What will President Obama tell America about the State of the Union tonight? We'll be providing commentary throughout the address, and you can watch a livestream of the speech below. Join in the fun, with comments!
Watch Barack Obama talk about America, right here:
8:40 — Oh look, it's the whole speech. Umm... please keep reading the liveblog?
8:43 — We are watching CNN and Wolf Blitzer keeps asking British guy Piers Morgan, the new CNN host, if The King's Speech will win Best Picture. Only British people can have opinions about this. Wolf Blitzer is showing Barack Obama entering a car. Stay tuned, he may be heading to a strip club.
8:45 — Let's take a look at a random paragraph from the speech. It is about the Soviet satellite Sputnik from the 1950s, and how it made America get its shit together:
This is our generation's Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven't seen since the height of the Space Race. In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.
Countless new jobs! Fine, he can be reelected. Want five or ten jobs? Vote Obama.
8:50 — There are now 3D outer-space charts on CNN; it's just that important of a night. The 3D poll numbers show that Americans are full of shit about cutting the deficit. They want to cut foreign aid, which is like $20 in our budget. John Boehner is reading names of Obama's "escorts" into the Capitol.
8:55 — What about the Congressional Prom Dates? Which is your favorite couple? Mine is notorious enemies Pete King and Anthony Weiner. It can only end in anal beads. Gawker Night Editor Max Read is a fan of the Pelosi-Bartlett-Chu threesome. "its what democracy is all about," Max writes, like a pervert.
8:59 — The cabinet members are all entering Congress. There's Hilldawg. There's Tim Geithner! There's Bob Gates. There's some nerd who probably runs, what, HUD or something.
9:02 — Lest there's any confusion: We will be covering Michele Bachmann's Greatest Speech Ever tonight. Did you think we'd cover Obama's speech if we didn't have that to look forward to?
9:05 — Hey look Obama showed up. There's Dennis Kucinich greeting him! And there's Sheila Jackson Lee. And Eliot Engel! So on a cursory glance, three of the five "aisle hogs" were right in place this year.
9:10 — John Boehner was already anxiously licking his lips and drooping his eyes while introducing the President. That means he's trying not to cry, seriously.
9:12 — They all clap for Gabby Giffords. Hooray! Now he says we've all "had our differences over the last two years," but, uh, we should shut the fuck up now. He does not care that everyone is sitting together.
9:16 — He says the country wants us to work together, to provide for our children. John Boehner licks his lips again.
9:18 — Obama: You know how you used to be able to head to a factory downtown and get a job for life and have a decent salary and benefits and a solid pension for retirement? Yeah, that's gone. Now you have to peel grapes and clean shit for actual rich monsters to qualify for a for-profit college loan, and then die. A bright future is everywhere! (Mostly China!)
9:21 — Innovation will save us. Anyone of you Americans got anything to innovate? Yeah, me neither.
9:22 — "Thirty years ago, we couldn't know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution." It was just a sack of lasers back then, essentially. But then "Google and Facebook" came along, he says. And we all know how many jobs those have created!
9:25 — Sputnik moment! We need as much R&D now as we did in the early '60s, and his upcoming budget will solve that. We will reinvent ourselves. We will fund clean energy! We will have one million electric vehicles on the road within four years, just like Gerald Ford used to say.
9:28 — "So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources." Sure, why not? We'll forget that we promised anything by 2035, hopefully. What were we talking about?
9:32 — Education should be more important. Teachers should be afforded more respect. Less job security, but more respect. Reward good teachers, and "stop making excuses" for bad ones. The GOP is jacking off to this. More "math" is what we need. Ugh. This does not bode well for bloggers.
9:34 — We're revitalizing America's community colleges! That's a good thing, of course. He talks about a good community college in North Carolina, educating all of the unemployed furniture workers. It will now be impossible to get into.
9:36 — Next topic: The Mexicans. What to do about the Mexicans who live here? Bomb them? No, the president says. We need comprehensive immigration reform. (Wouldn't a few bombs be cheaper?)
9:39 — He wants to redouble efforts for high-speed rail. Yes! And oh ho ho, a joke: "For some trips, it will be faster than flying — without the pat-down." Take that, your own administration! But seriously trains going 10,000 miles per hour would be awesome.
9:41 — Okay: He wants to lower the corporate tax rate without lowering revenue. Since our main priority now is to type as fast as possible, we can't really get into this, but: Corporations will want the tax rate that they will pay less under. The effective corporate tax rate is very low now. They will not want a lower nominal rate with fewer loopholes. Just keep in mind!
9:44 — Now is the "Fine, whatever, I'll talk about health care" part of the speech:
Now, I've heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law. [Joke! — Ed.] So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.
9:46 — "But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in." Eh, you deal with it.
9:48 — More metaphors, about horrible, horrible aerial death:
Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you're flying high at first, but it won't take long before you'll feel the impact.
Isn't that kind of exactly what's happening in the airline industry right now, where they're trying to meet razor-thin margins?
