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In case you missed President Obama’s State of the Union address, reporters analyzed what the president said (and didn’t) about the issues they cover. Here are some of the highlights from their coverage. You can read the full article here.

  • Jobs: Facing slow job growth rate and a 9.4 percent unemployment, Obama focused on the need for job creation through clean energy, a cut in the corporate tax rate and the need to cut government spending.
  • Health Care: While Obama said that he was willing to work on legislation that would improve the new health care bill, he also said “What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition.”
  • Earmarks: “And because the American people deserve to know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in Congress should know this: If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it,” President Obama said.
  • Iraq and Afghanistan: While most of Obama’s speech focused on domestic issues, Obama was brief about Iraq and Afghanistan and reiterated the goal of American troop withdrawal.
  • Clean Energy: Obama set a new goal for America, stating that he hopes to have 80 percent of America’s electricity from clean energy by 2035
  • Transportation: Obama also stated a new goal for high speed railways,  saying that he wants 80 percent of the population to have access to high speed rail within 25 years
  • Education: While calling for more science and math education to compete with China and India, Obama also challenged states for ideas on how to improve education. “That’s why instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top,” the president said. “To all 50 states, we said, ‘If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.’”
  • Immigration: Obama challenged congress to “take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration”
  • Competitiveness: “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” said Obama while still stressing the need for innovation in industry and job creation.
  • Electric Cars: Another goal: a million electric cars on the road by 2015

by Evan Smith, The Texas Tribune
September 7, 2010

Last Wednesday night, as part of our TribLive events series, we were fortunate enough to host the Texas premiere of a brand-new documentary, My Trip to Al-Qaeda. The film, directed by Academy Award-winner Alex Gibney, stars native Texan Lawrence Wright, the longtime New Yorker writer and the author of The Looming Tower, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book about 9/11 and its aftermath . The book, published in 2006, spawned a one-man play called “My Trip to Al-Qaeda,” in which Wright reflects on his reporting on the war on terror and his time and interactions in dangerous places overseas. The play, in turn, spawned the documentary, which played the Tribeca Film Festival this year and debuted on HBO this evening.

Following the screening, which took place at the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas campus, I interviewed Wright and Gibney about the making of the film and their views of the delicate, controversial subject matter.

“My Trip to Al Qaeda:” Q and A with Lawrence Wright and Alex Gibney from texastribune on Vimeo.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at