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6:56 PM PT: This is just great stuff:

Now, I don’t expect to convince my Republican friends on the merits of this law.  But I know that the American people aren’t interested in refighting old battles.  So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice – tell America what you’d do differently.  Let’s see if the numbers add up.  But let’s not have another forty-something votes to repeal a law that’s already helping millions of Americans like Amanda.  The first forty were plenty.  We got it.  We all owe it to the American people to say what we’re for, not just what we’re against.
It's like reading a Joan McCarter post coming from the president's lips.

6:57 PM PT: Hearty applause to that. I figure mostly from Democrats. If I had any complaint, he didn't deliver the "first forty were plenty" line particularly well. But that's just nitpicking—so far this might be my favorite SOTU yet from Obama. But maybe that's just because my expectations were so low going into it.

6:58 PM PT: BiPM to the point:

Well, that was the crotch kick to the GOP that he's been waiting to deliver for a year.
@BillinPortland

7:00 PM PT: Strong defense of voting rights:

Citizenship means standing up for everyone’s right to vote.  Last year, part of the Voting Rights Act was weakened.  But conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats are working together to strengthen it; and the bipartisan commission I appointed last year has offered reforms so that no one has to wait more than a half hour to vote.  Let’s support these efforts.  It should be the power of our vote, not the size of our bank account, that drives our democracy.

7:01 PM PT: Obama: "Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day." Or as Barbara Morrill said to me: "What the GOP just heard: 'I'm coming to take your guns away.'"

7:03 PM PT: Now we're onto the less political portion of the speech:

For while our relationship with Afghanistan will change, one thing will not: our resolve that terrorists do not launch attacks against our country.
But I can already hear Darrell Issa and Ted Cruz screaming: "What about Benghazi?!?!?!?!?" 7:07 PM PT:
A lot more applause for closing Gitmo than there are apparently votes for closing Gitmo
@BenjySarlin

7:12 PM PT (Barbara Morrill): New thread here

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