The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The State of the Union: Liveblogging

Update 9:

Strange to mention AIDS without including Africa. Maybe I missed it.

And that will rap things up. No screw-ups, very upbeat. I disagree with the guy on plenty, and nothing is going to change that, but overall it was a pretty strong speech, light on explanation, but big on feel-good fuzziness.

Update 8:

That was an incompetent hickish rant against science. Isn't Charles Krauthammer on his science advisory board? Can't he put a stop to some of these ideas? I'd like to live a long time. If you sciencephobes out there stop the development of some cure to some disease that I get, there's going to be trouble, consarnit.

Update 7:

Creating human-animal hybrids? God Schmod, I want my monkey-man!

Update 6:

Time for some gay-hatin'. Yee-haw. I must say, the touting of his new judicial appointments in connection with his "marriage defense" is disconcerting. At least this portion was brief. On to praise for Sandy.

Update 5::

And R&D tax credit. Interesting.

This seems a rather bold education initiative. Is he advocating for a bunch of new teachers, or is he advocating the relaxation of licensing requirements, I wonder.

Update 4:

Health care time. There was nothing serious here. Just some back-patting
and pie in the sky.

Now he's clearly trying to distance himself from "Big Oil." I wonder if those record Exxon profits had anything to do with that.

Except for the nuclear (did he actually say "nuclear" correctly?), he sounded like Al Gore.

Bush is now doing something very intelligent. He's connecting the ideas of oil independence and national security. Didn't Al Franken raise this theme 3 years ago? What's going on?

The American Competitiveness Initiative? I don't like the sound of that.

Update 3:

Seriously? A line-item veto? And he said it like it was nothing. That's a huge deal. In Wisconsin the governor has this power, and I can attest to the fact that it vastly increases the power of the executive. It's a bad idea, pure and simple. In theory it only allows for cuts, but there are clever ways to manipulate this power for ill. Besides, I'd like to see a normal veto from the guy before I grant him any power to half-veto something.

He's scattering free trade messages throughout. It has been an overarching theme. He has now moved on to immigration.

Funny how free trade requires so much hassle at the border.


Update 2:

Sorry about that. Blogger is pesky tonight, and I also had to do a quick chore.

Time for domestic issues.

Ooh. Such a vigorous economy. That job creation stat is true, but it's not like the EU economy is a runaway juggernaut or anything.

I'm obviously very a bigger free market proponent than G-dub, and it's nice to here him advocate for the private sector, but where has he been for the last 6 years?

He's getting a huge ovation for the tax cuts. In general, I'm pro tax-cut. The thing is that tax cuts without spending cuts aren't tax cuts. They're tax deferals. And we're way past the point of the Laffer curve where cutting taxes raises revenue. He's touting spending cuts right now, but who believes that.

Whoa. Did he just propose a line-item veto? Way to lend credence to that "Power-Hungry Emperor" stereotype.

Update 1: Bush may have problems improvising, but if he is well-prepared he can pull off a good speech now and then. He is starting strong today. We're in the foreign policy section now. This probably will not be too surprising. His only choice is to accentuate the positive, and that is what he is doing. Will he address the negative? Will he mess with with Mr. Inbetween?

He is laying out some changes to policy, and thanking congress for their criticism. Classy. Oh, now he's letting them have it.

If I were a conservative shill, I would write the following:

"He's standing firm on Iraq."


Really, there wasn't much there. Can't they make an announcement to hold all applause until the end? If I'm ever president, that will be the policy.

OK, beer 2, coming up...

Start here:

Let's get right down to business.

Bush is pleading for a return to respectable debate. It's hard to argue with that. Unless you're in congress, in which case you simply label your opponent as a partisan shill.

Bush is now cautioning against isolationism. I like it. I think that there's an isolationist movement growing right now, and it is potentially dangerous.

The first 9/11 reference at 8:14. If you had the under, bring your tickets up to the front.

I'm listening on the radio, by the way. I think that Bush actually comes off a bit better on the radio. He is less smarmy, and mistakes are more forgivable.

The first three mentions of freedom at 8:16. If you had the over, bring your ticket up to the front.

Here we have some pandering to Islam.

"if we do nothing, the violent will inherit the earth." Nice line.

