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Tonight is Obama’s State of the Union Address…

President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union speech tonight at 9 p.m. EST. It is expected to last at least an hour, after which Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana will deliver the Republican response (there will be a Tea Party response from Herman Cain… don’t miss it. All speeches like this should end with humor.)

Obama is expected to use the State of the Union to pitch new initiatives on jobs, taxes and housing, in what will be billed as his opening salvo in a long 2012 election race. He will probably push tax breaks for bringing manufacturing jobs home from overseas, give ideas to help the troubled home-mortgage market and create incentives for alternative energy development. Expect him to call again for higher taxes on the wealthy – despite consistent Republican opposition – and to speak of further pressure on China over currency and trade practices.

There are a number of ways you can watch and follow the speech online. The official White House website, which will not only be streaming the speech live, but will be accompany it with charts, stats, and data that reinforce the address. On television, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC will all air the speech live. The Huffington Post will also run liveblog coverage of the event, accompanied by an embedded live video feed.

Some items based on recent Obama remarks leading up to the address:

“Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.”

The President has promised to let the Bush tax cuts for millionaires expire at the end of 2012.

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“[The Affordable Care Act] is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage.”

At least 2.5 million young Americans now have health insurance through their parents’ health care plans until 26 years of age. As of November, more than 2.2 million people with Medicare had saved more than $1.2 billion on prescriptions (I’m one of them. I support this whole heartedly. – Bill)

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Expect the Republicans to make it clear that they will continue to oppose Obama’s positions… but also expect Obama to say that he will be seeking bi-partisan progress even though it is an election year.

It should be noted, however, that State of the Union messages have historically not effected increases in a President’s poll ratings (an exception being Bill Clinton’s 2nd address which increased his numbers by 3%.)

Oh Please Get This Iowa Crap Over With…

One day it’s Newt, the next it’s Ron Paul… then there’s a “surge” for Santorum, plus insufferable jabs at all of them from Bachmann. And, of course, Romney still polls in the 25% range and can’t seem to get major Conservatives behind him. Huntsman might as well be invisible and you wish Perry would be.

And without Herman Cain we no longer have the kind of comic entertainment which lets us ignore the rest of these clowns.

Add to all of this the need of all the news stations (and Fox) to keep all of this brouhaha on the air all the time without even making the least amount of difference. Not one candidate shows any sign of being able to serve all of America.

They all seem to have a view of the Constitution as a document defined by one or two articles… it’s easy to ignore the ones you don’t believe in. No matter how they comment on Obama (or in many cases each other), none of these folks would know a real Socialist if they tripped over one at a Karl Marx picnic on May Day.

And, hey, we still have New Hampshire, South Carolina and all the rest to look forward to.

This blog is starting its 8th year… and it began with a Presidential campaign…

And here we are now watching a crowd of, frankly, insane Republicans fighting to come up with a candidate other than Mitt Romney. No matter who gains footing… first Bachmann, then Perry, then Cain and now Gingrich… Mitt stays at about 25% of the voters. Nothing seems to drive his numbers up.an

Then again, he has plenty of money and is making fewer mistakes than his competitors, despite his apparent flip flops from his term as Massachusetts Governor.

Obama seems to be focusing on Romney and Perry. I don’t think he worries about Gingrich and he certainly didn’t worry about Bachmann and Cain. What would really be scary for Obama would be Huntsman, the one Republican who seems to cover a broader base of citizenry and who has the talent to serve in office, coming up from the bottom to win the primaries. Given his money and support ratio so far, it doesn’t look like Republicans see the advantage of Huntsman.

So this blog is stomping into the campaigns a little earlier than usual, but that’s the way the world is this year.

Dammit!

A noted Conservative rates the participants in last night’s Economics Debate…

I didn’t get to see the debate because we don’t get the Bloomberg Network… so I’ve been reviewing it on line in pieces. I’ve also looked at remarks around the web commenting on it. Andrew Sullivan, whose opinions I usually disagree with, made an interesting summary which the parts of the debate I have seen back up:

“Huntsman I can understand and appreciate. Perry is an empty bad suit. Romney lies with such facility it unnerves me. Bachmann is a fanatic, as, although I am extremely fond of him, is Ron Paul. Santorum just seems like a lost child from the 1950s, trying to have the campaign he dreamed about when he was ten. Cain is an egomaniac businessman with a talk show host patter and a mild wit. Gingrich is a giant, gaseous asshole.”

I especially agree with his view of Gingrich, who is still in the race because…?