My DD214

Veterans should be a thing of the past.

State of the Union Liveblog

9:13pm – Woke up late from my nap. Dubya’s already talking about the economy. Good thing I’m not a journalist.

9:15pm – Dubya says eliminating terrorism is not idealistic nonsense. And that democracies respect their neighbors. Does that include by not invading them?

9:17pm – Dubya calls Iran out on the carpet again. Ooh, now he calls radical Islam “the perversion of a noble faith”. Al-Qaeda “wants to establish a totalitarian regime in the Middle East”. Seems to me that our allies the Saudis have got that covered.

9:19pm – Number of times he’s said “freedom” so far: 4

9:20pm – “We will never surrender to evil.” Followed by standing ovation. That’s just digging for applause isn’t it? Who the hell is gonna stay sitting down and look disapproving after “We will never surrender to evil”?

9:20pm – Iraqi forces are “increasingly more capable of defeating the enemy every day”.

9:23pm – Laundry list of “victories” in Iraq. You gotta be kidding me. The Bush administration is still the only group of people on Earth that doesn’t think the situation in Iraq is a huge goatrope. I thought Bush was out of the bubble now.

9:24pm – Ooh! “Hindsight is not wisdom and second-guessing is not strategy”. Nasty.

9:26pm – Here comes the personal story from a Marine on the ground. Straight of the Clinton playbook this is. Bush reads a letter from a jarhead who says “I died so you didn’t have to.” The real tragedy of this is that the poor guy probably believed that sentiment, that somehow the war in Iraq prevented American deaths.

9:28pm – “The United States of America supports democratic reform across the Middle East.” Unless you vote for Hamas. Oh, or unless you’re the Saudi people. You don’t get to vote.

9:30pm – He’s reading my mind. Hamas must disarm, and don’t worry, Saudi Arabia is “taking steps.” A-ha.

9:31pm – “Nuke-u-lar”. Still. After five years. Nobody takes him aside and says, “Mr. President, you sound like an eight-year-old-kid.”

9:32pm – What the hell? Dubya starts addressing the Iranian people, then non-sequiturs into “America cares about African babies with AIDS”. I think he skipped a page.

9:33pm – A vague imperative to Congress that it must not short-change international humanitarian aid. I didn’t even know this was an issue. Bush is all over the place; now we’re going to the PATRIOT Act.

9:34pm – Huh. Bush says that two of the 9/11 hijackers placed calls from the US to Al-Qaeda overseas, and he invokes this to defend his domestic spying program. Interesting, as he always says that the NSA spying program involves only calls originating overseas and coming into the United States.

9:36pm – Bush says that there is essentially no alternative to US global leadership. Scary.

9:37pm – “Freedom” count so far: 10
“Victory” count so far: 4

9:39pm – A long-winded intro leading up to another defense of tax cuts. ‘If Congress lets the tax cuts expire, American families will wake up to unwelcome tax increases.’ Huh? American families in Malibu, apparently.

9:40pm – Bush alludes to the stratospheric increase in “discretionary spending”. Yeah, that’s the two simultaneous wars we’re fighting. Now he asks for the line-item veto. I’ve never heard Bush bring this up, but it’s well in keeping with his tendency to want to muck the balance of powers.

9:43pm – Name drops Bill and alludes to how tight he and Bush Sr. have gotten. Amusing.

9:43pm – Ironic cheering by Democrats when Bush mentions how his Social Security reform didn’t get passed. Holy cow, Congress is turning into Parliament.

9:45pm – “With a level playing field and an open market, no one can out-produce the American worker.” Da, comrade!

9:46pm – Did I just hear that right? “Keeping America competitive requires federal healthcare.” What? Don’t tease me, Dubya.

9:47pm – It was a tease. He meant for the poor and elderly. We get “health savings accounts”. And now we move on to tort reform. (sigh)

9:48pm – Here’s the much-touted “America is addicted to oil” line. No one told Bush that it was important, because he cruised right through it. Apparently, we’re going to invest in coal and “nuke-u-lar” energy. What about cars?

9:49pm – Hydrogen cars, and ethanol “not just from corn”, but from “swish grass”. Don’t get all technical on me now, Dubya.

9:50pm – We’ll eliminate oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. Whoa, where’s the fire! Twenty years, huh.

9:51pm – A new domestic initiative (the “American Competitiveness Initiative”) to increase math and science education for American children. I will bet you ANYTHING that this will include a hidden provision for intelligent design. Mark my words. Look at the datestamp at the top of the post.

9:53pm – “In recent years America has become a more hopeful nation.” This assertion is backed up by stats about reduced crime and abortions. Take note, abortions and hopefulness have an inverse relationship, apparently. That reminds me of the inversely proportional relationship between the number of pirates and the average global temperature that is one of the pillars of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism.

9:55pm – Parents are “concerned about unethical conduct in public officials” and “activist judges who seek to redefine marriage”. Bush says that we cannot believe that American culture is unravelling. Isn’t this supposed to be the End Times?

9:56pm – More Republican talking points about judges “not legislating from the bench”. The right loves that idea. I wonder if the Democratic rebuttal will address legislating from the Oval Office?

9:57pm – Another surprise: Bush calls for cloning to be banned, and cites it as ‘devaluing a gift from the Creator’. Interesting that the strategy here is to couch it in similar terms as the movement against same-sex marriage.

10:00pm – Some very vague talking around the Hurricane Katrina debacle.

10:01pm – Bush calls for using faith-based groups to administer AIDS tests. Shouldn’t Planned Parenthood do that?

10:02pm – Here comes the conclusion. “The destination of history is chosen by human action.” Name drops Lincoln and Martin Luther King, and America’s intervention in World War II. “Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage.” Pretty. But pretty irrelevant.

Final counts
“Freedom”: said at least 10 times
“Victory”: said at least 7 times

Yamn. I’ve heard this all before. We’ve gone from the “Axis of Evil” president to one whose harshest words are reserved for his Democratic critics. No domestic stuff worth hearing really. The “ending American dependence on Mideast oil” bit was absolutely underwhelming. We’re not going to have ethanol cars in twenty years and Bush knows it. His petro-business friends were all high-fiving each other after that section.

I’m also not impressed with the defense of the NSA domestic spying program. Not at all. The example he gave would not have been covered by the supposed limits of the program. Go fig. More thoughts tomorrow.

31 January, 2006 9:16 PM Posted by | News, Politics and other hazardous materials | 3 Comments

A vegetable oil-powered Hummer in every garage

According to this CNN article, President Bush is going to call for less American reliance on petroleum in his State of the Union tonight. My ass. He’ll say it, but White House and Congressional GOP policy will say otherwise. This isn’t the first time that this administration has said talked a bunch of garbage that its legislatin’ hand just can back up.

I think I’ll live-blog the State of the Union address at 7, more for my entertainment than anything else. I’m also kind of embarrassed to admit, Clay, that I thought “knackered” meant “drunk”, but apparently it means “tired”. I’ve always been kind of a half-assed anglophile anyway.

31 January, 2006 5:47 PM Posted by | News | Leave a comment