Welcome to the first ever State of the Union live blogging event on The Stir! I'll be arguing debating chatting with my esteemed colleague, Jenny Erikson, throughout President Obama's speech. Am I just drinking the liberal Kool-Aid? Will Jenny like any of Obama's proposed policies? Keep your eyes on this page -- and hitting that refresh button -- as we discuss!
Jenny, 9:00 p.m.: You ready for this? :-) I wonder how late Obama is going to be?
Jenny, 9:04 p.m.: Michelle Obama in black. I think she’s mourning the economy. Or maybe healthcare.gov.
Adriana, 9:05: p.m.: She’s heading off any criticism that she looks too “fun” or fashionable!
Jenny, 9:06 p.m.: Ha! OK, touche. Hey, it’s Willie Robertson! Lots of celebrities there ... do you think that’s weird?
Adriana, 9:07 p.m.: Aww, just making the speech accessible to the people. Cory Booker in the house, of course.
Jenny, 9:08 p.m.: Maybe Beyonce and Jay-Z will play a duet. I’d like that better than listening to Obama. Are they there? Aren’t they besties? Well, I guess nobody is perfect, not even Beyonce.
Adriana, 9:09 p.m.: Hah, I would love an encore of their Grammys performance! But you know ... that would be a bit much even for the Obama administration. I’d like to point out that one of the Boston Marathon bombing survivors is here, Carlos Arredondo, which is cool.
Jenny, 9:10 p.m.: John Boehner, looking orange as usual. And Joe Biden like he’s wishing he were napping. Oh that is cool about the bombing survivor!
Jenny, 9:13 p.m.: Shake, shake, shake all the hands! Well, at least he’s friendly. He ALMOST made it to the podium. Has to shake more hands. And here we go!
Adriana, 9:16 p.m.: Starting with the economy. Jobs, agriculture, education ...
Jenny, 9:17 p.m.: Is he really already getting into affordable health care? The first asthma medicine that kid’s mom could afford? WHOSE HEALTH CARE COSTS HAVE GONE DOWN?
Adriana, 9:18 p.m.: God, I hope he found someone whose costs have gone down! You know he’ll point out someone in the audience, fave rhetorical device. Maybe there’s one family? (Fingers crossed ... )
Jenny, 9:19 p.m.: I know there’s a woman in the audience that voted for Obama because she thought Obamacare would help her lupus ... her costs have skyrocketed, she lost her plan, and she now regrets her vote.
Adriana, 9:20 p.m.: Overall there have been a lot of discouraging stories. I’m not surprised they had such a rough start, but I’m still hoping they’ll sort it out.
Jenny, 9:20 p.m.: Haha! Paul Ryan does not look amused.
Jenny, 9:21 p.m.: It always amuses me when President Not My Fault talks about personal responsibility.
Adriana, 9:21 p.m.: Hey, he’s great at using language that reaches across the aisle! Now he’s talking about how everyone is still struggling. “Our job is to reverse these trends.” Speed growth, build ladders. He’s going to take whatever steps he needs to take “without legislation” to make it happen. Yeah! I want to see this. I think we’re hungry for a sense of momentum -- both in the economy and from this White House.
Jenny, 9:22 p.m.: You know who’s doing really well though? Bureaucrats in D.C. Just saying. Did he really just brag about his ability to eschew the democratic process??
Adriana, 9:22 p.m.: Yeah ... how’s that democratic process been working for us lately? SIGH.
Jenny, 9:24 p.m.: Does Congress still have a lower approval rating than cockroaches? Wasn’t that a thing a while ago? Like 9 percent or something.
Jenny, 9:25 p.m.: Very cool Obama’s mom chose life. (Sorry, just had to throw that in.) Talking about jobs and the economy. Didn’t ATMs destroy the economy? First class jobs come from first class infrastructure? Um ... I’m not even sure what to do what that. First class jobs come from people working their hineys off, and the government letting them be and not trying to create so many regulations and restrictions that doing business becomes unprofitable.
Adriana, 9:28 p.m.: “Insourcing” -- my new favorite word! Wonder if he’s going to talk about the Trans Pacific Partnership. It’s supposed to be NAFTA on steroids.
