Welcome to Carbonated's State of the Union liveblog! We'll be following Obama's remarks in real time: what policies will the President lay out? What reaction will he get? Any big surprises? Hit refresh!
Wrapup: Obama made a major populist appeal. He is clearly still in campaign mode, because he still believes, correctly, that negotiating with Republican congresspeople directly will just lead to getting stonewalled, but giving them offers that voters won't let them say no to can get results, at least partially.
10:15 EST: That's it! Big ideas: raise the minimum wage, invest in science, universal preschool, fix immigration, straight vote on gun violence. Plenty more, but you only get to emphasize a few things. I think those are the ones that will be remembered.
10:13 EST: Okay, we're back to voting reform. Let's see if we get any more here...not really, but the second name check is a good thing. (Still, let's get some specifics!)
10:11 EST: "They deserve a vote!" Biggest applause of the night to Obama's call for a simple vote on gun reforms. That issue was toxic for Democrats in the 90s. Could be toxic for GOP now.
10:10 EST: Obama's first citizen naming: Nadiya Pendleton. The girl who was shot after performing at the inauguration.
10:09 EST: Obama would really like a vote on guns before, say, the 2014 elections.
10:06 EST: And we are at voting reform! Very curious about this one...okay, that was disappointingly vague. We already knew he cared about voting reform.
10:01 EST: Obama throws out "AIDS-free generation." Nice idea, worth fighting for. Good luck with that. I'm all for it, but if there's too many big wishlist things that don't get pursued it waters down the ones that will.
10:00 EST: Obama loses points for unironic use of "free trade" in announcing a transatlantic NAFTA style thing.
9:58 EST: Obama leaves things vague on Iran: "we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon." Does that include a ground war?
9:56 EST: "Through a range of capabilities" tonight's euphamism for drones. Obama referring to fighting terrorism across globe, as part of his explanation for withdrawing from Afghanistan.
9:53 EST: It gets better! Tie minimum wage to cost of living! So, you can actually, like, live on it!
9:51 EST: Ooh, are we about to get a request for minimum wage increase? Sounds like we are! Yup! $9/hr. That will be hugely popular. Hard to get that through Congress, but still, great idea.
9:48 EST: Comprehensive immigration reform is up! Obama always starts with Republican priorities: major border security, really hard pathway to citizenship (really hard), then we get to the middle of the road stuff: updating legal immigration, bringing in more "job creators"...and that's all were getting right now in this speech. I guess the arduous pathway to citizenship is the lefty idea in there. Can we call this a tack to the center?
9:47 EST: "Colleges ought to do their part to keep costs down," GOP might like that. Obama proposes affordability be included in college aid funding. Would be interested to hear what education policy experts would say to this.
9:43 EST: MAJOR proposal, and something of a surprise: universal pre-K school. The research on this shows serious dividends down the road. This should be a really popular proposal. Hard for GOP to counter. Other than the whole, "we don't like spending money on your stuff," thing.
9:42 EST: Obama's first "send me that bill right now" on helping underwater mortgage holders refinance.
9:40 EST: Big, somewhat bipartisan applause for fixing bridges.
9:39 EST: High speed rail name check! That's obviously not happening with this congress right now, but at least he's keeping the beach ball in the air.
9:38 EST: Wonder if Obama will go for comprehensive energy reform for same reasons that he's going for comprehensive immigration reform: to get the harder stuff through along with the easy stuff.
9:36 EST: And we're at climate change. Obama finally taking on the biggest deal of our times. He has to convince voters so that Republicans and some Dems can't just nod and then vote with oil companies.
9:35 EST: Obama kind of taking credit for huge shale oil reserves.
9:34 EST: Oh good, now we're at the science is awesome part!
9:31 EST: Obama's big political move here: "nothing I am proposing tonight raises our deficit by a single dime." So Republicans, how will you object to it now?
9:29 EST: "The greatest nation on earth cannot govern by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next!" So, raise the friggin debt ceiling.
9:26 EST: Obama proposing changes to medicare that sound subtly major, but probably a good idea. Oh and Paul Ryan, you are clapping for raising the debt ceiling.
9:24 EST: More revenue! As in, Obama wants more revenue. In case you were sick of Republican whining.
9:23 EST: Whoa! I was wrong! He said "sequester"!
9:22 EST: Looks like we're doing the sequester first. He's not going to say "sequester," because it's a boring obscure word, but that's what we're talking about when he says "budget."
9:20 EST: "It is our unfinished task..." might be this year's slogan. Beats "win the future" by a wide margin.
9:18 EST: Obama breaking out the stats right away. We buy more American cars in 5 years, more American oil in 20.
9:17 EST: I wonder if they have one of those applause signs
9:10 EST: Alright, now we're ACTUALLY starting. I wonder who gets to be the guy who goes, "Mister Speakerrrrr, the President of the United States!"
8:57 EST: Formalities underway!