Sunday, October 26, 2008

UFOs Are R-E-A-L

Some 1500 pages worth of information on UFO sightings have been released by Britain's National Archives. And while many of the incidents cited are explained away by earthly phenomena, some remain unexplained.

I don't need official documents in order to believe there's a good chance UFOs exist, however. The universe is immense; it seems rational to me that there would be other "intelligent" races that have developed space travel technology.

This lifelong belief has recently been bolstered by an unexpected confession from an acquaintance. This man – whose name I have been asked not to divulge – is someone very close whom I trust implicitly. He reluctantly agreed to tell me his story on camera for the benefit of my readers/viewers. It's pretty shocking stuff.

Note: The video is intentionally dark and the voice altered in order to protect the subject.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fragmentia Monday: The Buffet Is Open!

From the momentous to the mundane, there’s lots here to talk about, people. If you don’t have something to say about at least one of these items, what good are ye?

I find the Wall Street bailout ironic and hypocritical. You have some of the very same politicians who regularly dismiss the notion of helping out the little guy (aka Main Street) with so-called entitlements rushing to help the big guy (aka Wall Street)?! But Pete, you say, by helping those big guys we’ll ultimately help the little guys! So, we are willing to assist the little guys, but only indirectly – through the big guys? Folks, I believe seeing CEOs walk away from their companies with $20 million while rank-and-file employees are being laid off dispels the myth of trickle-down economics for all time. It just don’t happen! And the government buying banks? Where are the accusations of socialism now? Now?

By the way, what’s with Bush pushing this bailout on Congress while at the same time wanting to
veto food stamps and unemployment from a second stimulus package? See the big guy/little guy thing again.

Is it dangerous for chocolate Labradors to lick or chew themselves?

Mr. Blackwell, originator of the “worst-dressed list” for public figures, has
died. I wonder how the undertaker will dress him?

If you are selling food or beverages in three different sizes, by law you should only be allowed to name them “small,” “medium” and “large,” respectively. None of this “medium/large/giant” crap! The smallest size of anything cannot be “medium!” Pizza places, you are the worst offenders. (Two sizes? "Small" and "large." That wasn't hard, was it?)

Speaking of pizza, I believe “left-over pizza” to be oxymoronic. It's certainly apocryphal in my home.

Another food-related law I am proposing is the Lid Standardization Doctrine (LSD). Some salad dressing bottles have a small opening that allows you to pour the dressing over your salad in small, controlled bursts; this wonderful invention gives you maximum control over amount and distribution. The other kind of bottle has no such opening, just a 1.25 inch opening that – if you believe yourself to be opening the other kind of bottle and pour too quickly – may cause you to empty the entire contents over one bowl of salad. Not that I’ve ever done this. But I believe the producers of these products are 1) deliberately trying to make us look foolish and 2) trying to get us to use up dressing quickly so that we will buy more. It's an outrage!

Never forget: When you presume you make a pres out of u and me.

The release of a new Playstation game has been
delayed because of objections over passages from the Koran being used in some of the background music. The game will now be released without the offending words. Who knew some Muslims could be so touchy? I mean, they’re typically so levelheaded when their holy writings are used in popular culture.

Only the first sneeze in any series of sneezes should be given a “God bless you!” by those within earshot. Beyond that is overkill.

Some 1,500 raccoon dogs(?) bred in China for their fur have
died from eating tainted food. Do I really need to add anything more to this?

A Chinese official involved in the building of Olympic facilities has been sentenced to death for corruption. They may commute the sentence to life in prison if he behaves himself. I still can’t believe anyone does anything like this in China. The stakes are too high.

I can no longer abide the blending of (American) sports bar and Irish pub. Each premise is strong enough to stand on its own. Take your fucking NFL team jerseys off the wall and put the Tri-Colour back up there, lest I box your ears, purveyor of said public house! (This kind of) miscegenation is wrong, wrong and terribly wrong!

Don’t talk to me, near me or about me when I am in the toilet.

I am tired of people giving me funny looks when I walk with an open umbrella on sunny days.

I am against home births except in instances of C-section.

I seek the elimination of all parking fines save for parking in a handicapped space when able-bodied or blocking a street or driveway. I am so... super... serial. Further, I would seriously increase fines for multi-space parking. Some people consider their first attempt at parking in a space their only attempt. Back your lazy ass up and straighten out the car, chief. Slogans to promote this new statute include: “One Vehicle, One Parking Space” and “Over The Line? Pay The Fine!”

The determination of when a restaurant meal is coming to a close should be when the last person is finishing the meal, not the first. I sometimes eat fast; that shouldn’t give any server the cue to start talking about dessert or offering a take-home box to a dining companion who is obviously only halfway through eating his/her meal. Not so fast, Garcon!

I believe that most people can do better in most things but are simply too lazy, proud or stupid to do so.

Snowflakes are God’s dandruff.

Automatic Crash Response feature is a mixed blessing. Let’s say you’ve had a drink or two, are driving down a dark road one night and run into a tree, mildly damaging both the bark and your car, but leaving the latter completely drivable. On-Star senses the collision and automatically dispatches 911 emergency service to you. In another time you would’ve been able to shake it off, get back in your car and proceed cautiously on your way. Now we have so-called “safety features” ratting on us? Narcs, man, narcs!

How is it time machines seem to not only transport their occupants to eras when something significant was happening, but also to those exact places as well? 1492? Wow, we’re aboard the Santa Maria! 1776? I think some Redcoat just fired a musket at me! Who says going back to 1776 wouldn’t place you in the very same space you occupy in the present? Or in the middle of a 1776 desert where absolutely nothing is going on? Or at the top of a mountain? I think movies may be lying to us! And I believe any such devices should henceforth rightly be called “time and space machines.”

When you come to a fork in the road, be careful not to hurt your foot or puncture a tire.

I believe – and I am again 100% serious on this – that there ought to be a new law prohibiting the "obstruction of the progress of mankind.” Meaning, a disease is about to be cured but your pharmaceutical firm stands to lose billions, so you pay off the researchers to scuttle their discovery. Or a viable electric car is developed, and overnight oil companies and/or other car companies get it pulled back from its owners, destroyed and never spoken of again. (That one really happened, by the way.) Interfering with anything that will make the world a significantly better place should be considered a high crime, with those responsible facing 20 years to life. With all the petty kinds of shit that are illegal, this is a major oversight.

If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, you're probably a mutant.

If anyone – man, woman or child – challenges your right to vote on November 4, punch them square in the jaw. Then tell 'em Pete sent ya!

When it comes to taxes remember this: It’s not your money, it’s our money. So give me our goddamn PIN so I can go get some cash to spend at another stupid sports bar-Irish pub!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Holy Crap, It's The Jesus Fish!

Jesus Christ has returned and he's... WTF... a shark? Indeed, scientific tests have yielded a startling revelation: a slippery little fanged fishy was recently born to a female shark without the benefit of male consort. Jesus H. is back, and he’s ready to take a bite out of sin. It's a Second Coming of oceanic proportions. I wonder which five-star cruise liner the Magi will follow to bring him gifts of finest chum, remora and dorsal fin wax?

PS: Human females, don't go getting any of your own ideas about asexual reproduction!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

You Wanna See Something Really Scary?

Halloween is just round the corner. And while stories of unscrupulous people putting razor blades or needles into children’s candy are largely the stuff of urban legend, this year there is genuine reason to worry about what the little goblins are eating.

Some candies produced in China and sold in the US have been found to contain a toxin called melamine. I’d heard candy was bad for you, but come on! The life-threatening substance was used as filler by unscrupulous manufacturers in an effort to boost production. Is it possible these melameanies are even more fervent free market capitalists than some of their Western counterparts?

The candy poisoning follows closely on the heels of the deaths of several Chinese children who drank milk tainted with the same substance. Milk? Children’s milk, Mandrake? (Perhaps in a vastly overpopulated country – which includes many, many abandoned girls – the responsible companies see themselves as providing some perverse social benefit?)

Some of the people involved in the production of the tainted goods (I use that term loosely) have been arrested. I never thought I’d say this about that Great Land of Oppression (GLOP), but at least China has some accountability. Over here bad products result in civil lawsuits. I’m not convinced, though, that the criminal route is wrong; meaning, if industrialists thought they could actually face jail (rather than a financial penalty they would simply never pay), would they be more concerned with the safety of their products?

One thing is certain – there are real monsters in the world. Many of them live in China. Don’t go swallowing anything with the "C" word on it.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy Hour At “O’Bama's Place”

Did Barack Obama see my declaration of independence video, and if so, is he now actively trying to woo me back to the Democratic Party? If not, one could at least say he's found the way to my heart – he visited an Irish pub in my area on a recent campaign stop. You had me at “Hello, I’m Barack Obama, and I could use your vote.”

In all seriousness, I am not returning to the party in its present form. (If I find out Obama is a Guinness man, all bets are off). But I have begun to think that a nation under Obama – always my preferred candidate –would be a lot more fun. What some call "Obamanation" I call "O'Bama's Place," where happy hour is every hour.

