Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The State Of The Union, 2011, LiveBlogged

Ok, here we go. 

Laptop - Check
Dachshunds on couches - Check
Six pack of Michelob Ultra - Check

We're awaiting President Obama's entrance. 
John Boehner, of the Boehnk Boehlout fame, has taken the place of Nancy Pelosi this year.  We won't have to watch her jump up and applaud madly every time The Teleprompter Jesus sees a comma on the screen.  This is good, I guess. 

The House and the Senate are all sitting by their new play dates.  This is good, I guess.  No point in continuing the illusion that we have a multi-party system. 

She Whose Name Is Not Spoken is wearing a massive blue jacket that ends somewhere between her knees and the place where her Red Satan Tail attaches to the bottom of her spine.  We both need to cut back on the cholesterol, but I'm not on TV very often.   

They've applauded Obama, Boehner, and the empty chair in the Arizona delegation, set aside to mark the absence of wounded Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.  I hope he doesn't force any Oprah moments about the shooting. 

Obama begins by reminding us of how the assassination attempt on Giffords reminded us that we are all part of one family.  We are still bound together as One People. 
This is true.  We are a family.  Unfortunately, we have taken in a bunch of alcoholic uncles, brothers-in-law, and cousins with a long, long history of irresponsibility with Dad's credit cards.  The Libertarians want to do something about the problem, but they're considered "extreme". 

He's listed some signs that the economy is improving.  But we have to take on some challenges..... God help us, get ready.  We have challenges.  Cover you wallets, lock up your daughters, and bury the silverware in the back yard. 

Now he's talking about how technology and globalization are changing the world.  China and India are figuring things out.  China is now the home of the world's largest solar research facility.  (Get ready for a shot o' stimulus in the solar research field.  Congratulations, guys !)

"The future is ours to win.  We can't just stand still," he says, followed by a Kennedy quote.  "We need to our-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world."  That gets him a standing-O. 

Here's how we're gonna get there:

1) Encourage American Innovation.  "None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the jobs will come from."  But that didn't stop us from throwing 3/4 of a trillion away while trying to make lucky guesses.  I wish he could've had that insight in 2009. 

"This is our Sputnik moment."  We're going to "invest" in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology. 

(Congratulations to all in the biomedical, computuer, and green bullshit fields !  You're getting some more stimulus.  Good job, guys.) 

"We've begun to re-invent our energy policy.  We're not just handing out money; we're issuing a challenge." 

He really did say that.  My god, my god, he really did say that.  Raise your hand if you want some challenge. 

We're going to be the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. 

He's going to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies.  Instead of subsidizing yesterdays energy, let's "invest" in tomorrow's." 

Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss.  Yesterdays pork is tomorrow's investment. 

2) We have to win the race to educate our kids.   I'm not even listening to what this goober says any more on this subject.  This is the man who shut down the only Federal education program with a great track record - the Washington D.C. school voucher program. 

This man who put his own kids into a private academy, this man who wouldn't dream of putting his own daughters into a public school, this man refused to give low income children the same privilege. 

Giving people a choice is the greatest tool for improving anything.  There is no better way to instantly reward success and punish failure. 
The D.C. voucher program was the only Federal program that Barack Obama has ever seen that he didn't like. 

3) Rebuilding America - High speed rail and high speed internet. 
We're going to continue building railroads to Bill Clinton's bridge to nowhere. 

He's going off into something about high-speed rail.  The best source on the boondoggle that is high-speed rail is Randal O'Toole of the Cato Institute.  I suspect that his reaction to this speech will be worth checking tomorrow.  Go here.  It will be worth reading when O'Toole gets around to it. 

We have to knock down barriers to the success of businesses.  He acknowledges that we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world.  He's asking that we simplify the system and get rid of the loopholes.  Go here for a decent summary of how it would work.  The biggest problem is that the House and Senate earn their contributions by selling exemptions to the tax code.......

To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I've ordered a review of government regulations.  When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them.  The biggest problem with this is that the House and the Senate earn their contributions by selling exemptions to these regulations.  Good luck with that, Barry ! 

He just acknowledged that the Healthcare law is an abortion.  There are things that need to be fixed.  He's not willing to go back to the days of insurance companies turning away people with pre-existing conditions.  If your house has burned down, you can still get on an insurance plan, and that company will have to rebuild your home.  Or something like that. 

4) We have to make sure that we aren't buried under a mountain of debt.  We have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. 

Wait a damn minute, Barry, what about steps 1-3 ?  How you gonna reconcile with #4 with all of that stuff? 

We're going to have a domestic spending freeze for the next five years. 

This is like going through the all-you-can-eat buffet three times, and deciding to lose weight by eating at that high level, BUT NO MORE.  NO MORE THAN THAT.  FOUR TIMES THROUGH THE BUFFET WOULD BE TOO TOO MANY.  Restraint is the key word here. 

We're going to have to cut some domestic and defense spending.  We're going to have to look at Medicare and Medicaid.  We're going to have to strengthen Social Security for future generations. 

If my daughter collects Social Security, I'll eat the lining out of my coffin.  That's a promise. 

We're going to work to rebuild people's faith in the institution of government.  Because you deserve to know how and where your tax dollars are spent, you'll be able to go to a website for the first time in history. 

Because this site for tracking the stimulus spending worked so well....

He just told a throwaway lie about vetoing any bill with earmarks in it.  I didn't catch it word for word, but he's not going to veto any bills with earmarks in them.  He was lying.  You heard it here first. 

"The Iraq was is coming to and end." 
"We're responding with the strength of our communities." 
"This July, we will begin to bring our troops home."
"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." 

That's a good line, and a good policy.  But the Joint Chiefs Of Staff now look like they're trying to collectively pass a peach pit. 

"This is the place where you can make it if you try."
"This is the place where anything is possible."
"This dream is why a working class kid from Scranton is sitting behind me." 
"This is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his Cincinatti bar can preside as Speaker Of The House in the greatest nation on earth." 

What is all this reminding me of ? What is Obama invoking here? Ah ! I've got it !
Here's some Liza Minelli:

The guy whose company got the miners out of the Chilean mine just got a standing-O.

We dare to dream.  That's how we'll win the future.  We dream big things.  Our destiny remains our choice. 
Our jouney goes foward, and the State Of Our Union is strong, and may God bless the United States Of America. 


TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Great commentary as always. I'm tempted to call Suzette Watkins to turn you in for dachshund abuse. I sent mine outside into the cold during the speech and let her back in after the GOP commentary had finished.

Dr Ralph said...

I know you'll be thrilled to know Ads by Google thoughtfully placed a big banner ad for Newt Gingrich's newsletter under your commentary.

Harper said...

Thanks for that. I 'missed' the speech and couldn't get through the transcript. You have done me a great service tonight with your commentary. Still trying to get the mental picture of GEN Casey - whom I have met on a couple of occasions - passing a peach pit, out of my head.