Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the Union

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, this post is my live reaction to the President's State of the Union. I'm sitting in my living room with one of my roommates and his girlfried. To honor the solemnity and seriousness of the occassion, we've made popcorn and are drinking wine. Oh, and because I know you're all worried about the bias of our choice in news channels, we're watching the ABC broadcast.

Hooray, the glad handing has started. Extra points for anyone who can count the number of red ties in the crowd. Sounds like Cindy Sheehan got arrested for trying to turn the House Chamber into a caucus floor. Hmmm, as much as I'm not a fan of a bunch of things this administration is doing, I'm not for that.

Daaa daa daa daaa.....daaa daa da daaaa (wedding song) "Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States" Here comes the bride...dressed in a blue tie....

It's now 9:10 EST. It looks like we're about ready to start. Who would believe it. It's starting more on time than most NFL football games. But let's not be too hasty--the applause have been going on for 6 minutes now. 9:11, here we go. "Ladies and gentlemen, I have the distinct honor and priviledge to present to you the President of the United States."

And now more applause. "Mr. Speaker, VP Cheney, Congress, Diplo corps, distinguished guests and fellow citizens..." A good start, the President is recognizing Coretta Scott King's passage (which, by the way, is a creepy coincidence to have happen on the same day Alito has been confirmed). More applause.

HOLY CRAP! He just said "Rostrum"!!!!!! I don't know if he's ever said that before.

"serve with you". A good statement; showing that the executive is only one part of the 3 pieces of government. The need for civil discourse. Union Strong, together we'll make it stronger. Nice platitude, but what does it mean?

"We will not retreat from our duties in search of a comfortable life." Isolationism and protectionism seem broad and inviting--but they're not. The question is, how does the executive and Congress frame these issues?

First reference to Sept. 11th. How many more will there be tonight? "democracies join the fight against terror." So aparently Spain, France, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland aren't democracies. Hmmmm.

"Lebanon to Egypt: Debating the necessity of freedom." I thought the necessity of freedom was self evident. Thank you Mr. President. That was genious. We now enter the part of the speech where President tells us that Terrorists try to cow us by fear--and does it in a way that seems to be focused on scaring us. Again with the Freedom, and we're fighting to keep it.

It's better to fight somewhere else than to fight at home. We're always at war with Oceana, War is Peace, Love is hate, we always will be at war with Oceana. Oh, and we will never surrender to evil. Because "It's Baaad. Baaaad."

Did you all see James Lipton two seats to Laura Bush's left? Maybe it wasn't James Lipton, but it might have been Will Farrell playing him.

Rah Rah, sis-boom-ba. Viernes, Viernes, Rah Rah Rah! We're winning!!!! Wait. What? I thought we won? Didn't we declare victory? Why haven't we taken our ball and gone home? "We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Victory" and once we see him, we can click our combat boots together three times, and say, "there's no place like home."

Message to Congress: You're either with us, or I'll nullify your election results in November. "I am the law!" It doesn't matter if you supported me before or not, you have to stand with me now, because we're at war, and a wartime President gets whatever he wants. Don't believe me, ask the ACLU.

I'm conflicted here. The President is quoting a line from a final letter from a fallen Marine. While it is important to respect the sacrifice, I also feel like its innappropriate to do so during a political speech--thus bringing the sacrifice of so many into the low and dirty political fray that is the floor of the House. Oh, and DON'T Smile during the applause. They are for the loss and sacrifice, not your words.

The U.S. supports democratic reform across the middle east. Except in Jordan or Egypt. Ooops. He's just did it. He cited Egypt. Where the main opposition won 7% of the vote. Check it out...I can't link it here, but seriously. Check it out. OH MY GOD!!!!! He went from EGYPT to SAUDI...a place (if it can be believed) EVEN LESS DEMOCRATIC.

Iran. The regime in that country... yes. They sponsor terrorism, they do some amazingly dumb things. NUCLEAR not NUKEYOULAR. But amazingly, they are the most democratic society in the Middle East. They HAVE voted, numerous times. The most fair and free election they had was in the 1950s. They elected a guy. The U.S. got rid of him and replaced him with a freaking KING. How democratic is that?

Isolation. Seems to be the buzzword of the speech tonight. He's trying to tell us that we can't go the way of isolation. This just makes me fear that the executive will, in the next 9 months, dive head-long into the Hawly-Smoot act.

Homeland Security; there's lots of people working on it. They're smart. So we're safe. I hope he starts to talk about how even our best efforts can't make it impossible to thwart attacks. Here it comes....FISA, you're a bunch of pansies!

"Terrorist surveilance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks." Except we aren't given any of the records, so the veracity of your statement can't be confirmed--or denied for that matter.

Well.... ahemm....moving on. We need the support of our friends and allies. Yup. Both of them. Britain and Micronesia. C'mon micronesia.

