Obama Speaks to Congress, Jindal Does 30 Rock Impression

OBAMA REMARKS TO CONGRESS – FEBRUARY 24, 2009

Madame Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, and the First Lady of the United States:

I've come here tonight not only to address the distinguished men and
women in this great chamber, but to speak frankly and directly to the
men and women who sent us here. 

I know that for many Americans watching right now, the state of our
economy is a concern that rises above all others. And rightly so. If
you haven't been personally affected by this recession, you probably
know someone who has – a friend; a neighbor; a member of your family.
You don't need to hear another list of statistics to know that our
economy is in crisis, because you live it every day. It's the worry you
wake up with and the source of sleepless nights. It's the job you
thought you'd retire from but now have lost; the business you built
your dreams upon that's now hanging by a thread; the college acceptance
letter your child had to put back in the envelope. The impact of this
recession is real, and it is everywhere.

But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken;
though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I
want every American to know this:

We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.

The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this
nation. The answers to our problems don't lie beyond our reach. They
exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our
factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of
the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made
America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history
we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this
country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and
take responsibility for our future once more.

Now, if we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that for too long,
we have not always met these responsibilities – as a government or as a
people. I say this not to lay blame or look backwards, but because it
is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be
able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.

The fact is, our economy did not fall into decline overnight. Nor
did all of our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the
stock market sank. We have known for decades that our survival depends
on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than
ever before. The cost of health care eats up more and more of our
savings each year, yet we keep delaying reform. Our children will
compete for jobs in a global economy that too many of our schools do
not prepare them for. And though all these challenges went unsolved, we
still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt, both as
individuals and through our government, than ever before.

In other words, we have lived through an era where too often,
short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed
to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next
election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy
instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were
gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy
market. People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks
and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while,
critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other
time on some other day.

Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.

Now is the time to act boldly and wisely – to not only revive this
economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is
the time to jumpstart job creation, re-start lending, and invest in
areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our
economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down. That
is what my economic agenda is designed to do, and that's what I'd like
to talk to you about tonight.

It's an agenda that begins with jobs.

As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress to send me a
recovery plan by President's Day that would put people back to work and
put money in their pockets. Not because I believe in bigger government
– I don't. Not because I'm not mindful of the massive debt we've
inherited – I am. I called for action because the failure to do so
would have cost more jobs and caused more hardships. In fact, a failure
to act would have worsened our long-term deficit by assuring weak
economic growth for years. That's why I pushed for quick action. And
tonight, I am grateful that this Congress delivered, and pleased to say
that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law.

Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million
jobs. More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs
rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar
panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.

Because of this plan, there are teachers who can now keep their jobs
and educate our kids. Health care professionals can continue caring for
our sick. There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of
Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their
department was about to make.

Because of this plan, 95% of the working households in America will
receive a tax cut – a tax cut that you will see in your paychecks
beginning on April 1st.

Because of this plan, families who are struggling to pay tuition
costs will receive a $2,500 tax credit for all four years of college.
And Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession will be able
to receive extended unemployment benefits and continued health care
coverage to help them weather this storm.

I know there are some in this chamber and watching at home who are
skeptical of whether this plan will work. I understand that skepticism.
Here in Washington, we've all seen how quickly good intentions can turn
into broken promises and wasteful spending. And with a plan of this
scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right.

That is why I have asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough,
unprecedented oversight effort – because nobody messes with Joe. I have
told each member of my Cabinet as well as mayors and governors across
the country that they will be held accountable by me and the American
people for every dollar they spend. I have appointed a proven and
aggressive Inspector General to ferret out any and all cases of waste
and fraud. And we have created a new website called recovery.gov so
that every American can find out how and where their money is being
spent.

So the recovery plan we passed is the first step in getting our
economy back on track. But it is just the first step. Because even if
we manage this plan flawlessly, there will be no real recovery unless
we clean up the credit crisis that has severely weakened our financial
system.

I want to speak plainly and candidly about this issue tonight,
because every American should know that it directly affects you and
your family's well-being. You should also know that the money you've
deposited in banks across the country is safe; your insurance is
secure; and you can rely on the continued operation of our financial
system. That is not the source of concern.

The concern is that if we do not re-start lending in this country, our recovery will be choked off before it even begins.

You see, the flow of credit is the lifeblood of our economy. The
ability to get a loan is how you finance the purchase of everything
from a home to a car to a college education; how stores stock their
shelves, farms buy equipment, and businesses make payroll.

But credit has stopped flowing the way it should. Too many bad loans
from the housing crisis have made their way onto the books of too many
banks. With so much debt and so little confidence, these banks are now
fearful of lending out any more money to households, to businesses, or
to each other. When there is no lending, families can't afford to buy
homes or cars. So businesses are forced to make layoffs. Our economy
suffers even more, and credit dries up even further.

