8:58 Well, it's nice to see Nancy Pelosi and smilin' Joe Biden up there instead of Dick Cheney and creepy Denny Hastert.
9:00 God DAMMIT MSNBC not this terrible CNN "what do ppl think about the words he's saying before they have time to process them" polling thing. Off we go to... CBS?
9:02 Scalia and Stevens are not here! Ruth Bader Ginsburg made it and she has cancer you assholes.
9:05 Brian Williams said something about "the first lady's box." Oh, even more awkward: the President's cabinet is supposed to be there but he is missing a couple of those guys, because no one pays any taxes anymore.
9:08 Sully! Sully's there! Standing O! Hey, the Twitter nerds are "Tweeting" this.
9:10 Here he is! The President of the United States, Barack Obama!
9:11 Hey, we were just sent an advance copy of the entire speech. It's really great. Here's how it opens:
Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
Address to Joint Session of Congress
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Madame Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, and the First Lady of the United States:
hey, check out this video http://tinyurl.com/39upj5
9:15 Long handshake round. Those tend to get shorter as the presidency goes on. Here we go!!!!!
9:16 Ha ha ha protocol mixup. Nancy totally interrupted his awesome intro. John Roberts: not to blame for once. MORE APPLAUSE. Almost as much as Sully got!
918 This speech: DOWNER. And Joe Biden JUMPS up for the first applause line of the night, about how we will rebuild everyone that got fired and stuff, into Bionic Americans.
9:20 Here's a picture of what's wrong with all the banks btw:
9:22 Hmm Nancy clapped at an odd non-applause line and Joe didn't. He's got a cheat sheet.
9:24 And your first "mixed applause and boos" line of the night: "And tonight, I am grateful that this Congress delivered, and pleased to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law." Hey, Minneapolis shout-out! There are 57 racist cops who weren't laid off, THANKS OBAMA. (Seriously, Minneapolis cops are really racist.)
9:26 Vice President Joe Biden: you are a treat! "No one messes with Joe," Obama says, and how can you not applaud at that, and then he sort of mugs for a bit, like late-period DeNiro sort of but more charming and less sad. Oh, and we should all go to recovery.gov—someone in research track down the first use of a URL in an SOTU (or JOINT ADDRESS OF CONGRESS whatever).
9:27 Here is "why we need to bail out the banks for dummies," by Barack Obama. He should put up that graphic we stole from Krugman. Though it is not very reassuring.
9:30 Sure, stocks would go up if we just gave banks all the money in the world with no strings attached, but dammit, we are going to attach some really really easily snipped strings to all the money in the world! APPLAUSE! (Please don't rise up against us, embittered underclass!)
9:33 He seems to be getting the "tone" exactly right, here, and even though we think his bank "plan" is disastrously vague and possibly stupid, we are still all RIGHT ON YES YOU ARE RIGHT. The "the last administration gave the banks money the wrong way, but don't worry, when we give the banks money we will force them to tar and feather all the executives. And then you can stop only ordering from the dollar menu, I promise" kinda thing is Very Shrewd and clearly the most obvious way to sell this but you tell that to Bush and Paulson.
9:37 Holy shit, there's an American on the moon? Can our bullshit space program get him down without blowing up all the rest of the shuttles? Poor guy :(
9:39 Whops we totally put up the wrong picture back there, sorry. This is the bank thing:
Also there's some applause about fuck Korea and China, we will invent the new oil, whatever it is (it is corn) (which involves a lot of oil, to grow).
9:41 Hey, the auto industry bit. "I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." Hah, because none of the fatties in America can walk anywhere, that's why we invented the fucking Escalade.
9:43 Oh shit, the stimulus bill cures cancer? Why does Bobby Jindal want Louisiana to get cancer!
9:45 Oh, we have the text of Bobby Jindal's response. Starts off with the life story "hello I'm running for president" bit (children of immigrants, parents' values v v important), then it just descends into pure assholery:
Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us. Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina, we have our doubts.
Yes because THE PRIVATE SECTOR really stepped up to the fucking plate on that one, huh! GAH. Well you'll hear it yourselves, or you won't, if you're smart, because it just gets worse from there. So hey, back to Obama. He just said we all have to go back to college??!? No, seriously, Obama is forcing us to go back to college, what the fuck.
9:54 Lusty cheers and boos during the tax bit. Sigh. God Nancy Pelosi settle down you don't need to stand for every line. Though that is a very lovely tunic and we understand why you'd want to show it off.
9:57 Here is the single awkward refence to Iraq:
We are now carefully reviewing our policies in both wars, and I will soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war.
Well, by "I will soon announce" he means "it was announced today that we're staying longer than I promised and leaving 50,000 troops there, whoops." Sigh. Here comes the requisite childish "I hate terrorists" bit. WE KNOW. Also we honor all the troops. WE KNOW THAT TOO. Now it's "shake hands with a soldier" time in the audience!
9:59 Hey, here is one bit that Bush couldn't have gotten away with saying in his otherwise-identical "we'll hunt you down terrorists fuck you guys go America" portion of the speech: THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DOES NOT TORTURE because of this crazy notion of actually embodying the values we claim to fight for. Ok, we're back on the bandwagon!
10:01 John Kerry: Serious Senator, Serious Face, Serious Address to Congress. And Sully!
10:02 Any minute now we're coming up on the "I know a heroic regular American who happens to be here" bit guys! Get psyched!
10:03 God, remember when Bush's special SOTU guest was the person who invented BABY EINSTEIN? What the hell was that about?
10:04 Obama has a bank president who gave his bonus to his employees, a little girl from a shitty school in South Carolina, and, uh, the entire town of Greensburg, Kansas. Sorry, little girl from the shitty school in South Carolina, your asshole governor doesn't want any of the dirty stimulus money to fix your school. GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE ANSWER.
10:07 "But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed." Except his wife, obv, that Stokely Carmichael in a dress.
10:08 OK AMERICA WE GOT A LOT OF WORK TO DO. This was a SOBERING speech about HARD TIMES but we will PERSEVERE. Glod bless etc.
10:11 IMPORTANT FACT-CHECKING NOTE: America did not invent the automobile. Obama meant to say we invented the remix.
10:12 Ok that was actually a Very Good Speech, especially for one of these "states of the union" speeches with are always stupid. This one was educational and smart and, as we said, struck the correct tone of not promising anything except that Things Will Eventually Be Better but without being too dour, because Americans like Happy Thoughts. So cheers to our elegant president! Now Jesse Jackson Jr is getting two autographs. Michelle Bachmann will probably not lean in for a kiss.
10:26 HA HA HA listen to Bobby Jindal!! He sounds like he's reading a clue on Jeopardy! This guy is not ready for prime time. He's ready for late-night infomercial. This is maybe worse than Tim Kaine's famous "blinky-blinky weird eyebrow" response. Bobby Jindal knows government isn't the answer. TAKE A LOOK, IT'S IN A BOOK, IT'S READING RAINBOW. Who told him to talk like this?