SOTU Live Blog, Part I

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9:11 PM: On the CNN lead-in to the address, there was a good example of where the top tier DC stands on the basic issues of fiscal policy and social insurance. John King said, in a seemingly unremarkable tone, that it was a given that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid need to be cut as part of any grand bargain. And possibly revenues. That outlook, which is highly questionable in policy terms, and not clearly supported by the public at large, shapes the whole Washington debate.

9:15 PM: It’s a stunning new tradition that the Republican appointees to the Supreme Court, or most of them, simply don’t show up to the State of the Union address any more. Certainly there’ve been no shows before. I don’t remember it ever being the case in the past that there were ones that followed blocs or party affiliation. Was there anything similar under Reagan or Bush II? If anybody knows, please send me email.

9:18 PM: Here’s the PDF from the White House of the policies that the President is outlining tonight.

9:19 PM: Here’s the text of the speech itself.

9:19 PM: For Prime readers, we just opened up this thread to discuss.

9:21 PM: Okay, when does the Ted Nugent freak out part happen?

9:23 PM: In pre-speech discussions, the White House put central emphasis on this hike in the minimum wage as its big policy move.

9:25 PM: Here’s the text of the portion about Medicare …

On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. The reforms I’m proposing go even further. We’ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital – they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. And I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.

9:27 PM: I don’t know if the House is just mic’ed differently. But the sound of grumbling or booing sounds different to me than it has in the past. Anybody else hearing it that way?

9:28 PM: “The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next.”

9:29 PM: If ‘full faith and credit’ a boo line?

9:30 PM: For the White House this is the fulcrum of the speech: “But let’s be clear: deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts.”

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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