Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Obama's 2011 SOTU Translated Into Layman's - For Internal Distribution Only

State of the Union 2011

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and {cough} {cough} ahem {cough} {cough}...

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner.

Bipartisanship, baby. Listen to my humility. I'm so humble, it hurts.

And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague - and our friend – Gabby Giffords.

And those who would dare politicize this tragedy by libeling their political enemies, and good hard-working Americans, with widespread voices of media savagery, I say, shame on you. Oh wait, just kidding!

It's no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years.

And I've lead into that with the Tuscon shooting, implying by connection that it had something to do with "our differences". Pretty clever, huh?

The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs.

And now people have been shot. Are you happy, Tea Partiers??? With your divisive rhetoric???

And that's a good thing. That's what a robust democracy demands. That's what helps set us apart as a nation.

Oh, I mean, "that's a good thing". No really, it is. It's good. The talking is good. The shooting that came from it isn't so good.

But there's a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or political preference.

That connection I made earlier? Ignore it. There's no connection between a shooting and our national political debate. That's why I'm talking about both at the same time. To refute that very idea! There's nothing subliminal going on when I talk about both at once. Don't connect the two. They're unrelated!

We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled. That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

Hope and Change, baby.

Now, by itself, this simple recognition won't usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.

And this moment will determine whether together... we can thrive. (tm).

I believe we can. I believe we must. That's what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they've determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties.

Instead of just those nasty Republicans, who ruined this country with eight years of failed policies.

New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward

Move forward. Make progress. You know, like progressives.

together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics. At stake right now is not who wins the next election

LOL, you know I'm already campaigning, right?

– after all, we just had an election.

But that's never stopped me from campaigning before!

At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else.

At stake is my reelection.

It's whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded.

It's whether you will vote for me, or vote for someone else.

It's whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world.

And you can tell that's what's at stake because I start referring to America as a "light to the world", instead of apologizing for it all the time.

We are poised for progress.

Progress! Progressive? It's the root! See? It's a good word!

Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known,

Bush's fault.

the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.

Change! Hey, did you even notice I didn't mention how employment's doing? Pretty good, huh? Sounded like I covered all the bases.

But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone.

Progress! I did it again. You'll come to love that word, America.

We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise.

Thriving. Together We Thrive (tm)

By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.

Debt? What debt?

That's the project the American people want us to work on. Together.

Together. Together We Thrive (tm)

We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans' paychecks are a little bigger today.

That tax cut was yet another one of the "failed policies of the last eight years" that I have adopted. Funny how I keep doing that.

Every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans,

Notice I said "taken by Democrats"? You should really get used to hearing those words.

will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.

Add that to the 7 bajillion jobs we saved last year, and you'll see that business is booming!

But we have more work to do.

But we have more money to spend.

The steps we've taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession


– but to win the future, we'll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.

Bush's fault.

Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown.

Not that I've ever shown up at a factory or nearby business for a job, but here I go with my everyman part of my speech. I understand you.

You didn't always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors.

I understand you.

If you worked hard, chances are you'd have a job for life, with a decent paycheck, good benefits, and the occasional promotion. Maybe you'd even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company.

I understand you.

That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful. I've seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts of once busy Main Streets. I've heard it in the frustrations of Americans who've seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear – proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.

I'm not a witch. I am you.

They're right. The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there's an internet connection.

And together we can put a stop to that, if we just tax everything with a "Global Warming Surcharge".

Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science.

We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families

They're investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world's largest private solar research facility, and the world's fastest computer.

Communism! See?

So yes, the world has changed.


The competition for jobs is real.

And there's the new way to describe high unemployment: competition

But this shouldn't discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember – for all the hits we've taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline,

And remember - I was one of them,

America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world.

And the Democrats and myself would still have a chance to fix that, if it wasn't for those meddling voters!

No workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We are home to the world's best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on Earth.

