Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the Union Commentary

I decided to blog about the State of the Union as I was watching it. Below, you'll see the parts of the speech I thought resonated at the time I heard them. I'll add commentary later, right now I'm going to meet some liberal friends so we can "discuss" all that Bush said.

9:02- Cabinet Members enter. The talking heads on Fox News are talking about how they feel this State of the Union will be more modest than last year, since Bush's Social Security reform went nowhere last year. The theme for this SOTU is apparently "optimistic."

9:05- JUSTICE Sam Alito is looking around the room. He looks a little awed.

9:06- Apparently Newt Gingrich is one of the Fox News talking heads tonight. They're saying things are running about four minutes behind schedule.

9:07- "So much for the era of good feeling in Washington." says a talkin head.

9:08- "Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States!"

[Applause #1]

9:10- Apparently, Cindy Sheehan was invited to sit in the gallery by a democrat from California. She was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor while the President was giving his speech because she was wearing an anti-war shirt, which violated House rules, and then was refused to cooperate when told she couldn't wear it.

9:11- The President has reached the podium. "Members of Congress, I have the high priveledge and the distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States."- Speaker Hastert

[Applause #2]

9:12- The President starts by honoring Coretta Scott King, who passed away today.

[Applause #3]

9:13- "There will always be differences and debate, but even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone..."

9:14- "Tonight the State of our Union is Strong, and together we will make it stronger."

[Applause #4]

9:15- 'The only way to secure the peace is by our leadership... so the United States of America will continue to lead.'

[Applause #5]

9:16- "Every step towards freedom in the world makes our country safer, so we will act boldly in freedom's cause."

[Applause # 6]

Apparently today there are 122 democracies in the world. Go world!

9:17- Syria, Burma, North Korea, and Iran get mentions as non-democratic.

[Applause #7]

Radical Islam- the perversion by a few of a noble faith

9:18- "We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it."

[Applause #8]

9:19- If we leave them alone, the terrorists won't leave us alone, they'll just bring their attacks to our shores. We would show that we no longer believe in our own ideals. "We will never surrender to evil."

[Applause #9]

9:20- He's reminding everyone that we are the ones who liberated Europe. It might be nice if Europe could remember that every once in awhile.

9:21- We're helping Iragi's build a cohesive government, and striking terrorist forces while training Iraqi forces.

[Applause #10]

9:22- In three years Iraq has gone from a dictatorship to national elections.

[Applause #11]

9:23- "The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home...but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington DC."

[Applause #12]

9:24- "There is a difference between responsible criticism... and defeatism... second guessing is not a strategy."

[Applause #13]

John Kerry looks displeased. I can't imagine why.

9:25- We must "...stand behind the American military in this vital mission."

[Applause #14]

9:26- A soldier who died last month left a note that said: "It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the knowledge that you would never have to."

The soldier's family is sitting behind the first lady.

[Applause #15- really long applause for the family and the soldier]

9:27- "As we honor our brave troops, let us never forget the sacrifices of America's military families."

[Applause #16]

9:28- "Ultimately the only way to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their policy terror and fear...elections are vital, but they're only the beginning."

9:29- Leaders of Hamas need to reject terrorism and work for lasting peace.

[Applause #17]

9:30- Democracies in the middle east will not look like our own... but liberty is the future... because it is the right and hope of all humanity."

[Applause #18]

Boo Iran.

[Applause #19]

They're radical people and we can't let them gain nukes.
[Applause #20]

9:31- Bush is talking to the people of Iran about we hope to one day open ties with a free and democratic Iran. Call for revolution, anyone?

[Applause #21]

9:32- Showing compassion abroad: mentions issues like AIDS, Malaria, girls sold into slavery, poor education, etc. Helping the world helps us.

9:33- "The enemy has not lost the desire or the capability to attack us." Expresses thanks to law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials.

[Applause #22]

9:34- Support those people by giving them tools they need. Renew the Patriot Act.

[Applause #23- and I think I just saw a Democrat stand and clap to support that. Couldn't tell who.]

Talks about his authority to use wiretapping for calls to and from terrorists from people in the US. "We will not sit back and wait to be hit again."

[Applause #24]

9:36- "The only alternative to American leadership is a dramatically [more dangerous world- can remember the exact wording]"

"Together let us... lead this world towards freedom."

[Applause #25]

9:37- "Our economy is healthy and vigorous... 4.6 million new jobs- more than Japan and the EU combined."

[Applause #26]

9:38- "We hear claims that immigrants are bad for this economy even though this economy could not function without them."

[Applause #27]

9:39- "Our economy grows when our people have more of their own money to spend."

9:40- "More than four years of uniterrupted economic growth."

[Applause #28]

"Make the tax cuts permanent."