Jenny, 9:30 p.m.: Government research brought us iPhones? Steve Jobs just rolled over in his grave.
Adriana, 9:31 p.m.: Hey, remember who invented the Internet. A certain Vice President, right? LOL
Jenny, 9:31 p.m.: Al Gore! Hahaha.
Adriana, 9:31 p.m.: Natural gas extracted safely ... yeah, still not buying that fairy tale. But I do like the idea of energy independence.
Jenny, 9:32 p.m.: FRACKING! FRAAAACKING! :-)
Adriana, 9:32 p.m.: Fracking, oy. Giving me an ulcer.
Jenny, 9:33 p.m.: Reducing energy ... meanwhile I miss my incandescent light bulbs. The United States has reduced our carbon production because people stopped working. Look at Detroit.
Jenny 9:34 p.m.: “Climate change is a fact.” Not a fact? That humans affect it. That’s a theory. But you know, science!
Adriana 9:35 p.m.: Of course it’s a fact! A lot of things affect it, but there’s mounting evidence that humans affect the climate.
Jenny, 9:35 p.m.: Even if the world is warming up, isn’t that good? More opportunities to grow food for the hungry? Just a thought ...
Jenny, 9:36 p.m.: I actually agree about fixing our VERY broken immigration system. I don’t agree with Obama’s plans to make it happen. Eric Cantor looks troubled at Obama’s insistence at getting immigration reform done this year.
Jenny, 9:39 p.m.: Here come the sob stories. Le sigh. I wish Republicans could learn to do that better.
Adriana, 9:39 p.m.: Yeah, y'all do! And yes, we need to extend unemployment benefits -- it keeps money flowing into the economy. “This country needs them in the game.” Yup.
Jenny, 9:40 p.m.: Yeah, but who pays for it? The employers that then can’t afford to hire more workers. It’s a vicious cycle ...
Adriana, 9:41 p.m.: It is tricky, but without money flowing in the economy, recovery is that much slower.
Jenny, 9:41 p.m.: Ah, Race to the Top ... the biggest failure in education since No Child Left Behind.
Jenny, 9:43 p.m.: Here’s the problem with the government sponsoring pre-k ... it’s done such a FANTASTIC job with the 13 grade levels after that. *Insert eye roll here*
Adriana, 9:44 p.m.: Yeah, you know, I have to agree ... the results of pre-k funding have been mixed.
Jenny, 9:45 p.m.: You know what I want more than anything? Vouchers. Let parents have more say about how their kids are educated. Governor Bobby Jindal has done this in Louisiana (after Katrina it was necessary), and it’s been remarkably successful.
Adriana, 9:45 p.m. Women still make 77 cents to the dollar men make -- yes, that is an embarrassment.
Jenny, 9:45 p.m.: OMG STOP WITH THE LIES! When all factors are considered, women actually make MORE than men. It’s just that on average, more women than men take time off to parent. And yes, she deserves to make that choice, but it’s not “punishment” that she gets paid less because she may work less.
Adriana, 9:47 p.m.: Heh, Mad Men reference. Obama wants to pass a Paycheck Fairness Act: “Women make up nearly half the workforce and increasingly are the primary breadwinners. Yet they are, on average, bringing home 23 percent less than men—meaning less food on the table, less savings, and less support for their families and children. This makes equal pay not only a women’s issue, but a family issue, and a societal issue.”
Jenny, 9:48 p.m.: He doesn’t begrudge successful people? All I can think is “You didn’t build that.”
Adriana, 9:50 p.m.: Nobody builds anything on their own -- this is an interdependent nation. We succeed together. We need support and infrastructure to build businesses.
Jenny, 9:51 p.m.: Oh, Adriana, you’re so pretty. :-)
Adriana, 9:51 p.m.: ARE YOU MAKING FUN OF ME??
Jenny, 9:52 p.m.: Haha! Nope, you are really pretty. Backwards in your politics, of course. But no one’s perfect. ;-) Seriously though, lifting the federal minimum wage is a bad, bad idea. How are business owners expected to afford that? They’re going to have to let people go. :-( My dad has had to do that, even when his employees have begged him to keep them on without the raise. He has to tell them it’s illegal and he can’t afford it.
