Again The Three (Annotated)

Annotated State of the Union Speech
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And I'm requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use. America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk. The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don't have to choose [48] [48] Oh, sure.

And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of thirty years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock [49] [49] For Democrats this will be the next item on the list of crucial modern industries that wouldn't have happened without government investment. After genomics, GPS-and geospatial info, the semiconductor, and the Internet, we now have What's true for natural gas is true for clean energy.

In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world's leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries. Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled. And thousands of Americans have jobs because of it. When Bryan Ritterby [50] [50] See "citizens as props," above. But he found work at Energetx, a wind turbine manufacturer in Michigan.

Before the recession, the factory only made luxury yachts. Today, it's hiring workers like Bryan, who said, "I'm proud to be working in the industry of the future. Our experience with shale gas shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don't always come right away.

Some technologies don't pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away [51] [51] Impresive doubling-down on Solyndra! Plus he even uses the term "double-down" at the end of the paragraph, leading to standing ovation from Democrats and silence from Republicans. I will not walk away from workers like Bryan. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough.

It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that's rarely been more profitable, and double-down [52] [52]! Pass clean energy tax credits and [53] [53] I feel phantom-limb pain in this sentence, for the missing "right away. We can also spur energy innovation with new incentives. The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. But there's no reason why Congress shouldn't at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. So far, you haven't acted. Well tonight, I will [54] [54] No More Mr.

Nice Guy, part I'm directing my Administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes. And I'm proud to announce that the Department of Defense, the world's largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history—with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year. Of course, the easiest way to save money is to waste less energy.

Send me a bill that creates these jobs. Building this new energy future should be just one part [55] [55] This is the classic and unvarnished "turning now to world affairs"-style transition sentence. So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We've got crumbling roads and bridges. A power grid that wastes too much energy. An incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.

Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody, from the workers who built them to the businesses that still use them today [56] [56] In the campaign, Obama didn't really have to make this case about the public role in private prosperity. Back then, his explicit argument against Hillary Clinton in the primary was "I had the judgment to be against the Iraq war"; and against John McCain in the general election the implicit argument to many Americans was, "I am an acceptable unifying figure. Bill Clinton was the last national Democrat to spend serious time on this argument, which of course he presented in a folksier way..

In the next few weeks, I will sign an Executive Order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects. But you need to fund these projects. Take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it [57] [57] Not sure how this math works out, but all the Dems cheer and none of the Republicans. There's never been a better time to build, especially since the construction industry was one of the hardest-hit when the housing bubble burst.

Of course, construction workers weren't the only ones hurt. So were millions of innocent Americans who've seen their home values decline. And while Government can't fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn't have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.

No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks. A small fee on the largest financial institutions [58] [58] A truly comic art-trouvee moment here as the camera cuts to Timothy Geithner, who is looking pained. An America built to last [60] [60] This sentence illustrates why "built to last" isn't really going to, well, last as a campaign slogan -- but the sentiments are very similar to those that took Bill Clinton to two terms..

We've all paid the price for lenders who sold mortgages to people who couldn't afford them, and buyers who knew they couldn't afford them. That's why we need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior. Rules to prevent financial fraud, or toxic dumping, or faulty medical devices, don't destroy the free market.

They make the free market work better. There is no question that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly. In fact, I've approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his. I've ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don't make sense. With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk [62] [62] Scholars will try for centuries to understand how this line got into the speech.

It wasn't even ad libbed: it was in the pre-released text. As I saw it coming, I started saying out loud: "No, no, he can't really be planning I'm confident a farmer can contain a milk spill without a federal agency looking over his shoulder. But I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago.

I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury pollution [63] [63] Dog-whistle to enviros: The EPA's recent ruling restriction mercury emissions, especially from coal-fired plants, was one of their big victories in recent years. I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies [63a] [63a] What Obama's opponents consider far and away the most objectionable of his achievements, passage of the "Obamacare" health-care program, makes only the briefest and most indirect of cameo appearances in this speech.

Significantly, Obama emphasizes the consumer-protection aspects of the bill, rather than trying to re-argue the case of "individual mandates" and so on. And I will not go back to the days when Wall Street was allowed to play by its own set of rules [64] [64] Good line; no crowd reaction. So if you're a big bank or financial institution, you are no longer allowed to make risky bets with your customers' deposits. You're required to write out a "living will" that details exactly how you'll pay the bills if you fail—because the rest of us aren't bailing you out ever again [65] [65] This is a very bold line.

