Wednesday, January 24, 2007

SOTU: A Surge Of Speechification

In preparation for my coverage of this year's State of the Union speech, I re-read my SOTU post for 2006. I have to say, it was pretty good, and a lot of it is certainly still relevant.

This year, some elements of the picture were different. The president, framed by Dick Cheney on one side as always, had Nancy Pelosi sitting in the spot typically occupied by Dennis Hastert. To his credit, Bush started his speech with the classy measure of saluting the new Democratic Majority, and Pelosi in particular. He also took a moment to honor a few ailing Congressmen.

That is, of course, well after the endless parade of Supreme Court Justices, Bush cabinet members and just about everyone else in government made way for the president's entrance, which included the usual, interminable fanfare. I half expected a reporter from E! to be there commenting on what everyone was wearing as they entered the chambers.

Honestly, I wish the TV coverage of these things would begin just as the president is taking the podium. Even then, we have a couple of standing ovations to wait through before we get to the main event.

Speaking of which, watching Bush work the crowd on his way through the chambers to the podium, I was reminded of a boxer making his way to the ring amidst throngs of cheering fans. This contender had already taken a beating before he arrived at the arena, though.

The man who says he doesn't pay attention to polls went into this speech with only about 1/4 of
polled Americans approving of his job performance. The accuracy of polls is questionable, to be sure, but when the numbers are that bad, maybe it's time to start listening?

On his way in this year, Bush did not kiss his Republicant-lite pal, Joe Lieberman. Problems in the relationship? (And at no time during the evening did he give any love to his forgotten galpal Katrina, either.)

The speech proper started with Bush cruising through a bullet list of issues including healthcare, the budget, entitlements, earmarks, energy, immigration and education. Often, he used oblique language to state his aims, but judging by the level of applause, few lawmakers were fooled.

For example, when speaking of failing schools, Bush made reference to giving parents the option to choose other schools. Vouchers, anyone?

Bush spoke of medical liability reform, which is code for "If the doctor messes you up, just live with it, you ungrateful whiner." (Didn't Bush already get this passed a few years back as "tort reform?")

When talking of efforts toward energy independence for the US, Bush spoke of stepping up domestic oil production. Living on the Gulf of Mexico, I can tell you this: We don't want those oil rigs fouling our doorstep. Nor do many of us wish to see the white mountains of the
ANWR turn black.

Bush spoke of improving economy standards for cars, though he doesn't seem ready to consider one of the best ways to do this: Demand better fuel efficiency from automakers.

He also echoed some of his words from last year as he spoke of using woodchips and grasses as sources of fuel. Brilliant! A hamster-based economy. Come to think of it, couldn't we harness the energy they create while running on those little exercise wheels? I think I am onto something here.

With regard to immigration, Bush stated that America is a melting pot, and that we should "welcome and assimmilate new arrivals." Careful, Mr. President, you risk further alienating your xenophobic base with that kind of talk. He also plugged his "guest worker program" again.

In pleading his case about the need for victory in Iraq, Bush sounded like a lover acknowledging he had cheated yet again but wanting another chance, and promising things will be "different this time." Many Americans are rightly skeptical; "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice... we won't get fooled again."

Bush stated that he and his military commanders "weighed the options" and decided that a troop increase represents the best possibility for victory. He did not mention that several of those commanders disagreed with him and are now out of a job.

He said that, when it comes to the fight on terror, we are "rallying the world." But our Iraq efforts have alienated even some countries that we were friendly with, in addition to provoking those that were not receptive to our actions from the outset.

He expressed a desire to bring freedom to places like Cuba and Belarus, while leaving out offenders like Saudi Arabia (a brutal place where citizens are not permitted to practice any other faith but Islam) and Pakistan. You excuse bad behavior among your friends when it's to your benefit, I guess.

To beat this dead horse just one more time, I must point out that Bush again failed to acknowledge, in his admonitions about Iraq becoming a safe haven for "the killers" (if we leave), that he created the conditions for such a situation in that country. What would an admission achieve? Call it "integrity."

