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Live blogging: The State of the Union

10:23 About an hour and 10 minutes. Decent speech. Hardly his best. I'd say average by State of the Union standards. Not a whole lot of "Whoa!" moments. Not a whole lot of strong language. It sets a path, but it doesn't shake things up a whole lot. That could be good. That could be bad. I think one thing that's very interesting is that he didn't drop names like previous Presidents. Others have pointed out the folks in the gallery and named the people who provided anecdotes throughout the speech. Not this president. I guess that's OK. But I like to know who he brought in for the speech myself.

Good night!
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10:19 Policy has given way to prose. The classic wrap-up sermon of the State of the Union.
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10:16 "Banker" has apparently replaced "lawyer" as the punching bag occupation in this country.
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10:14 And now onto social policy... Here's a big one: Wants to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Joint Chiefs of Staff didn't move on that one. Enact equal pay laws. Strengthen our borders. Where have you gone, Joe Wilson?
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10:12 An hour in the speech reaches international issues, including Haiti relief efforts. I doubt most people watching, including me, could pick out Guinea on a map.
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10:09 The President just managed to evoke JFK and Ronald Regan in the same sentence. Topic: Stopping nuclear proliferation.
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10:07 We have a responsibility to support men and women in uniform when they come home.
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10:06 There will be difficult days ahead, but I am absolutely confident we will succeed (in Afghanistan). All combat troops will be out of Iraq by the end August.
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10:04 Do what it takes to defend our nation.
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10:03 "Let's show the American people that we can do it together." President wants to have monthly meetings with leaders from both sides.
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10:01 "What frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is an Election Day." "Neither part should delay or obstruct every single bill because they can... I'm speaking to both parties now."
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9:59 Congress should publish earmark requests online.
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9:58 Justice Samuel Alito shook his head against President's statement criticizing Supreme Court's decision last week overturning some campaign finance laws. You rarely see a reaction from the Supremes. In fact, they are supposed NOT to react. Interesting.
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9:56 "Let's meet our responsibility to the people who sent us here. Let's try common sense. A novel idea." "We face a deficit of trust."
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9:54 "I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans." Senate should pass Pay as You Go law that was big part of 1990s surpluses.
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9:53 Time to tighten the governments belt and continue middle class tax cuts. Big money tax cuts stop.
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9:50 Big surplus in 2000 turned into huge deficit by 2008. Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham seem amused.
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9:49 President wants to know if anyone has a better reform plan that he has presented. He just wants Congress not to walk away from reform and get it done. Finally conciliatory talk about health care reform!!
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9:47 "I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber."
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9:45 Munley looks to be doing pretty well with all the up and down on her new knee.
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9:44 It took more than 30 minutes, but he finally got to health insurance reform. "Now, let's clear a few things up..."
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9:43 Only have to pay back 10% of income for student loans. Debt forgiven after 20 years; after 10 years if you choose a job in public service. Colleges and universities need to lower tuition.
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9:40 Senate should follow House to pass a bill to revitalize community colleges.
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9:39 We need to invest in the skills and education of our people.
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9:38 We need to export more of our goods. More stuff to other countries, more jobs here. Goal: double exports in next five years to create two-million jobs in America. Launching a national export initiative to help farmers and small businesses to increase their exports.
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9:36 Need a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. Open new off-shore areas for oil and natural gas development. Continued investment in biofuels and clean coal technologies. It means passing comprehensive climate bill.
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9:34 We need to encourage American innovation.
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9:33 It's time to get serious. Start with serious financial reform.
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9:32 Washington has told us to wait for decades even as things get worse. Other countries moving forward. "I do not accept second place for the United States of America."
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9:30 "The only way to move to full employment is to lay a new foundation for economic growth." Lessons of "The Lost Generation"
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9:29 Put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow: high-speed rail; clean-energy facilities; slash tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas and give them to companies that create job in America.
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9:27 Proposing $30 billion from Wall Street repayments to keep small businesses afloat. Republican leaders don't appear impressed. Also proposing a new small business tax credit if they hire new workers or raise wages. Elminate capital gains tax on businesses. That gets a rise from both sides of the aisle.
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9:25 "Jobs must be our biggest focus in 2010, and that is why I'm calling for a new jobs bill tonight." Everyone happy with that one.
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9:24 Just noticed VP Biden is wearing a purple tie to match the woman's centrist outfits, I guess. PResident has blue suit and red tie to walk the center.
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9:23 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just caught on camera stifling a yawn.
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9:22 Republicans stay seated as President touts tax cuts. President points to the Republicans and says, "I thought I'd get some applause on that one." Pelosi stands by herself and looks foolish.
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9:20 If banks can afford big bonuses, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers that rescued them in their time of need.
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9:18 Hatred for bank bailout unified everyone. "It was about as popular as a root canal."
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9:17 "I have never been more hopeful about America's future than I am tonight" earns first standing ovation of the evening.
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9:16 "We face big and difficult challenges. And what the American people hope and what they deserve is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences..."
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9:14 On economy: "One year later the worst of the storm has passed, but the devastation remains."
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9:12 George Washington's first State of the Union lasted five minutes. Thomas Jefferson thought it reeked of monarchy and was a stutterer, so he wrote the State of the Union and sent it to Capitol Hill. That tradition continued for more than 100 years until radio compelled the President (I believe it was Woodrow Wilson) to make it a speech again.
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9:11 If this ends by 10:30 I'll be surprised.
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9:10 Looks like the President almost forgot to hand the VP and the Speaker their hard copies of the speech.
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9:07 Doesn't look like Rep. Mike McIntyre was able to get his spot near the door. The Congressman told me he tries to get there early. He was right there for the President's health care speech in September, but I did not see him this time around.
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9:06 Here comes the President.
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9:04 HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan NOT in attendance. Protocol and tradition call for one member of the Cabinet to remain in a secure place to ensure the Order of Succession in case of a disaster at the Capitol.
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9:02 George Stephanopolous says Mrs. Obama, Mrs. Biden and Speaker Pelosi all wearing purple because the President must speak to the center of the country (red and blue make purple)
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9:00 p.m Carolina Beach native and Fort Hood hero Kim Munley sitting right next to the First Lady. More importantly, Munley was STANDING next to the First Lady just a couple weeks after Munley had knee replacement surgery.

By: Kevin Wuzzardo