I think it would have gotten a big response earlier in the speech. But it is getting late, and most people want this to be over.. And if you're a mortgage lender or a payday lender or a credit card company, the days of signing people up for products they can't afford with confusing forms and deceptive practices are over. Today, American consumers finally have a watchdog in Richard Cordray [66] [66] Another dog-whistle to "the base" among Democrats: Cordray is of course one of Obama's relatively few recess appointments..

We will also establish a Financial Crimes Unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people's investments. Some financial firms violate major anti-fraud laws because there's no real penalty for being a repeat offender.

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That's bad for consumers, and it's bad for the vast majority of bankers and financial service professionals who do the right thing. So pass legislation that makes the penalties for fraud count. And tonight, I am asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis.

This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans. A return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help us protect our people and our economy. But it should also guide us [67] [67] Another "we don't have time to make this fancy" transition sentence. Right now, our most immediate priority is stopping a tax hike on million working [68] [68] Something strange is going on here.

Obama is of course referring to the showdown late last year about extending the payroll-tax cut. The Republican hard-liners, led by Eric Cantor, are generally considered to have "lost" that showdown—since Obama dared them to let it expire, and they flinched. But the camera predictably cuts to Cantor, and he inexplicably is shown cheering like crazy.

Maybe he is back to thinking any tax cut is a good cut? Americans while the recovery is still fragile. There are plenty of ways to get this done. No drama. Pass the payroll tax cut without delay [69] [69] 1 Why is "without delay" better than "right away"? Just curious. I am guessing it might happen. But we need to do more, and that means making choices. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary [70] [70] Who of course we see on camera now.

2. Annotations should be additive

These three annotations accompany the reading strategy Three Levels go back through each section again and make level two annotations. Othello Act 3 Scene 3 Lyrics But I will have my lord and you again Exceed three days: in faith, he's penitent; Prithee, no more: let him come when he will;.

Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else—like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we're serious about paying down our debt, we can't do both [71] [71] This is the way for Obama to cast his argument: not that he's opposed to tax cuts for everyone, but that there are tradeoffs to make.

The American people know what the right choice is. So do I. As I told the Speaker this summer, I'm prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security, so long as those programs remain a guarantee of security for seniors. But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me [72] [72] To the best of my knowledge it was Bill Clinton, in his post-presidential years of prosperity, who pioneered this touch: referring to "people like me" when discussing tax breaks and tax burdens at the top.

The speechwriters are not earning their pay if they haven't thought about this. In fact, if you're earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn't get special tax subsidies or deductions. You're the ones struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages.

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You're the ones who need relief. Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense. We don't begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it's not because they envy the rich [75] [75] Hmm, I wonder who has used this language about "envy" recently?

It's because they understand that when I get tax breaks I don't need and the country can't afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference [76] [76] Again it is important for Obama's side that he point out the tradeoffs. In principle, everyone's taxes should be cut. But here are the real implications That's not right. Americans know it's not right. They know that this generation's success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to each other, and to their country's future, and they know our way of life will only endure if we feel that same sense of shared responsibility.

That's how we'll reduce our deficit. That's an America built to last [77] [77] I've got the message! I recognize that people watching tonight have differing views about taxes and debt; energy and health care. But no matter what party they belong to, I bet most Americans are thinking the same thing [78] [78] You never want to use this kind of line in a speech, because it invites subversive responses.

I was thinking at just that moment: It is nearly 10pm, we haven't talked foreign policy yet, it's time to wrap things up! The greatest blow to confidence in our economy last year didn't come from events beyond our control. It came from a debate in Washington over whether the United States would pay its bills or not. Who benefited from that fiasco [79] [79] Boehner looks stoic. No cut-away to Cantor.

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I've talked tonight about the deficit of trust between Main Street and Wall Street. But the divide between this city and the rest of the country is at least as bad—and it seems to get worse every year. Some of this has to do with the corrosive influence of money in politics.

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So together, let's take some steps to fix that. Send me a bill that bans insider trading [80] [80] 1 It is incredible that this is even an issue. Did anyone have a camera on Rep. Joe Wilson? Let's limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries they impact. Let's make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can't lobby Congress, and vice versa—an idea that has bipartisan support, at least outside of Washington.