That is why this administration is moving swiftly and aggressively
to break this destructive cycle, restore confidence, and re-start
lending.

We will do so in several ways. First, we are creating a new lending
fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto
loans, college loans, and small business loans to the consumers and
entrepreneurs who keep this economy running.

Second, we have launched a housing plan that will help responsible
families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments
and re-finance their mortgages. It's a plan that won't help speculators
or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope
to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling
with declining home values – Americans who will now be able to take
advantage of the lower interest rates that this plan has already helped
bring about. In fact, the average family who re-finances today can save
nearly $2000 per year on their mortgage.

Third, we will act with the full force of the federal government to
ensure that the major banks that Americans depend on have enough
confidence and enough money to lend even in more difficult times. And
when we learn that a major bank has serious problems, we will hold
accountable those responsible, force the necessary adjustments, provide
the support to clean up their balance sheets, and assure the continuity
of a strong, viable institution that can serve our people and our
economy.

I understand that on any given day, Wall Street may be more
comforted by an approach that gives banks bailouts with no strings
attached, and that holds nobody accountable for their reckless
decisions. But such an approach won't solve the problem. And our goal
is to quicken the day when we re-start lending to the American people
and American business and end this crisis once and for all.

I intend to hold these banks fully accountable for the assistance
they receive, and this time, they will have to clearly demonstrate how
taxpayer dollars result in more lending for the American taxpayer. This
time, CEOs won't be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks
or buy fancy drapes or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over.

Still, this plan will require significant resources from the federal
government – and yes, probably more than we've already set aside. But
while the cost of action will be great, I can assure you that the cost
of inaction will be far greater, for it could result in an economy that
sputters along for not months or years, but perhaps a decade. That
would be worse for our deficit, worse for business, worse for you, and
worse for the next generation. And I refuse to let that happen.

I understand that when the last administration asked this Congress
to provide assistance for struggling banks, Democrats and Republicans
alike were infuriated by the mismanagement and results that followed.
So were the American taxpayers. So was I.

So I know how unpopular it is to be seen as helping banks right now,
especially when everyone is suffering in part from their bad decisions.
I promise you – I get it.

But I also know that in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern
out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment. My job – our job
– is to solve the problem. Our job is to govern with a sense of
responsibility. I will not spend a single penny for the purpose of
rewarding a single Wall Street executive, but I will do whatever it
takes to help the small business that can't pay its workers or the
family that has saved and still can't get a mortgage.

That's what this is about. It's not about helping banks – it's about
helping people. Because when credit is available again, that young
family can finally buy a new home. And then some company will hire
workers to build it. And then those workers will have money to spend,
and if they can get a loan too, maybe they'll finally buy that car, or
open their own business. Investors will return to the market, and
American families will see their retirement secured once more. Slowly,
but surely, confidence will return, and our economy will recover.

So I ask this Congress to join me in doing whatever proves
necessary. Because we cannot consign our nation to an open-ended
recession. And to ensure that a crisis of this magnitude never happens
again, I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally
reform our outdated regulatory system. It is time to put in place
tough, new common-sense rules of the road so that our financial market
rewards drive and innovation, and punishes short-cuts and abuse.

The recovery plan and the financial stability plan are the immediate
steps we're taking to revive our economy in the short-term. But the
only way to fully restore America's economic strength is to make the
long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a
renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world. The only way
this century will be another American century is if we confront at last
the price of our dependence on oil and the high cost of health care;
the schools that aren't preparing our children and the mountain of debt
they stand to inherit. That is our responsibility.

In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often,
we have come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or
laundry lists of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as
a vision for America – as a blueprint for our future.

My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every
issue. It reflects the stark reality of what we've inherited – a
trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession.

Given these realities, everyone in this chamber – Democrats and
Republicans – will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which
there are no dollars. And that includes me.

But that does not mean we can afford to ignore our long-term
challenges. I reject the view that says our problems will simply take
care of themselves; that says government has no role in laying the
foundation for our common prosperity.

For history tells a different story. History reminds us that at
every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has
responded with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we
laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce
and industry. From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a
system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age.
In the wake of war and depression, the GI Bill sent a generation to
college and created the largest middle-class in history. And a twilight
struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the
moon, and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world.

In each case, government didn't supplant private enterprise; it
catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands
of entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive.

We are a nation that has seen promise amid peril, and claimed
opportunity from ordeal. Now we must be that nation again. That is why,
even as it cuts back on the programs we don't need, the budget I submit
will invest in the three areas that are absolutely critical to our
economic future: energy, health care, and education.

It begins with energy.

We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable
energy will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has
launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy
efficient. We invented solar technology, but we've fallen behind
countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids
roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in
Korea.

