The State of the Union is Smug

Monday, January 28, 2008

So, here I sit on my couch with my laptop, realizing that I have no idea where I want to go with this. In the end, I'll try to pick up and the things that catch my ear and offer-up some snark to go along with it. I encourage my fellow contributors to either update and add to this peice, or add your own snippets and snark in the comments...or whatever.

9:09 pm, after 9 minutes of introductions and ceaseless clapping, did Nancy Pelosi alomost stumble over saying it was a distinct pleasure to introduce the President?

He made a point to say that 110th Congress will affect the security of our nation for years to come, and to recognize our obligations and keep them. This came up again, several times, especailly with regard to his coverage of the progress in Iraq and the Middle East in general. He essentially spent a lot of time on variations of the "don't pull out of Iraq" theme. Whatever you may think of being there, staying there, or leaving, he's clearly challenging the Democrats. And given the Dems' track record on his challenges...they'll buckle.

Pelosi looked like she was going to laugh when he said he reached an agreement with her. I bet she thought he was gonna say "boner" instead of Boener. Because I think it every single time.

Awwwww, George made a funny! He starts with saying that letting a tax decrease expire is essentially an increase, which is splitting hairs. He goes on to say that there are some people who are happy to pay higher taxes. He's happy to say the IRS accepts checks or money orders. Smug motherfucker.

Of course, he went on to say that Congress must make tax relief permanent. There is no problem with that George. So long as you also see that you either fund the war, fund education, fund corporate welfare, or fund health care, but not all three on a diminishing pot of money.

He says he'll veto any tax increase bill. If one were being discussed, I don't believe this Congress would have the political will to even send him one.

I like how he wants to eliminate $18 Billion in sending by eliminating wasteful programs. I can't wait to see the list of wasteful programs. Apparently, health insurance for poor kids is one of those wasteful programs...

I loved this one: families have to balance their should their government. A yes, I think that's Chapter 6 of the Book Of Irony. $734 Billion in deficit (down from a $431 billion surplus in 2001) and $9.2 trillion in debt (up from $5.7 in 2001) anyone?

Oh, gods. Earmarks...blah blah...he'll veto budget bills with earmarks and, via executive order, will require federal agencies to ignore earmarks that haven't been voted on. Again, I can't wait to see what qualifies as an earmark, or better yet, what doesn't.

He moved on to health care and the importance of patients and doctors making their own medical decisions, and to make health care affordable and accessible for all Americans. Universal, maybe? No!! He says it must be based on consumer choice, not government control. That said, there are plenty of warnings about a "Canadian" health care system, many of which are not exactly accurate, but the status quo of competitive consumer choice is not getting us much of anywhere other than the richest nation in the world being unable to cover all of its citizens.

The doozy is his reiteration that medical decisions are made in the privacy of your doctor's office, not the halls of congress. Chapter 43 in the Book Of Irony. Terry Shiavo, anyone?

Ah yes. He'd like a new $300 Million Pell Grant for Kids program to "liberate poor children trapped in failing public schools" giving them a government grant to send them to private and religious schools. You know, instead of revamping and rescuing...or, um, fully funding, public schools.

Wow: "embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere" many times did he have to practice that phrase?

Okay. Congress needs to reauthorize a program for displaced workers to get new skills and find new jobs.

In the middle of his focus on energy...did Nancy Pelosi just get passed a note??? Dying to know what that said.

Back to energy: he wants us to generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. Good. Let's waste time on coal energy that's not really, you know, renewable, rather than focusing on the renewable stuff. One question: what are you going to do with the carbon emissions you capture? Send them to Guantanamo? Anyway, all the other big points were touched. Emissions-free nucular power. Advanced batteries, rebewable fuel. International clean technology fund to urge our neighbors to use clean energy (uh, our neighbors, I recall, asked us to do the same...) Every major economy must participate, nobody gets a free ride (kinda like...our free ride?).

He said global climate change! Hey hey!

Ah yes. He wants us to entrust and empower our scientists to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow. Of course. Except, you know, stem cells and global warming studies. Those are bad breakthroughs.

A call on congress to double our funding for physical sciences to maintain our edge. That we have lost to all the other countries who don't limit their scientific studies by (worse) corporate dogma.

Oh goody. Stem cells. We need to find new treatments...blah cells...blah blah...use that rather than destoying human life. WE'RE THOWING THEM AWAY!!! Dont't destroy...what we're going to destroy. Jesus I am sick of this mantra.