I never cease to be amazed at how any president can fit in the words "the state of the Union is strong" no matter how the situation really is, and do it with a straight face. Notably, Bush broke tradition and tacked it on at the very end of this speech. You can't not use it in there somewhere.

Similarly, Bush held acknowledgement of his special guests – another SOTU tradition – until the closing minutes. The presence of
subway hero Wesley Autrey added some welcome levity to the proceedings, as he blew kisses and gave the thumbs-up to an adoring crowd. It reminded me a bit of Leno introducing his band director, whose name I do not know (I am well asleep by then), with Autrey giving the president (Leno) a couple "You da man(s)" back. In contrast, with their stiff, stuffy, old visages, many lawmakers at times looked embalmed.

Bush took his time on the way out of the chambers, signing autographs on both sides of the aisle. I imagine a quick look at eBay this morning would reveal a few instances of a "2007 State of the Union Official Program, signed by President Bush, mint condition" up for sale.

I decided to skip the Democratic response and go to bed. This is another SOTU tradition that could use a "reimagining." Responding to a speech you haven't yet heard doesn't make much sense. What would make sense is to have the televised response one week later, when the chosen representative could do a thoughtful, point-by-point critique of the SOTU. (Feel free to implement this idea any time, folks.) But I guess they just want to keep the momentum going.

So, there you have the state of the State of the Union.

PS: This is my last post for about a week, as I am moving to a new apartment. Toodles!


Hellpig said...

The Dems discust me I wanted to beat them can clearly see they will never protect America against a terror attack,they are weak and anti-military

GOD help us all

Pete Bogs said...

hell - Bush isn't protecting America by bleeding our military dry in Iraq... those of you who think it's unpatriotic to suggest we leave there will have some splainin' to do when he bankrupts us and spreads our military beyond its breaking point... which, by the way, may be just what the terrorists want... why are you on their side? ;-)

PS: it's clearly not just Dems...

Hellpig said...

color of Defeatism blue

Dems Ally

Nice company the Dhimmicrates of America keep

The Dem party is anti-american always has been always will be

Hellpig said...

Pelosi's BPM(Blinks Per Minute) was clocked at 60 to 100 wonder what was rattling around in her pro-terrorist anti-american brain?

Pete Bogs said...

hell - not defeatists, just realists... and our failure to pull out of Iraq is as much US pride as it is fear of what will happen to that country afterwards... Bush is stubbornly ignoring everyone because he's trying to save face...

Hellpig said...

48,000....9,100 a year these are the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by who?

By illegal mexican immigrants

I wonder what the sexual abuse numbers are?

How come Samao isnt getting a wage increase? Pelosi has ties to starkist

your reality is you choose failure over success

Bird said...

happy moving day bogs - i hope finchy will follow you!

i watched the speech (and the dems response afterward - webb from virginia - i like him - he's a centrist - not a liberal dem per se, not a conservative per se either).

i loved, loved, loved when bush spoke of LOWERING THE DEFICIT (the one HE CREATED after being handed over a surplus) and BALANCING THE BUDGET (after he was handed over a balanced budget in 2000) and the camera panned on Clinton. Pure irony - what a delight.

I do not understand how you can decrease the deficit, balance the budget,and wage a war without raising taxes. Oh - I know how - you gut the VA bduget AGAIN (yeah - support the troops), as well as any socially-progressive program still on the books.

hmm... hell- have you read the baker-hamilton report? are they dems? are the weak?

dems are anti-american huh? love the polarized thinking and the sweeping generalization. let me think, wasn't it a democrat that built up the military and munitions factory during wwII? wasn't it a dem who ended wwII with (pun indeed intended) quite a bang? how many dems currently in office served in vietnam (actually served - as in went over there and got shot at) whilst our republican war-idiot president did what? sat in texas? drinking? pretending to be flyboy. love it, love it.

wtf you talkin' 'bout pig?

Hellpig said...


Dems of WWII are long gone replaced with pussy antiwar liberals of the 60's and 70's amazing you had to go back almost 70 years to pull up a strong dhimmicrate reference.

Yeah and the front running candidates for the dhimmicrates will protect America from our enemies with all their Military service.