Well I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of
tomorrow take root beyond our borders – and I know you don't either. It
is time for America to lead again.

Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of
renewable energy in the next three years. We have also made the largest
investment in basic research funding in American history – an
investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but
breakthroughs in medicine, science, and technology.

We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can
carry new energy to cities and towns across this country. And we will
put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so
that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.

But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save
our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately
make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask
this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on
carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in
America. And to support that innovation, we will invest fifteen billion
dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power;
advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks
built right here in America.

As for our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad
decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to
the brink. We should not, and will not, protect them from their own bad
practices. But we are committed to the goal of a re-tooled, re-imagined
auto industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it.
Scores of communities depend on it. And I believe the nation that
invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.

None of this will come without cost, nor will it be easy. But this
is America. We don't do what's easy. We do what is necessary to move
this country forward.

For that same reason, we must also address the crushing cost of health care.

This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty
seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans
to lose their homes. In the last eight years, premiums have grown four
times faster than wages. And in each of these years, one million more
Americans have lost their health insurance. It is one of the major
reasons why small businesses close their doors and corporations ship
jobs overseas. And it's one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of
our budget.

Given these facts, we can no longer afford to put health care reform on hold.

Already, we have done more to advance the cause of health care
reform in the last thirty days than we have in the last decade. When it
was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health
insurance for eleven million American children whose parents work
full-time. Our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records
and new technology that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure
privacy, and save lives. It will launch a new effort to conquer a
disease that has touched the life of nearly every American by seeking a
cure for cancer in our time. And it makes the largest investment ever
in preventive care, because that is one of the best ways to keep our
people healthy and our costs under control.

This budget builds on these reforms. It includes an historic
commitment to comprehensive health care reform – a down-payment on the
principle that we must have quality, affordable health care for every
American. It's a commitment that's paid for in part by efficiencies in
our system that are long overdue. And it's a step we must take if we
hope to bring down our deficit in the years to come.

Now, there will be many different opinions and ideas about how to
achieve reform, and that is why I'm bringing together businesses and
workers, doctors and health care providers, Democrats and Republicans
to begin work on this issue next week.

I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be
hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first
called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our
economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be
no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will
not wait another year.

The third challenge we must address is the urgent need to expand the promise of education in America.

In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is
your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to
opportunity – it is a pre-requisite.

Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require
more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our
citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high
school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the
students who begin college never finish.

This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the
countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That is
why it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every
child has access to a complete and competitive education – from the day
they are born to the day they begin a career.

Already, we have made an historic investment in education through
the economic recovery plan. We have dramatically expanded early
childhood education and will continue to improve its quality, because
we know that the most formative learning comes in those first years of
life. We have made college affordable for nearly seven million more
students. And we have provided the resources necessary to prevent
painful cuts and teacher layoffs that would set back our children's
progress.

But we know that our schools don't just need more resources. They
need more reform. That is why this budget creates new incentives for
teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and rewards for success.
We'll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools
meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our
commitment to charter schools.

It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this
system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to
participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at
least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can
be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an
apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will
need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high
school is no longer an option. It's not just quitting on yourself, it's
quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the
talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support
necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020,
America will once again have the highest proportion of college
graduates in the world.

I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why
if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to
your community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can
afford a higher education. And to encourage a renewed spirit of
national service for this and future generations, I ask this Congress
to send me the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator
Orrin Hatch as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he
can do for his country – Senator Edward Kennedy.

These education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our
children. But it is up to us to ensure they walk through them. In the
end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a mother or
father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help with
homework after dinner, or turn off the TV, put away the video games,
and read to their child. I speak to you not just as a President, but as
a father when I say that responsibility for our children's education
must begin at home.

There is, of course, another responsibility we have to our children.
And that is the responsibility to ensure that we do not pass on to them
a debt they cannot pay. With the deficit we inherited, the cost of the
crisis we face, and the long-term challenges we must meet, it has never
been more important to ensure that as our economy recovers, we do what
it takes to bring this deficit down.

I'm proud that we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks, and I
want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend
reflects only our most important national priorities.

Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit
in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has
also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to
eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this
is a process that will take some time. But we're starting with the
biggest lines. We have already identified two trillion dollars in
savings over the next decade.

In this budget, we will end education programs that don't work and
end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them. We'll
eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and
reform our defense budget so that we're not paying for Cold War-era
weapons systems we don't use. We will root out the waste, fraud, and
abuse in our Medicare program that doesn't make our seniors any
healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our
tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship
our jobs overseas.

In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also
end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. But let me
perfectly clear, because I know you'll hear the same old claims that
rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the
American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you
will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one
single dime. In fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut – that's
right, a tax cut – for 95% of working families. And these checks are on
the way.