Bush wants us to assure that all life is treated with the dignity it deserves. He wants Congress to ban unethical practices like buying, selling, cloning, etc. Question: who the fuck is talking about cloning humans? And I am pretty sure it's been illegal to sell human for quite some time now. Oh, wait, that's not what he means??

Curious...the constitution means what it says, according to Bush. Chapter 2 in the Book Of Irony.

Americans are volunteering. Charitable donations are higher than in years. For this, I am very happy.

So they will hold the North American Summit in NOLA. So, for the citizens of that fine city, another 10-block section will finally get rebuilt.

Hey! Immigration! No way! Secure borders. Fucking fences. Double border agents. We should apparently never secure our border against foreign workers to come here and support our economy. Because nothing says "send us your poor, your tires, your hungry" like a 14-foot fence with razor wire spiraling across the top.

9/11. Only twice, though. Imagine President Giuliani...

Aha. 3,200 Marines will be sent to Afghanistan. Maybe we should have done that 6 1/2 fucking years ago.

Ah, The Surge. He's really making the case that we're so successful, we have to stay. Largely, aspects of The Surge have been successful, which bodes well for the long-term. No joke here. Our military command and intelligence have done a great job.

To our military: in the fight ahead, you'll have all you need to protect our nation. Gee...thanks. That'd have helped, say, 6 or so years ago.

And back to the opening theme: any further drawdown will be based on conditions in Iraq and the input of the generals.

Democratic Isreal and Democratic Palestine...side by side...stop fighting, establish Palestine. Can't argue.

Tehran/Iran. I didn't really listen to this. I had to get some water.

I hear we need to pass liability protection for companies who thought they were acting in our best interests. Fuck. No.

We apparently now also oppose genocide in Sudan. Not a lot of troops going there though.

Expansion of an Agriculture program to purchase food grown in developing countires. Michigan State University has been doing this for some time, and it's pretty cool. Can't argue here.

$30 Billion over 5 years to fight AIDS. Again, cool. But I bet he won't want it to include condom use.

Expand access to child care for military families, allow military spouses to transfer unused education benefits to their spouse, and establish hiring preferences for military spouses. Hell yes.

Dem Response: really, truly uninspired. The message was okay. Health care, education, economic stimulus can't be just this $300 but has to instead be ongoing for the middle class, peace in the Middle East, etc. But the delivery? Boring and uninspired. Kinda like our Democratic COngress. Shit, she didn't even take the opportunity to beat the shit out of the weakened Administration. So add "spineless" to uninspired.

Have at it.


Mr Furious 1:49 AM  

Sebelius = yawn.

I've heard her bandied about as a VP candidate over the thank you.

Seemed to weave a few Obama buzzwords in there and strike a post-partisan note though...

Mr Furious 1:50 AM  

Oh, and my "live" blog is up too.

Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" 4:49 AM  

Thanks for the recap. I just couldn’t handle watching the damn thing.

"International clean technology fund to urge our neighbors to use clean energy (uh, our neighbors, I recall, asked us to do the same...) Every major economy must participate, nobody gets a free ride (kinda like...our free ride?)."

Not sure I would agree with this statement. I am no expert, but I cannot imagine the smokestacks on top of China's factories are releasing cleaner emissions than ours.

So people are whining about Mexicans doing $5.00 per hour jobs in the U.S., while $50,000 per year manufacturing jobs going to Mexico and few complain? I remember the shot of the “Minuteman” patrolling the Mexican border in his Toyota Tacoma. Half of Tacoma’s sold in the U.S. are built in Mexico.

Truth is the latest immigration B.S. has nothing to do with jobs. Many of these freaks just don’t want a brown skinned person sitting next to their daughter at school.

Pete 7:32 AM  

Whoa, I didn't realize people actually watched the SotU address! I'm usually just annoyed that it's taking up a time slot on every channel...

That being said, thank you for the recap and commentary which I'd wager is probably more insightful than anything I'd get off the major news outlet websites.

steves 8:29 AM  

Yeah, I was annoyed that Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles wasn't on. I watched it on and off, but mostly read. It is not that I don't care, it is just that I don't expect that much from him or the Congress at this point.

The way I understood the earmark thing was that he would veto stuff that was "tacked on at the last minute" and never debated. This got an ovation from everyone and sounds good, but I'll believe it when I see it. It is too late to be playing the fiscal conservative, Captain Spendy.

Language warning!

I was bothered by the vouchers, I mean Pell Grants for Kids. First of all, the federal gov't has no authority in this area, but I know this administration plays pretty loose with the Constitution. Secondly, nobody fucking wants vouchers. IIRC, there have more than 20 across the country and none of them has ever won. The last one here only got 30% support, despite proponents having twice the advertising dollars.