"No, you don't need to see my ID, goddamit. I'm Barack friggin' Obama, the precedent... prestiden... (hiccup) fuggit... presidential candidate. No, not Osama, OBAMA! I am so sick and tired of hearing that crap! Who says I've had too many? Hey, I drive my campaign better when I've had a few. Hello, I didn't see you there. What's your name? Amanda? Amanda, you're really pretty."

Obama hasn't shied away from being seen with a pint - the proper serving size for beer - in his hand.

Happily married Obama still can't help but take notice of a beautiful lady when he spots one.

In recent presidential elections the question has been asked: With which candidate would you most like to enjoy a beer? If it’s going to be at an Irish pub, that's an easy one for me to answer.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Police (State) Report For 30 September, 2008 (UPDATED)

America's finest have not been enjoying their finest hours of late.

After roughing up and arresting dozens of people – a minority of whom were causing trouble and a majority of whom were credentialed reporters, passersby and others simply swept up in a dragnet a la 2004 Republican National Convention – at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, some Denver cops have now added insult to injustice with this t-shirt:

Actually, it's not insult so much as flagrantly flouting their own violation of any number of laws and civil rights. I say bust all the bad cops involved (in the arrests and the creation of the t-shirt) and use this in court as evidence against them. Imagine a t-shirt: "I robbed Manny's Liquor Store at the corner of 14th and Washington." If that were true, would the law simply look the other way?

An emotionally disturbed man died this week after being tased by New York police. Iman Morales had climbed out on the front of a building sans clothing and was trying to keep the police at bay using a fluorescent light bulb when the commanding officer ordered another officer to fire his Taser at Morales. Disturbing video footage shows Morales going limp and falling forward off the building, to the audible horror of onlookers. The distance to the ground was only about 10 feet, but as Morales had temporarily lost muscular control he landed on his head and died.

Folks, the sight of a naked man in public is strange and alarming, but let's get some perspective. A pervert? Possibly. Could he be a danger to others? Where would he hide a weapon? Turns out he was having trouble with his medication. The tasing was found to have violated NYC Police rules against using the weapon on someone who is likely to fall and be harmed. (NOTE: Out of respect for the commanding officer, who today apparently committed suicide, I have modified this post slightly.)

A West Virginia man who was arrested for DUI and driving without headlights shortly thereafter also briefly faced a charge of battery for farting and waving the foul air at Officer T.E. Parsons. That charge has since been dropped, but the fact one could be charged for such a thing? Imagine all the siblings, teammates, frat buddies, knitting circle companions, etc. who could now be charged with battery!

Such an assault on someone else's olfactory senses may be may disrespectful and gross – a low blow, in a manner of speaking – but it's not battery. In fact, I believe flatulence to be a constitutionally protected bodily function. (I must admit, I have imagined sitting in the back of a squad car, handcuffed and helpless, and firing off the only weapon at my disposal to let the cops know how I felt about them. I think even Gandhi would've approved of such non-violent civil disobedience.)

Ok, so here's a token "good cop" story for those of you shaking your heads and fingers at my shameless disrespect for authority figures: A Wisconsin police officer has started a reading program for underprivileged children – and she's not reading them their rights. No, that's a few years off yet. Anyway, good on Officer Julia Burney-Witherspoon.

Do I have an axe to grind? Have I had a few run-ins (or is it like "attorneys general," i.e. runs-in) with the law? I think my blog history shows I fervently call for accountability at all levels. When authorities aggressively and/or unnecessarily detain, incarcerate, charge, beat or otherwise endanger the citizens they are supposed to protect – and then face few or no consequences – the system has failed.

I don't consider dropping charges that should've never been filed or changing someone's job title "accountability." No, what I call accountability is facing penalties for willful malfeasance; consider it a deterrent tactic, a term which should be very familiar to those who enforce the law for a living. Some will no doubt suggest a "chilling effect" on law enforcement could result, leading to them being afraid to even do their jobs. However, when it comes to incidents such as I've mentioned here I'm more worried about them not being afraid. It is the absence of that fear that has placed Americans in a nascent police state.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Setbacks, Dog Attacks And Dental Plaque

In recent weeks, President Bush has suffered a few significant setbacks to his agenda of unchecked power. A judge appointed by Bush has ruled that some of the president’s former aides must testify before Congress about politically motivated firings of US attorneys. George, if I ever said in the past that you don’t know how to pick judges, I was at least partially wrong!

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has once again said that the US must set a specific date for military withdrawal from his country. Kind of destroys the whole Bush talking point (and, doubtless, Republicant election victory strategy) of painting anyone who wants to bring US troops home as quitters who embolden terrorists. Is Iraq worried? "Thanks, we’ll take it from here." Chew on that, consternos. Then get our people home ASA fucking P!

Man bites dog is news. "'The man' shoots dog" is sadly becoming news, of late. A SWAT team shot a Maryland mayor’s two black Labradors to death during a mistaken drug raid at his home. (I guess blacks really do suffer more violence at the hands of police.) Known for their intelligence and gentleness (i.e. great family dogs), the two dogs were shot in the back by well-armed and body-armored SWAT team members who claimed they felt threatened. A senseless act. You’ve got a gun, it’s only a dog, so what the hell. Sure, it’s easy for me to sit here and point fingers after the fact, but this is just fucked up. An investigation has been launched, but I’m not holding my breath that anyone involved will be punished for excessive use of force.

Down in San Marcos, Texas, police Officer Paul Stephens pulled over a man for speeding, but it was no routine traffic stop. It turns out the driver had a sick seriously ill dog in the car and was rushing to a veterinarian. The driver pleaded with the cop, but was told to calm down because it was just a dog and he could “get another one.” The dog died during the 15-20 minutes it took Stephens to write a ticket. What an insensitive asshole! Seriously, man. Officer Paul Stephens, asshole, dog killer, public servant. It’s all on video, too. Did I mention Office Paul Stephens is an asshole and a dog killer?

By the way, I include stories like this here because, as I've hopefully made clear since the beginning of this blog, I cannot abide what I see as abuse of power, whether it's "W" using government agencies or military resources to suit his own agenda or cops clearly going way over the line. Powerful people rarely suffer legal consequences for their actions, so I try them here, in the court of public opinion. It's the only court time they'll ever see.

Now I know what it feels likes to be a woman. At the repeated request of my dental hygienist, I finally bought an electric toothbrush last week. I figured there’d be a slight buzzing sound from it, and a somewhat amusing new sensation in my mouth, but what I got sounds and feels like a jackhammer inside my head, and that new sensation is actually numbness. When I am done using this vibrating, handheld implement I feel somewhat… violated. Oh, and the rotating head! Funny thing when you get toothpaste and saliva and other viscous matter on it – they go every which way, dotting all nearby surfaces. Sure, the toothbrush belongs in your mouth, but you’ve got to take a breath and spit once in a while, no? I think this implement would actually make a better “gag gift” (wink wink) for a bachelorette party.

Hey, has there ever been an electric toothbrush artist? Put a dab of paint on the tip, put it near a canvas and turn it on? Forget the airbrush – I think I just invented a new style of art: Rotationist.

Note: The section below has potentially offensive words that have been hidden to shelter fragile sensibilities. Working as I do as a web writer, and paying attention to SiteMeter, I know what brings in visitors to a website. A little gratuitious, but it serves its purpose.

pussy teen sex videos upskirt fuck barely legal nude celebrity free porn hidden camera facials cum blowjob

Friday, August 08, 2008

Do These Olympics Seem A Bit Gamey To You?

"Cocker spaniels: They've been on my training table since I was a kid." - Li Ling Jaun, 2008 Olympian

China opened its first-ever Olympic Games today, August 8, 2008, in the grand style one has come to expect of these events. But the location wasn’t the only first, as the longstanding medal-awarding structure has been altered to meet the requirements of the host country.

Prior to 2008, the standard award hierarchy was as follows:

First Place = Gold
Second Place = Silver
Third Place = Bronze

A few award levels have been added or changed for these games at the behest of the Chinese government:

First Place = Gold
Second Place = Lead
Third Place = 20 years hard labor
Fourth Place = SARS
Fifth Place+ = Immediate execution

PS: An obscure 16th century soothsayer is said to have had foreknowledge of the 2008 games. His words are somewhat vague, so judge for yourself:

"And on the day when the three eights are in alignment, the nations of the world shall meet in the Eastern kingdom, and there shall their warrior minions wage a bloodless battle for prize and pride. Bloodless, that is, provided the pollution or food doesn't kill anyone. Don't hold your breath. On second thought, do." - Nostradumbass

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

V.I. Day For The Terroristical Killers

Bush’s bluff has been called. He was counting on Iraq not asking for a timetable for US troop withdrawal. Now they have. Indeed, the very country that would “fall into chaos” if we were to leave is asking us to start packing up our things. I guess Iraq just wants to surrender and hand a victory to the terrorists, who will most assuredly be emboldened by a US withdrawal. I blame Democrats, who the Iraqis are clearly taking after here.

