State of the Union: Instant Analysis
January 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’m watching the SOTU, here’s the blow-by-blow:
9:00: Democrats and Republicans are sitting together for the speech as a show of unity; AZ delegation. That’s a good thing, I guess. I’ve heard some Tea Partiers complaining that what the AZ delegation is really unified against is the Tea Party. I think Tea Partiers are getting a bit self-important.
9:03: The pre-game is already boring me. I thought this started at 9:00?
9:05: Sgt. at Arms finally gets things under way. Obama looks a lot like Skeletor, I just noticed that.
9:08: Politicians still clapping for the President. It seems an excessive amount of ass kissing for a President who has presided over, at best, an anemic economic recovery and a generally disappointing half-term.
9:11: Still clapping.
9:11: Clapping for the speaker begins
9:12: That clapping ends
9:12: Clapping for Giffords begins.
9:12: Clappping for Giffords ends.
9:12: A robust democracy demands passionate debate (health care, apparently, does not)
9:14: All dreams have a chance to be fulfilled.
9:14: We need to work together tomorrow, not just sit together tonight (the health care repeal still will not be brought up for a vote).
9:15: We will move forward together, or not at all (for instance, the health care repeal bill won’t move forward at all)
9:16: The stock market is roaring, corporate profits are up — but we measure progress from people’s ability to find jobs (so, there has been no progress in the last two years).
9:17: Tax cuts are a good thing, and these steps will grow the economy and create jobs. (Remember that, always).
9:17: Some people remember when you didn’t need a degree and you competed with your neighbors. You could get a job for life, with a good paycheck. That world has changed. Factories are shuttered, stores are closed, jobs have disappeared. The rules have changed — technology is putting them out of work. Business can happen anywhere thanks to the Internet. China, and India, are educating their children and investing in technology, and they are competing for our jobs. We shouldn’t be discouraged, we should be challenged. But, America still has the most prosperous economy in the world, with the most inventiveness, and highest productivity, best higher education system, and we were founded for the sake of the idea of self determination. Students in America don’t just have to know math, they have to have ideas. But, we can’t rest on our Laurals. We have to out-innovate, out educate, and out build the rest of the world.
9:22: Only through deficit reduction can we move successfully into the future.
9:22: We can’t guess what the next boom will be, but we know we must lead the way to it. Our free enterprise system must lead the way — but research isn’t profitable, so we need the government to pay for it. GPS, and the Internet, were paid for by the government.
9:24: This is our Sputnik moment. We will invest in info-tech, clean energy tech, and bio-tech. By this, we’ll create countless new jobs.
9:25: A roofing company that couldn’t get enough work to keep their business going got a loan from Uncle Sam to ‘reinvent themselves’ as a solar tile manufacturer. No word on how many jobs that investment created.
9:26: Eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars that goes to oil companies to pay for the technology of tomorrow.
9:27: Not only is research not-profitable, markets don’t exist – so we must mandate 80% of our energy is renewable by 2030.
9:28: Over the next 10 years, more than half of jobs will require college, but half of our students don’t go beyond high school today.
9:29: Long applause for liking science more than football.
9:30: Don’t pour money into an educational system that doesn’t work. Earn performance by putting school districts in competition for less funds. Everyone will improve, but we only have to pay the most improved state.
9:31: NCLB will be repealed.
9:32: My wife, a teacher, applauded at being called a nation-builder rather than a teacher. Likes the idea of awards. Wonders how she’s going to compete with the 100,000 new teachers when schools are being shut down everywhere. She points out that most people should never become teachers. This is becoming the State of My Wife’s Views of Education speech.
9:34: Make the education tax credit permanent (I thought it was…I’ve got it since 2001).
9:35: 55 year olds getting degrees in bio-tech? That’s a real wise use of money — when she graduates she’ll be three years from retirement. How much is she getting in Pell Grants, I wonder?
9:36: Illegal immigrants are excelling in our schools, even under the threat of deportation. Obama strongly believes that we should enforce our laws, and ‘address’ the millions of undocumented workers who are taking jobs in a time of high unemployment for American citizens. But, we should not expel illegals if they are doing well in school.
