Barack Obama: Energy, Health Care, and Education

Note: This is a “progressive post,” constantly updated throughout the State of the Union Address.

President Barack Obama is providing Congress vision and direction tonight: energy, health care, and education.

I just realized tonight how much Congress needs this vision, this direction.

“We can’t afford to put health care on hold.  We can’t do it.  It’s time.”

Shame on the Republicans, sitting on their rear ends when the president speaks about recent legislation passed providing health care for children.  Shame on them all.

Two key lines from the president:

“We must have quality, affordable health care for every American,” the president said.

“Health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.”

On education:

“I ask every American to commit to at least one year of higher education.”

“This country values the needs and talents of every American.”

New goal: by 2020 American will once again have the largest percentage of college graduates in the world.

“In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a parent.”

“I speak to you not only as a president, but as a father: responsibility for our children’s education must begin at home.”

On the national debt:

“We have a responsibility to our children to ensure that we do not pass on to them a debt that they cannot afford to pay.”

Applause after this line: “With a deficit we inherited…”

That applause came from the Dems.

“We have already identified two trillion dollars in savings over the next decade,” the president said.

“We’ll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq!”  Thank you!!!

Obama vows to end tax breaks for corporations “that ship our jobs over seas.”  Thank you!

“If your family earns less than $250,000, a quarter million dollars, you will not see your taxes increase a single dime.”

Boy, he’s gotta stick to that one.  That line will get a lot of play over the next several weeks.

Vows to honestly budget the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan: “For seven years, we’ve been a nation at war.  No longer will we hide its price!”

I didn’t even know the wars were not reflecting in previous budgets.

“I will not allow terrorists to plot against Americans from safe-havens half way around the world.  We will not allow it!”

Long, loud applause for those in the armed services.

Vows to raise the pay for those in the military, and give veterans the expanded health care “that they have earned.”

Thank you!

“The United States of America does not torture.”

We’ve waited so long to hear that.

Applause for the bank executive who gave his $60 million bonus away to his employees and former employees.  I applaud that as well.

Loud applause for the young girl who wrote congress about her school.

The president chooses to view crisis as opportunity.

Loud and lengthy applause.