Clinton in her book says she had no idea about slick willy and monica,if she couldnt see that macy's sized balloon warning,she is too stupid to be President.

That is WTF I'm talking about you flying rat,I mean Bird.

Pete Bogs said...

bird - I am hoping Finchy is a homing bird so he can move with me...

hell - what is dhimmi? I am not getting the reference, though I'm sure it's hilarious...

Bird said...

yeah, you just talkin' pig
that's 'bout all.

Hellpig said...

dhimmitude is someone who submits to the cult of Islam or appeases the cult of Islam

Pete Bogs said...

I feel so dhimm for not knowing that!

Hellpig said...

Bogs now you can eat meat

Hellpig said...

No worries Bogs all libs are dhimmi

Pete Bogs said...

hell - at last I am free and can eat once again! I am starved! no more living my life by how PETA tells me to...

you should know from my posts that I'm not dhimmi... want me to link to them?

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

everybody get on ya vespas, fueled on ethanol, natch, and get your ass to xenophobes got 13 million new mouths to feed and poorly educate

where are you moving to pete??


Anonymous said...

I read your review of the sotu and had a few comments. I hope I don't offend anyone, but:
I assume that you hate our President.
Not paying attention to polls is a good idea when you're the chief executive. The winds of the public's opinion change frequently, and aren't based on the most accurate info.
Vouchers are a great idea. Public schools are a joke; you know as well as I the government isn't half as effecient as normal capitalistic enterprises (just go look at your nearest VA clinic).
Your comments about energy dependence expose the hypocrisy of liberalism. Libs complain about gas prices, touting that as yet another reason why President Bush is a failure. Then libs turn around and condemn him for a "war for oil" (which isn't true). Then, libs refuse to have any more drilling for oil, which would lower prices. We can drill in ANWR and with the technology we have, less than half of one % of the wilderness area will be affected.
Fuel efficiency from automakers is a result of free market demand, and should not be so completely dictated by the government. What are you saying, you want only small sedans sold, and not SUV's, trucks, or vans?
Is it xenophobia to want the laws of our land enforced? I welcome any person from anywhere to come into this country and try to make a life: but they need to do it legally. I think the President's guest worker program is brilliant: get the illegals who are already here to be documented and start paying taxes, and start recouping the millions they've sucked out of the rest of the taxpayers in this country. Of course, this needs to be coupled with a complete crackdown of our borders.
I don't have time here to go comment on all the particulars of our presence in Iraq, but I do want to hit one point. You stated that the President "created the conditions for such a situation in that country" when referring to Iraq being a safe haven for terrorists if we leave. Do you really mean that? Al-qaeda was already there before we went into that country. I want you to look at the big picture for a moment: al-qaeda is pumping resources into their Iraq campaign to try to defeat/demoralize us there. That means they are right where we want them! I would rather fight them there than here. They are the ones inciting the different militia groups to do their bombing and killing, not to mention opportunists from Jordan and Syria. The U.S. having a presence in Iraq is absolutely brilliant in the war on terror, not to mention our upcoming dealings with Iran.

Anonymous said...

wow, the rethugs are running scared!


Aunty Belle said...

Bawgs, Bird-Beauty and Sweet Shoat, I'se mighty interested in yore thoughts --please stop by the FRONT porch when ya' got a minute.

Anonymous said...

karen, how do you get that I'm running scared by my comments? The only thing that scares me is if the Democraps enlist their appeasement doctrine and put us in even more danger.

Hellpig said...

@Karen the only group I know that runs would be the LIBERALS for they are inheirently cowards by nature.