Bush has already dismissed the timetable idea, even though he previously said we would leave if asked by the Iraqi government. "Shut up, Spock! We're rescuing you."

W knows best?

Iraq, there’s no way we can “quit you” in the near future. We’ve got too much money – in the form of bloated defense budgets, war-profiteering mercenary contractors and promises of oodles of barrels of lucrative Mesopotamian dinosaur juice to big petroleum – tied up in this operation to walk away now.

Besides, we want to make sure leaving looks like our idea. We may lose a couple thousand more soldiers before all is said and done, but we will save face. Well, in our own minds. We are already quite faceless before most of the world now.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Discarded Onion Peels

The following is a list of headlines written by yours truly, intended for but never used by The Onion. Enjoy.

Chipmunks’ Manager Dave Ordered To Anger Management Classes; Must Stay 500 Feet Away From Alvin

NFL To Crack Down On Draft Dodgers; Players: “Hell No, We Won’t Throw!”

Fourth Grade Ice Skating Championship Runner-Up Decries Activist Judges

Transgendered Person Keeps First Letter Of Previous Name So As Not To Confuse Family, Friends

Area Woman Still Can’t Open Own Ketchup Bottle

Smokers Busted In Loitering Sting

Meteorologists Baffled By Hail Not Sized Like Any Piece Of Sporting Equipment

Local Woman Doesn’t Pass Gas

Man Holds Out Hope For Reunited Carolinas

Hummus To Be Renamed “Liberty Spread”

Porn Site Loaded With Typos

Family Organization Seeks Legislation To Bar Gay Couples From Adopting Pets

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Smoking Egg Roll

I now have proof positive - in the form of a smoking egg roll - that China is conducting an unconventional war against the United States through tainted consumer goods. They are trying to sicken us all - adults, children, and even pets.

I recently bought a package clearly labeled “vegetable egg rolls” at my local supermarket. Later, I was well through eating one of the “vegetable egg rolls” when I detected a strange taste and decided to look inside. The damned thing had chicken in it!

I don’t eat dead things, and was quite disgusted. These weren’t big chunks of chicken, mind you, but small pieces like you’d get in a packet of instant soup, otherwise I would‘ve noticed sooner.

Yes, the war has now hit me in my own home, and I am pissed.

I should also add that on more than one occasion I have bitten into an appetizer spring roll at a Chinese restaurant, only to find chicken or some such substance inside, after being assured it contained no dead animal pieces. “No meat. Just vestible (sic). Only vestible.”

See? Those are two pretty damning “pieces” of evidence right there, if I do say so myself.

So what if those prepackaged egg rolls are made in Texas? So what if most of the people working in Chinese restaurants here are actually Korean? My initial assertion regarding China is sound.

China, I am on to you!

PS: I sent the maker of the aforementioned packaged egg rolls an email through their website, but never received a response from them. I want some free shit, people!

PSS: Boycott the 2008 Summer Olympics, free Tibet, yadda yadda yadda.

PSSST: I recently bought a video camera and am considering posting all-singing, all-dancing, all-nude, all-talking video blogs here. At long last my shameful physical deformities and severe speech impediment will be revealed to the blogosphere. This could be fun!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Whore To Culture: A Bogsblog Special Edition (No Fooling)

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is being charged with perjury and a host of other crimes for allegedly lying under oath about an affair with a staff member. It seems sexually explicit text messages between the two have been uncovered, essentially destroying their story. It's not about the sex, it's about the lying... about sex.

Meanwhile, new New York Governor David Paterson has admitted to having sexual affairs and trying cocaine in the past. Preemptively admitting an affair – rather than having a newspaper reporter out him a year or two down the road and forcing him to explain himself – was an admirable and I think very prudent step. However, what comes to mind in this election year, as we once again look at images of candidates alongside their spouses and children – the idea of family representing “moral,” “trustworthy” or “normal” to many a voter – is the fact that being a family person is no guarantee that someone is "clean."

I’ve never had an affair (never been married) and have never done illegal drugs. But I am also 39 years old and single, a vegetarian, and have no specific religious beliefs. Were I to run for office, I might have the smartest, most revolutionary platform ever, but I’d never have a chance; my candidacy would be sunk very quickly by American prejudices against my unconventional situation, and certainly by a powerful smear machine.

Paterson took the highest office in the state of New York, of course, after Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned in light of revelations he partook of the services of a high-priced call girl ring. His real crime, though, was hypocrisy: Spitzer ran for governor on a platform of ethical reform, and had prosecuted many a prostitution case in his former role as Attorney General for New York State.

I felt bad – and somewhat confused – by the presence of Spitzer’s wife Silda at his side during the two public statements he made about the scandal. First, the poor woman didn’t deserve to have to stand up there in front of the cameras and the world with the man who paid women young enough to be their daughter for sex. And, the people of New York didn’t vote for Silda, they voted for her husband. It was really a message to the people of the state from the disgraced politician. It may have been important to Eliot to have his wife up there next to him, but it was also a selfish and irrelevant act.

Not long after the prostitution scandal erupted, the identity of at least one of Spitzer’s sex-for-hire gals was revealed: 22-year-old Ashley Dupré, aka “Kristen,” who according to her Myspace page is an aspiring singer. Apparently microphones aren’t the only elongated, shaft-like things she wants to wrap her hands around and hold up to her mouth for money and fame.

I am actually not opposed to prostitution, primarily on the basis that if a man wants to pay a woman for something, and she wants to take the money for that something, it’s no one else’s business. But Spitzer allegedly paid Dupré $4300 plus various expenses for an hour of "service." This is actually one of the most disturbing parts of this story, as there's almost nothing a woman could do sexually that would be worth that much. And Dupré was one of the middle-priced escorts, according to the Emporers Club VIP price list. Where do these women get off charging that much for a man to get off? I’m typically outspoken against unnecessary plastic surgery, but for that amount I’d pretty much want what I’d consider to be a “perfect 10,” not a woman whose nose could double as a ski slope.

"Kristen" (the "K" stands for K12) makes an impassioned
plea for piece in the Middle East.

Then there is the issue I’ve discussed before on this blog, and that is that an implied part of the financial transaction between client and service provider is discretion. What happened to the love of the craft in these prostitutes who go around giving interviews about it afterwards? It makes me sad. These young people with their tell-all books and their dungarees.

It turns out Dupré has somewhat of a history as a sexual entertainer, as her involvement at age 18 in the making of several Girls Gone Wild videos has also been revealed. I am no puritan; actually, I consider myself somewhat of a libertine. But when did young women all become such “hos?” What was once a fascinating phenomenon of sexually charged young women has turned into an epidemic. It’s no wonder 25% of them have some kind of sexually transmitted disease.

But the most important question here is, of course, where were these “Lolitas” when I was a young, randy yet shy schoolboy aching to be made a man? That’s the real crime!

In local news, there have been a spate of arrests in my county of teachers who had sexual contact with their students. These are mostly women teachers, mind you. I’ve written extensively about Debra Lafave, who got house arrest for having sex with a 14-year-old student. Could it be that these other women, who couldn’t possibly be unaware of the Lafave case unless they were living under a rock for a few years, realized that if they were caught they would probably receive the same slap on the wrist from Johnny Law? There is no angry “remove their sexual organs” contingent in our society when it comes to female sexual predators, outside of my devil’s advocate blog post. Where is the deterrent?

But the most important question here is, of course, where were these “Mrs. Robinsons” when I was a young, randy yet shy schoolboy aching to be made a man? That’s the real crime!

Meanwhile, a woman is suing the T&A, err, TSA for forcing her to remove her nipple rings during a security screening. They probably were wrong to go about it the way they did, but I am thinking it’s not wise to take unnecessary metal objects through airport security. The nipplette’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, stated, "The last time I checked, a nipple was not a dangerous weapon." Tell that to the many, many people who suffered heart attacks and other catastrophic episodes at the fleeting glimpse of Janet Jackson’s nipple during the Super Bowl a few years ago. Children corrupted. Families broken. Dog and cats living together. Some real scary "End Times" shit there.

Worthless socialite turned reality TV star
turned jailbird turned new mom Nicole Richie

is shown above in an Al-Qaeda training video.

Bush-appointed federal judges have struck down a New York State law that amounts to a bill of rights for passengers stuck on grounded airplanes for an extended period of time. Their rationale was that federal law trumps state law. Once again, we see a lack of accountability being facilitated by the Bush administration; whether it’s telecoms, defense contractors (aka mercenaries) or Scooter Libby, Bush & Co. just can’t stand to see the big guy lose. The case also brings to mind the 2000 presidential election, when Republicants temporarily set aside their championing of states’ rights and cheered the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Florida high court’s ruling on the ballot recount.