Adriana, 9:35 p.m.: But how else do we help wages keep pace with rising costs? One is outpacing the other.
Jenny, 9:54 p.m.: I think it’s a vicious cycle. I think that one of the reasons inflation has been so bad is that government keeps making everything more expensive.
Jenny, 9:55 p.m.: I can’t believe we made it almost an hour before talking about health care. And straight into the WOMYN talk. No woman can be charged more because she’s a woman? Last I checked, men can’t have babies. That’s some expensive health care, right there. Why shouldn’t I have to pay more for insurance?
Adriana, 9:56 p.m.: Men don’t help out making that baby? I think it’s fair. Yeah -- funny that it’s coming in so late, but I think he didn’t want to lead with it because it hasn’t been a resounding success. I like what he says, though -- got a better idea? Let’s hear it, Republicans!
Jenny, 9:58 p.m.: You know, I agree with a LOT of what Obama says. The problem is that I want to pull a Joe Wilson and yell, “You lie!”
Jenny, 9:59 p.m.: He’s moving on to talk about gun violence. You know what stops gun violence the most effectively? Having an armed society. And using cases like Sandy Hook to push gun control is just wrong.
Adriana, 10:00 p.m.: I just don’t see it -- I think fewer guns are going to keep us safer.
Jenny, 10:01 p.m.: Psssst!! I have a secret to tell you! (Criminals, by definition, break the law.)
Jenny, 10:02 p.m.: Terrorism bad. Agreed. I wonder how long until he mentions that he killed Osama? Is he pulling the trigger in his version yet?
Adriana, 10:06 p.m.: Hmm, are we ready to dismantle the military industrial complex? That’s a big part of our economy, though that kind of puts the cart before the horse.
Jenny, 10:07 p.m.: I just have a lot of love for the military. Respect. And if there are any troop members reading this, THANK YOU!!
Adriana, 10:08 p.m.: WORD.
Jenny, 10:08 p.m.: Iran says they’re not building a bomb. Are they still building that nuclear “power plant”? I’m thinking we should be wary of Iran having ANYTHING to do with nuclear power. I don’t think diplomacy is the issue when we’re talking about Iran.
Adriana, 10:10 p.m.: I’m really curious to see if Iran is ready for change. There’s internal momentum. The people are ready and they’re pushing their leadership.
Jenny, 10:11 p.m.: Yeah, but the problem with a dictatorship like Iran, when you remove the head, it just creates a power vacuum for a new one to rise up. It’s just sad.
Adriana, 10:12 p.m.: You don’t feel like Hassan Rouhani is a big enough change in leadership?
Jenny, 10:13 p.m.: I really don’t. It’s like extreme to extreme-lite ... kinda like comparing two hosts on MSNBC. ;-)
Adriana, 10:14 p.m.: Ouch! Excuse me, I have to go get some Band-Aids for my wounded soul now.
Jenny, 10:16 p.m.: I just laughed out loud. I’m making light of a very serious subject because the situation is so bad and I use humor to deal. But for the record, and for the sake of the commenters, NO, I do not think that MSNBC hosts are akin to tyrants in Iran. Not even a little. I just don’t think there’s a big enough change in leadership over there ... oh, hey, what are they talking about now?
Adriana, 10:18 p.m.: Yeah, change can be slow. I think I’m happy to see that it’s happening at all.
Jenny, 10:19 p.m.: There he goes about individual achievement again. So are we still all in this together?
Adriana, 10:20 p.m.: Coming in for the big finish, using his special story-teller whisper voice. I love it when he talks collectivism! A brief flash of the Commie within before it’s time to go back to compromise and pragmatism.
Jenny, 10:20 p.m.: I just shuddered at the collectivism. I’m for community. But collectivism ... *shiver*
Adriana, 10:21 p.m.: Haha, I love it!
Jenny, 10:22 p.m.: Good thing you’re so pretty. ;-) Now I think a glass of wine is in order. We made it!
Adriana, 10:22 p.m.: Cheers to that! Pretty yourself -- Your hair wins ;) Okay, this was fun.
Chime in! What do you think of this year's State of the Union speech?
Image via WhiteHouse.gov