Pete Bogs said...

dd - welcome... I think our president has mismanaged everything from day one... that's not just the war, but that's a big part... regarding Iraq, before we went in there they had an asshole dictator... though I think he got what he deserved (not a lot of libs will say that), we were safer with him in there... in toppling him, and not studying the situation there ahead of time enough to find out there were groups of people just waiting to war with each other (and us, of course), we created the vacuum of Saddam's absence, which caused all hell to break loose... we did not do our homework, and now we are paying for it indefinitely...

as for fuel, I don't trust the man on that... he's a former oil man himself, and all his best pals (i.e. contributors) are as well... they think oil will last forever, and auto-pollution-related global warming doesn't exist... they are just throwing us a bone on these alternative fuels to keep us quiet... until these fuels are implemented in a significant way they won't change anything for us... I am against more drilling in part because (as stated in earlier blogs), you aren't going to wean yourself off one method of fuel as long as you keep looking for new sources of it... I think Bush knows that and doesn't think we are smart to realize it... as for fuel efficiency, it's better for people in general to have more fuel efficient cars, even if the corporations don't want to provide... this is a "greater good" situation, but that's a liberal talking...

thanks for stopping by...

k9 - just moving (on up) to a nicer, newer place down the street...

aunt b - will stop by soon...

karen - nice to see ya again!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bogs,

Your assertion that the President has mismanaged everything since day one needs to be backed up by fact. And the fact is, unemployment is lower on average since he took office than when Clinton was in office. Our economy is booming: growth in all sectors and the stock market is doing well. Gas prices are going down. There are more homeowners now (percentage-wise) than ever in history. We have not been attacked again since 9/11. Taxes are down. The federal deficit is being reduced every quarter. Despite the devastating attacks on 9/11, and despite the recession President Bush inherited from the Clinton administration, our economy is doing well.

We did do our homework beforehand. We knew that Saddam was holding the majority in check by dictatorial violence. Hello!! That's why we still have troops there. Now that the Shi'ite Muslims are free, they are retaliating, which we also knew would happen. Here's what the problem is that we did not anticipate: the President of Iraq was elected in large part by the Shi'ite muslims. There are three gourps doing the bombing that you see on the news: Al-qaeda, Sunni militia, and shi'ite militia. We are slapping the al-qaeda and sunni militia around, but the President of Iraq has turned on us and is not allowing us to aggressively pursue the shi'ite militia, because they are politically influencing him. So our troop surge is going to clean out a last few pockets of resistance, and also assist in training more Iraqi troops. The Iraqi President wants his own troops to get the Shi'ites.

It is a sticky situation, but, as I said before, its militarily and tactically necessary to have a major presence there, especially now that we're going to have to go after Iran.

As to fuel and oil; most people don't know that the Bush family initially made a lot of money in oil, but for many years now have been mainly in the insurance business; especially our current President. Also, President Bush does acknowledge the existance of auto-generated pollution, as is evidenced by his policies on pollution control. Most people don't know about that because all the media reports on is Iraq.

As for your mmove, I hope it goes well. I was in the Marines and had to move a lot and I hate it!

hellpig, I like you! You sound like my dad.

Anonymous said...

"Our economy is booming"

hahahahahahaha double d, surely you jest!!

Our economy 'WAS' booming under Clinton. We made a ton of money then which enabled us to build our dream home. Luckily, my husband's finance savvy has made it possible for us to remain here... not so with lots of people losing their jobs, homes, and sanity.

bush = worse. president. ever.

The head inmate is running the asylum.

Hellpig said...

Karen take your tinfoil hat off,the ecomomy is ten times better under Bush then Clinton

Lowest uneployment rate ever

41 straight quarters of market growth

record market highs

housing market best ever,I personally made 500k under the Bush Admin.

Carter was the worst President ever,we wouldnt be in Iraq if it wasnt for Carter and Clinton,I am not saying Bush is a great President but he has to deal with all the Dems fuck ups.

The Clinton regime is far more corrupt then Bush

I love when the MOONBAT leftards try to reason,it just shows them in their true light.

so Karen I suggest you adjust your tinfoil hat and get a better reception of the USA becasue your is filled with static.

Aunty Belle said...

Sic 'em Sweet Shoat!!

Anonymous said...

Get your facts straight hp!

August 1999 - March 2000
100% gain in under a year to a new high of 4000.

Nasdaq January 26, 2007... 2,435.

Sales of New Homes Plummet in 2006

You might want to backup the rest of your blather with some data.

