In Boulder, I watched the State of the Union Address with 20 college students, all volunteers or friends of New Era Colorado, a non-profit devoted to getting young people involved in politics, and which I’m on the board of. Our young crowd loved the speech, and by all reports it was a home run. Well, not all—Fox, surprisingly, is threatened by it. We loved the mission he set us to: “national goals in these areas — 85 percent of the nation’s energy should come from clean energy by 2035; 80 percent of Americans should have access to high-speed rail within 25 years; and 98 percent should have access to high-speed wireless within five years…”
In his first speech to a Congress under divided control, with Republicans and Democrats sitting together in dedication to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a plan suggested by Colorado’s Senator Mark Udall, President Obama proposed to
…freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years.
…he called for “spending in key areas, like education, high-speed rail, clean-energy technology and high-speed Internet to help the United States weather the unsettling impact of globalization and the challenge from emerging powers like China and India.”
…he vowed to veto any bills with earmarks.
…he talked about ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and bringing full equality to our Armed Forces.
…He called for $78 billion in military spending cuts…more detail at NY Times.
I can’t find the rest, but will post asap as soon as I get link to full speech. Anyone?
Here’s complete video, but it’s not embeddable—click image below for video:
The Republican Rebuttal.
Chairman Ryan begins speaking of Tucson, his sadness. He wears the ribbon. What he can’t do, or chooses not to do, is to support any form of reasonable gun control. Empty words. He has lots of nice words. So does Scrabble. Meaning of his words? Not so nice. Other thoughts, shared in the #ecosotu stream on twitter: Chairman Ryan, where was your fiscal discipline: Bush tax cuts…war in Iraq + Afghanistan? Paul Ryan: “Social programs are like hammocks…lulling able-bodied people into complacency” Sounds like rich trustafarians to me. But, judge for yourself, that’s what democracy is all about, and we welcome respectful dialogue. We’re all in this together, ultimately, even as we disagree and compromise.
Bonus. Last year’s State of the Union. More videos here.