Sounds like a place that any American can and should be most proud of for their entire lives. Uh, errrr, {cough} {cough} ahem.

What's more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.

Here I go. The conservative talk gets them every time.

That is why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here. It's why our students don't just memorize equations, but answer questions like "What do you think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you grow up?"

I don't really know what this means. Because two seconds ago, I said we needed to focus more on math and science, and suddenly I'm getting all artsy-schmartsy and "no answer is wrong" again.

The future is ours to win.

And only someone who didn't understand either the concept of A. "winning" or B. "the future" would ever talk about "winning the future".

But to get there, we can't just stand still.

We need to move forward. To make progress. Progressive. Remember that word. Please???

As Robert Kennedy told us, "The future is not a gift. It is an achievement." Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.

Progressive. P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E. Progressive.

Now it's our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time.


We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.


We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business.

Because from businesses we get taxes and that's where all the real progress is made.

We need to take responsibility for our deficit, and reform our government.

Now that the Republicans have taken over the House, we need to start talking about the deficit and MUST reform our government.

That's how our people will prosper. That's how we'll win the future. And tonight, I'd like to talk about how we get there.

And we're winning the future again. Because the future is like a game show. Or maybe the future is like a prize on a game show. Tell them what they've won, Johnny. You've won a trip to Puerto Vallarta! And you've also won.... the Futurrrrre!!!!

The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation.


None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from.

By "us", I of course mean my administration.

Thirty years ago, we couldn't know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution.

See? The internet was a revolution. The internet is good, and so therefore revolutions are good. So is progress. Are you paying attention?

What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the creativity and imagination of our people.


We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives. It's how we make a living.

Innovation is how we make a living. Just before we win the future.

Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation.

How about that conservative talk folks? Are you buying it? I said "free enterprise".

But because it's not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need.

Screw free enterprise! You hear me, America??? Screw free enterprise!!!!

That's what planted the seeds for the Internet. That's what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS.


Just think of all the good jobs – from manufacturing to retail – that have come from those breakthroughs.

And to think, I'm responsible for it all! Hope and Change, baby!

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we'd beat them to the moon. The science wasn't there yet. NASA didn't even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn't just surpass the Soviets

Notice we merely "surpassed" the Soviets. We don't want to offend anyone by saying we "creamed" them or "beat them like rented mules".

we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.


This is our generation's Sputnik moment.

Because there's nothing Americans love more than being compared to the Commies. Also, I'm saying we've hit our peak and the rest of the world is about to pass us by.

Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven't seen since the height of the Space Race.

Two years ago, I said a lot of things.

In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal.

A budget? What's that?

We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.


Already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy. Robert and Gary Allen are brothers who run a small Michigan roofing company.

I received a letter. Nah, I think the ObamaCare debacle killed the whole "letter" thing.

After September 11th, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the Pentagon. But half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit them hard.


Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. In Robert's words, "We reinvented ourselves."


That's what Americans have done for over two hundred years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we've begun to reinvent our energy policy.


We're not just handing out money.

We're taking it, too!

We're issuing a challenge. We're telling America's scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we'll fund the Apollo Projects of our time.

Shhhh. I won't mention that we're "funding" it with your money. That never goes over well. But funding sure sounds good.

At the California Institute of Technology, they're developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars.

In Oregon, they're doing it with rainbows. And in Massachusetts, you will one day be flying in a spacecar powered only by clouds, and the imaginations of young children.

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they're using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities.

Nuclear? Whoops, more conservative talk. Americans are gonna lap that up. Moderate!

With more research and incentives,


we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.

And electricity comes from unicorns!

We need to get behind this innovation.


And to help pay for it,


I'm asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies.

But those billions aren't coming back to you, the taxpayer. Oh, is that what you think I'm gonna do with it? Give it back? Hahahahahahahahaha. It's MIIIIIIINNNNE.

I don't know if you've noticed, but they're doing just fine on their own.

