The State of the Union 2013 — Live! As it happens!
At least one channel is showing Congressional leaders piling into the House chamber to hear the speech. They actually look like they don’t hate each other. Speaker John Boehner looks downright nice, thinks it’s real or did he have some merlot earlier this evening? This may be the most quiet it ever gets in the House chamber… I have never been to the SOTU itself but have been in the Capitol Building. It is really is amazing. Which Cabinet member has been selected to NOT be there? My first job our of college was working for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). It was always awesome to be able to pick her out on the floor – the women wore actual colors in a sea of dark suits. PS. When she started, women were not permitted to wear pant suits on the Senate floor. I cannot say for sure but I am pretty sure her response was “Hell, no!” How times have changed (for the better). Elvis has entered the building. Guess www.pardonthepundit.com had it wrong when they predicted Ryan Gosling would deliver the speech. Thoughts on the green ribbons? For the Sandy Hook shooting victims or just practice for St. Patty’s Day? I see President Obama is not wearing a green ribbon — does it mean anything? “There is much progress to report…” I cannot wait to hear this. Talk about a tepid response to good news from the POTUS. Even Arne Duncan looks bored. 9:25 pm: “They expect us to put our nation’s interest before party…” Is that why we elect the most extreme people? 9:27 pm: “The question is how?” Uh, yeah, thanks for that update. PS. The “sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts” as you call them were arbitrarily put in place by you and Congress. We’re not talking about the laws of gravity here. 9:29 pm: Maybe if Washington passed a budget (they haven’t once since President Obama took office in 2009, we’ve ben operating on ‘continuing resolutions’ since 2009), that’s how we avoid the “sequester.” Not platitudes. I think we need to make everyone pay their fair share (top one percenters, I am looking at you but that’s not enough.) 9:32 pm: You are ready to support Simpson/Bowles now? Isn’t that a few years late? 9:35 pm: “our government should not make promises we cannot keep but should keep the ones we have already made.” Amen brother, wasn’t that the argument for raising the debt ceiling? 9:39 pm: Was that Paul Ryan smiling? Should that make me nervous? It sure does. Almost as scary as Michele Bachmann looking sane. How random is that? 9:40 pm: I agree billionaires should pay more taxes but tax reform needs more teeth in it than that. 9:43 pm: “Let’s pass a budget…” Yes, Mr. President, let’s do that. Can we do it before the Mets win another World Series? Can you get your friends in the Senate to vote for any of of your budgets? 9:45 pm: He said it, “Let me be clear…” I think that’s a signal for everyone to do a shot of Jameson. 9:46 pm: Apple will be making computers back in the US? Can they start making iPhones that don’t shatter when you drop them on carpet? THAT would be helpful. 9:49 pm: We’re mapping the human brain? Can that explain how ineffectual our US Congress has become or is that all just gerrymandering? 9:50 pm: So — take home message so far, we are bringing our troops home, more manufacturing is happening here, we are becoming energy independent and we may actually do something about climate change? “We can chose to believe Super Storm Sandy…. etc (are just coincidences) or we can believe science.” What do you think we are going to do? 9:52 pm: It took you how many years to figure out you can use Executive Orders to do something on climate change? And new oil and gas permits helps that how? 9:55 pm: Anyone remember Bachmann’s “lightbulb freedom act” (she wanted federal buildings to keep using older less efficient bulbs). Don’t feel bad if you don’t remember it, no one else does either. 9:56 pm: Problems with housing are hurting our economy. The devil is in the details, Mr. President. Just because someone says they are responsible doesn’t mean they are. We should have been dealing with helping people refinance their mortgages during the first year of your first term, not during the first year of your second. 9:59 pm: Yes, quality pre-school education needs to be available to everyone but we need to think outside the box (as much as I hate that phrase.) Throwing money at this won’t be enough, we are already doing that and rank where in math and science education globally? We’re sure no longer number one. 10:00 pm: You know what might inspire more kids to go into science? Stop shortchanging NASA. When we shoot for the stars, we end up with more scientists. You don’t need t be Sheldon Cooper to know that. 10:03 pm: I can almost see the thought bubble above Boehner’s head “Are we almost at the point when I can get more more wine or is he going to drone on about whatever it is he is talking about?” 