9:37: We have to invest in infrastructure if we are to compete (the investment we’ve already done isn’t any good — that stuff is old). American’s have slow internet access, and that’s not acceptable. China has newer airports. We can’t have old stuff — we must spend billions on new stuff, or we’ll appear crummy by comparison. We can re-double our hand-outs to the construction unions by building new roads, and high speed rail. And, we’ll look way cooler with all that new stuff.
9:41: The tax code is rigged to the benefit of a few. America has one of the highest corporate tax rate in the world. That makes no sense, and has to change.
9:41: Lower the corporate rate, but get rid of tax breaks. The rate will look lower, but revenues to the government will increase (which sounds a lot like a tax increase, disguised).
9:42: The Korean trade deal will only create and protect jobs for Americans (makes you wonder why Korea agreed to it).
9:43: Rules that impose unnecessary burdens on business will be gotten rid of. Unless we say that the burdens are for the protection of the people.
9:44: Health insurance companies exploit patients. Now, he’s heard some rumors of concerns about the health care law that passed against the will of the people…and that’s funny. We can start fixing a rule now that places an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on American business (he doesn’t say what that is…but it got a standing ovation).
9:46: Cherry picks a couple of items from the health care law that poll well, and acts like that’s the whole law.
9:47: The deficit spending started under Bush. But, now that he’s spent the trillions that were absolutely necessary (unlike Bush’s), annual domestic spending must be frozen for the next five years. Federal employees salaries have already been frozen (and they work HARD). But, we can’t cut the deficit on the backs of the most vulnerable.
9:49: Bad joke about airplanes.
9:49: He’s serious about spending — but doesn’t want a myopic view of the federal budget to skew the focus. However, we must be myopic, and cut excess spending wherever we find it.
9:50: Lies about non-partisan economists believing that the health care law will save a half trillion dollars.
9:51: Social Security must be strengthened (it’s off the table for cuts…). We can’t leave people to the whims of the stock market (which Obama started the speech by telling us was BOOMING).
9:52: Billionaires (and people who make more than $250k) should pay up. Students should be left alone.
9:53: The government should only be more affordable, but also more efficient. The government must be simplified, reorganized.
9:54: A joke about fish that was actually pretty funny. Much better than the plane joke.
9:55: There will be a proposal forthcoming to reorganize the government. Unknown how many Federal jobs that might cost.
9:55: promises of transparency. Earmarks will be vetoed…a completely unqualified statement.
9:56: A conservative government will require reform, responsibility, and innovation.
9:57: Obama has renewed America’s leadership and image in the world. He doesn’t say how. Apparently it has something to do with Bush’s pullout from Iraq.
9:59: Honestly, I’m not paying attention right now. The whole terrorism thing bores me. I’m not afraid of terrorists, and neither should you be. The probability of you being killed by a terrorist is basically nil.
10:00: Realized Obama is wearing a really nice looking tie.
10:01: I missed something, people are standing and clapping. I think it has something to do with Pakistan. We must have won.
10:02: Hillary is giving the same nod she did when her husband was apologizing for the blowjob. She should have come up with a new nod.
10:03: We’re back in the Western hemisphere. We’re forging new relationships with South America. Shit…we’re in Sudan. Sorry S. America — we’ll care about you sooner or later.
10:04: Now that Tunisia is free, Obama stands with them (they probably could have used his help more last year).
10:04: Another standing ovation, and I missed the cause. I’m failing you. I’m sorry.
10:05: It’s a really long ovation – what the hell did he say?
10:05: Obama supports troops and their families. We must enlist our troops to the task of building our own nation (whatever that means). Some of them are gay, though. No standing ovation from the Joint Chiefs.
10:07: Obama is against illusions (hopefully not illusionists). This will not be easy — but America is great because we disagree and make everything difficult. We all believe in the rights enshrined in the Constitution. Anything is possible in America — no matter who you are, or where you come from. Bars weeps, working class kids, and Obama can all do pretty well in America.
10:11: America is doing it big, and always has baby.
10:12: The state of our Union is strong — God bless us.
10:13: Applause wained.