Live Writing Trump’s February 28th Speech to Congress

Rather than a live blog today you will be reading a live writing. That is, I will be watching Trump’s joint address to congress and writing my live reactions but only publishing it at the end.

Let’s begin.

8:58 – They won’t stop applauding for Melania.  Awkward.

8:59 – “Mr. Speaker. The President’s cabinet!” Many Cheers. It is so strange how things like this in the US are presented like sporting events.  This is not a Trump problem.  Cheering for people as they walk in is so strange.  I feel like Trump is going to run out through a banner.

9:03 – This is likely Trump’s last opportunity to walk back some of the craziness.  If he presents a lighter vision on immigration I assume right wing will say he is extending an olive branch. The left will say he is flip flopping.

9:04 – There was no banner.

9:05 – Lots of hand shaking.  He seems to making a good effort not to do the strange yank shake.

9:08 – The gavel strikes.

9:08 – First standing ovation.

9:09 – He begins… oh they have to standing O the first lady for some reason.

9:10 – wtf.  Another standing O.

9:11 – Standing O.  Condemning hate and evil.

9:11 – “deeply delivered from my heart” – that was written for him?

9:12 – Attempted standing O.  denied by most.

9:13 – “the mistakes of recent decades past” Common.  Who is the writer?

9:14 – “in 2016 the earth shifted beneath our feet…” This whole segment sounds like a children’s author attempting lofty dialogue.

9:15 – Standing 0 for “make America great again”

9:16 – Standing O for Trump taking credit for business decisions taken before his election.

9:17 – Claiming credit for planned cost reductions of the F35.

9:18 – half standing O for their efforts to eliminate corruption.

9:18 – 1 regulation in, 2 must go out.

9:19 – stop regulations that stop our great coal miners.  Standing O. Fuck you water.

9:19 – Keystone! Standing O! And a Woo!

9:20 – American pipelines be made with American steel. Standing O.

9:20 – Shout out to Trudeau! Women’s council! Standing O.

9:21 – Standing O to take care of the cartels.

9:21 – Expansion of treatment for drug addicts.  Wow.  That is new. Standing O.

9:22 – We must restore the rule of law at our borders. Standing O.  Except border agents don’t need warrants to search you. So not really rule of law.

9:23 – Build the wall! Standing O.

9:24 – Radical. Islamic. Terrorism.  Republicans really get off on hearing that.  Standing O.

9:25 –  Standing O.  We need proper vetting. I cannot keep up with the Standing Os.

9:26 – I had hoped for more details but I also understand that these joint sessions rarely have any details.

9:27 – Standing O to defeat ISIS.

9:27 – Standing O for the alliance with Israel.

9:27 – Standing O for saying our SC judges will defend the constitution!

9:28 – Standing O for Maureen Scalia.

9:29 – Standing O for the request that the SC pick be confirmed.

9:29 – He is going through economic stats now. Fact checkers are going to have a field day on this segment.

9:31 – Standing O for making it harder for companies to leave our country. Standing O from Republicans and nothing from Democrats.  Pretty backwards.

9:31 – Tax cuts all around.  companies and citizens.

9:32 – Harley Davidson did not get a standing O.  Don’t think the senate is the target demo.

9:33 – Standing O to asking for a change on international tariffs on American goods.  I actually agree with this.  I often find myself agreeing with on Trump on some aspects of his anti tariff views.

9:35 –  Shout out to Canadian immigration system.  Merit based systems.  He is proposing the same. Interesting. “Immigrant families enter the middle class quickly’

9:36 – good bit on the three concepts we will follow.  Half a standing O for that.

9:37 – Eisenhower reference. Calls for a national rebuilding.  Standing O.  Expect a few more details here.

9:37 – Ripping on the middle east wars. $1 trillion of infrastructure with both public and private capital.  Standing O.

9:38 – “buy American and hire American” Standing O

9:39 – Repeal and Replace Obamacare.  Loud standing O.  No details.  Better healthcare for lower costs with better choice! Unicorns and pots of gold all around.

