Okay, here, in more or less chronological order, are my thoughts as I listen to the SOTU speech:
Goddam smirking chimp…
Madam Speaker — about f’ing time we got a woman in that position.
And who are the morons whistling, anyway?
Teddy Kennedy looks about to cry. Not entirely sure why. I mean, besides the obvious, of course: that we have to put up with this bastard for two more years.
Don’t get me started on his bit about No Child Left Behind. Increasing funds for children who need help — sure, that’s great. Not sure that NCLB currently does that — it’s never been fully funded, after all. NCLB is a statute with its heart in the right place, but the execution has been abysmal.
And how does he plan to do all the things he claims he is going to do without raising taxes? That is not entirely clear, but if you read between the lines, his approaches aren’t going to really change things.
For instance, talking about helping Americans afford health insurance through tax incentives doesn’t really help the people who are living at the lowest income levels — not coincidentally, the group most likely not to get health insurance through their jobs. After all, their incomes are often so low that their tax bill is low to non-existent, so tax incentives really don’t affect their bottom line enough to allow them to go out and purchase individual insurance coverage (which is generally more expensive than purchasing as part of a group due to the tendency of people to self-select — that is, to forego insurance if they believe they are not likely to need it, and purchase it if they view themselves as more likely to incur significant health care costs).
As another example, consider this translation: when he says he is going to ask the states to “use existing funds” to pay for something, that means he’s not going to allocate any additional money, just ask the states to do more with the money that they’ve already got — money which most states will tell you already is insufficient for their needs.
“For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil.” Hasn’t he said this every single year? And yet we are even more dependent on foreign oil than we used to be. Ooh, but he’s final admitted that “global climate change” is a real issue — still didn’t say “global warming”, but I’ll accept climate change if he actually agrees to do anything. Some nice talk about energy, too — let’s see if he follows through with meaningful changes in the coming months.
And here comes the talk about Iran. (shudder, wordless cry of horror)
Condi Rice was just on camera — she looks like she’s on Thorazine.
Okay he just mentioned the word victory in connection with Iraq, which got a standing ovation from parts of the chamber in spite of being laughable in light of current events, though the camera angles are making it hard to see exactly who was applauding and who wasn’t. Plus, your humble correspondent was typing when he was saying this, and missed some of the details on camera.
Blah blah blah…rehash of his Iraq speech from two weeks ago…Biden looks like he’s trying to work on a sudoku puzzle…Ooh, when the camera pulls back, you can sure tell where the Republicans are sitting, can’t you? They’re the ones standing up for Bush’s Iraq plan. Once he switches to supporting the troops, of course, everyone stands up.
Okay, he’s asking for Congress to authorize an increase in the size of the armed forces — but how that’s going to happen when the military currently can’t meet its recruiting targets is a mystery to me.
And what is this whole thing about a civilian force that can be sent into other parts of the world during times of conflict? WTF? You mean, like Halliburton and Blackwater? I have to go back and listen to that over again, because that didn’t make any sense at all.
Dick Cheney looks like he is glaring at someone off over to the left of the alleged president. At least Pelosi looks like she is listening to Duhbya.
Damn, Dikembe Mutombo is tall.
Okay, that’s about it for initial comments on the speech. Webb’s speech is in a couple of minutes.