And speaking of Florida, my home state is now considering a ban on saggy pants for public school students. Unlike the trousers which have inspired it, this bill would be (legally) binding. Many public schools already require uniforms. Soon they will implant chips in the students' heads to program any indecent thoughts right the hell out of them. Seriously though, based on some of the earlier stories in this post, shouldn't we be more concerned about enacting laws requiring politicians to keep their pants up?

Since the days of Jeb Bush Florida has been in the legislative grip of the NRA. Not satisfied with its victory on the “Stand Your Ground” law, aka the “Shoot First And Ask Questions Later” law, the clearly illiterate but powerful lobbying group is now pushing for the right of Florida workers to keep guns in their cars while at work, which many businesses oppose. I’d be interested to know how many people who opposed the indoor smoking ban a few years ago on the grounds that it took away business owners’ rights are suddenly not so interested in business owners’ rights and support this bill.

Dutch film Fitna, which is said to suggest that the Koran incites violence, is coming under fire from Muslims around the globe. In one of the most extreme criticisms, a member of an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group stated, "The correct Sharia (Islamic law) response is to cut (off) (the director’s) head and let him follow his predecessor, (late filmmaker Theo) van Gogh, to hell." Evidently these folks don’t understand the notion of “making someone else’s argument for them.”

In a news story that is surely a consternative’s wet dream, a Pennsylvania judge has ordered three Hispanic men to learn English or face jail for robbery. Contending the sentence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, the men instead chose death by lethal injection.

As host of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, China is being pressured to clean up its act with Tibet, Sudan and other volatile areas of the world. The Chinese government is also putting pressure on its own restaurateurs not to serve traditional delicacy canis lupus familiaris (dog) during the games for fear of freaking out people from more civilized nations. Maybe we need year-round Olympic games in China? (You didn't think you'd really get a post from me that didn't mention dogs and China, did you?)

"Please God, don't let these people eat me."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Heckling SOTU 2008: A BogsBlog Special Edition

Below is a transcript of President Bush’s final State Of The Union speech; it is presented in its entirety, so all statements remain in context. Interjected throughout in caps are my thoughts on what he was saying. Actually, if you were in my living room you would’ve heard most of these things spoken aloud by me. Yeah, it's long, but you never know if/when you'll see another post here. So, take your time. Mark your spot and return. Before we start, let me first set the scene for you: Myself, sitting alone on my living room couch. Around me are strewn empty Guinness cans, bags of pretzels and nacho chips, and stacks of pizza boxes delivered by the area’s finest minimum wage workers; somewhere beneath the boxes are mounds of unpaid bills. Some of the 17 pounds I’ve gained since going on blog hiatus are peeking out from underneath my tatty t-shirt, and smothering the waistband of my underwear, which is possibly soiled (I haven’t checked since Christmas morn). I scratch and tug at my beard, which has come in to mountain man fullness, as I shout and gesticulate at the man talking on the magic glowing cube before me. He is saying…

Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. We have faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens. These issues call for vigorous debate, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve answered that call. (YUP. LOTS OF TALK, BUT LITTLE MOVEMENT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.) Yet history will record that amid our differences, we acted with purpose. And together, we showed the world the power and resilience of American self-government.

All of us were sent to Washington to carry out the people’s business. That is the purpose of this body. It is the meaning of our oath. And it remains our charge to keep. (YET WE CONTINUE TO AVOID KEEPING IT.)

The actions of the 110th Congress will affect the security and prosperity of our Nation long after this session has ended. In this election year, let us show our fellow Americans that we recognize our responsibilities and are determined to meet them. And let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time. (WHAT KIND OF LIBERAL CRAP IS THAT?)

From expanding opportunity to protecting our country, we have made good progress. (DO ELABORATE. FACTS AND FIGURES, PLEASE. SPECIFICS. EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE.) Yet we have unfinished business before us, and the American people expect us to get it done. (WE HAVEN'T YET COMPLETELY TRASHED THE PLACE, BUT WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS.)

In the work ahead, we must be guided by the philosophy that made our Nation great. As Americans, we believe in the power of individuals to determine their destiny and shape the course of history. (I MISS MANIFEST DESTINY. WHEN ARE WE GOING TO FREE MIAMI FROM CUBAN COLONIZATION AND RECLAIM FLORIDA FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA?) We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens. (ACTUALLY, SOME OF THEM ARE PRETTY DUMB.) So in all we do, we must trust in the ability of free people to make wise decisions, and empower them to improve their lives and their futures.

To build a prosperous future, we must trust people with their own money and empower them to grow our economy. (GO TO DISNEY WORLD. BUY DUCT TAPE AND PLASTIC SHEETING.) As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. (IT'S CALLED A "RECESSION.) America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined. And at kitchen tables across our country, there is concern about our economic future. (I OFTEN DISCUSS THESE PROBLEMS WITH MYSELF OVER PASTA.)

In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth. But in the short run, we can all see that growth is slowing. So last week, my Administration reached agreement with Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner on a robust growth package that includes tax relief for individuals and families and incentives for business investment. The temptation will be to load up the bill. (LOADING UP THE BILL APPARENTLY MEANS HELPING THE UNEMPLOYED BY EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. WHAT SELFISH PEOPLE!) That would delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable. This is a good agreement that will keep our economy growing and our people working. (OK, I'LL TAKE YOUR $600. BUT I REFUSE TO HELP THIS SO-CALLED ECONOMY OF YOURS! I WILL SPEND IT ON UNTAXED STUFF LIKE DRUGS AND HOOKERS.) And this Congress must pass it as soon as possible. (IT'S NOT A KIDNEY STONE, SIR.)

We have other work to do on taxes. (I STILL HAVE TO COMPLETE MY EZ FORM, TOO.) Unless the Congress acts, most of the tax relief we have delivered over the past 7 years will be taken away. Some in Washington argue that letting tax relief expire is not a tax increase. (WELL, TECHNICALLY IT ISN'T. GOING BACK TO YOUR NORMAL SALARY AFTER GETTING A BONUS IS NOT A "PAY CUT" EITHER.) Try explaining that to 116 million American taxpayers who would see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800. (TRY EXPLAINING TO LAID OFF WORKERS HOW THEIR CEOs STILL MANAGE TO GET MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN BONUSES REGARDLESS OF THE STATE OF THEIR COMPANY.) Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm, and I am pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders. (OH, DISSIN' ON A FEDERAL AGENCY! AT LAST, SOMETHING EVERYONE CAN AGREE ON. STILL, IF BUSH MADE FOLLY OF SAY, THE STATE DEPT. OR, GOD FORBID, THE CIA [OK, THEY ARE REALLY THE SAME THING], WOULD THAT BE COOL? I'M JUST SAYING.)

Most Americans think their taxes are high enough. With all the other pressures on their finances, American families should not have to worry about the Federal Government taking a bigger bite out of their paychecks. (HONESTLY, I THINK MORE PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE PRICE OF GAS, GROCERIES AND HEALTHCARE. OH, AND THE WORTHLESS DOLLAR. BUT YOU WON'T DO SHIT ABOUT ANY OF THAT, WILL YOU?) There is only one way to eliminate this uncertainty: make the tax relief permanent. And Members of Congress should know: If any bill raising taxes reaches my desk, I will veto it. (SHOULD WE "READ YOUR LIPS?")

Just as we trust Americans with their own money, we need to earn their trust by spending their tax dollars wisely. (MAY I SUGGEST PORK FUTURES? IT KEEPS THE HEATHEN TURK AWAY.) Next week, I will send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs totaling more than $18 billion. (BLOATED? ARE ANY OF THESE WOMEN'S HEALTH PROGRAMS?) And this budget will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012. American families have to balance their budgets, and so should their Government. (AMEN, BROTHER! BUT WHY START SPENDING RESPONSIBLY NOW, SO LATE IN THE GAME?)

The people’s trust in their Government is undermined by congressional earmarks — special interest projects that are often snuck in at the last minute, without discussion or debate. (THERE SHOULD BE A BULLETED SUMMARY ON THE FRONT OF EVERY BILL, HOWEVER THICK, THAT LISTS THE CONTENTS OF THE BILL. IF IT AIN'T IN THE SUMMARY, IT AIN'T HONORED IN THE FINAL BILL, EVEN IF IT WAS PHYSICALLY INSERTED INTO THE BILL.) Last year, I asked you to voluntarily cut the number and cost of earmarks in half. I also asked you to stop slipping earmarks into committee reports that never even come to a vote. Unfortunately, neither goal was met. So this time, if you send me an appropriations bill that does not cut the number and cost of earmarks in half, I will send it back to you with my veto. (THAT'S THE "X" I MAKE WHERE IT SAYS "SIGNATURE.") And tomorrow, I will issue an Executive Order that directs Federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on by the Congress. (AT LAST, A RESPECTABLE USE OF THIS OFTEN-ABUSED POWER.) If these items are truly worth funding, the Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote. (CAN I GET A WITNESS? AND HOW ABOUT MORE OPEN GOVERNMENT MEASURES?)

