President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address (text) to a crowd that was, for the most part, well behaved. A Republican pow-wow prior to the address led to a decision not to cry out tacky pitch-lines for partisan gain.
On the overall event I give the president an A- (those who are friends on Facebook already know this, but I didn't give the reasons last night).
The president gets extra points for showing some backbone. 15 points
He smacked the Supreme Court, and they deserved it. 10 points. They don't look too happy, and Justice Samuel Alito seems to be channeling Joe Wilson (from Daily Kos)
Be sure and notice the nervous clerk (or whatever) to the justices left (toward the end). She looks a little concerned, like she knows the next day won't be a good one.
He smacked the legislators in congress. 10 points. (Congress get a D from me for their performance in 2009, by the way).
But what frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is election day. We cannot wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about their opponent — a belief that if you lose, I win. Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can. The confirmation of well-qualified public servants should not be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual senators. Washington may think that saying anything about the other side, no matter how false, is just part of the game. But it is precisely such politics that has stopped either party from helping the American people. Worse yet, it is sowing further division among our citizens and further distrust in our government.
To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership.
Iraq - We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August. 10 points
Afghanistan - In Afghanistan, we are increasing our troops and training Afghan Security Forces so they can begin to take the lead in July of 2011 and our troops can begin to come home. 5 points
Taxes - ... passed 25 different tax cuts.Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime. 15 points
Energy - loses a point for "offshore" development, but overall clean energy speak was a plus. 5 points
Jobs - The major portion of the speech was about jobs, and he gets high marks for this. 15 points
DADT - the president gets a couple of points for mentioning Don't Ask Don't Tell, and another couple for saying this: 10 points
...the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it, that if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else.
But he failed to mention that LGBT Americans are not treated the same as everyone else and he could have mentioned the Prop 8 lawsuit going on in California as an example of the inequality in today's society. -5 points
Total score - 90.
Now, what I'm hoping is that the members of congress will realize that they do have an obligation to work together, regardless of what us screaming bloggers and flailing teabaggers are doing. Maybe congress should sequester themselves and not be allowed to watch any TV news or read any blogs, then they might could work together.
Dave Matthews and Neil Young performed together during the Hope for Haiti NowHope for Haiti now concert. Nice. "Alone and Forsaken"