Howdy Seminal readers and other Firedogs! This is going to my first time live blogging a speech so stick with me on this. We have a feed for watching the speech. Since I am at home, I am going to be watching this on MSNBC.

While we’re waiting, you can slide over to the Facebook and the Rethink Afghanistan group. They are also watching the speech there, but they are getting started about 8:30 and will be there afterwords as well.

Coming up a week from today the President will be answering questions submitted on YouTube this week. You can follow this link and put up the questions you would like the president to answer. It kind of goes without saying that you should be polite, if for no other reason that no one is going to answer a ranting question.

I will be picking up the Live Blogging a couple of minutes before the speech. But for now it is all about you. What do you think you will see tonight? I know some of our compadres here are pretty pissed at the President, so is there anything he could say tonight that would change that? For now, the floor is yours!

All right, here we go. We are waiting for the President. The will have to wait for the "Walk of Love before he gets going.

Rachel and Keith are talking about the dumbness of the freeze policy. Woo, don’t cross Rachel, she has a sharp tongue!

Okay, here comes the president, working the line. Blue suit, red tie, well that is a shock (not really). Smooching Reps, shaking hands, geeze this boring.

Oh yeah, Tweety is tell us that people are afraid. Sheesh! He just said that the phrase there is nothing to fear but fear itself is not true.

Keith keeps saying he hates the word zietgiest but still keeps using it. Maybe he should have peaked in the thesaurus this afternoon?

Okay, getting everyone settled. Copies for the VP and the Speaker.

Well, at least all the Republicans are on their feet. That’s nice for the start.

Thanks, thanks, thanks.

Starts with the Constitutional requirement for this speech.

Making the case that the Union would not always succeed. Getting ready for comparisons with today and the great challenges of our past.

Move forward as one nation, one people and we are tested. (good start)

Nice, comparison to a major storm and the economy. The storm is gone but the devastation is still there.

The president is showing that he hears the pain of the people.

Change has not come fast enough. He is setting up to blame the Congress (but will he hold his own party to the line?)

Hope and deserve to work through our differences. (this calling out the grid lock and failure of congress is missing the point that Republicans are not going to give on anything)

The V.P needs to stop the bobble head nodding, very distracting and I am typing and watching.

Hopeful. The president is hopeful, but that is not a plan. Lets hope there is a plan.

Starting on the economy. A little false start clapping. Defending the bail out of the bank. Says he hated it. Is that too little for folks?

Not backing away from the necessity of the bail out. Good for him.

Now comes the pivot, markets are stable, and we have gotten most of the money back. That is a point that is not made often enough. Now the hitting the idea of a fee on big banks to get the money back.

Bonuses = affording repaying what the banks owe. All Dems on their feet, Republicans sitting on their asses.

Pointing out what was done for the middle class, tax cuts, COBRA subsidy, unemployment.

Hit the Republicans for failing to applause his tax cuts. Good shot across the bow.

No income tax increases on a single person. He is taking a talking point away from the Republicans.

2 million who would be out of work. Detailing who is on the job because of his policy.

1.5 million jobs by the end of the year.

Now he is going at the Republican talking point that the stimulus has not done anything. Dems on their feet.

Giving concrete examples. Good stuff. Connecting to the middle class and countering the Republican echo chamber BS.

Good pivot from success to understanding that people are not working. JOBS BILL! Woo Hoo! Now what are the details?

Business focus, but he did not say small business, interesting. Here it comes, small businesses.

Allen town examples. The problem is no lending to small business owners. Proposing to take 30 billion from the repayment of banks to community banks for small business loans.

Republicans on their asses still.

Nice tax credit for raising wages or putting more people.

End the capital gains tax for investment in equipment. Will that be permanent?

Appealing to pride. We are better and can be better. High speed rail for FLA.

Clean energy facilities investments and rebates for upgrading peoples homes.

