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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SOTU LiveBlog

Jan 25th, 2011

My final take... It really needs to be said that I agree with almost nothing that Paul Ryan has ever proposed. However, I think he got set up. Seriously. I think the laaaazy and corrupt old guard of the GOP totally set out to hurt him. And it worked. Which really sucks. The problems I have with Ryan are the same problems I have with ALL brilliant, young and idealistic people:

"You are so wrong... but filled with interesting and potentially valuable ideas. NOW, let's talk." Well, the old guard really got what they wanted. They have diminished the ONLY young man in the GOP who has a tremendous intellect AND believes more in the country than in raising money. We'll dissect Bachmann tomorrow.

9:37 Ummmmm. Okay. Well.... the Ryan response happened too.

9:35 sigh... suggesting that China or India should not have superior infrastructure than the Greatest Nation on Earth is not "repackaging spending. " Ryan, even if it was, you can't win it that way tonight.

9:32 Why did the brightest young man in the GOP agree to this? Blah, blah, blah... "didn't create jobs"... (not true) blah, blah, blah "plunged us into more debt" (except 3/5 of all expenditures are non-negotiable "security expenditures") DUDE. You are my hope for a smart opposition. Fuck.

9:30 Ryan: The President was "right" to focus on what he did.

9:28 The Ryan response has begun.

9:18 Annnnnnd now the pundits try and figure it out. Matthews is characteristically fawning... Krauthammer sounds scared... Couric is still pretty much a teenager... Blitzer is actually so inarticulate as to be frightening... The real response we are waiting on, one more time, is Ryan's

9:14 The Kirk/Durbin Illinois pairing was interesting. What a whirlwind. President Barack Obama gave what might be the first really important SOTU in 60 to 70 years. However cynically anyone might interpret the night so far, there is no denying the one, single overarching meme was this "WE... DO... BIG... THINGS."

9:05 Neo-Fascist apologist (and personal frenemy) Jonah Goldberg heard this...
"This is just a part of how we are shaping a world that favors peace and prosperity. With our European allies, we revitalized NATO, and increased our cooperation on everything from counter-terrorism to missile defense. We have reset our relationship with Russia, strengthened Asian alliances, and built new partnerships with nations like India. This March, I will travel to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador to forge new alliances for progress in the Americas. Around the globe, we are standing with those who take responsibility – helping farmers grow more food; supporting doctors who care for the sick; and combating the corruption that can rot a society and rob people of opportunity. Recent events have shown us that what sets us apart must not just be our power – it must be the purpose behind it. In South Sudan – with our assistance – the people were finally able to vote for independence after years of war. Thousands lined up before dawn. People danced in the streets. One man who lost four of his brothers at war summed up the scene around him: “This was a battlefield for most of my life. Now we want to be free.” We saw that same desire to be free in Tunisia, where the will of the people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator. And tonight, let us be clear: the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia, and supports the democratic aspirations of all people. We must never forget that the things we’ve struggled for, and fought for, live in the hearts of people everywhere. And we must always remember that the Americans who have borne the greatest burden in this struggle are the men and women who serve our country. Tonight, let us speak with one voice in reaffirming that our nation is united in support of our troops and their families. Let us serve them as well as they have served us – by giving them the equipment they need; by providing them with the care and benefits they have earned; and by enlisting our veterans in the great task of building our own nation. Our troops come from every corner of this country – they are black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love. And with that change, 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" 

And all he had was this on Twitter "Biden wanders off, "starts singing Hey Mr. Taliban tali me banana." No. He won't be living it down.

9:02 Get ready everyone... whatever is going on behind the scenes, you are watching the start of the 1st 6 year Presidential term in U.S. history.

8:59 The co-option of the BS rhetoric of the Right is leaving them with nothing. What are so-called conservatives going to have left? Making fun of his clothes or dissing the lox joke? CAN'T WAIT for Bachmann's whatever... Maybe NOW we can get to work.

8:56 That's right. Not smaller government... BETTER government.