Our shared responsibilities extend beyond matters of taxes and spending.

On housing, we must trust Americans with the responsibility of homeownership and empower them to weather turbulent times in the housing market. My Administration brought together the HOPE NOW alliance, which is helping many struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. The Congress can help even more. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (IS THAT THAT BLACK COMEDIAN?), modernize the Federal Housing Administration, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. These are difficult times for many American families, and by taking these steps, we can help more of them keep their homes. (DO YOU MEAN END PREDATORY LENDING PRACTICES AND SUB-PRIME MORTGAGES? THAT'S WHAT IS REALLY NEEDED.)

To build a future of quality health care, we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information and better options. (I DON'T THINK ANYONE EXCEPT HMOs ARE SUGGESTING OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD MAKE OUR MEDICAL DECISIONS, AND WE ALL HATE THEM.) We share a common goal: making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. The best way to achieve that goal is by expanding consumer choice, not government control. (IF THIS MEANS PRIVATIZATION, I'VE NOT BEEN IMPRESSED WITH THE PRIVATIZATION OF, SAY, SECURITY SERVICES. THEY END UP BILKING EVERYONE. PRIVATIZATION IS A CAPITALISTIC IDEAL FOR SURE, BUT IT'S NO MIRACLE CURE. IT HAS ITS OWN DISTINCT SET OF PROBLEMS.) So I have proposed ending the bias in the tax code against those who do not get their health insurance through their employer. This one reform would put private coverage within reach for millions, and I call on the Congress to pass it this year. (ON THIS TOPIC, I DON'T THINK THE RICHEST AMONG US SHOULD EVEN QUALIFY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE. I AM TALKING ABOUT THE TRUMPS, BLOOMBERGS, SOROSES, MELLON-SCAIFES AND ROCKEFELLERS HERE. THERE SHOULD BE AN INCOME CAP, ABOVE WHICH YOU CANNOT ENROLL FOR COVERAGE; YOU PAY RETAIL FOR ALL HEALTH SERVICES. SERIOUSLY.) The Congress must also expand health savings accounts, create Association Health Plans for small businesses, promote health information technology, and confront the epidemic of junk medical lawsuits. (I DON'T CONSIDER MALPRACTICE SUITS TO BE JUNK. BUT YOU WANT NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR DOCTORS JUST AS YOU WANT NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR YOUR STAFF, MILITARY CONTRACTORS, ETC.) With all these steps, we will help ensure that decisions about your medical care are made in the privacy of your doctor’s office — not in the halls of Congress. ("MADAME SPEAKER, DO I NEED A PROSTATE EXAM?")

On education, we must trust students to learn if given the chance and empower parents to demand results from our schools. In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams — and a decent education is their only hope of achieving them. (YEAH, OTHERWISE YOU END UP IN IRAQ. OOPS!) Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no one can deny its results. Last year, fourth and eighth graders achieved the highest math scores on record. Reading scores are on the rise. And African-American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs. (YOU MEAN SCORES, RIGHT? OH!) Now we must work together to increase accountability (NOT YOUR FAVORITE WORD), add flexibility for States and districts, reduce the number of high school dropouts, and provide extra help for struggling schools. Members of Congress: The No Child Left Behind Act is a bipartisan achievement. It is succeeding. (I'VE HEARD QUITE THE OPPOSITE FROM A NUMBER OF EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.) And we owe it to America’s children, their parents, and their teachers to strengthen this good law.

We must also do more to help children when their schools do not measure up. (SORRY, NO PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS. IF PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE BROKEN THEY MUST BE FIXED. YOU KNOW, FOR A MAN WHO HATES "ENTITLEMENTS" AND ANYTHING THAT TAKES MORE TAX MONEY AWAY FROM PEOPLE, YOU SURE DON'T SEEM TO MIND TAXPAYER FUNDING OF PRIVATE [I.E. RELIGION-BASED) SCHOOLS FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T AFFORD THEM. WHAT GIVES?) Thanks to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships you approved, more than 2,600 of the poorest children in our Nation’s capital have found new hope at a faith-based or other non-public school. Sadly, these schools are disappearing at an alarming rate in many of America’s inner cities. (NO, THEY'RE THERE. YOU JUST CAN'T SEE THEM FOR ALL THE GRAFFITI.) So I will convene a White House summit aimed at strengthening these lifelines of learning. And to open the doors of these schools to more children, I ask you to support a new $300 million program called Pell Grants for Kids. We have seen how Pell Grants help low-income college students realize their full potential. Together, we have expanded the size and reach of these grants. Now let’s apply that same spirit to help liberate poor children trapped in failing public schools. (YET ANOTHER LIBERATION MISSION COMING, EH?)

On trade, we must trust American workers to compete with anyone in the world and empower them by opening up new markets overseas. (MORE FOREIGN MCDONALD'S FRANCHISES PLEASE.) Today, our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell American goods, crops, and services all over the world. So we are working to break down barriers to trade and investment wherever we can. We are working for a successful Doha round of trade talks, and we must complete a good agreement this year. At the same time, we are pursuing opportunities to open up new markets by passing free trade agreements. (AS LONG AS WE DON'T BUY ANY MORE CRAPPY CHINESE PRODUCTS.)

I thank the Congress for approving a good agreement with Peru. (WE NOW ARE THE LEADING IMPORTER OF LLAMAS FROM THAT COUNTRY.) Now I ask you to approve agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Many products from these nations now enter America duty-free, yet many of our products face steep tariffs in their markets. (THAT'S NOT FAIR!) These agreements will level the playing field. (OR WE'LL LEVEL THEIR CITIES.) They will give us better access to nearly 100 million customers. And they will support good jobs for the finest workers in the world: those whose products say “Made in the USA.” (EXCEPT FOR US CARMAKERS.)

These agreements also promote America’s strategic interests. The first agreement that will come before you is with Colombia, a friend of America that is confronting violence and terror and fighting drug traffickers. If we fail to pass this agreement, we will embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere. (WHAT IS FALSE POPULISM? IS THAT LIKE FALSE PROPHETISM?) So we must come together, pass this agreement, and show our neighbors in the region that democracy leads to a better life. (THE DRUG TRADE IS ACTUALLY CAPITALISM ON STEROIDS, IF YOU'LL PARDON THE PUN. STILL, DANGEROUS BASTARDS.)

Trade brings better jobs, better choices, and better prices. Yet for some Americans, trade can mean losing a job, and the Federal Government has a responsibility to help. I ask the Congress to reauthorize and reform trade adjustment assistance, so we can help these displaced workers learn new skills and find new jobs. (HOW ABOUT TAX PENALTIES FOR COMPANIES THAT MOVE OVERSEAS? THEY GET ALL KINDS OF TAX BREAKS AND INCENTIVES. THIS SHOULD BE PREDICATED ON THEIR CONTINUING TO OPERATE INSIDE THE US. IF THEY LEAVE, THEY SHOULD FIRST HAVE TO REPAY THE MONEY THEY SAVED WITH TAX BREAKS.)

To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil. (YOU SAY THIS EVERY YEAR, YET YOU'RE STILL TRYING TO DRILL IN ALASKA, THE GULF OF MEXICO AND THE EVERGLADES.) Last year, I asked you to pass legislation to reduce oil consumption over the next decade, and you responded. (MORE PEOPLE ARE NOW USING HEALTHY CANOLA OIL FOR THEIR COOKING.) Together we should take the next steps: Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. (ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE THE MINES SAFER WHILE YOU'RE AT IT? AND HOW ABOUT SOME BINDING CARBON CAPS INSTEAD OF THIS VOLUNTARY SHIT?) Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. (LIKE THE DURACELL BUNNY.) Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. (AND LESS SPICY FOOD.) And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride. (I KNOW, CHINA DIDN'T SIGN KYOTO, SO WHY SHOULD WE? BUT AREN'T WE SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER THAN THOSE DOG-EATING, LEAD-CONTAINING-PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS? AND IF THE ANDERSONS DOWN THE STREET WON'T PUT THEIR RECYCLABLES OUT AT THE STREET, DOES THAT MEAN YOU SHOULD REFUSE TO AS WELL?) The United States is committed to strengthening our energy security and confronting global climate change. And the best way to meet these goals is for America to continue leading the way toward the development of cleaner and more efficient technology. (YET AT THIS VERY MOMENT DICK CHENEY IS ACTIVELY HELPING BLOCK STRINGENT FUEL EMISSION STANDARDS IN CALIFORNIA. THAT'S NOT LEADERSHIP, IT'S OBSTRUCTIONISM.)

To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow. (SINCE YOU TOOK OFFICE SCIENTISTS HAVE REGULARLY BEEN MUZZLED IF THEIR FINDINGS HAVE BEEN CONTRARY TO CONSERVATIVE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OR HAVE HIT BIG INDUSTRIES IN THE POCKET.) Last year, the Congress passed legislation supporting the American Competitiveness Initiative, but never followed through with the funding. This funding is essential to keeping our scientific edge. So I ask the Congress to double Federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences and ensure America remains the most dynamic (IS THIS THE MOST GERMANE WORD TO USE HERE?) nation on earth.