And I don't know if you've noticed, but the government isn't. So we need to "spread the misery around".

So instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's.


Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they're selling.

And so government will simply create the market via fiat. That always works!

So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources.

Clean energy sources... like bunnies.

Some folks want wind and solar.

Some folks want to bathe in $100 bills.

Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas.

Others want dames. Lots and lots of dames.

To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.

Fiat, baby! Fiat! We tell the markets what to do and it just happens, baby! Now excuse me, I have to go refill the Skittle machine with my Number 2.

Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America's success. But if we want to win the future – if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas


– then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.

Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.

Think about it. Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree.

But remember earlier when I said none of us predict where the next "innovation" would come from? That was just a bunch of pablum they thought you'd like. In reality, I can predict everything.

And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren't even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations.

Look for the union label.

America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us – as citizens, and as parents – are willing to do what's necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.


That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It's family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done.

And only the State can make sure that parents are making sure the TV is turned off and homework is getting done.

We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.

But all the same, congratulations Michael Vick!!!

Our schools share this responsibility.

And since you pay for our schools, so do you. Are you following this yet?

When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don't meet this test.

Look for the union label.

That's why instead of just pouring money into a system that's not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all fifty states, we said, "If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we'll show you the money."


Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. These standards were developed, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what's best for our kids.

We're more than halfway through this thing and I've finally mentioned something I've done. It's a government program! Wheeeeeeeeeeee.

You see, we know what's possible for our children when reform isn't just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities.

This sounds pretty obvious, but it isn't! Really, this is something that four people had to think about before committing it to this speech!

Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the first year of the school's transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said "Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing… that we are smart and we can make it."

I received a letter. Just kidding!

Let's also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child's success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom.

Look for the union label.

In South Korea, teachers are known as "nation builders." Here in America, it's time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect. We want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones.

But I still won't mention unions!!!

And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.


In fact, to every young person listening tonight who's contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child – become a teacher. Your country needs you.

Don't become a nasty entrepreneur. Those people never changed or shaped anything.

Of course, the education race doesn't end with a high school diploma. To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American.


That's why we've ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students.

Those new bank fees you're facing? Well now you know where they're going.

And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of college.


Because people need to be able to train for new jobs and careers in today's fast-changing economy, we are also revitalizing America's community colleges.


Last month, I saw the promise of these schools at Forsyth Tech in North Carolina. Many of the students there used to work in the surrounding factories that have since left town. One mother of two, a woman named Kathy Proctor, had worked in the furniture industry since she was 18 years old. And she told me she's earning her degree in biotechnology now, at 55 years old, not just because the furniture jobs are gone, but because she wants to inspire her children to pursue their dreams too. As Kathy said, "I hope it tells them to never give up."

Hey did I mention that I found this out in a letter? No? Yeah, letters don't poll so good anymore. Look that way!

If we take these steps – if we raise expectations for every child, and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day they're born until the last job they take – we will reach the goal I set two years ago: by the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

And all because I knew how to tax and how to spend.

One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.

I received a letter from a Chico Escuela, a migrant worker that came here via unintentional catapult. He said "Mr. Obama, I just want a job and an education, and to be a good American just like you so I can live the American dream. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all." {whispering compassionately} Indivisible. With liberty and justice for all. {biting lip} But he does not have liberty. And his people are most divisible. And there is no justice for him. If there is no justice for Mr. Escuela, then there can be no justice for any of us. As Americans. Americans who love this country and who love freedom. The freedom to innovate and invest. The freedom to {end whisper}

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let's agree to make that effort. And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.


The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet.

And with all that, the future can be full of win. Lolcat, roflcopters, Khaaaan. +1!!!!

[.....End Part 1....]


  1. the naysayers predicting our decline,

    And remember - I was one of them

    Yes, it was a senator's patriotic duty in those evil times to cavil, carp, kvetch, and vote "present".

  2. In those times? I think you just described him now.


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