To preserve our long-term fiscal health, we must also address the
growing costs in Medicare and Social Security. Comprehensive health
care reform is the best way to strengthen Medicare for years to come.
And we must also begin a conversation on how to do the same for Social
Security, while creating tax-free universal savings accounts for all
Americans.

Finally, because we're also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am
committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our
budget. That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for
spending that was left out under the old rules – and for the first
time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide
its price.

We are now carefully reviewing our policies in both wars, and I will
soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and
responsibly ends this war.

And with our friends and allies, we will forge a new and
comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat al Qaeda
and combat extremism. Because I will not allow terrorists to plot
against the American people from safe havens half a world away.

As we meet here tonight, our men and women in uniform stand watch
abroad and more are readying to deploy. To each and every one of them,
and to the families who bear the quiet burden of their absence,
Americans are united in sending one message: we honor your service, we
are inspired by your sacrifice, and you have our unyielding support. To
relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of our
soldiers and Marines. And to keep our sacred trust with those who
serve, we will raise their pay, and give our veterans the expanded
health care and benefits that they have earned.

To overcome extremism, we must also be vigilant in upholding the
values our troops defend – because there is no force in the world more
powerful than the example of America. That is why I have ordered the
closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, and will seek swift
and certain justice for captured terrorists – because living our values
doesn't make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger. And
that is why I can stand here tonight and say without exception or
equivocation that the United States of America does not torture.

In words and deeds, we are showing the world that a new era of
engagement has begun. For we know that America cannot meet the threats
of this century alone, but the world cannot meet them without America.
We cannot shun the negotiating table, nor ignore the foes or forces
that could do us harm. We are instead called to move forward with the
sense of confidence and candor that serious times demand.

To seek progress toward a secure and lasting peace between Israel
and her neighbors, we have appointed an envoy to sustain our effort. To
meet the challenges of the 21st century – from terrorism to nuclear
proliferation; from pandemic disease to cyber threats to crushing
poverty – we will strengthen old alliances, forge new ones, and use all
elements of our national power.

And to respond to an economic crisis that is global in scope, we are
working with the nations of the G-20 to restore confidence in our
financial system, avoid the possibility of escalating protectionism,
and spur demand for American goods in markets across the globe. For the
world depends on us to have a strong economy, just as our economy
depends on the strength of the world's.

As we stand at this crossroads of history, the eyes of all people in
all nations are once again upon us – watching to see what we do with
this moment; waiting for us to lead.

Those of us gathered here tonight have been called to govern in
extraordinary times. It is a tremendous burden, but also a great
privilege – one that has been entrusted to few generations of
Americans. For in our hands lies the ability to shape our world for
good or for ill.

I know that it is easy to lose sight of this truth – to become cynical and doubtful; consumed with the petty and the trivial.

But in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely
places; that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power
or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are
anything but ordinary.

I think about Leonard Abess, the bank president from Miami who
reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and
gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who
used to work for him. He didn't tell anyone, but when the local
newspaper found out, he simply said, ''I knew some of these people
since I was 7 years old. I didn't feel right getting the money myself."

I think about Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was completely
destroyed by a tornado, but is being rebuilt by its residents as a
global example of how clean energy can power an entire community – how
it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and
rubble once lay. "The tragedy was terrible," said one of the men who
helped them rebuild. "But the folks here know that it also provided an
incredible opportunity."

And I think about Ty'Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school
I visited in Dillon, South Carolina – a place where the ceilings leak,
the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times
a day because the train barrels by their classroom. She has been told
that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to
the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this
room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The
letter asks us for help, and says, "We are just students trying to
become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day
president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South
Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters."

We are not quitters.

These words and these stories tell us something about the spirit of
the people who sent us here. They tell us that even in the most trying
times, amid the most difficult circumstances, there is a generosity, a
resilience, a decency, and a determination that perseveres; a
willingness to take responsibility for our future and for posterity.

Their resolve must be our inspiration. Their concerns must be our
cause. And we must show them and all our people that we are equal to
the task before us.

I know that we haven't agreed on every issue thus far, and there are
surely times in the future when we will part ways. But I also know that
every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants
it to succeed. That must be the starting point for every debate we have
in the coming months, and where we return after those debates are done.
That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build
common ground.

And if we do – if we come together and lift this nation from the
depths of this crisis; if we put our people back to work and restart
the engine of our prosperity; if we confront without fear the
challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America
that does not quit, then someday years from now our children can tell
their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words
that are carved into this very chamber, "something worthy to be
remembered." Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United
States of America.

Comments

  1. says

    Jindal had that Mr. Rogers, librarian-reading-a-book-to-toddlers feel about him. It was also obvious that he doesn’t know how to read a video prompt nor did he watch Obama’s speech (I don’t think he would have lied as much, if he had.)