9:50 — He wants to look into "medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits." The GOP nearly faints. Also, he wants to "fix" Social Security, which is solvent through 2037.
9:55 — Outside analysis time! A reader, "Adam," writes in:
Lmfao!!! That was some funny shit, bro!!! Ha ha ha I was totally expecting something serious, can't stop laughing now. What the hell is Gawker anyways, how did you clowns end up on my facebook?!?!
It's true. Obama does look poised tonight.
9:57 — America's on the up and up. "Look to Iraq," he says.
9:59 — "American Muslims are a part of our American family." Our, you say?
10:01 — Also: Afghanistan's fine, everyone chill out. Thanks Mr. President! Oh and nukes are being locked down in Russia. If North Korea gets them, we will bomb them. NATO is good. Forging new alliances. (He is kind of rushing through the foreign policy stuff that America's 500 billion unemployed people stopped caring about.)
10:05 — He is thanking the troops and we're an hour in the speech. So it can't be much longer, maybe a dozen paragraphs or so.
10:06 — The internal Gawker editorial commentary is trenchant, currently.
Jim Newell: max, say something funny
Max Read: ah uh
Max: i havent even been watching
Jim: that works
Max: did something happen with salmon?
10:09 — Obama blames the American Dream for why this "working class kid from Scranton," Joe Biden, is behind him. Sorry, man.
10:11 — "That dream is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father's Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on Earth." Do you even need to be told that this got John Boehner crying again?
10:13 — Oh thank god he's done. He gave a shout-out to that guy whose company's drills saved the Chilean miners. Sure! Well, the speech sounded fine. "This is basically what we thought it would be," the idiot Wolf Blitzer immediately chimes in.
Everyone take a one-minute break before hilarious responses start.
10:21 — We have to wait for Michele Bachmann's Tea Party response. This requires sitting through Rep. Paul Ryan's official lame-sandwich response. Speaking of sandwiches, where's our man in the field?
10:23 — Why does Wolf Blitzer keep asking the Tory redcoat Piers Morgan what he thinks about an American president's speech? All he knows is "Queen this, Queen that."
10:25 — Oh shit, Rep. Paul Ryan's Republican response!
REP. PAUL RYAN'S REPUBLICAN RESPONSE
10:26 — Paul Ryan name-checks Rep. Gabby Giffords. Nice. How will you cut government spending, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin?
10:27 — If we don't get our debt situation in order soon, Paul Ryan's three children's children will be poor. That's a good enough reason not to get our debt situation in order, right?
10:28 — Taxes, penalties, mandates, fees, oh my! Paul Ryan says businesses and unions want all of this crap eliminated permanently. Paul Ryan is looking out for unions! The things you learn during 2011's Congressional Prom State of the Union.
10:30 — "We believe government's role is both vital, and limited." The boilerplate is getting hot!
10:32 — "Endless borrowing is not a strategy." Prove it.
10:33 — Ryan says that our safety net is turning into a hammock. Hey-o! You thought this guy didn't have any fuckin' jokes? He does: Buck up, you fat lazy slobs. Stop swinging between trees all day. There are jobs everywhere.
10:37 — And so goes Paul Ryan, ladies and germs. That was the most boring thing we've ever seen. But at least he didn't humiliate himself in historic fashion, which is all that really matters for an SOTU response.
FOUR MINUTES UNTIL BACHMANN. Get drunker.
10:42 — Red State editor and CNN contributor Erick Erickson has scanned through the transcript of Bachmann's Tea Party response and likes it more than Paul Ryan's! Both parties will probably agree with this, for opposite reasons. Candy Crowley says that Paul Ryan's speech did Republicans good tonight, because he didn't sound like a fucking idiot.
10:44 — Gloria Berger looks freezing cold, sitting next to that indoor fan in her jacket.
10:48 — There is a severe lack of "Michele Bachmann" on my teevee right now. Wolf Blitzer promises we're moments away!
10:49 — Oh there she is!
THE FINAL FRONTIER: MICHELE BACHMANN'S TEA PARTY RESPONSE
10:50 — Michele Bachmann was standing in front of the Constitution, and is now standing in front of a water reservoir. Now it's a chart! SHE HAS A POWERPOINT BEHIND HER.
10:51 — She is teaching from a Powerpoint and not even looking at the camera. The camera! to your slight left! Oh, now the Powerpoint is showing the Constitution again. George W. Bush was bad at debt, she says, but Obama is worse. This is classic.
10:52 — LOOK TO YOUR LEFT. Imagine there's a Constitution over there, or something.
10:54 — Now there is the Iwo Jima picture on her Powerpoint. Oh wait, back to the Constitution image.
10:56 — Well, that was a completely useless exercise. Did that really happen? It was as boilerplate as Paul Ryan's response, except the speaker wasn't even looking into the camera, and had props. Anyway, thanks for doing that, Michele Bachmann.
10:59 — As we say every night, "Now that Michele Bachmann has called for a World War II against Barack Obama, it's time to log off."
Thank you all for coming in and commenting and occasionally reading the liveblog! Keep sending the 10,000 things we missed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good night!