On matters of science and life, we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries. In November, we witnessed a landmark achievement when scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough has the potential to move us beyond the divisive debates of the past by extending the frontiers of medicine without the destruction of human life. (THIS IS GOOD, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO DESTROY HUMAN LIVES TO MAKE STEM CELLS. ALL OF YOU IN THE CHAMBER WHO ARE PRO-GUN, PRO-WAR AND PRO-CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, SIT DOWN!!! YOU HAVE NO MORAL AUTHORITY ON HUMAN LIFE ISSUES.) So we are expanding funding for this type of ethical medical research. And as we explore promising avenues of research, we must also ensure that all life is treated with the dignity it deserves. (TERRY SCHIAVO SURE HAD A DIGNIFIED LIFE AS A VEGETABLE.) So I call on the Congress to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting, or cloning of human life. (BUT THERE'S A BUCK TO BE MADE! COME ON! THIS STUFF IS SCI-FI SCRIPT GOLD.)

On matters of justice, we must trust in the wisdom of our Founders and empower judges who understand that the Constitution means what it says. (SIR, YOUR ADMINISTRATION HAS COMPLETELY ESCHEWED THE US CONSTITUTION. ACTUALLY, THAT'S NOT COMPLETELY TRUE; YOU'VE USED IT AS TOILET PAPER.) I have submitted judicial nominees who will rule by the letter of the law, not the whim of the gavel. (DAMN THOSE ACTIVIST JUDGES!) Many of these nominees are being unfairly delayed. (THEN GIVE US SOMEONE WITHOUT A MISOGYNIST, HOMOPHOBIC OR RACIST OUTLOOK.) They are worthy of confirmation, and the Senate should give each of them a prompt up-or-down vote. (WHERE WAS HARRIET MIERS' UP-OR-DOWN VOTE? THAT INSISTENCE STRANGELY SEEMED TO DISAPPEAR AMONG REPUBLICANTS DURING HER NOMINATION.)

In communities across our land, we must trust in the good heart of the American people and empower them to serve their neighbors in need. Over the past 7 years, more of our fellow citizens have discovered that the pursuit of happiness leads to the path of service. Americans have volunteered in record numbers. Charitable donations are higher than ever. (THAT'S BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT MORE NEED NOW THAN ANY TIME SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION.) Faith-based groups are bringing hope to pockets of despair (EMPTY POCKETS PUN?), with newfound support from the Federal Government. (NOPE, SORRY. FAITH-BASED GROUPS HAVE A DUAL AGENDA: THEIR STATED GOAL OF HELPING PEOPLE GET ON THEIR FEET AND RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS INTO THEIR FAITH. I DON'T WANT MY TAX DOLLARS GOING TO SUCH RECRUITMENT EFFORTS. CONGRESS HAS NO PLACE FUNDING THESE ORGANIZATIONS. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, AND ALL THAT.) And to help guarantee equal treatment for faith-based organizations when they compete for Federal funds, I ask you to permanently extend Charitable Choice. (I SAID NO!)

Tonight the armies of compassion (OXYMORON?) continue the march to a new day in the Gulf Coast. America honors the strength and resilience of the people of this region. We reaffirm our pledge to help them build stronger and better than before. And tonight I am pleased to announce that in April we will host this year’s North American Summit of Canada, Mexico, and the United States in the great city of New Orleans. (THAT'S GREAT FOR BUSINESS OWNERS THERE, I.E. YOUR BASE. BUT IT WON'T HELP THE AVERAGE CITIZEN WHO MAY STILL BE DISPLACED FROM HURRICANE KATRINA.)

There are two other pressing challenges that I have raised repeatedly before this body, and that this body has failed to address: entitlement spending and immigration.

Every Member in this chamber knows that spending on entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is growing faster than we can afford. (SEE ABOVE COMMENTS ABOUT ENTITLEMENTS SUCH AS SCHOOL VOUCHERS TO REVEAL YOUR OWN HIPOCRISY, AND ALSO ABOUT THE CRAPSHOOT OF PRIVATIZATION.) And we all know the painful choices ahead if America stays on this path: massive tax increases, sudden and drastic cuts in benefits, or crippling deficits. (ACCORDING TO RONALD "GOD" REAGAN, DEFICITS DON'T MATTER.) I have laid out proposals to reform these programs. Now I ask Members of Congress to offer your proposals and come up with a bipartisan solution to save these vital programs for our children and grandchildren.

The other pressing challenge is immigration. America needs to secure our borders — and with your help, my Administration is taking steps to do so. We are increasing worksite enforcement (AKA TERRIFYING ARMED RAIDS), we are deploying fences (WHICH ONE DAY A MEXICAN LEADER WILL STAND BEFORE AND ASK US TO "TEAR DOWN") and advanced technologies to stop illegal crossings, we have effectively ended the policy of “catch and release” at the border (ARE THEY FISH? PESCADOS?), and by the end of this year, we will have doubled the number of border patrol agents. (MY BUDDY CAPTAIN TONY IS AMONG THEM!) Yet we also need to acknowledge that we will never fully secure our border until we create a lawful way for foreign workers to come here and support our economy. This will take pressure off the border and allow law enforcement to concentrate on those who mean us harm. (LOS BANDITOS.) We must also find a sensible and humane (EUTHANASIA?) way to deal with people here illegally. Illegal immigration is complicated, but it can be resolved. And it must be resolved in a way that upholds both our laws and our highest ideals.

This is the business of our Nation here at home. Yet building a prosperous future for our citizens also depends on confronting enemies abroad and advancing liberty in troubled regions of the world.

Our foreign policy is based on a clear premise: We trust that people, when given the chance, will choose a future of freedom and peace. (WE ALSO LIKE FOREIGN COUNTRIES WHICH HAVE SOME KIND OF RESOURCE WE CAN EXPLOIT, HUMAN OR OTHERWISE.) In the last 7 years, we have witnessed stirring moments in the history of liberty. We have seen citizens in Georgia and Ukraine stand up for their right to free and fair elections. We have seen people in Lebanon take to the streets to demand their independence. We have seen Afghans emerge from the tyranny of the Taliban to choose a new president and a new parliament. We have seen jubilant Iraqis holding up ink-stained fingers and celebrating their freedom. And these images of liberty have inspired us.

In the past 7 years, we have also seen images that have sobered us. (IS THAT HOW YOU GOT OFF THE SAUCE, GEORGE, OR WAS IT THE DUI?) We have watched throngs of mourners (ALL MALE) in Lebanon and Pakistan carrying the caskets of beloved leaders taken by the assassin’s hand. We have seen wedding guests in blood-soaked finery staggering from a hotel in Jordan, Afghans and Iraqis blown up in mosques and markets, and trains in London and Madrid ripped apart by bombs. And on a clear September day, we saw thousands of our fellow citizens taken from us in an instant. (IT JUST AIN'T A SPEECH WITHOUT 9/11, IS IT?) These horrific images serve as a grim reminder: The advance of liberty is opposed by terrorists and extremists — evil men who despise freedom, despise America, and aim to subject millions to their violent rule. (IF YOU ASKED THEM, I DON'T THINK THEY'D SAY "THE ADVANCE OF LIBERTY" CAUSED THEM TO ATTACK US. BUT WHATEVER THEY'D SAY, THE TRUE ANSWER IS "HOMICIDAL LUNACY."

Since September 11, we have taken the fight to these terrorists and extremists. We will stay on the offense, we will keep up the pressure, and we will deliver justice to the enemies of America. (IN 30 MINUTES OR LESS, OR IT'S FREE.)

We are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century. (YOU CAN KILL A PERSON BUT NOT AN IDEOLOGY, HOWEVER MUCH IT MAY DESERVE TO BE KILLED.) The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear. Yet in this war on terror, there is one thing we and our enemies agree on: In the long run, men and women who are free to determine their own destinies will reject terror and refuse to live in tyranny. That is why the terrorists are fighting to deny this choice to people in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Territories. And that is why, for the security of America and the peace of the world, we are spreading the hope of freedom. (WE NEED TO CONCENTRATE MORE ON PEACE IN THE WORLD, AND LESS ON EXPANDING OUR PIECE OF THE WORLD.)