Ending tax breaks for overseas out sourcing. That also did not go over well with Republicans.

Now he is giving it to the Senate for failing to take up the House Jobs Bill.

He wants a jobs bill without delay, but no set time line.

Getting to full employment, this is going to be about freeze and the deficit.

Now he is giving the status quo caucus some heat for failing to have any courage of their convictions. Germany, China, India are not waiting to revamp their nations. Why should the US?

I do not accept 2nd place for the US got the Republicans off their asses, finally.

Getting serious about fixing our problems. Not interested in punishing banks, but is interested in protecting the economy. Consumers must be protected. Must have the data they need to make good choices.

Deposited can’t be used to take risks. House has acted, and the Senate does.

Finally, a threat of a veto. Real reform for financial industry or he will send it back until it does.

Huge investments, largest in human history in research. Wants this to be focused on clean energy. More production, more efficiency, more production. Calls for new Nuclear Power stations. (I like that but they are hard)

What?!? Opening off shore for oil and gas development (drill baby drill anyone? How could he cede this ground?!?)

Balances it with comprehensive energy and climate bill,. Really putting it to the Senate for failing to pass the work the House has already done.

Good point on clean energy. Even if you don’t believe the overwhelming evidence we should do it for the money it will make as the rest of the world goes that way.

More exports. Nice idea, more manufacturing things. New goal to double in the next 5 years. This is worth 2 million jobs.

National export initiative, farmers and small business focus. More trade deals. Sounds like free trade with conditions.

Whoops! There goes the Speaker in the Box jumping up.

Enforcing the rules has the Dems on their feet.

More trade in Asia, and South America.

Investment in skills and education of our people. Takes credit for the Race to the Top program. Only rewards success.

Turn around failing schools. The best anti-poverty plan is a world class education.

A high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. More money for Community Colleges.

Ending subsidies to banks for student loans. Spend the money on a tax credit for 10K for families. Expand Pell grants. Capping 10% of income on student loans. Amnesty after 20 and public sector work gets a full debt forgiveness. This is good stuff!

Yeesh! Wants to step up refinancing. That sounds like inflating the housing bubble again. I need some more detail on that.

Pivots to HCR. Here we go, will he draw a bright line?

Didn’t come to get a legislative victory or because it was good politics.Did it because of the stories he has heard. The pain of the people motivated him. Here comes some shaming of the Republicans. Too bad they don’t have an ounce of shame between all 200 of them in the Congress.

Shout out to the First Lady. She is telling them to sit! Gotta love our First Lady!

Here comes the pitch, the CBO, says it will bring down the deficit by 1 trillion over 20 years. That is a lot.

Taking part of the blame for not explaining well enough (how about not putting people in a head lock?)

If we do nothing things stay like they are, very bad. He will not walk away, and neither should the Congress.

Take another look. Really? Reaching out to bring down premiums, cover the uninsured and reduce the deficit let him know (Public Option much?)

Don’t walk away, not when we are so close. Lets get it done. (Please!)

Now we get to the deficit. This is going to suck.

Going to lay the blame on the Republicans and President Bush – 250 billion surplus to 1.5 trillion deficit. Squarely lays the blame on the failure to pay for all the spending of the last administration.

Sen. McCain looks like his hemorrhoids are flaring up.

Here comes the freeze. (Mr. President, if consumers aren’t spending and business is not spending who the hell is going to keep the economy going?)

Will enforce this disciplined by veto if he has to. Will get rid of programs that don’t work.

Going to end tax cuts for Oil companies, investment managers (capital gains going up) and over 250K.

Here comes a little dig about the Republicans failing to vote for the commission that they themselves supported. Will issue executive order for it to be formed (sounds nice but without the up or down mandate that the bill had it is a lot of hot air)

Restore Pay-Go. That is a good time.

Hey! He is going to answer my question.

ZING – Republicans laugh when he says it won’t take affect until next year, then he comes back with "That’s how budgeting works" (dumbasses!)

