I’m sitting at home with my laptop on my lap and the president of the United States on the TV. It’s State of the Union time.
Below are my thoughts, with timestamps in central time. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments section.
8:16 p.m. President Barack Obama is saying we should all be nicer and get along and work on making some money.
8:20: The world has changed. India and China are whupping us. Let’s whup them back.
8:22: Each generation must struggle and sacrifice. Time to out-educate, out-build the rest of world.
8:24: Step one is innovation. We can’t predict the future. “In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives — it is how we earn our living.”Â Now there’s the first Sputnik reference we were promised.
“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.” – there’s the quote.
8:25: Obama’s talking about roofing company that used a government loan to make solar-cell shingles.
Question from Logan: Have they paid off those loans? Will they? If so, bravo. If not, hisssssss.
8:28: Obama wants clean energy, electric cars, clean-energy jobs. And now he’s transitioning into education.
8:29: Oh, wait. He acts like he’s talking about education, but jumps into parenting. Parents have to turn off the TV and get the kids working on homework.
And now he’s going into education and the “Race to the top” program. He’s … wait, is that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ hospital bed, withÂ her husband holding her hand? It is. And it’s tacky that they’re showing it on national television. (UPDATE after speech: It’s a still photo, not a live feed as I’d feared, because that would have been really tacky._
8:33: Obama says he’s got the plan to fix public education in America. Does anyone remember a president in the past three decades who didn’t make that claim? Believe me, I’d love for this to work, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
8:35: OK, how about we make it so no one younger than 18 can do text messaging? That’ll free up time for math homework.
Now, did he just say he’s going to shut down illegal immigration?
8:39: Obama is right about improving digital infrastructure. What we call broadband Internet is nothing to what you can expect in a lot of other countries.
8:40: I’m conflicted on this high-speed rail thing. On one hand, it could make travel easier and I love riding on trains. On the other hand, it could waste an obscene amount of taxpayer money.
8:43: Jobs Jobs Jobs. He’s saying he’s going to create jobs for Americans through global trade talks. I wish I knew how that works.
8:45: Ok, health care reform. Obama says he is sticking to his bill. Vice President Joe Biden is applauding, Speaker of the House John Boehner appears to be sitting still.
8:47: You know, this whole mixed-seating thing for Republicans and Democrats is great in that it sets a good example of getting along, but it makes it hard to tell for sure who is cheering at what time.
And now, budget cuts and financial responsibility.
8:50: I believe that he just said we’re going to have to cut spending across the board, which will hurt, and increase some taxes. Did I hear him right?
8:51: Now he’s talking about the greatest Ponzi scheme ever, Social Security, and preserving guaranteed benefits. As someone who expects to spend the majority of my adult life paying for those benefits before watching Social Security go belly-up just before I retire, I say boooo.
8:54: Obama wants a reorganization of the American government to make things make sense. A good goal, but good luck with that, buddy.
8:57: The subject is now foreign policy and national defense. We’re to work together and get along with other countries. Shout-out to U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq, where the war is “coming to an end.”
9 p.m.: How soon did he say troops will be coming home from Afghanistan? July? Is that when they’ll start returning? When will we be completely out?
9:03: Now we’re talking about freedom and regime change and Tunisia.
9:05: It’s time to provide proper equipment and care to all members of America’s military. Also, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is over, so, yeah.
What’s with the black and white ribbons? Is that for Giffords?
9:07: Yes, the ribbons are for Giffords.
9:09: Ok, now some stuff about the American dream. Yay America. I think he’s winding it down for the end of the speech.
9:11: America wins by daring to dream. That’s how we’ll win, Obama says.
“We do big things. The idea of America endures.”
9:12: Just a smidge over an hour long, the speech is over. I thought it was a nice speech. I’ll have to give it more thought, I suppose. What do you think, though? Hit the comments box if you’ve got something to say. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’m signing off for the night. There are two Republican responses scheduled, and while I’m sure they’ll be important, I’ve had all the politics and speeches I can take for one night. If you see anything important in the response, share it in the comments.