SOTU Liveblog Posted by: Dale Franks
on Thursday, February 03, 2005
18:00 Can you feel the excitement? The air is positively electric.
Republicans, never at a loss for doing something foolish, will be dipping their fingers in purply-blue ink as they enter the house Chamber. Solidarity with the Iraqi people, you see.
Well, maybe, but if you haven't been ducking, RPGs, shrapnel, and 7.62mm rounds, then it's a little morally vain to think such shows of solidarity are anything but tasteless.
Especially as it's being done as a partisan political thing.
Poor taste all round.
18:03 Apparently, the president will mention Iraq in the speech. Who knew?
18:05 It looks like Mrs. Bush is sitting beside Monica Lewinsky.
Oh, wait, evidently that's a female voter from the recent elections.
18:05 Here comes W.
Republicans holding up their blued fingers. Lame.
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) getting all friendly with the president. Obviously, one of those "Daschle Hug" deals is going on there. Gotta have that photo op with W when campaigning in a Red State Like the Big T.
18:09 It'll be interesting to see if Teddy's head explodes tonight. Always a possibility.
18:10 W leads with Iraqi elections right out of the box. Keep watching Teddy's Head.
The state of our union is confident and strong.
Isn't it always? Heck, even Jimmy Carter said that in his SOTUs.
America's prosperity requires the spending restraint of the federal Government.
You wouldn't guess that from his fiscal policy, though.
Oh, he's gonna cut the deficit in half by 2009. Huh. Yeah, I'll be banking on that.
18:15 Gonna spend more on education. Because the that's such a key Federal responsibility.
And he wants tort reform, too. I/m sure a Congress full of lawyers is keen to pass that.
18:17 Reform health care. MSAs. Association health plans.
Pretty much the same stuff he asks for every year.
And doesn't get.
18:19 Energy Policy:
Four years of debate is enough.
That's certainly the triumph of hope over experience.
18:19 He's gonna push for tax reform.
He's pushing for immigration reform. Once again, a guest worker program. But not an amnesty for illegals. Nosiree.
18:21 Here it comes. Social Security.
We must strengthen and save Social Security.
Hmm. Only Republicans stood up and clapped at that. I guess the Democrats oppose strengthening and saving Social Security. Bastards.
If you're over 55 years of age, Social Security will not change.
Get off my back, you old coots!
Thirteen years fro m now, in 2018, social Security will be paying out more than it takes in. And every year, the annual shortfall will get larger...By 2042 the system will be bankrupt.
Ooh, Democrats are jeering at that. That's because there is no problem, Just ask Paul Krugman. It's all peachy.
Of course, the real problem is Medicare. But we probably haven't gotten to that part of the speech yet.
And probably won't.
18:26 W's listed a lot of reforms, but privatization hasn't been one of them.
Oops. wait a minute. Spoke too soon. There it is: Voluntary Personal Retirement accounts.
The money in your personal account will be over and above what Social Security will pay. Must go into a conservative mix of low-fee, low risk stock and bond funds. The money is yours and it will be over and above your social security. It'll start out small, and eventually increase to 4% of payroll tax. The money will also be inheritable.
Standing ovation. But only from slightly over half of the audience.
I support a Constitutional Amendment to protect the institution of marriage.
Well, now Andrew Sullivan is gonna go off on another tear. He might even cut his blogging Hiatus short for that one.
Judges have a responsibility to faithfully apply the law, not legislate from the bench.
Well, that's no good. How're you gonna get gay marriage approved without activist judges?
He's also demanding an up-down vote on judicial nominees. Good. Gotta hit that now, before Bill Rehnquist and John Paul Stevens keel over.
18:35 Hmm. Laura Bush is evidently gonna be on some anti-gang task force. But not a good one, with cops and guns. Apparently it's some touchy-feely deal.
We are dramatically expanding the use of DNA evidence to prevent wrongful convictions.
The Dems are all giddy over that. Obviously they don't get that DNA evidence will also lock down a whole bunch of other convictions, so that we can fry the offenders with greater confidence.
You always gotta look on both sides before letting your excitement get away with you, guys.
18:39 How about those Cops and Firemen? Are they neat, or what?
There are still regimes seeking Weapons of mass Destruction, but not without notice, or without consequence.
Suck on that, Kim!
In the next four years, my administration will continue to built the coalitions that will face and defeat the dangers of our time.
So, I guess that's a sign of more bribery and coercion ahead, huh, Sen. Kerry?
