simplifying the tax code: “Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years — without adding to our deficit.”
9:44: Child labor laws? Didn’t Mike Lee tell us they’re unconstitutional?
9:45: With a broad smile: “Now, I’ve heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law.”
9:45: A shout-out on 1099. More on this tomorrow.
9:46: Good advice: “Instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.”
9:47: “We are living with a legacy of deficit-spending that began almost a decade ago.” (Cough, cough, Republicans’ fault, cough)
9:48: This continues to be an exceedingly annoying construction: “Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same.”
9:49: Not bad: “Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.”
9:50: Hint, hint: “Health insurance reform will slow these rising costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit.”
9:51: Does “medical malpractice reform” have a chance? I really doubt it.
9:52: He speaks the truth: “And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break. It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.”
9:54: “We shouldn’t just give our people a government that’s more affordable. We should give them a government that’s more competent and efficient. We cannot win the future with a government of the past.”
9:54: The salmon joke actually got more laughs than the pat-down joke. Nice one.
9:56: The GOP would never, ever go for this: “Because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with lobbyists, I ask Congress to do what the White House has already done: put that information online.”
9:56: Did Obama really just threaten to veto bills with earmarks? There has to be some wiggle room on this.
9:57: The line didn’t get applause, but it’s one of the reasons Obama ran in the first place: “American leadership has been renewed and America’s standing has been restored.”
9:59: Yep, “intelligence and law enforcement professionals” are helping keep us safe, too.
10:00: Good reminder for Congress to hear: “American Muslims are a part of our American family.”
10:01: “This July, we will begin to bring our troops home” from Afghanistan.
10:02: Obama really has made huge progress on nuclear issues. Deserves a lot of credit.
10:03: South Sudan and Tunisia get well-deserved mentions.
10:05: Troops gets sustained applause.
10:06: Bipartisanship! “I call on all of our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and the ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.”
10:08: “As contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be, I know there isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth.”
10:09: “That dream is why I can stand here before you tonight. That dream is why a working class kid from Scranton can stand behind me. That dream is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father’s Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on Earth.”
10:10: Brandon Fisher’s story is a pretty terrific one. Good stuff.
10:12: “We do big things. The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.”