    So much for being a Rhodes Scholar.

  2. rudy says

    Y – I – K – E – S! Jindal is even worse in replay than I thought he was in real time. This guy is definitely not ready for prime time national politics. He just spoke himself out of consideration for national office.

    The contrast with Obama could not have been more striking. Obama came off as thoughtful, forceful, measured, decisive, and resolute. Indeed, Obama was presidential. What a refreshing change to be addressed as an adult by an adult after the past eight years and the coninuing pandering tone of the now [hardly] loyal oppostition.

  3. alex in boston says

    Here we are trying desperately to overcome the past 8 years of GOP dominance and who are we up against? That same GOP which put us into this trillion dollar fiasco!! Last nite was the first time in many years that we have heard about hope and not fear, moving forward rather then standing stagnant, and about a future which promises to move us into a new era…. I felt very moved by the speech and more hopeful then i have in years! Thank you BO! Jindal – you came and went all in my movement – thanks for being the party pooper!

  4. matthew says

    Everyone has to keep in mind that Bobby Jindal is the same govenor that let a major gay rights initiative expire a year or so ago that was previously in place in Louisiana. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but it was stupid and bigoted. So there is no surprise here, just disappointment and disgust.

    This man is an evil, stupid, arrogant, bigoted son of a bitch who could not care less about the people of Louisiana. I am just grateful I don’t live there.

  5. matthew says

    Everyone has to keep in mind that Bobby Jindal is the same governor that let a major gay rights initiative expire a year or so ago that was previously in place in Louisiana. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but it was stupid and bigoted.

    This man is an evil, arrogant, stupid, bigoted son of a bitch who could not care less about the people of Louisiana. I am just grateful I don’t live there.

    If this is a duplicate post, I apologize. My other one seems to have disappeared on my computer

  6. John in BR says

    Wow. The gays on here rip Jindal’s speech. Didn’t see that one coming. As someone who lives in Baton Rouge, I get to see Jindal in action as our Governor. He has cut taxes and put in strong ethics reform in a state known for corruption. He proved a drastic contrast to Gov. Blanco when dealing with a devastating hurricane. Was his delivery bad? Yep, it was. Do ya’ll remember another young Governor from a southern state who had a terrible first national speech? I would venture to say that many of you love him.

    Jindal will be back.

  7. says

    So the anointed shining lights of the Republican party are Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, and Bobby “Let me tell you a little story, dimwitted boys and girls” Jindal. (I only heard Jindal on the radio, so had no visual to accompany his stupendously amateurish delivery. It was so bad, Scott.) If the Democrats can’t keep it together with the likes of this as opposition, we really are doomed.

    It’s amazing how commandingly presidential Obama has already become. His skills don’t lessen the challenges, but I can feel the country (aside from the Seans and Rushes of the world) breathing a collective sigh of relief that finally we have someone in-charge in charge. Exciting, daunting times ahead.

  8. crispy says

    John in BR, let’s take a look at his record:

    -Jindal voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment banning gay marriage
    -Jindal voted against federal hate crimes legislation
    -Jindal voted to make the Patriot Act permanent
    -Jindal is pro-life
    -Jindal believes in intelligent design (LOL)
    -Jindal opposed Obama’s stimulus plan… but then accepted the money! (John Stewart nailed him on this)

    Yes, it’s shocking that gays would not like this douche. He’ll surely be back. And we’ll surely keep mocking him.

  9. Rich says

    Okay two important things.

    1. After a year of “Barack HUSSEIN Obama” let’s all be very clear that his name is PIYUSH Jindal. I’m sure it will be on the test. Republicans insist on using the born name.

    2. 30 Rock is WAY better than Jindal’s rebuttal. You’ve insulted Kenneth the page.

  10. Derrick from Philly says

    “He has cut taxes and put in strong ethics reform in a state known for corruption.”

    And what did Louisiana get in return: homelessness, rotten health care for her WORKING poor citizens, probably the 2nd or 3rd most under-funded public schools in the country & religious fanaticism in Baton Rouge.

  11. paul c says

    Well, if you liked what Obama had to say, you’re in trouble…because he tends to do the very opposite of everything he promises.

    Typical phony, lying politician. The Democrats and the Republicans both have to fucking go. Along with all of their moronic followers.

  12. Chaddy says

    My friends, let’s not let Boddy Jindal’s puny speech detract anymore than it has here from the astounding address Obama gave to congress, the nation, and the world. Progressive Americans have been waiting for far too long for an executive that not only openly espouses progressive ideas and philosophies, but also makes those same philosophies clear for what they are, progress. Even other democrats have been cautious on too many of these issues for a long time. But with Obama’s speech, I sense we have elected a leader that will not be satisifed with simply reversing the damage done by the past few decades of conservative domination. Like FDR and Lincoln, I believe that Obama feels the need to fearlessly push ahead progressive policy reform (despite ferocious opposition) that make sure that much of what happened during Bush’s tenure will not happen so easily again.