In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies (THAT'S ONE SOLDIER FROM EACH.), and 15 partner nations (DITTO.) are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country. Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaida is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school, new roads and hospitals are being built, and people are looking to the future with new hope. These successes must continue, so we are adding 3,200 Marines to our forces in Afghanistan, where they will fight the terrorists and train the Afghan Army and police. (WE TRAINED THE AFGHANS TO FIGHT THE SOVIETS. LOOK WHERE THAT ENDED UP: TALIBAN, OSAMA, ETC.) Defeating the Taliban and al Qaida is critical to our security, and I thank the Congress for supporting America’s vital mission in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, the terrorists and extremists are fighting to deny a proud people their liberty and to establish safe havens for attacks across the world. (FOR THE LAST TIME, THEY WEREN'T USING IRAQ UNTIL YOU MARCHED IN AND DESTROYED THE POWER STRUCTURE THAT KEPT THEM AT BAY. THIS IS NOT PRO-SADDAM, IT IS JUST STATING A FACT THAT YOU AND YOUR MINDLESS MINIONS CONTINUE TO IGNORE. THE IRAQ QUAGMIRE - AND IT IS ONE - IS YOUR DOING.) One year ago, our enemies were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos. So we reviewed our strategy and changed course. We launched a surge of American forces into Iraq. And we gave our troops a new mission: Work with Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqi people, pursue the enemy in its strongholds, and deny the terrorists sanctuary anywhere in the country.

The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened. Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them instead saw tens of thousands of American forces flowing into their country. (A SCARY IMAGE FROM ANY STANDPOINT.) They saw our forces moving into neighborhoods, clearing out the terrorists, and staying behind to ensure the enemy did not return. And they saw our troops, along with Provincial Reconstruction Teams (CARPETBAGGERS?) that include Foreign Service Officers and other skilled public servants, coming in to ensure that improved security was followed by improvements in daily life. Our military and civilians in Iraq are performing with courage and distinction (EXCEPT FOR BLACKWATER AND KBR, THE CROOKED, RAPING, DEFILING, MURDERING-WITH-IMPUNITY BASTARDS.), and they have the gratitude of our whole Nation.

The Iraqis launched a surge of their own. In the fall of 2006, Sunni tribal leaders grew tired of al Qaida’s brutality and started a popular uprising called “The Anbar Awakening.” Over the past year, similar movements have spread across the country. And today, this grassroots surge includes more than 80,000 Iraqi citizens who are fighting the terrorists. The government in Baghdad has stepped forward as well — adding more than 100,000 new Iraqi soldiers and police during the past year. (AWESOME! LET'S LET THEM TAKE IT FROM THERE. HOMECOMING PARADE TIME IN THE USA!)

While the enemy is still dangerous and more work remains, the American and Iraqi surges have achieved results few of us could have imagined just 1 year ago:

When we met last year, many said containing the violence was impossible. A year later, high profile terrorist attacks are down, civilian deaths are down, and sectarian killings are down. (I CONTINUE TO READ ABOUT SUICIDE BOMBINGS DAILY. AMERICAN FORCES AND IRAQI CIVIS CONTINUE TO DIE.)

When we met last year, militia extremists — some armed and trained by Iran — were wreaking havoc in large areas of Iraq. A year later, Coalition and Iraqi forces have killed or captured hundreds of militia fighters. And Iraqis of all backgrounds increasingly realize that defeating these militia fighters is critical to the future of their country. (WELL DUH!)

When we met last year, al Qaida had sanctuaries in many areas of Iraq, and their leaders had just offered American forces safe passage out of the country. ("JUST WALK AWAY, AND I SPARE YOUR LIVES. THERE'S BEEN TOO MUCH PAIN. WE CAN PUT AN END TO ALL THIS.") Today, it is al Qaida that is searching for safe passage. They have been driven from many of the strongholds they once held (I WOULD'VE MADE THEM WALK.), and over the past year, we have captured or killed thousands of extremists in Iraq, including hundreds of key al Qaida leaders and operatives. Last month, Osama bin Laden released a tape in which he railed against Iraqi tribal leaders who have turned on al Qaida and admitted that Coalition forces are growing stronger in Iraq. (I WISH YOU HADN"T MENTIONED THIS GUY; IT CALLS ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT HE'S STILL WALKING FREE, DESPITE YOUR EARLY PROMISES TO BRING HIM TO JUSTICE, DEAD OR ALIVE.) Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt. Al Qaida is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated.

When we met last year, our troop levels in Iraq were on the rise. Today, because of the progress just described, we are implementing a policy of “return on success,” and the surge forces we sent to Iraq are beginning to come home. (GOOD. MORE OF THIS.)

This progress is a credit to the valor of our troops and the brilliance of their commanders. This evening, I want to speak directly to our men and women on the frontlines. (YOU'D HAVE TO BE THERE TO DO THAT!) Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen: In the past year, you have done everything we have asked of you, and more. (IN THE MILITARY THAT'S KINDA WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.) Our Nation is grateful for your courage. We are proud of your accomplishments. And tonight in this hallowed chamber, with the American people as our witness, we make you a solemn pledge: In the fight ahead, you will have all you need to protect our Nation. (WOOHOO! BODY ARMOR, REINFORCED VEHICLES AND MORE ARE FINALLY ON THE WAY. ALMOST FIVE YEARS INTO THE CONFLICT. TOO BAD WE CAN'T GO BACK IN TIME AND PUT SOME FORETHOUGHT INTO THIS.) And I ask the Congress to meet its responsibilities to these brave men and women by fully funding our troops.

Our enemies in Iraq have been hit hard. They are not yet defeated, and we can still expect tough fighting ahead. Our objective in the coming year is to sustain and build on the gains we made in 2007, while transitioning to the next phase of our strategy. American troops are shifting from leading operations, to partnering with Iraqi forces, and, eventually, to a protective overwatch mission. (OK, BUT NO PERMANENT BASES! OTHERWISE THAT MEANS THE WAR IS NEVER REALLY OVER.) As part of this transition, one Army brigade combat team and one Marine Expeditionary Unit have already come home and will not be replaced. In the coming months, four additional brigades and two Marine battalions will follow suit. Taken together, this means more than 20,000 of our troops are coming home. (A GOOD START.)

Any further drawdown of U.S. troops will be based on conditions in Iraq and the recommendations of our commanders. (WELL, COMMANDERS WHOSE ADVICE WE LIKE.) General Petraeus has warned that too fast a drawdown could result in the “disintegration of the Iraqi Security Forces, al Qaida-Iraq regaining lost ground, [and] a marked increase in violence.” Members of Congress: Having come so far and achieved so much, we must not allow this to happen.

In the coming year, we will work with Iraqi leaders as they build on the progress they are making toward political reconciliation. At the local level, Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds are beginning to come together to reclaim their communities and rebuild their lives. Progress in the provinces must be matched by progress in Baghdad. And we are seeing some encouraging signs. The national government is sharing oil revenues with the provinces. (I'M NOT MUCH FOR PROVINCIAL ENTITLEMENTS.) The parliament recently passed both a pension law and de-Ba’athification reform. Now they are debating a provincial powers law. The Iraqis still have a distance to travel. But after decades of dictatorship and the pain of sectarian violence, reconciliation is taking place — and the Iraqi people are taking control of their future. (NOW IF ONLY THE SAUDIS WOULD DO THE SAME. YOU KNOW, OVERTHROW YOUR SABRE DANCE PARTNER AND EXPERIENCE DEMOCRACY FOR THEMSELVES. WHY DON'T WE HELP THEM? DIDN'T YOU SAY ABOVE THAT WE MUST SHOW OUR NEIGHBORS IN THE REGION THAT DEMOCRACY LEADS TO A BETTER LIFE?)

The mission in Iraq has been difficult and trying for our Nation. But it is in the vital interest of the United States that we succeed. A free Iraq will deny al Qaida a safe haven. (SEE MY ABOVE COMMENTS ABOUT IRAQ AS A SAFE HAVEN. DO YOU EVER LISTEN?) A free Iraq will show millions across the Middle East that a future of liberty is possible. (SEE MY ABOVE COMMENTS ABOUT SAUDI ARABIA.) And a free Iraq will be a friend of America, a partner in fighting terror, and a source of stability in a dangerous part of the world.

By contrast, a failed Iraq would (FURTHER) embolden extremists, strengthen Iran, and give terrorists a base from which to launch new attacks on our friends, our allies, and our homeland. (A BASE THEY DIDN'T HAVE BEFORE THE INVASION.) The enemy has made its intentions clear. At a time when the momentum seemed to favor them, al Qaida’s top commander in Iraq declared that they will not rest until they have attacked us here in Washington. My fellow Americans: We will not rest either. We will not rest until this enemy has been defeated. We must do the difficult work today, so that years from now people will look back and say that this generation rose to the moment, prevailed in a tough fight, and left behind a more hopeful region and a safer America.

We are also standing against the forces of extremism in the Holy Land, where we have new cause for hope. Palestinians have elected a president who recognizes that confronting terror is essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and at peace with Israel. Israelis have leaders who recognize that a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state will be a source of lasting security. (IS THIS WHY THE PALESTINIANS BROKE THROUGH A WALL INTO EGYPT?) This month in Ramallah and Jerusalem, I assured leaders from both sides that America will do, and I will do, everything we can to help them achieve a peace agreement that defines a Palestinian state by the end of this year. The time has come for a Holy Land where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side-by-side in peace.

