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Open SOTU thread

Rumor has it the State of the Union is today rather than tomorrow to avoid conflicting with the Lost premiere. But my feelings towards one are pretty similar to my feelings towards the other: I'm confused by the most recent plot twists and skeptical that the writers can wrap it all up in one tidy package.

By Ezra Klein  |  January 27, 2010; 8:50 PM ET
 
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Comments

The Supreme Court??

Posted by: gilroy0 | January 27, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I think you meant SOTU Ezra. And Lost premieres Tuesday, not tomorrow. So.... none of it really works

Posted by: Tappen | January 27, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

It's been pretty good, hit all the right beats, some good charisma, some ideas that can even sound good--at least in theory--to a Republican. But, boy, that whole "we inherited this, we inherited that" schtick is getting old. Does that play? Does that make disgruntled liberals and waffling Democrats say: oh, wait, we forgot the Bush was the president before. Of course Obama has done this or that! No wonder he didn't get healthcare done!

Certainly, he can't expect to win over right-of-center moderates and Republicans with that kind of talk.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it just sounds unpresidential. I think some kind of "you're either with us or against us" speech (in that section) would be better. "Of course, I have a responsibility here, but none of this is my fault" is just not good State of the Union material.

Like that stuff about new, clean nuclear plants. I'm all for that. Not holding my breath, though.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 27, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The President said that if anyone had any better ideas on health reform, they should tell him. Well, there are two Republican ideas that are worth discussing.

We need to experiment with malpractice reform to balance accountability with reduced lawsuits - however, while malpractice reform is probably necessary to reduce unnecessary utilization, it is NOT sufficient by itself.

Second, Sen. McCain proposed during his campaign to end the tax exclusion of health insurance. He proposed none of the other insurance reforms that would have enabled people to actually get insurance if they couldn't get a tax subsidy for it. However, limiting the tax subsidy to health insurance is one of the things that is likely to bend costs down in the long haul. The deal that the President worked with the unions, to get higher thresholds depending on the age, gender composition and industry group of each business, is actually very good policy and is what should have been done in the first place. Anyway, it's a little odd that the Republicans didn't back some sort of cap on the tax exclusion when they proposed their mostly-worthless alternative health plan.

That's all they have that works, though. Allowing people to buy insurance across state lines without the protections and regulations of the exchanges simply means that everyone will start buying insurance from the states with the fewest consumer protections - and it will make it hard for out of state consumers to get redress from their insurance commissioners. Doing that is likely to reduce insurance premiums by a few percent in the short run and do nothing to control cost growth in the long run.

Posted by: weiwentg | January 27, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

excellent state of the union address.
he is not liquidating, he is solidifying.
i am very proud of the state of the union address he is giving.
i am very proud that he is our president.
his wisdom, intelligence, goodness and leadership shouldnt be underestimated.
i am with him 100 percent.
and i do not believe that health care reform will slip through his fingers. it will not.

as i listen to this speech, i remind myself of the state of the union addresses of george bush, and i am ever more thankful for barack obama.

Posted by: jkaren | January 27, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I kinda miss the Dubya State of the Union addressed. They were communicatingful. And articulatish.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 27, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

'LOST' will begin with oceanic 815 landing safely at LAX in 2004. I think. Maybe. Or maybe it won't. I don't know. But i'd love to watch a period piece taking place in 2004.

Posted by: rmbjspd | January 27, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Exports went way down because of the economic downturn, so that will make doubling a lot easier. CIA Factbook says that US exports dropped from $1.28 trillion in 2008 to $0.99 trillion in 2009, and even that 2008 number is probably reduced by the downturn, so doubling probably means getting to where we would've been with steady 6 or 7 percent annual growth.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

Posted by: you-dont | January 27, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Pretty good SOTU. He was feisty at times, funny at times, and didn't run (completely) away from his agenda. He was troublingly vague on what Congress should do on HCR outside of passing it. After drubbing the Senate for not acting on all the bills the House has passed, I think it would have made for nice symmetry to tell the House to pass the Senate bill. No need to mention the reconciliation rider. Let Pelosi use that as the carrot to get people on board the President's agenda. Well, I hope somebody's quietly twisting arms in the House about this.

The rest was pretty good. There was lots of Republican bait that I don't like in practice, but I like that the bait was laid. Maybe they'll decide to govern now, at least a little bit.

Anyway, I'm always telling freaked out Dems to calm down when I think they're prematurely calling for everyone to run to third parties (that's you Lomiallor), so I'm not going to get too excited based on the SOTU either. It was a pretty good speech. I'll wait until something does or doesn't happen before I get worked up.

Posted by: MosBen | January 27, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

There was no "oomph" moment, like a proposal that came out of nowhere that W would always add, like warnings against the development of human-animal hybrids or promises of trips to Mars. I was hoping for something like, "10 years into the 21st century, we still lack easy access to flying cars... I will work with GM to finally put flying cars in the garages of average Americans."

Posted by: tyromania | January 27, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

What did people think of Gov. McDonnell's anti-SOTU speech?

Posted by: weiwentg | January 28, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

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