10:06 pm: Sorry about the delay, my TV thinks both “Big Bang Theory” and “Tosh.0″ are more interesting than this speech. I think it thinks we already heard this speech a few weeks ago. 10:08 pm: Joe Biden is writing a memo to himself, “When I am president, make sure SOTU is more interesting.” 10:10 pm: Rebuilding American gets no response, protecting the people of Syria (and I support that), gets a standing ovation? Has John Boehner stood up once? 10:11 pm: Guess Boehner’s not that interested in supporting wounded warriers but seems to like the spouses of Obama and Biden. 10:13 pm: Agreed, Mr. President. Our voting system needs improvement. ”We can fix this and we will.” Still not holding my breath. It is a great goal. 10:14 pm: I am so proud to have worked for Senator Feinstein. If seeing 20 six and seven year olds guns down at school doesn’t make us fix our system, what will? This section makes me want to cry. There is no reason to let so many of our children die because we cannot get the real work done on gun control. Not repeal of the Second Amendment but no right is absolute. All these families and communities deserve a vote. Let’s hope they get one (or more). 10:17 pm: “We were not sent here to be perfect but to make the change we can.” Dianne Feinstein used to tell us that “we fail to do good things because we are obsessed with only doing great things.” Years later, that still rings true. 10:24 pm: I like the ending of this — I like the reminder than it is up to all of us, not just the people we elect but us. We have a responsibility to do what we can every day to become a “more perfect union.” We do need to be the authors of the next chapter. I think we are up to it, do you? 10:29 pm: One thing we may not get to see is all the Members of Congress and their staffs file into another part of the Capitol where they will line up to be interviewed by the media. Every other person in that room is a press person with a live microphone. My first year in this area — also called “spin alley” (thanks, Jon Stewart for making that common knowledge). One Congressman commented (into a live mic) about a woman’s breast size. You cannot make that up but how dumb are you to make that comment in that setting? I thought it was hilarious. 10:33 pm: Don’t go anywhere yet! We still have Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) official response and THEN Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) will give the Tea Party response. Question: Will he look into the correct camera? 10:35 pm: Upside, he sure looks less creepy than Bobby Jindal did a few years ago when he did this response. 10:36 pm: Way to start the response by promoting the importance of immigration. Too bad that he is peaking too soon. My prediction is he will run for president in 2016 but his real chances won’t really some for four or eight years after that. 10:37 pm: More government – though providing “seed” funding inspires innovation in a multitude of areas. Look at the space program. How many “job killing” bills have you passed? None. And no, spending money on climate change won’t kill jobs, it will create them. 10:41 pm: Irony alert, a lot of the economic slowdown was caused by cutbacks in government spending. 10:42 pm: Are we really back to “Drill, baby, drill”?? Really? I am sorry, I didn’t realize Sarah Palin wrote your speech. 10:47 pm: “this response was brought to you by Poland Spring water.” 10:49 pm: “We will forever known as the generation that brought about our country’s decline.” Hyperbole much? 10:50 pm: I swear I half expect both parties to start singing “I believe the children are our future…” 10:51 pm: Is no one showing Rand Paul? 10:52 pm: Paul Ryan is sounding reasonable on CNN and once again, I will admit, I still have a crush on him. 10:57 pm: Finally got the Rand Paul response to stream. You can see it here. 10:58 pm: Don’t worry, if you cannot see it. You aren’t missing much. He doesn’t like Washington. He thinks families cannot work the way Washington does — that they do not spend money they do not have. Apparently, he has never heard of a mortgage or credit card. 10:59 pm: He also thinks there “is too much bipartisanship.” And his way to balance the budget is to cut foreign aid. His cuts would reduce our budget by less than one percent. 11:02 pm: He does have one point; Congress needs to pas a real budget. 11:04 pm: Paul’s comments celebrating immigrants is actually very encouraging. The rest of his speech is putting me into a coma. 11:09 pm: All the speeches are over (though C-Span will replay in about 15 minutes, not the Rand Paul speech but the others). 11:10 pm: Unlike Politico’s Mike Allen, whom I am convinced never sleeps, I am signing off so I can be bright eyed and bushy tailed for tomorrow’s Politico breakfast. Please let me know what you thought of this (or anything else).