President to Congress; "Together, let us protect our country." And by protect, I mean you guys rubber stamp everything I say is good. Because I'm good and other stuff is evil. Evil is bad, and we should fight it.

He just said a hard sentence: "major industrialized nation." We have created more jobs than Japan. Which isn't hard, because Japan is 1/2 our population and the average age there is 42 (ours is 26). Hmmmm...how many new jobs does Japan need?

"Walling off our economy" Nahhhh....we'd rather wall off our borders--even though, "immigrants are important to this economy, even though this economy could not function without them." We should just punish them for speaking Spanish.

"Our economy grows when Americans have more money in their own pockets." Except, Mr. President, that Americans actually have Chinese money in their pockets. Our economy is growing based on Chinese loans to Americans. That's right. People who earn an average of $3 a day are loaning Americans approximately $400 billion a year.

HOLY MUTHERFU***R. Cut the deficit in half by 2009??? That means by 2009, in constant dollars, the U.S. will still be spending approximately 250 billion dollars a year more than we earn in taxes.

Now he's going to tell us that we need to privatize social security and medicare. Lets see how that goes over? "Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security." Democrats are proud of that. His big plan? A commission? These have been held by every president since, I think, Ford.

Guest worker program--is only going to work, Mr. President, if it's harder to be illegal than legal.

Wait, back to insurance and health care? After you told us that the government needs to get out of the business--even though private business and insurance are contributing to A. higher premiums and B. lower quality care. Try England, Japan, or Canada? Single payer. Easy.

OOOOH.. "America is addicted to foreign Oil." The best way to break this cycle is technology. Tonight I announce the clean energy institute. 2 ways: zero emision coal plants; solar and wind plants, "clean safe" NUKEYOUlar energy. We must also change how we power automobiles: batteries and hydrogen. Ethanol from stalks, switchgrass, woodchips. Goal; replace 75% of oil imports from the mid-east by 2025. Make oil-dependence a thing of the past.

Sorry, missed the last point. Am trying to find out how much oil we get from mid east. According to the DOE, 25% came from the mid-east in Nov '05.

Oh, physical science research. THANK THE MAKER. It's about time we beefed up sceince funding. Too bad we're doing it at a time when the budget it already overflowing the bank account. Teaching more math and science courses, early ed, professionals in a classroom. This is a good policy too. Let's just hope it gets done in a way that doesn't goof everything up.

Parents are worried about....anything. Suffering from disease, activist courts, redefining marriage, or--perhaps--the government interfering places that are best left to churches, synagogues, and mosques.

"Judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench." Only time will tell how accurate that statement was. Interesting, though, that he follows it up with an homage to O'Connor, who I believe, is retiring to pick a fight with exectutive and legislative branches around the country from circumscribing the independence and autonomy of the judiciary. Because, ladies and gents, I don't think Justice O'Connor is retiring, I think O'Connor is looking for a fight.

Ending Cloning, and a bunch of other goofy uses of science: about f'n time someone stood up and said so.

He just said AIDS can be treated and defeated. Ummm, I'm no doctor, but this doesn't sound right to me. It's great to help Americans with AIDS, but my concern is that we're not going to have anyone left in Africa because of AIDS. President's goal: no more new AIDS infections. Awfully interesting idea from a man opposed to knowledge of, use of, dissemination of, or awareness of condoms.

Closing analogy: The U.S. could have accepted the permanent division of Europe. We will not. We can turn back, or we can advance....what exactly does that mean? Nice platitude Mr. President, but really, that doesn't mean anything other than you want things to be peachy-keen. C'mon. We're a nation of doers. We need facts pal.

It's now 10:04, the President spoke for 53 minutes. Just slightly longer than a FIFA match.

If you watched the whole speech, and you've read all of my live-in-the-action comments, I apologize for the length. Regardless of whether you agree with my comments or not, I hope life finds you well at this State of the Union, and by the next one, the political discourse has made more room for us to agree.


alektra said...

O'Connor's husband has Alzheimer's. She might really be leaving for personal reasons, you know.

Ryan said...

Oh how I missed the 10 minutes of talk and 43 minutes of applause. Or was Bush talking more this time. It'll be interesting to see what the Spanish press have to say, if anything, about this years catch phrases!

THanks for the play by play

Anonymous said...

From rambling barrister:
I confess I heard part of it on MPR. And that was all I needed to hear.

It seemed that if you say it louder or more often it makes it true. It has to be because the {hush} President {hush} said so.

He said all the right things but I am {surprise} skeptical as he's done that in the past too and didn't hold through on it. He has declared war on partisianship since the Gore debacle (IMHO, a perfect example of legislating from the bench, but I digress), but every congressional representative claims it has been gettting worse, not better.

Let's just put my summary of my take on the SOU in logic he can understand: "If you're not with me, you're against me."