President Obama - State of the Union 2011 Live Blog

Tonight, President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress to deliver his constitutionally required State of the Union Report. I will be "investing" some time along with most of you and looking for points to discuss.  I look forward to your comments and to this historic speech.

All Times CST:

8:00 pm - Everyone streaming in.  It will be good not to have to watch "Blinky" Pelosi behind the President tonight.

8:06 - Obama enters the room after being announced.  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee wearing lime green instead of her usual red greets the President from her early staked out position.  Obama gave her a hug.  It seems Congressman Al Green has taken an SJL play as he is also on the aisle.

8:10 - President Obama greets VP Biden and Speaker Boehner at the podium and prepares to be addressed.  All the "Congress Couples" look so cute.  Aren't we happy they can get along?

8:13 - Preside opens with congrats to Boehner and an honorific statement about Congresswoman Giffords.  He then remarked about strong debate and the Arizona shooting.  Calls for new era of cooperation.  The new era will be determined not by if we can sit together tonight, but rather if we can work together tomorrow.  We will move forward together or not at all. 

8:17 - Obama takes credit for the "rebounding economy" and for the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

8:20 - Applause seems very light tonight.  Obama discussing new competition from China and India.  Declares American workers to be the most productive in the world.  Good that he finally figured that out.

"We need to out educate, out innovate and out build the rest of the world." 

"America sparks the creativity of our people better than anyone in the world."

 8:25 - "This our generation's Sputnik moment"

Boehner looks bored...  Wearing a bright pink tie.

Obama pledges 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.  Asks for an end to money currently given to oil companies. " I don't know if you noticed, they are doing just fine on their own." by 2035 80% of America's energy will come from clean energy sources.

8:30 On to education...  America is 9th in percentage of students with a college degree.

"Responsibility to educate starts at home".  Winner of science fair should be celebrated same as super bowl...   standing ovation....  

Schools share this responsibility.  Too many schools don't meet the test.   "Race to the Top"   look for most innovative plan to reform education.  Over 40 states have raised their standards. Replacing Democrat "no child left behind" program.

8:33 Standing ovation after Obama calls for teacher to be treated with respect of "nation builder' like S. Korea.

Need 100K new teachers in science, math and engineering.  Urges people to become a teacher. 

Higher education must be within the reach of all Americans.  Make permanent tax credit for four years of college.

Revitalize Community Colleges.

8:40  McCain and Kerry are sitting together....  How sweet!

Obama re-issues call for Dream Act type legislation   We should once and for all address illegal immigration.  Did not mention border security? 

John Cornyn sitting with WA Senator Pattie Murray.

We must expand Internet access to all homes.  Re-double construction efforts.  80% of America, access to high speed rail, in twenty years.  Faster than flying "Without the patdown".

8:45 Reform taxes on businesses set by lobbyists...   Asking Dems and Reps to lower corporate tax rate and remove loopholes.    Standing ovation ...  longest of night so far.

Double exports by 2014... to increase American jobs.

We will enforce trade agreements. 

Reduce barriers to growth.  Remove unnecessary regulations.

Claims health care reform stops doctors from exploiting patients.

"Anything can be approved"...  Remove bookkeeping burden on small businesses.  I am not willing to go back to days where a person can be denied for a pre-existing condition.

8:50 Proposed 5 year spending freeze, defense cuts and other cuts.

We must cut healthcare costs and medicare.

Calls for medical malpractice lawsuit reform.   Wow!

Find bi-partisan effort to stabilize Social Security.

8:53 - Asked millionaires to give up their tax breaks.  Called for simplification of tax forms.

8:55 We can win the battle of the future with the government of the past.   Merge consolidate and reform federal government.  New legislation.  I wonder if we can read it first?

"I will veto any bill with earmarks inside!"   Anyone believe that?

 

Foreign affairs...

American leadership has been renewed.  Violence is down in Iraq.  Americans left with heads held high.  Iraq war is coming to an end. 

American Muslims are a part of our American family.   Hmmm   what about American Christians?

Taliban will be stopped in Afghanistan.  In July we will begin to bring our troops home.

He is talking a lot here but not saying much at all....

9:06 - Used the military again for an applause line.   Then went to gays in the military.  Called on all college campuses to open doors to recruiting on campus.

"We will argue about everything."

Going for cheap applause lines now...

9:09  Speaks of America's greatness and humble beginings of himself, Biden and Boehner.

Recognized inovation of Pennsylvania company that developed "Plan B" to save Chilean miners.

"We proved Center Rock is a little company, but we do BIG THINGS".

That's how we win the future.

9:13 "The state of our Union is strong"    And it ended...

 

Interrupted 80 times for applause, but it was very light by normal standards.  Maybe by them sitting together, there isn't as much partisan clapping.

 

Surprised by call to limit medical lawsuits.

Seemed to be a very flat speech.  Not much from him and not much from the Congress. 

What say you?

 

9:17 President signed two copies of programs for Ted Poe.  Said "Don't let the second one end up on E-Bay".

9:19 President turned his back as SJL approached him on way out.

 

REPUBLICAN RESPONSE FROM PAUL RYAN (R-WI)

ECONOMY

House voted today to restore spending restraint.  We must stop the deficit.

"One of my greatest concerns as a parent."

President didn't create deficit, but he made it much worse.  Spending increases of 84% in two years.

And then, a trillion dollar healthcare bill.

Lots of blaming going on.... where's the solutions?

 

"This Congress will write a budget"   Last congress did not even propose a budget.

Called for "limited but effective" government.

Trust in government is low, at the time the size of government is high.

Why do we have a "debt limit" when they raise it every time they approach it?  - BP

Is he going to say something???? 

 

"Limited government and individual liberty have built this great country".

This was a speech about blame but not solutions.  Did not show leadership.

 

 

MICHELE BACHMANN TEA PARTY RESPONSE

 

Using charts and talking specifics.

Stop EPA from destroying jobs.

Increase American Energy Production.

Turn back 132 regulations from past few years.

Interstate healtcare insurance purchasing.

 

Stay involved.  Because of you, Congress is responding.

Michele looks very confident and "presidential".  Delivering some specific ideas.

 

Bachmann is the founder of the Tea Party Congressional Caucus.  A real voice of the people.  She was much more engaged than Obama or Ryan.

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