Some of what's broken has to do with the way Congress does its business these days. A simple majority is no longer enough [81] [81] Well, three years after his inauguration, it's not too early for him to be talking about the menace of the filibuster! Now both parties should put an end to it. For starters, I ask the Senate to pass a rule that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or down vote within 90 days. Next question: what's the "or else" provision if the Senate minority doesn't agree to this change? The executive branch also needs to change [83] [83] Huge and not-entirely-sought ovation.

Too often, it's inefficient, outdated and remote. That's why I've asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy so that our Government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people. Finally, none of these reforms can happen unless we also lower the temperature in this town.

We need to end the notion that the two parties must be locked in a perpetual campaign of mutual destruction [84] [84] Isn't it pretty to think so? I'm a Democrat. That's why my education reform offers more competition, and more control for schools and States. That's why we're getting rid of regulations that don't work. That's why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a Government program. On the other hand, even my Republican friends who complain the most [86] [86] I am sure he can name names on this one, which would be amusing during the campaign.

The point is, we should all want a smarter, more effective Government. And while we may not be able to bridge our biggest philosophical differences this year, we can make real progress. With or without this Congress, I will keep taking actions that help the economy grow. But I can do a whole lot more with your help. Because when we act together, there is nothing the United States of America can't achieve [87] [87] Showing the undiminished role of ritual assertions, this gets a huge standing ovation..

That is the lesson we've learned from our actions abroad over the last few years. Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From Pakistan to Yemen, the al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can't escape the reach of the United States of America. From this position of strength, we've begun to wind down the war in Afghanistan. Ten thousand of our troops have come home.

Twenty-three thousand more will leave by the end of this summer. This transition to Afghan lead will continue, and we will build an enduring partnership with Afghanistan, so that it is never again a source of attacks against America.


A year ago, Qadhafi was one of the world's longest-serving dictators—a murderer with American blood on his hands. Today, he is gone [89] [89] Understated coldness, as with the bin Laden reference. And in Syria, I have no doubt that the Assad regime will soon discover that the forces of change can't be reversed, and that human dignity can't be denied [90] [90] Somewhat unexpected standing ovation for this line.. How this incredible transformation will end remains uncertain. But we have a huge stake in the outcome. And while it is ultimately up to the people of the region to decide their fate, we will advocate for those values that have served our own country so well.

We will stand against violence and intimidation. We will stand for the rights and dignity of all human beings—men and women; Christians, Muslims, and Jews. We will support policies that lead to strong and stable democracies and open markets, because tyranny is no match for liberty. And we will safeguard America's own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests.

Look at Iran. Through the power of our diplomacy, a world that was once divided about how to deal with Iran's nuclear program now stands as one. The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent. So a president, Democrat or Republican, conceals his cards. But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations.

The renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe. Our oldest alliances in Europe and Asia are stronger than ever. Our ties to the Americas are deeper. Our iron-clad [92] [92] He ad-libs a repetition, "and I mean iron-clad. We've made it clear that America is a Pacific power, and a new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope [93] [93] This is a classic State of the Union line. On the merits, of course it is important to recognize what has happened in Burma.

But in the negotiations before a SOTU, petitioners and officials from every part of the government are saying that it will be a huge problem if topic X or Y is not mentioned. So now no one can say that Burma "went unmentioned" in the speech,. From the coalitions we've built to secure nuclear materials, to the missions we've led against hunger and disease; from the blows we've dealt to our enemies; to the enduring power of our moral example, America is back [94] [94] Huge ovation here, too. Nothing elegant about the phrasing. Some historian may eventually parse the cheers for the "We're Number One!

Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn't know what they're talking about [95] [95] Another ovation here. See previous remarks. That's not the message we get from leaders around the world, all of whom are eager to work with us. That's not how people feel from Tokyo to Berlin; from Cape Town to Rio; where opinions of America are higher than they've been in years. Yes, the world is changing; no, we can't control every event. It's a reasonable contention. That's why, working with our military leaders, I have proposed a new defense strategy that ensures we maintain the finest military in the world, while saving nearly half a trillion dollars in our budget.

