Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Blogging the State of the Union address
The president arrived right on time and began with some compliments to the Rmed services, pointed out that Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to the United States, and that for the first time in 9 years American soldiers are not fighting in Iraq. Moving on to the economy, the president speaks about job growth in the private sector, obstruction by Republicans, and a promise to fight any return to the failed economic policies of the (Bush Administration). Tepid applause from Speaker Boehner and a standing ovation from the Democrats. President moves on to vindicate the bailout of GM as a positive and points out that GM is once again profitable and the largest automaker in the world. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs created in the industry and over 3 million in the private sector in last two years. President urges cut in the corporate tax rate and rewarding companies for bringing jobs back to America. Rah, rah, America is great, America is the best. Our union is getting stronger. (Presidents are obligated to say something like that). Proposes a new trade investigation board to look into unfair practices in China and other trading partners. Urges Congress to help train 2 million people for new jobs, turn the unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work (bipartisan applause). Moving on to education...president talks about race to the top, great teachers who make a difference in people's lives, proposes incentives for good teachers, stop teaching to the tests. (teachers unions won't like this). Asks states to mandate students remain in school until age 18 or graduation. HS dropouts are highest level of unemployed and in poverty. Turning to colleges, urges costs be kept down, Congress prevent interest rates on student loans from increasing. Turns to comprehensive immigration reform and talks about increased law enforcement, decreased illegal border crossings, and urges Congress to pass a bill allowing students brought here through no fault of their own to embark on a path to citizenship. Asks Congress to stop sitting on its hands and help create a prosperous society. Talks about the millions of acres of oil resource areas opened to new exploration and announces plans to open up to 75% of America's potential resources. Urges development lof natural gas resources, reminds Republicans that government expenditures helped develop the technology to mine these resources. Promises to stand by clean energy and support companies committed to develop those resources. President issues directive to allow clean energy development on public lands to power 3 million homes. Defense department commits to purchase enough to power 3/4 of a million homes. Talking about infrastructure investment, rural broadband development, invokes the great projects of the past such as the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, and other projects. Urges Congress to devote half the savings from the end of Iraq war to rebuild our infrastructure and the other half to pay down debt. Oops, a new 'fee' on bailed out banks...that won't fly. Republicans will obstruct any attempt to use the funds to allow homeowners to refinance at lowest rates. Hits Republicans on regulations and says he has approved fewer regulations in first three years than President Bush did. Tells joke about milk being classified as an oil and a rule that required farmers to prove they could contain a spill and says if milk is an oil then maybe it's worth crying over spilt milk. Rumble of laughter. Recognizes head of consumer finance protection bureau, Richard Cordray. Most pressing priority is stopping a tax hike on 160 million working Americans next month. President says we can't afford extending tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans and funding medical research, education, and rebuilding our nfrastructure. Calls on Congress to do what the American people have said is right and raise tax rates on those making over $250,000 a year. Moves on to talk about how Washington is out of touch with the rest of the country. Urges a ban on insider trading by members of Congress. Calls for an end to obstructionist tactics in the Senate and require an up or down vote within 90 days for all nominations. Requests authority to consolidate bureaucracy to improve government. Calls for an end to hyper partisanship and gets applause for invoking Lincoln's mantra about government only doing what people cannot do for themselves. Calls on Congress to put aside partisan differences and work together to achieve all that we can. Appeals to our better angels (SOTU addresses are required to end on hopeful, high notes). Hawks applaud president's committment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Says all options are on the table. Hits Republicans in the gut about all their America in decline nonsense. Back to the beginning and praise for the military for defending our freedom. Standing ovation from all in attendance. Urges companies to hire vets as they return from serving the nation. Eloquently calls on Americans to get each others backs. America was built not by Republicans or Democrats but by the greatest people in the world embarking on a common mission to ensure the state of our nion is always strong.