Again laying the failure to pay for what we spend, through taxes and other means

Try common sense! (Like Republicans would know common sense if it bit them in the wallet!)

Credibility gap, he is right there. Making the pitch for open and transparent government. Bragging on posting of visitors on line. Some rumbling about the claim that lobbyist are not on commissions.

Now is going after the most recent SC decision. The Justices are not very happy about that.

Urges us to pass a bill to fix as many of these problems as we can. (weak tea, what are your ideas Mr. President?)

Pass earmark reform. Good stuff. Wants all posting of all earmarks on a single site before any vote. That is a good idea.

Now we are turning to the Kumbya.

Disagreements are good, but the people are frustrated that every day is a campaign day. Nice direct shot at the Republicans. No zero sum game.

No party should obstruct every single bill just because they can. "I’m talking to both parties" (Did you hear that Senator Nelson? How about you Sen. Bayh?)

This does not help the people. He is not going to give up on trying to change the tone of our politics. Taking the high road "Still need to govern"

Dems: Largest majority in decades, don’t run for the Hills (yeah, you wussy’s!)

Republicans: If a super majority is required, then it is your responsibility. Just saying no is not leadership! (Body Blow, and another, and another!)

Lets do it together. I would like to have monthly meetings with both parties leadership.

Now on to security.

Not interested in re-litigating the past (no torture investigations, betrayed again)

Lets get together and be hopeful. (Nice idea, but letting war criminals slide just makes them available to commit crimes in the

future, Mr. President.)

Increases in Afghan troops. Still looking at July 2011 for beginning of troop draw down.

Talks about the London conference.

Taking the fight to Al Qeada means leaving Iraq. All combat troops out by August (what about other troops?).

This war is ending and all troops are coming home. (Really? You just said Combat Troops, are all troops Combat Troops?)

Time to support the troops, when they come home. Everyone on their feet fro that. (Jingoism at its best)

Largest increase for veterans in decades. Michelle and Jill Biden to create commission to support military families (about time).

Nuclear weapons are the greatest threat of our time. Still committed to reductions. New treaty to reduce numbers while maintaining deterrence.

Secure all vulnerable nuclear material world wide in four years (That is good news!)

Those who won’t stay away from nuclear weapons, there will be further sanctions and isolation. He has made it a promise.

Someone did something that got a strong look from both the VP and the Speaker, I didn’t hear it, but it was on the Dem side of the Congress.

10K Americans working in Haiti. This is the build up of why the US is great in the world. America must always stand on the side of human dignity and freedom.

Our ideas are our strength abroad or at home. Diversity is our strength. Now talking about ending DADT, it is the right thing to do. Weaving it into overall enforcement of equality.

Comprehensive immigration reform, that was a luke warm response.

Looks like he is wrapping up, he said "in the end"

Going for the "we are all one" point. Citizens have lost faith in our corporations, media, and government.

When a CEO rewards his failure, or a banker gets a bonus, TV pundits reduce policy to sound bites, no wonder there is so much cynicism.

Hitting "Change we can believe in" head on. Never said it would be easy or he would do it all on his own.

Elected officials can play it safe, point fingers, and take no risks.If that had been the way it was in the past, we would not be the nation we are today.

Bringing the speech to where it started. The Union is not assured of success, it takes the work we have to do.

Taking blame for some set backs. Acknowledges it is not nearly as hard as the challenges of the public. The fact that they get up and do what they can inspires him.

Making the case for us to be great, not because it is a sure thing, but because we do the work as a people.

New year, new decade. We don’t quit, I don’t quit, lets get out there and do it.

(What do you know, the President and I have something in common)

Now my fingers are bleeding. What did you think?

Bill Egnor

Bill Egnor

I am a life long Democrat from a political family. Work wise I am a Six Sigma Black Belt (process improvement project manager) and Freelance reporter for Govtrak.org