9:40 – He is going to “lower the cost of health insurance”. Standing O.  how?

9:40 – Obamacare made rates go up! Nevermind that the states blocked Medicaid expansion which was supposed to keep costs down. So that is why the companies are leaving.  This is Republican state governments straight up sabotaging the healthcare system for politics. Fucking horrible. Another Standing O here.

9:42 – He wants a stable transition for people on healthcare.  Standing O. Health savings accounts, tax credits. Standing O.

9:43 – give states power to make sure no one is left out of Medicaid. See earlier point.  Fuck you.

9:43 – bring down of prices of drugs immediately. Standing O

9:44 – Purchase insurance across state lines! Standing O. I think that was a Republican addition in the first place.

9:44 – joint forces to get the job done right – Standing O.

9:45 – child care accessible and affordable.  Paid family leave. Standing O.  That is new.

9:45 – Invest in women’s health. But I guess not through planned parenthood. Is Pence “Make them have a funeral for their aborted fetus” Pence going to lead that charge?

9:46 – Standing O for Pompei disease victim.

9:48 – Uh oh. Using a sick kid to make the point that food and drug approval process should be easier. Not sure I can get on board with that.

9:48 – Education is the civil right issue of our time. Not racism. Standing O.

9:50 – Oh this is about vouchers.  DeVos knows all about vouchers. The camera did not pan to her. Standing O

9:51 – violence is not acceptable in our society. Standing O

9:51 – We must work with, not against law enforcement. Standing O. Of course you want to work with them.

9:52 – Pure unasulterable division! I think that was off script.

9:52 – support law enforcement. Standing O.

9:53 – VOICE.  Victims of immigration crime. A new department of the homeland security. This is not going to work out well.  Audible gasps, likely from Democrats.

9:54 – Standing O for the father of a murder victim. Murdered by an illegal immigrant.

9:55 – Standing O for another victim’s family.  I never like this type of thing. I never like guests of any kind being pointed out at these things.

9:56 – Some off script or flubbed line about winning wars. Standing O. “They only have to winnnnnn”

9:57 – Increase funding for our veterans. Standing O. Who doesn’t agree with that?

9:57 – Support our troops again. Standing O.

9:58 – Standing O for soldier’s wife. I believe it was the solder that died in the Yemen raid.

9:59 – Defending the Yemen raid. Standing O. we got a lot of intelligence from that.   Cheers and extended Standing O.

10:00 – Standing O continues. Pretty sure these are all people that voted against increased veteran benefits.

10:01 – Still on Ryan.  Never forget him.  Standing O.  I can’t disagree with the words but man I hate this kind of stuff.

10:02 – NATO Standing ovation.  Kind of strange. But partners must pay their fair share. After discussions with other countries the money is “pouring in”

10:03 – a confusing set of lines about respecting international rights of other nations.

10:04 – I represent the United States of America. Standing O.

10:06 – Its’ been 2 mins since a standing Ovation.

10:06 – footprints on distant worlds –  interesting reference.

10:07 – standing O. I think we are winding down here. He is getting into more poorly written whimsy.

10:07 – We are all made by the same god.  But not the Muslims I assume. Standing O.

10:08 – “trivial fights” and points to the Democrats. Clueless.

10:09 – Okay he is at least using compare and contrast along with repetition now as we winds down.

Standing O to close out.


Final thoughts.  As expected not much detail here.  The VOICE addition to homeland security is a bombshell.  Many things in there that sound good are likely terrible like “better schools!” Which actually means vouchers. Less regulation which includes the EPA. A lot of talk about getting, better, cheaper, easier healthcare.  So lots of pandering I guess but the details are always where the devil lies of course.

Let me give you a preview of the post speech analysis from talking heads.

It’s his best speech yet.

Yes but that is such a low bar. All he has to do was not swear and people would like it.

He really struck a softer tone.

But the things he said have no detail so we won’t know until we get details.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

61.5 Standing ovations.  Obnoxious


This was typed live while watching. Please excuse any major errors.

Please type what you think and why.