  13. noah says

    John in BR,

    Jindal stunk. Did you miss the comments from the pundits on the Left, Right, and Center?

    Did you listen to this idiot trying to blame problems on regulations? Wasn’t the lack of regulation on Wall Street what helped cause the economic meltdown? Jindal is clueless.

    As for gays not liking Jindal, do you think that his being a conservative Republican who is against gay rights might be have something to do with not being a fan of his?

    P.S.
    Michelle looked hot! :-)

    BTW, why insult Mr Rogers by comparing Jindal to the late TV show host? Fred Rogers was a decent man who cared about people. He wasn’t this hacktacular mess who doesn’t care if people in his state starve. Jindal has decided to refuse $90,000,000 for unemployment insurance that targets impoverished Americans. Jindal just parrots the Republican B.S. about raising taxes on business, which, of course, is a total lie.

  14. Chaddy says

    Paul C,

    I agree that caution is a good thing when aligning one’s self with any political ideas, but your rejection of Obama seems to me to be premature. His record with the LGBT community got off to a rocky start, I’ll give you that. But to conclude that he is a lying president that does “the opposite of everything he promises” is an overeaction.

    He has told us he wants to end DADT. But also cautions that it will take time to do so. He’s right. There are far too many conservatives holding sway over the militairy. Is he being overly cautious about the issue? Maybe.

    But given the series of crises the nation faces right now, Obama, the Democrats, and Progressives need to choose their battles wisely if they expect to suceed. To repeal DADT, as well as to push forward many other social reforms including healthcare, welfare amd immigration will require substantial political clout.

    And I feel that if Obama can make a mark on the minds and hearts on the American people in the coming days, we will see his influence in DC rise over conservatives drastically. Obama has already said Healthcare will be the focus of his admin’s attention starting next week. If success follows, then we can begin to see more social issues like DADT and marriage equality take center stage.

  15. Kevin says

    Note to Bobby Jindal:

    1. The government in charge during Katrina was a REPUBLICAN administration.

    2. People who don’t believe in government should not – i dunno – GOVERN.

    Next!

  16. Leland Frances says

    I have often been a demanding critic of Mr. Obama, and I could criticize what was missing last night, that both troubling and trivial: anyone gay among his invited guests in the balcony, particularly an out gay military vet…and sleeves on beautiful Michelle’s dress.

    BUT BUT BUT…. from the moment one could barely see his distinctive face at the back of the line waiting to enter the chamber to the moment he so proudly introduced the first African-American First Lady…I teared up.

  17. jimmyboyo says

    Leland Frances

    :-)

    Obama has pd me off a time or 2 as well, and I’ve been a huge supporter from way back. Damn him for making it so hard to remain mad at him for long.
    —————————

    Jindal left out one glaring fact and so to his appologist John in BR

    Billions!!!!!!!!!!!!! in gov money given to help Louisiana since bush fiddled while it drowned. The schools built??? Not from his tax cuts but from fed money!!!!!!!! the clean up ?? not from his tax cuts but from fed money.

  18. paul c says

    Obama promised to have transparency in government, and he’s done nothing of the kind. The stimulus bill was written in secrecy in closed door meetings. Then, rather than allow people 48 hours to read it before it was voted upon (if anyone could even digest it in that amount of time) it was voted on without even being read by those voting on it!

    He also promised that there would be no earmarks in legislation…and you may call it what you wish, but millions of dollars to preserve mice at a time when we are trillions of dollars in debt seems absolutely ludicrous. Completely unneccessary and wasteful pork project.

    Obama also said he would not have lobbyists in his administration. That was an outright lie. He has at least a dozen already.

    He was going to end the Iraq war. When does that happen? When does he even act like it’s happening?

    He was going to close Gitmo. When does that happen? Putting this shit off is another way to not do it, but pretend that you really plan to do so.

    Putting a tax cheater like Geithner in office is an absolute slap in the face of the public. Using the excuse that we are in an emergency situation and that Geithner is the only one who can help is a fucking lie.

    That is more shit out of the Rove/Cheney playbook of forcing the public to accept criminality and a loss of freedom because of extreme imminent danger. Anything goes in a time of emergency, right?

    Some people may think they got change, I think we got four more years of evil and corruption from the other side of the same coin.

  19. Leland Frances says

    As mentioned, I have indicted Mr. Obama myself, and, regretfully, expect to again on SOME issues.

    BUT to remotely equate him with Rove/Cheney/Bush is nothing less than psychotic.

