Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SOTU Live-blogging!

We're going to give this another try. The Republican Debates are getting so painful. I hope the President is in good form tonight. And for heaven's sake, I hope he doesn't try to redistribute the wealth!

What he does need to do is to call the bluffs and collect the political high ground. Promote a fair playing field and opportunity for all. Challenge the Congress to reform the tax code. He needs to explain that it's not about "spreading around the wealth" or any other catch phrases the newtists will pounce on  to accuse him of African Mau-Mau Alinskyism. I much prefer Romney, in his more civilized way, accusing the President of being "European." Although I'm not sure that French-speaking Romney means that as a compliment either.

Well, stay tuned as I update and we find out whether we are the ones we've been waiting for . . .

I'm watching CNN even if Ari Fleisher, the man who helped sell the war in Iraq, is commenting. I find the commentators on MSNBC a little too partisan. The network beginning with an "F" doesn't even need to be mentioned.

Earlier on the KSL website giving the preliminary theme that the President will talk about "fairness," the comments, of course, were running against "fairness" because we all know life isn't, and those that want it, are either children or Marxists (maybe both).

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords gets a standing ovation. That's back to the bit of bi-partisan feeling we had last year. The First Lady looks good and gets a standing ovation as well.

And the President give Gabby a big hug. That's how you get the mojo. Now he jokes with Boehner (will he make him cry tonight?) Boehner's welcome seems heartfelt.

Prez starts out with the troops home from Iraq (without any banners behind him.) And Bin Laden is gone (they all stand and applaud.)

Vision thing - future of education, jobs, energy. Hard work and responsibility. Call out to WWII vets (his Grandfather and Grandmother). They were part of something larger. If you worked hard you could do well enough to raise a family, send them to college and put away a little for retirement. That is our challenge now. Fair shot and fair share, same set of rules. [that's a good, populist, simple way to express it]. American values.

The problems were going on before the recession. Past 22 months businesses have created more than 3,000,000 jobs. Last year was best since 2005. The State of our Union is getting stronger. Let's build on momentum. But he will fight inaction and a return to the past.

How we move forward with an economy built to last:

American manufacturing. He saved the auto industry. Some said let it die (Romney). GM is back on top [What's good for General Bullmoose, and all.] We bet on American workers and ingenuity and the auto industry is back. Masterlock is coming back from China. Business leaders- ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back and we'll help.

Start with our tax code. Stop corporate tax breaks for leaving and fix high rates here. Basic minimum tax and breaks for staying. High tech should double the breaks.

Trade agreements. We are ahead of schedule to double exports. Trade cases against China at twice the rate of the last administration (another Romney issue). If the playing field is leveled, America will always win.

Need workers with skills. Openings can't get filled. Jackie Bray, single mom, First Lady guest. She trained and worked. Train 2 million Americans with skills direct to a job. Partnerships with businesses and community colleges. One program, one website. Put people to work.

Education. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty. Everyone can point to a teacher who made a difference in their life. School reform. Don't allow students to drop out. Every state should require staying until graduation or 18 years old. Student loans - don't let interest rates double in July. Extend tuition tax credits. Higher education can't be a luxury, it is an economic imperative. And now, he's reviving the Dream Act! (Good luck with that). And a shout out for comprehensive immigration reform (good luck there, too).

Let's grow innovation.

Energy. We've opened a lot of public lands and off-shore. (Yeah, but they'll hit him on cancelling that pipeline).

[I had to miss a bit]

We need to grow infra-structure. Use the military savings to pay some of it.

Refinance mortgages.

No bail-outs, hand-outs, or cop-outs. Responsibility for everyone. We need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior. Prevent financial fraud, haz-mat dumping, faulty medical devices.

He gets the Republicans up for the milk-spill regulation but he will not back down when oil companies spill in the Gulf. Or from poisoning our kids. And, he will not back off health care reforms.

Make penalties for fraud. AG to establish task force on mortgage recklessness.