Hellpig said...

you are a joke Karen the only evidence I need is the 240k each of my houses have went up in the past 6 years

And the record unemployment rate

And the 12k mark in the DOW Jones
and if the houses plummmeted the thing they dont say is it is still higher then when the impeached President Clinton was in office.

So you might want to go back to leftard university and actually try learning something instead of parroting the far left talking points.

One more thing it was because of the strong market that your husband was able to make any cash at all.not because he is a savy investor.

NUKE MECCA and EXILE the pro-terrorist anti-American LIBTARDS

Hellpig said...

Karen sorry for the personel attacks,but you are still wrong ;p

I shouldnt drink & blog

Pete Bogs said...

DD - 12 years of Reagan/Bush Sr. and Iran is Carter's and Clinton's fault?

Reagan gave weapons to these assholes... remember Iran-Contra?

I remember watching Carter with the leaders of Israel and Egypt 30 years ago... he had brought them together, shaking hands, in peace... notice, we haven't heard anything about an Israeli/Egyptian conflict in decades... he made efforts at Middle East peace... there is no parallel for the Bush regime...

if Iran was the problem all along, why didn't we just attack them? we let them slide while we were busy attacking a country that was a lesser threat, if any...

what I am hearing from the right is an all-out war in the Middle East - Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, etc. - Armageddon has arrived, and the right seems to be its welcoming party... sad, and scary...

hell - yes, drinking and blogging don't mix...

Hellpig said...

Carter should have bombed Iran back into the stoneage,Clinton had 13 chances to nail Bin Laden both are the cause of 9/11

Carter is anti-semite and a nazi lover

Hellpig said...

Remember Bogs they brought the war to the USA,one only needs to read headlines around the world to see we at in a world war against Islam not just in the mideast everywhere.

And if that scares you it should because the left is weak on protecting americans 3 dem administrations are proof positive of this.

rusty shakelford said...

Pete and Karen,
you should check out the site:

it may disappoint you though, the author proves with solid numbers and sources that our nation is in fact doing quite well.

Pete you are right about the military. We are in a rebuilding state. It would seem that in the 90s the military was cut back. I remember many people thinking this was a bad idea as we were being attacked at home and abroad every two years.

Maybe Pig is right, Democrat sabotage?

Budgetary surplus and nation deficit have nothing to do with each other. When I pay my bills every month and have money left over (surplus) that does not mean I now own my car, and house. Sorry to rain on your parade but we still had a deficit when Clinton left office, he just taxed you for more money than the government needed.

rusty shakelford said...

I'm sorry I cant help thinking how funny it is that you think budgetary surplus means the US has no deficit. Every year I buy my kid a savings bond, my grandparents have much of there retirement invested in bonds. Does this mean my kid got paid back 20 years early and my grandparents have no more retirement?

Seriously did you think no-one owned savings bonds after Clinton left office? Have you no idea what that would do to peoples retirement if the US paid off its deficit in full.

By the way 85% of the deficit is owned by Americans.

Anonymous said...

A must read posting from Canada. It gives another view on crossing the border for a better life.

Pete Bogs said...

Afghanistan brought the war to us - we should have finished off the job (and bin Laden) while we were there... instead we got distracted by and bogged down in Iraq... Bush let bin Laden go at Tora Bora - and that was AFTER 9/11...

so many Republicants blame Clinton for what he DID NOT do, and say that led to where we are now - but they fail to address (as you all have) what Reagan DID do... he armed Iran... he should have been impeached instead of deified...

Hellpig said...

3000 dead on American soil this is Clinton's legacy along with the other 9 attacks on American embassies and the USS Cole

Sandy Berglar destroying evidence so the Clinton Administration would not be blamed,and the MSM lack of investigating the worst cover-up in American history

you cannot re-write history no matter how hard you try Bogs

Tora Bora our troops missed Bin Laden,which is a far cry from the Clinton do nothing position,at least Bush tried.

Your arguements are weak just like your parties ability to keep America safe.

Anonymous said...

Listening to the worse. president. ever. enough times, results in destroyed brain waves as evidenced here.

Hellpig said...

Karen I agree you are braindead