  20. Derrick from Philly says

    “…for more years of evil and corruption from the other side of the same coin.”

    Also, 2 liberal supreme court judges and national healthcare–it’s worth it.

    Happy days are here again, the skies above are clear again
    Let us sing a song of cheer again…

    Sing out, Babs…faster tempo please.

  21. jimmyboyo says

    Paul C

    please turn off the Rush Limbaugh and lets talk

    – WEEKS to review the 2 bills that went through house of reps and senate

    – little under 48 hours to review what was previously studied for the compromise changes between both. More than sufficient time to find the little = TRULY little differences between the 2 bills that one had weeks to study

    – he promised no pork earmarks and he is right. NONE in the stim. please detail what you consider a pork earmark. 140 million for Volcano research? there are at least 10 active volcanos in america….yellowstone sup volc, washington, oregon, northern california, hawaii, and alaska. Would you rather just let them blow without warning and clean up the mess to the tune o billions upon billions after the fact? The mouse thing is BS sorry. It is wet lands clean up and reclamation = jobs for corp of engineers etc and the mouse receives side benefits from it living there but the money is for wet land clean up = help prevent flooding etc that gov would have to dish out even more money for fixing after said flooding. etc

    – A dozen lobyists? Really? 2 in fact. 2 too much I agree but 2 is far from a hyperbolic dozen

    – Iraq war ending. first you sound from all of the previous stuff to be a die hard repub (i could be wrong) because it sounds like straight from rush limbaugh talking points, and you might not be as concerned about Iraq war ending as you are now concern trolling. BUT in fact yesterday details were told. By August 2010 at least 1/2 draw down! from iraq. Please turn off Rush and turn on some real news

    – Gitmo is closing! done. First one must review the individual cases there and figure out what to do with them. We are talking about humans in charge of this and not supermen from krypton being in charge who could review it all 24/7 without sleep. CIA black sites DONE! The foreign rendition thing is what i think you mean. The shipping of people to foreign prisons……Now that is an issue but that is being reviewed

    – Daschel is a tax cheater and he isn’t in the cabinet. Geitner with all of his faults (I would prefer Krugman in the same spot) committed a mistake that over 50% of his coworkers also committed as indi contractors with the IMF. when over 50% of your coworkers commit the same mistake it isn’t cheating it is the system and rules that are somehow messed up

    Please calm down, take a deep breath, and turn off the rush limbaugh

  22. jimmyboyo says

    PS

    Remember it has been 1 month (38 days) since his coming to office.

    Like I said, these are human beings and not kryptonian superman who don’t need sleep nor to eat.

    There are many points to actually crtic Obama on but yours are all rush sound bites.

    – Why not Krugman instead of geitner

    – why not dean for HHS sec

    – why not more open review of foreign rendition

    – why not nationalization…!!!!! when die hard repub alan greenspan is calling for nationalization and dems are backstepping away from it you know the world has turned upside down

    – etc

    critic him from the left and yes there are issues but crtitic from the right and you just sound like rush limbaugh and you guys LOST!!!! get over it

  23. 24play says

    Paul C,

    For your future reference, here’s an objective evaluation of exactly how much Obama is sticking to his campaign promises, Politifact.com’s Obameter:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

    So far, a little over one month into his term, of 510 promises:

    15 kept
    21 in the works
    1 stalled
    4 compromises
    2 broken

    I’d say that’s a pretty damn good record to date.

    Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to let the facts get in the way of your bitching, which BTW started long before the man ever got elected.

  24. Zeke says

    John in BR, if you think Jindal has been great for Louisianna GREAT, then keep him THERE and the whole country will be happy.

    My favorite part was when he said that the Republicans made the mistake of “going along” with DEMOCRATIC spending over the last eight years. He is either delussional or a compulsive liar since HE knows that the Republicans controlled BOTH houses of congress for six of the last eight years and the Republican President didn’t veto A SINGLE spending bill that the Republicans sent him.

  25. 24play says

    And BTW Paul C,

    All your trumped up bitching might appear ever so slightly more credible if you weren’t blathering on about the Drudge/Rush horseshit about there being millions of dollars in the stimulus bill for “Pelosi’s mouse.”

    That Rebublicunt smear was thoroughly debunked within two days of its first broadcast:

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/erbe/2009/02/13/republicans-flop-on-pelosi-mouse-lie-havent-learned-environmental-lesson.html

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/13/EDIS15TRBG.DTL

    And subsequently discussed right here in the comments on Towleroad:

    http://www.towleroad.com/2009/02/stimulus-bill-p/comments/

  26. Jay says

    Rich is my hero. SO true.

    I really expected a lot more of Jindal after a year of non-stop “Jindal 2010″ talk on all of the Repub blogs. I really feel badly for those former “It’s My Party, Too” folks who have been beating their heads against a wall for some years now.