American values of fair play and shared responsibility. It should guide us as we pay down our debt. We have to stop the tax hike on payroll taxes. Pass it without delay. And the Republicans applaud. He tries to tie to the deals already done on cuts, etc. But he goes for the Bush tax cuts and calls out the Warren Buffett Secretary paying a higher rate than her boss (and Romney).

The Prez wants to pay his fair share of taxes. And all those like him in Congress. Follow the Buffett rule. Stop subsidizing millionaires. If you make under $250K, taxes shouldn't go up. Takes class warfare head on. Financial success is great. We don't envy the rich (Romney). Someone has to make up the difference. Americans know that past generations felt a responsibility to each other and the future. We have to have same sense of shared responsibility. (Tax rates under Eisenhower - 90% on the wealthiest).

And this doesn't account for the Buffetts and Romneys whose income is only from capital gains at a 15% rate

Addresses the Washington brokenness. And blames Congress for the bond rating (near default). Money in politics. Ban insider trading by members of Congress. Toughen lobbying laws. Goes on the Senate dysfunction with cloture. Senate pass a simple rule for up or down vote on judicial or executive nominations in 90 days. And the Executive Branch has to change so he renews his request for Reorganization authority.

End the tension between the parties. Rigid ideologies and mutual destruction. He is a Democrat but believes in Republican Lincoln. Government should only do what people cannot do for themselves and no more. Education reform. Regulation reform. Health care reform is a private market, not government. We should all want a smarter more effective government. We can make progress. With or without Congress, he will keep working but more can be done together. America can do it.

Back to the end of the Iraq War. Al Queda scrambling. Qadafi gone. Assad's day is coming.

We will advocate for our values. Rights and dignities of all human beings. Strong and stable democracies. Open markets. World is united in isolation of Iran with sanctions. No options off the table in preventing nuclear Iran. But a peaceful resolution is possible and far better. (two people applaud.) Israel is iron-clad by agreement.

America is back. Anyone who says it's in decline (Romney) doesn't know what they're talking about. That's not what we hear from the world leaders and the people of the world. Opinion of US is better. US is the one indispensable nation in world affairs. Shout out to the military. And we learn from the troops about unity with diversity.

The flag of the Seal Team with names of those who got Bin Laden. Some are Dems and some are Repubs. It doesn't matter. The mission mattered. Just like in the situation room. Gates and Hillary were there with him. The mission succeeded because every member of the unit trusted each other. They watched each other's back. This nation is great because we built it together. We are a team. We have each other's backs.

It was a good speech. Not one of his best. But he addressed the main philosophical differences and made sense on tax reform. He was not about rhetorical flourish. It was competent and calm contrasting the newt on both, and matching or besting Romney on competent (and maybe calm--as opposed to awkward discomfort).

Romney can still argue this is a failed European President. The newt can still argue he's a Mau-Mau Alinskyite. But the President made at least five direct challenges to Romney's rhetoric, and not much, if anything about the newt.

CNN commentator noting that Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona sitting next to Representative Giffords, helped her stand every time she wanted to applaud the President. In some instances, he was the only Republican standing. That is true bipartisanship, true chivalry, true Americanism. Representative Flake is running for the Senate to replace the retiring Senator Kyl. And he's a Mormon.

Mitch Daniels - Republican Response - accusing the President of  "trickle-down government" (that's cute. But too derivative of the other drips that got us here). He presents himself well but doesn't look all that presidential maybe only because he is new to us. And he needs to work on his eyebrow jumping. He is one of the ones some in the Republican Party want to see come in to save them from the ongoing primary season disaster. He already turned down a run rather strenuously based on his family concerns.

Yep. He hit the pipeline. Medicare and Social Security safety net must be secured. (That's an important concession considering the tea-partiers and republitarians. Apparently, and blessedly for America, Daniels is not one of them. Maybe he is more main-stream, traditional Republican. And he keeps talking "loyal opposition" without the newtist, or even Mitt rhetoric challenging the American legitimacy of the President.)

"Free-born" Americans is an odd term. But I still read a lot of Civil War so I'm sure he didn't mean that. Is there some Libertarian "real American" usage here I am not familiar with?

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