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!")