  27. peterparker says

    Oh. My. God. I can hardly believe how awful Jindal’s speech was. I half expected the Cookie Monster to pop up from out of a trash can to explain to us kids that Obama’s policies will force us all to live in trash cans. Let’s hope this is the last we see of this hater!

  28. Daya says

    I am still amazed at the arrogant audacity of the GOP! The GOP was in charge for the last 8-years and all they could do was to cut-taxes and squander not only taxes payer’s money but the lives of many young men and women. GOP continues to yell and scream over the size of the deficit, over earmarks, over giving any hope to the tax payer’s off this country. The GOP is not the loyal opposition; they are just the opposition to any positive, forward momentum. I never thought I would get to the point where I would stop thoughtful consideration of the alternate point-of-view. As a whole, GOP brings nothing positive to the table. And for those who do not tow the line of the current GOP leadership, we do not hear their voices. I am always concerned when one party seems to have all the chips. I am hopeful that the President Obama can continue taking thoughtful advice from all corners and working with level-headed, progressive members of congress in both parties and houses to see us through this crisis and the wars that still continue.
    For the time being, for me, the GOP is nothing more than the sound in the back-ground. Ah, what’s that annoying drone I hear?

  29. paul c says

    DerrickfromPhilly, yes we need someone who will appoint non-right-wing judges to the Supreme Court to balance it out…but that someone could also be an honest person who isn’t just another lying, phony, power-hungry politician. (theoretically)

    Jimmyboyo, the dozen lobbyists that have been reported are: Eric Holder, Tom Vilsack, William Lynn, William Corr, David Haynes, Mark Patterson, Ron Klain, Mona Sutphen, Melody Barnes, Cecilia Munoz, Patrick Gaspard and Michael Strautmanis.

    How fucking pathetic is it that we have been trained to think that it would okay if there were “only two” after we were promised NONE?! A lie is a lie.

    Iraq was supposed to be wrapped up, and now we just a “promise” that half of the troops should be out by the end of NEXT year?

    And Gitmo is NOT closed. What’s the delay there? That’s an issue that’s been going on for years, allowing plenty of time to plan for a resolution. Why the hesitation? That could have been wrapped up in two weeks, tops. If it was a priority.

    24play, as far as promises kept, according to your source one of those is getting his kids a puppy! Are you fucking kidding me? That is really grasping at straws.

    Weatherizing 1 million homes? When the hell did he do that? Their stats are really lame and reaching.

    I actually consider two promises already broken (according to your source) in less than a month to be extremely bad. It’s ridiculously early for that to have started…oh, and your own source also contradict your claim that he made legislation avaiable for public review.

    The mouse story was convoluted, you are correct. I didn’t get that from Rush Limbaugh, and assuming that I did is one of my complaints with our corrupt two party system. I don’t like the Democrats or the Republicans. That’s my whole point. They’re both very corrupt as a whole.

    The few people within those parties who aren’t corrupt get shoved down at every turn by those who are.

    Adding to that is this bullshit that you have to be on one side or the other, and syick with them no matter how wrong they are or what kind of scam they’re running. It’s a gang mentality. Both parties ought to be brought up on organized crime charges as far as I’m concerned.

  30. KJ says

    No one’s stopping to buy the week-old seafood that Piyush is selling from the back of the GOP pickup truck parked on the side street as people make their way back to their cars after watching the parade.

  31. 24play says

    Like I said, despite accusing Obama of being a liar, Paul C, you don’t seem to be interested in facts or the truth. Just in spreading bullshit propagated by the Drudge/Rush/Fox nexis.

    Fortunately, most of America seems to have moved past all that.

    Have a lovely 8 years!

  32. paul c says

    24Play, everything I said is correct. You seem to suffer from the same chronic denial as Elisabeth Hasselbeck and all of the other deluded Bushies who got us where we are. Now you and your cronies can take us 8 more years deeper into the shit. Thanks.

  33. paul c says

    Next week Obama is to make a decision on whether Bush had the right to grant absolute immunity to Rove and other cabinet officials. Let’s just see where he comes down on that.

    Since neither Obama nor Bush are fans of the Constitution, I can predict that he will side with Bush…thus allowing the POTUS to grab yet more power that is not rightfully his.

  34. nic says

    Jindal is a squeaky mouse to Obama’s lion. what a withering display of old and tired repug speak.

    Obama is where he should be and hillary is where She should be. “it is all sweetness and light; god is in his heaven, and all is right with the world”. i am saying this with no sarcasm or no facetiousness. Obama inspirits us. his unflappable demeanor, the way he deflects criticism, and the way he is shaming the repugs into compliance is admirable. i don’t think that hillary could pull this shiz off as prez. plus, Obama has that disarming, killer smile.

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