And, really, they won't be real coalitions unless the French are on board. "cause, really, when you think of military effectiveness, the first thing that comes to mind is the Armee de l'Terre, huh?
We are witnessing the advance of freedom, and in the next few years, we will add to that story.
North Korea? Iran? Syria? I'd be willing to set up a pool on that one. And will that story have a military component to it?
Hmm. Syria and Iran must stop supporting terror.
And I say to the Iranian people tonight, as you stand for liberty, America stands with you.
That should make the Mullahs sleep a little easier, huh?
Iraq is a key front in the war on terror...Our troops are fighting terrorists in Iraq so we do not have to fight them here.
For many Iraqis, casting a vote was an act of personal courage, and they deserve the respect of us all.
Standing O, on both sides of the aisle.
18:53 The Monica Lewinsky woman is actually an Iraqi Human Rights advocate.
The world now knows that the acts of a small group of extremists will not overturn the will of the Iraqi people.
18:55 W is now announcing his "Vietnamization" plan. We're gonna start turning over security responsibility to the Iraqis, which presumably means drawing down American troops there.
No "artificial timetable" though. We are in Iraq to achieve a goal, and when we've achieved it, our men and women will return home.
No choice, really.
18:58 Stirring tribute to the troops. And you know, our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen are just the tops.
The Iraqi lady just embraced the mother of a KIA marine sergeant, Brian Norwood, and gave her what appears to be SGT Norwood's dog tags. A very touching moment.
Damn, If only it was possible to defend this country without such fine young men having to give their lives to do it.
The road to Providence is uneven...but we know where it leads. It leads to freedom.
The President was very much on, tonight. And, finally, he wore a red power tie, instead of that awful powder blue monstrosity he's so prone to wearing.
One got the dominant impression that he was less interested in laying out a laundry list of legislation that most SOTUs contain. He sped through that stuff, in order to get to Social Security and the War on Terror.
The Dems positively hated the mention of Social Security, and they've locked themselves into the "No Crisis" meme. OK, so let's agree there's no Social Security crisis. But, if so, then, since the Trust Fund contains not cash, but IOUs from the General Fund, then there's a general fund crisis that starts in 2019. Either way, there's no cash. It's all IOUs in the form of government bonds. It's only money on paper, and we don't have the real money to pay it off.
Still, the problem really isn't Social Security. Medicare is the 800-pound gorilla of the federal budget, and if we can't pay for Social Security, there's no way in hell we're gonna be able to pay for Medicare.
And George W. Bush, with new prescription drug benefits, hasn't made Medicare any easier to pay for.
And he didn't mention the fiscal strain of Medicare at all.
And now...the Democrats: Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
Harry Reid: The president has added trillions to the debt. The Democratic Party fix: remove tax cuts and loopholes, and end Free Trade. Oh, and start spending money to "invest" in the future.
If we don't, the heathen Chinee will take all our good jobs.
The yellow peril. Always a crowd-pleaser.
We need to make health care and prescription drugs affordable.
Because, as everyone knows, government has the power to repeal the economic laws of supply, demand, and price. Just ask the Soviets.
Privatizing Social Security is Dangerous! President Bush will cut Social Security benefits by 40%. Because, apparently, all that private money in the personal accounts will magically disappear. And even if it doesn't, that money doesn't count.
See, we have real answers. And our answer is to do as little as possible.
Except for taxing the rich. Those bastards.
Nancy Pelosi: So the aging San Francisco hippie will be talking about National Security. This oughtta be good.
We've never heard a clear plan for ending our presence in Iraq.
Well, actually, we have. Unfortunately it was from Teddy Kennedy, and it was to withdraw our troops.
Train Iraqi security forces, build up their economy, and build bridges to other Mideast nations through diplomacy.
Because all the other Mideast countries have such a deep respect for and interest in fostering democracy in the region.
We need more money for our first responders. We need to improve Homeland Security. Instead, the President has rolled over like a weasel and exposed our softest parts. We need a plan to protect us from terrorists. Because Iraq is a magnet for terrorists.
Well, good, that's where we want the terrorists to go.
Democrats are very concerned about National Security, and having a strong military. So, we need a new GI Bill.
Good. A new GI Bill will make us invulnerable to terrorists. Good to see the Dems are on it.
The Lovely Christine comments, "All it sounds like is that they want more of our money!"
I loved the Democrats. They sounded as if they hadn't learned anything from Daschle and Kerry. Perhaps they run on the platform of tax hikes till you drop in the next presidential election combined with a huge "What me Worry" posterboy.