Don't get me wrong, there needs to be reform in education and I don't think throwing money at inner city schools is the best idea. Some urban schools get more than $10,000 per student. Some also pay most of the administrators six-figure salaries and send them to conferences in Hawaii.

Universal health care...I don't want a Canadian or European system. I would like to keep the health care I have now and see some kind of system fill in the gaps for others.

"So they will hold the North American Summit in NOLA. So, for the citizens of that fine city, another 10-block section will finally get rebuilt."

Congress has already approved more than 63 billion for rebuilding. How much more should we pay, considering the rampant corruption, no-bid contracts and other shennanigans going on? Is is a good idea to rebuild a coastal city below sea level?

"Hey! Immigration! No way! Secure borders. Fucking fences. Double border agents. We should apparently never secure our border against foreign workers to come here and support our economy. Because nothing says "send us your poor, your tires, your hungry" like a 14-foot fence with razor wire spiraling across the top."

So, our immigration policy should be "let everyone in and don't make any attempt to control it?" I am confused?

Smitty 8:50 AM  

Congress has already approved more than 63 billion for rebuilding. How much more should we pay

Actually, my comment was levvied at the rebuilduing effort on the ground, not Congress and the Administration. Seems like someone could do a lot more with $63 billion. Just sayin'.

I am confused?

No, I just don't think "minutemen" and the Wall Around America is the rightr answer either.

Smitty 8:52 AM  

I've heard her bandied about as a VP candidate over the thank you.

Remember, Mr. F., when they said the same thing about our Gov being a rising star, etc? My how excited the Dems get over an articulate, attractive woman.

She was a total snoozer.

B Mac 10:55 AM  

Sebelius reminded me a little of my high school economics teacher. And from an entertainment standpoint, that is not a good thing.

My 2 biggest problems with Prez. Bush have always been (and in this order):

1) It's pronounced NU-CLEAR, not Noockuler, you irrepressable boob.

2) He's never asked America to DO anything. After 9-11, he asked people to give blood. That's it. No call to volunteerism. No call to sacrifice for the common good. The message has always been, "our military will do the fighting, and we will not change our way of life, because doing so would mean that the terrorists have won." Whatever happened to "ask what you can do for your country?" Where is the demand that our generation to rise to the challenge as the Greatest Generation did? On September 12th, 2001, Americans would have walked through fire for this country. But we were asked to "go on about our lives." Such a wasted opportunity.

Beyond that, the whole immigration debate drives me crazy. There seems to be a disconnect between the debate and the reality. Despite Lou Dobbs suggestion that the Brown People have declared war on the Middle Class, immigrants are VITAL to our economy. If you want to kick everyone out, feel free; but be prepared to pay twice as much for a head of lettuce.

Besides, Mexican economy may not have the most advanced economy, but they do have the greatest technological answer to the 14-foot fence: the 15-foot ladder.

steves 11:43 AM  

What is the solution to immigration?

I don't agree with the dire predictions, but I do think there should be some kind of process other than, "sneak over and we are all set." I sure don't want to kick everyone out, but do you think having an open border is a good idea?

Rickey Henderson 11:47 AM  

Good stuff with the live diary. Rickey couldn't stomach the idea of watching last night (so he didn't). Least talked about State of the Union ever...

B Mac 12:58 PM  

I should have been more clear. We absolutely have to secure the border. In fact, that has to happen first, before any other steps (after all, why deal with the water in your basement before you turn off the water main?). And of course, it is an incredibly complex and difficult issue in general.

My problem is with the idea that we can just build a fence, kick the illegals out, and solve the problem. It isn't that there are a bunch of Mexicans living in America; there are a bunch of people from Mexico (and Canada, and El Salvador, and China, and...)who are a PART of America, albeit an 'illegal' part. We can't just draw a line and separate the two. The "amnesty" argument has become such a hot-button issue that it overshadows the fact that we NEED the millions of people in our country without paperwork.

A hundred years ago, people just showed up at the front door, and we let them in. That was "legal" immigration, and it is the reason that many of us are here. Not me, because I'm an Indian (the feather kind), but probably the rest of you... :) Immigrants have always performed the shit jobs that no one else will do for the shit wages companies are willing to pay.

See, you got me going...

steves 1:00 PM  

I thnk we should grant amnesty to the one that are already here. Many have ties and roots here and it just seems stupid to kick them out.

B Mac 1:19 PM  

But if we let them stay, then the terrorists have won. And more unwed teenagers will get pregnant, and the war on Christmas will become unwinnable.

Sorry, I was channeling Fox News for a minute there...

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