To stay one step ahead of our adversaries, I have already sent this Congress legislation that will secure our country from the growing danger of cyber-threats [97] [97] As with the Burma line, this is in the speech mainly so no one can say, "But he didn't even mention Above all, our freedom endures because of the men and women in uniform who defend it [98] [98] The longest standing ovation of all.

The ease of getting cheers for the military, during an era when only a tiny percent of Americans are in the military, will also be fodder for historians and anthropologists..

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As they come home, we must serve them as well as they served us. That includes giving them the care and benefits they have earned—which is why we've increased annual VA spending every year I've been President. And it means enlisting our veterans in the work of rebuilding our Nation. With the bipartisan support of this Congress, we are providing new tax credits to companies that hire vets.

Michelle and Jill Biden have worked with American businesses to secure a pledge of , jobs for veterans and their families. And tonight, I'm proposing a Veterans Job Corps that will help our communities hire veterans as cops and firefighters, so that America is as strong as those who defend her. Which brings me back to where I began [99] [99] This is another transition -- but in this case a wholly earned one.

He is indeed circling back to the "military as model for a nation" motif with which he introduced the speech.. Those of us who've been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops.

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When you put on that uniform, it doesn't matter if you're black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight [] [] Not exactly a dog whistle, but a reminder that Don't Ask, Don't Tell went away on Obama's watch. The people who hold that against him are already aware of it. He's making sure the people who should be grateful, but might have forgotten, are attentive to this fact. When you're marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you're in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one Nation, leaving no one behind.

On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn't matter. Just like it didn't matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates—a man who was George Bush's defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton [] [] She gives a wan and tired-looking forced smile. Was it really necessary to introduce her in the context of a beaten contender? After all she has done? All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn't deserve credit for the mission.

It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job—the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other—because you can't charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there's someone behind you, watching your back.

So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I'm reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No one built this country on their own. This Nation is great because we built it together. This Nation is great because we worked as a team [] [] I know that there are people who disagree with this on the merits. My view of America's history is closer to what Obama is arguing here; and in any case, tying it to the SEALS is rhetorically very nice..

This Nation is great because we get each other's backs [] [] A deliberate use of the vernacular; I think it works.. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we're joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong [] [] A very nice second use of "the State of the Union is I will only say that the State of the Union will be stronger still when such a speech can end with such a well-wrought "real" ending, and not the boilerplate auto-text of the line that follows..

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Mouse over the underlined passages to view annotations. All notes also appear in full at the end of the speech text. Overall this was an impressive and surprising speech, which accomplished the main goal of a "Year Four" State of the Union Address in a different way from what I had foreseen.

Those goals include putting the political opposition in an awkward position in the run-up to the presidential election, and the speech did more of that than I expected.

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Can you blame them for feeling a little cynical? This must have been agreed in advance: most of the time, like the members of the Supreme Court who attend, the Chiefs are expected to sit there stolidly and not betray any potentially partisan reaction. By the end he is looking as if he's ready for bed, or for a smoke, but he claps for more of Obama's lines than I would have expected, and he is on his feet for applause more than a few times. Plus, every president looks strongest and most symbol-of-America-like when appearing as head of state and Commander in Chief.

The Republican caucus must have decided that it is better to be good-cop than bad-cop as in the old "we don't care about defaulting on the national debt" days for the time being, or at least for purposes of being on camera during this speech. Though of course it is accurate.

Sort order. Mar 22, Phaney rated it it was ok. Mostly, but not entirely, consisting of more Leon antics. A little strange is the insistence that the three have now gone completely legit. As in, no more torturing and killing and stealing and kidnapping and all that fun stuff. Because supposedly Manfred promised as much for himself and his friends when they received the pardon and supposedly they never broke that promise. Which completely contradicts most of what they were up to in the previous volume, which mos Review: Short stories again. Which completely contradicts most of what they were up to in the previous volume, which most definitely takes place after the pardon, as well as even in the first few stories in this book.

They totally killed the villain in the previous book. Very deliberately, too. It does end on a somewhat sinister note, though. Namely with Leon going on a mission to kill someone with apparently no intention of telling his friends. So yeah. Kinda depressing as an end to the series. Jul 12, Id Davidovich rated it really liked it. The Just Men were entertaining, but less compelling, after they went legit. Three stars, with an extra star for the final story.

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