8:55 The gauntlet on the "W cuts." Boehner looks like he just threw up in his mouth.

8:53 Tort reform. Nervous bi-partisan applause and one noticeable "boooo."

8:50 Shared sacrifice. Where's the applause? Hello? 4 or 5 people clapped? That's right. You are all children. This is why I stand with the Frum's, the Sullivans, and the Friedersdorfs... Obama is "THE ONLY ADULT IN THE ROOM."

8:47  "Now, I’ve heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law. So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses. What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition." EVERYBODY STANDS "I’m not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I’m not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small business owner from Oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage. So instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward."

8:46 It's not mere rhetoric. The tax code is corrupt by Republican design. Boehner looks like he needs bourbon. 30 years of Reaganomic bullshit is coming home to roost. POTUS just launched from endorsement of REAL New Deal style investment into the language of the pseudo-free-marketers. But... wait for it... Regulations are "WHY OUR FOOD IS SAFE TO EAT."

8:42 It's not "spending" when it's ACTUALLY investment. Listen up! Rs just don't get it but the center is catching on to what the Left has known for 70 years:
"We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy, not politicians. 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. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway. Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans. This isn’t just about a faster internet and fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age. It’s about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor."

8:39 Close up shot of fat R freshman unknown to me on all 3 networks (What IS his name?) reading the leaked copy instead of listening.

8:36 The "Prom Night" diminuitives about seating were well placed by the enemies of POTUS. It's working. No overlong, BS single-party standing ovations. Rs standing with Ds or sitting with Ds. This is awesome. Bet it won't last. Wonder who has to buy the first drink later? I assume the Ds will buy the top shelf.

8:31 Hey! Republicans. You want ED alternatives?
“If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.”

8:26 POTUS is orating on "American reinvention" Yglesias just tweeted "We should challenge the Chinese to race to the Moon."

8:25 SPUTNIK (heehee) Right on. Been waiting for the Sputnik Moment moment

8:24 The first President in decades to plausibly speak of shred struggle and joint sacrifice.
"The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age."

8:22 Get ready for it...

8:20 Our challenges have been "Decades in the making." I have been building a meme for months that we are in the end-game of Reaganomics. Frankly, this is exactly the rhetoric I wanted to hear. "Decades in the making."

8:17 We measure progress not by the old metrics but they sound like the old metrics. Nice.
"At stake right now is not who wins the next election – after all, we just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world."

8:13 POTUS draws out the usual opening by congratulating Boehner as 'new speaker" ( I was just happy he didn't fall down) and had a moment to honor Gifford's empty chair. Marks our "differences" and it's "up to us" to "work together tomorrow."

8:11 p.m. Boehner didn't fall down. Looking for some kind of hidden "sleeve straw"

8:10 p.m. Bret Baier  is discussing the SCOTUS critique from last year's SOTU (they could at least discuss the pussy SCOTUS no-Shows more)

8:09 p.m. The receiving line Sullivan critiqued earlier today has begun. POTUS looks cool under this obscene pressure. "He saved an INDUSTRY, not just a company," says O'Donnell.

8:07 "Mr. Speaker!!!"  etc...

8:05 p.m. Very pleased to see so many B&W ribbons commemorating Tuscon Massacre in light of Limbaugh's gutter talk this afternoon.

8:02 p.m. Still sort of wanna see Obama come crashing through the ceiling ala Christian Bale Dark Knight and growl "How dare you!!!" at Rs

7:58 p.m. SCOTUS (partly) rolling in. The 6 that showed up are worth 30 of the 3 who didn't.

7:58 p.m. CST We're going to do our best to capture this on the fly. Thanks for the assist, Jeff. The prepared text has been "leaked." If it's been "leaked, why am I blogging???  sigh...  Media so far... O'Donnell had a great round-table including Maddow and Ed discussing the principle of "triangulation, triangulation, triangulation" with Howard Dean. O'Reilly had 2 hot broads helping him smear Rahm's Chi mayoral run. Blitzer... well... poor Blitzer. POTUS is on the way!