President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress last night, outlining his $447-billion proposal to alleviate unemployment in the U.S. The speech had been re-scheduled from Wednesday to avoid a conflict with the all-Republican edition of Last Comic Standing. Even so, the speech was scheduled to end in time for the somewhat less contentious Saints/Packers game.
Obama outlined a series of measures which have had bipartisan support in the past, urging Congress to pass them "right away." Highlights include expanding existing payroll tax cuts, and allocating $140-billion for infrastructure work on schools, roads and bridges. The President assured Congress the large cost of the proposal would be borne by Warren Buffet.
Mr. Obama remarked that he'd be taking his message to "every corner of this country." Republicans were quick to point out that the country lies on the surface of a sphere, and therefore doesn't have corners in the Euclidean sense. However, Sarah Palin later refudiated this statement, saying the round earth idea was "just a theory."
Otherwise, Republicans gave the speech an uncharacteristically conciliatory response. House Speaker John Boehner said it "didn't totally suck", prompting Majority Leader Eric Cantor to retort "Yeah, well you only saw him from the back." In particular, Mr. Obama urged Republicans who have taken the "no tax increases" pledge not to break that pledge now, triggering a torrent of tax increase proposals from the GOP.