[Applause #29- there's some chant going on, but I can't understand it.]

9:41- "...stay on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009."

[Applause #30]

"I am pleased that members of Congress are working on earmark reform."

[Applause #31]

Something about a line-item veto, I missed it.

[Applause #32]

Start of baby boom retirees, "including two of my dad's favorite people: me and President Clinton."

[Applause #

9:43- "Congress did not act last year to save Social Security.

[Applause #34- from the Dems. I swear I saw Hillary giggling]

9:44- "The problem is not going away... we need to put aside partisan politics and get this problem solved."

[Applause #35]

"With open markets and a level playing field no one can out produce or out compete the American worker."

[Applause #36]

9:45- "Our nation needs orderly and controlled borders."

[Applause #37]

More about immigration.

[Applause #38]

9:46- We need a humane guest worker program.

[Applause #39]

We need affordable health care

[Applause #40- from everyone]

We will strengthen health savings accounts, etc.

[Applause #41]

We will do more to make this coverage portable.

[Applause #42]

We need medical liability reform so doctors aren't driven out of business.

[Applause #43]

9:48- "America is addicted to oil." Announces the Advanced Energy initiative, the key to solving our problem is technology.

[Applause #44]

9:49- More research on hybrid and hydrogen cars, and producing ethanol from stuff other than corn, hope to make it competitive within six years.

[Applause #45]

"Replace more than 75% of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.

[Applause #46]

9:50- "We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity." Announces the American Competitiveness initiative, to give kids a firm grounding in, among other things, math and science.

[Applause #47]

9:51- Funding for nanotechnology, supercomputing, etc. Make permanent tax credit for R&D.

[Applause #48]

9:52- Kids need to take more math and science courses, and more rigorous courses. Wants to train 70,000 high school teachers to teach math and science Advanced Placement classes.

[Applause #49]

9:53- "Our greatness is not measured by power or luxuries, but by who we are and how we treat one another." Violent crime dropped, drug use down, fewer abortions now than in any point in the last 3 decades, and teen pregnancy is falling for the 12th year in a row. "A revolution in conscience."

[Applause #50]

9:54- "Everyone here tonight, Democrat and Republican, has a right to be proud of this record."

[Applause #51]

9:55- People are discouraged by unethical conduct, activist judges, natural disasters, etc. "We have proven the pessimists wrong before, and we will do it again."

[Applause #52]

9:56- "The Supreme Court now has two superb new members on its bench."

[Applause #53]

Judges should be servants of the law.

[Applause #54]

"The United States is greatful to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor"

[Applause #55]

9:57- Urges legislation to ban use of human embryos or clones for medical research. "Human life... should never be put up for sale."

[Applause #56]

9:58- The American people expect officials to uphold public trust.

[Applause #57]

We must never betray that trust.

[Applause #58]

9:59- Laura Bush is leading an initiative to have adults become involved in the lives of at-risk children.

[Applause #59]

New programs to encourage kids to stay in school.

10:00- $85 billion so far to rebuild the gulf coast. "We must also address deeper challenges that existed before the storm."

[Applause #60]

"I ask Congress... to provide new funding to states to end the waiting list for AIDS medicine in America."

[Applause #61]

10:01- Work with communities to find, treat, and prevent AIDS.

[Applause #62]

10:02- "Every great movement of history comes at a moment of great choosing." "We must decide: will we turn back, or finish well?"

10:03- The closing: "Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage. Like Americans before us, we will show that courage and we will finish well. We will lead freedom's advance. We will compete and excel in the global economy. We will renew the defining moral commitments of this land. And so we move forward - optimistic about our country, faithful to its cause, and confident of victories to come. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America."

[Applause #63]

Whoa... the Democrats talk about Bush's smirk, but what the heck is up with Tim Kaine? His left eyebrow keeps quirking up, and it's kinda creeping me out.

Well, it's better than last year's response. BOTH of Nancy Pelosi's eyebrows creeped me out.

Kaine's going on about NCLB. I don't really approve of it (well intentioned, but overall a mistake) but still, he's kinda in a glass house since Ted Kennedy helped write it.

Kaine's response is well written, even if I don't agree with anything he's saying. But he kinda sounds patronising- like he's speaking to children.

Ack. I can't stand Kaine, but it's not like his Republican opponent was much better. Kilgore ran a pathetic campaign. My thirteen year old brother could have managed it better.

Wahwahwah the evil Republicans hate the people they just want to help their buddies in the oil industry make money.

Yeah, that's why Bush wants us to develop alternative energy sources.

I must say, the fire in the fireplace in the background was a nice touch. Makes the message seem all homey-like.

Newt Gingrich says Kaine's response was about as good as the Democratic response could have been.


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