We are also standing against the forces of extremism embodied by the regime in Tehran. Iran’s rulers oppress a good and talented people. (EXCELLENT AT ATTACKING EMBASSIES.) And wherever freedom advances in the Middle East, it seems the Iranian regime is there to oppose it. Iran is funding and training militia groups in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing Hamas’ efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land. Tehran is also developing ballistic missiles of increasing range and continues to develop its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear weapon. (DID YOU READ THE NIE? I DO REMEMBER YOU TOLD ISRAELTHAT THE REPORT DOES NOT REFLECT YOUR VIEWS, I.E. IT IS THE TRUTH.) Our message to the people of Iran is clear: We have no quarrel with you, we respect your traditions and your history, and we look forward to the day when you have your freedom. (OH SHIT, WE SAID THE SAME THING TO THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ A FEW YEARS AGO. "AHMADINEJAD, LEAVE IRAN NOW OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES...") Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear: Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment, so negotiations can begin. And to rejoin the community of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home, and cease your support for terror abroad. (WE COULD STAND TO COME CLEAN ABOUT PAST ACTIONS [SUPPORT FOR DICTATORS ALL OVER THE WORLD, ETC.], BUT WE ADMIT NO WRONG... EVER.) But above all, know this: America will confront those who threaten our troops, we will stand by our allies, and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf.

On the homefront, we will continue to take every lawful and effective measure to protect our country. This is our most solemn duty. We are grateful that there has not been another attack on our soil since September 11. This is not for a lack of desire or effort on the part of the enemy. In the past 6 years, we have stopped numerous attacks, including a plot to fly a plane into the tallest building in Los Angeles and another to blow up passenger jets bound for America over the Atlantic. (AND DON'T FORGET, A PLAN TO CRASH A PLANE AT A MYLIE CYRUS AKA HANNAH MONTANNAH CONCERT. THAT SHOW'S TOO EXPENSIVE NOT TO SEE THE WHOLE THING, BODY DOUBLES AND ALL.) Dedicated men and women in our Government toil day and night to stop the terrorists from carrying out their plans. These good citizens are saving American lives, and everyone in this chamber owes them our thanks. And we owe them something more: We owe them the tools they need to keep our people safe. (WOOHOO! BODY ARMOR, REINFORCED VEHICLES AND MORE ARE FINALLY ON THE WAY. WOW, DEJA VU!)

One of the most important tools we can give them is the ability to monitor terrorist communications. To protect America, we need to know who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they are planning. (FUCK FISA. YOU CAN GET APPROVAL FOR WIRETAPS AFTER THE FACT, SO WHY DO YOU NEED WARRANTLESS TAPS? STOP LISTENING TO MY PHONE CONVERSATIONS OR YOU'RE GOING TO GET AN EARFUL.) Last year, the Congress passed legislation to help us do that. Unfortunately, the Congress set the legislation to expire on February 1. This means that if you do not act by Friday, our ability to track terrorist threats would be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger. The Congress must ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted. (AND IT MUST PROTECT OUR INVALUABLE BENEFACTORS, THE BIG TELECOMS, FROM "FRIVOLOUS" LAWSUITS. I SWEAR, SOME PEOPLE GET SO TOUCHY WHEN YOU INVADE THEIR PRIVACY!) The Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. We have had ample time for debate. (IN A DEMOCRACY THE DISCUSSION OF CIVIL LIBERTIES SHOULD NEVER END.) The time to act is now.

Protecting our Nation from the dangers of a new century requires more than good intelligence and a strong military. It also requires changing the conditions that breed resentment and allow extremists to prey on despair. (WOW, THIS FROM YOU? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REPUBLICANT MENTALITY OF "LESS PREVENTION, MORE PRISONS?") So America is using its influence to build a freer, more hopeful, and more compassionate world. This is a reflection of our national interest and the calling of our conscience.

America is opposing genocide in Sudan and supporting freedom in countries from Cuba and Zimbabwe to Belarus and Burma. (HOW ABOUT SAUDI ARABIA?)

America is leading the fight against global poverty, with strong education initiatives and humanitarian assistance. We have also changed the way we deliver aid by launching the Millennium Challenge Account. This program strengthens democracy, transparency, and the rule of law in developing nations, and I ask you to fully fund this important initiative. (MAN, CAN WE GET ONE OF THOSE INITIATIVES HERE? IT'S JUST WHAT WE NEED! I MEAN, AFTER YOU'RE OUT OF OFFICE, NATURALLY.)

America is leading the fight against global hunger. (HE INVITES ALL VISITING FOREIGN LEADERS TO BARBEQUE AT THE CRAWFORD RANCH.) Today, more than half the world’s food aid comes from the United States. (AND THE REST OF OUR FOOD IS CONSUMED HERE BY OBESE PRETEENS.) And tonight, I ask the Congress to support an innovative proposal to provide food assistance by purchasing crops directly from farmers in the developing world, so we can build up local agriculture and help break the cycle of famine. (FOOD STAMPS ARE STILL EVIL, HOWEVER.)

America is leading the fight against disease. With your help, we are working to cut by half the number of malaria-related deaths in 15 African nations. (WITH HUGE SHIPMENTS OF IMMODIUM AD.) And our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is treating 1.4 million people. We can bring healing and hope to many more. So I ask you to maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program a success. And I call on you to double our initial commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS by approving an additional $30 billion over the next 5 years. (AS LONG AS THERE IS NO MENTION OF CONDOMS OR FAMILY PLANNING GOING ON, WE WANT YOU TO USE THIS MONEY TO FIGHT DISEASE AND FAMINE.)

America is a force for hope in the world because we are a compassionate people, and some of the most compassionate Americans are those who have stepped forward to protect us. We must keep faith with all who have risked life and limb so that we might live in freedom and peace. Over the past 7 years, we have increased funding for veterans by more than 95 percent. As we increase funding, we must also reform our veterans system to meet the needs of a new war (WTF? MAKING SOME PLANS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?) and a new generation. I call on the Congress to enact the reforms recommended by Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala, so we can improve the system of care for our wounded warriors (AWESOME ALLITERATION!) and help them build lives of hope, promise, and dignity. (MY GOD, IS THAT DOLE? I THOUGHT IT WAS DESI ARNAZ. BOTH HE AND CHENEY LOOK EMBALMED.)

Our military families also sacrifice for America. They endure sleepless nights and the daily struggle of providing for children while a loved one is serving far from home. We have a responsibility to provide for them. So I ask you to join me in expanding their access to childcare, creating new hiring preferences for military spouses across the Federal Government, and allowing our troops to transfer their unused education benefits to their spouses or children. (I LIKE ALL THESE NOTIONS. THERE'S JUST ONE PROBLEM: THAT HIRING PREFERENCE THING SOUNDS A LOT LIKE A TYPE OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. WHAT'S YOUR STANCE ON THAT AGAIN?) Our military families serve our Nation, they inspire our Nation, and tonight our Nation honors them.

The secret of our strength, the miracle of America, is that our greatness lies not in our Government, but in the spirit and determination of our people. When the Federal Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787, our Nation was bound by the Articles of Confederation, which began with the words, “We the undersigned delegates.” When Gouverneur Morris was asked to draft the preamble to our new Constitution, he offered an important revision and opened with words that changed the course of our Nation and the history of the world: “We the people.” (WE'VE ALREADY ESTABLISHED THAT YOU VIEW THE US CONSTITUTION AS CHARMIN. PS: RIP MR. WHIPPLE.)

By trusting the people, our Founders wagered that a great and noble Nation could be built on the liberty that resides in the hearts of all men and women. (WELL, WHITE MEN IS WHAT THEY ACTUALLY MEANT. WE'VE IRONICALLY GOTTEN CLOSER TO THEIR LITERAL MEANING AS WE'VE PUT THOSE EARLY TIMES FARTHER BEHIND US.) By trusting the people, succeeding generations transformed our fragile young democracy into the most powerful Nation on earth and a beacon of hope for millions. And so long as we continue to trust the people, our Nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure, and the State of our Union will remain strong. (WAITING FOR THIS LINE IS LIKE LISTENING TO THE LONGEST DRUM ROLL EVER. IT SEEMS TO GET PUSHED FARTHER AND FARTHER BACK INTO THE SPEECH EACH YEAR. SAY, IS THERE A LAW AGAINST USING A DIFFERENT ADJECTIVE THAN "STRONG" ONCE IN A WHILE? HOW ABOUT "ROBUST" OR "SOLID" OR, MORE TRUTHFULLY, "FUCKED?") So tonight, with confidence in freedom’s power, and trust in the people, let us set forth to do their business. (THAT LAST BIT SOUNDS KIND OF NASTY. HMM. SO THAT'S IT, HUH? NO "GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK?" WE'LL I'VE GOT A CLOSER FOR YOU: "YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK! [AND THE MISSING ONE, TOO.] GOODBYE!")