Update soon. I need a beer.

10 Comments:

  • "if we do nothing, the violent will inherit the earth." Nice line.

    I'm surprised you liked that one, being as you are non-religious. The book line is "the meek shall inherit the earth". I think that one is more likely, as plants require nurturing, not dominance to thrive.

    I guess it depends on how you define violence... "good" violence (by US) or bad violence (against us).

    Either way, I'd stick with the original meaning. Violence begets violence, and "thou shalt not kill" except in the most direst of circumstances (self-defense) is usually how it's understood.

    We, American society, haven't bled in a while, not like since 2001. It will be interesting to see if how much we support eliminating violence with violence after we are really asked to sacrifice.

    Escalation will cause innocent deaths, perhaps another major war. US/Britian/Israel... China/India/Iran? Yes, more science and math education definitely.

    If "fighting back" or "pre-emptive strikes" are such an attractive option, can you please tell me why they have not already led to success, or at least advancement, in those countries that have been employing these tactics for years already against terrorists?

    I'll stick with the book ways of settling conflicts, not brandishing arms at every instance where our interests are threatened. Of course, that requires more intelligence and experience, in understanding the other guy's interests and motivations and how our responses/overtures will be greeted.

    Never did like the bullying or physical playground ways of settling conflicts. There was always just another fight a short time later, since nothing was ever definitely settled. The loser would just creep away for the time, with the underlying issues waiting to emerge another day, in another fight, perhaps with slightly different players.

    Aside: that "all men are created equal" line is generally understood to be "in the eyes of God, the creator". Of course, you don't have to be a believer to accept this, nor do you have to accept the absurdity that we all have equal skills and talents.

    Just the worth of human life. Of couse, our policies show us that some mother's babies/women's husbands are worth more than others. A geopolitical fact, I think Kissenger called it.

    Maybe we should all be praying for time?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:42 AM  

  • From today's news, just a sample:

    "In a series of apparent sectarian killings Tuesday, police found the bodies of 16 handcuffed and blindfolded young men around Baghdad, and gunmen shot dead the wife and two sons of a Sunni Arab cleric north of the capital. A roadside bomb also killed a British soldier in southern Iraq."

    Why? What exactly are we buying again with all this mutual bloodshed?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:34 AM  

  • Peace, security, lower oil prices, building trust and stability and democracy? Valuing culture and life?

    Sorry, I just don't see it. I'm not really fearful of being bombed here, and once you lose that fear factor, critical thinking becomes easier.

    There are better ways, less expensive and more effective, to solve problems than violence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:37 AM  

  • - I think that we all thought precisely the same thing on the tax cuts. Tax cuts + bigger government = a massive credit debt to the American people.

    - Clinton had the line-item veto and the SCOTUS ruled it unconstitutional. It was sad because Clinton used it to trim a TON of pork and obviously the Republican congress was in no hurry to craft a constitutional version - though they do deserve credit for passing it in the first place with a Dem president in office.

    - This whole "Big Oil" demonization is a farce.

    - His economic initiatives are interesting, but they are just more reason to get a handle on spending.

    - Funniest moment: Bush running off nations where people don't live under wonderful, glorious Democracy and leaving off China.

    By Anonymous Rashid Muhammad, at 12:33 PM  

  • Next time you do sections in a reverse order spech use ALL CAPS as headers. Much easier to spot than italics.

    Line item could do some good, but I agree with Paul, too much power. It would eventually be used to take away too much from the role of the legislature, which is crucial. Presidents need to just have the balls and veto bills liberally and say what he/she wants cut out. Unfortunately so much of Congress / Presidential interplay runs on negotiation for votes through promises of pork.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 1:05 PM  

  • The line item veto with a 3/4 overrule in congress (an idea posited by Cato) would work for me.

    By Anonymous Rashid Muhammad, at 3:10 PM  

  • What was the rant against science, Paul? He proposed doubling the funding for physical science research (a great idea in my opinion). Besides that, he stated that science should have ethical limits. I'm sure you agree with that proposition. Your only disagreement is with where to draw the line, right?

    By Blogger Brian Hagedorn, at 11:09 AM  

  • I don't think government should be in charge of the ethical limits of science, and view moves in that direction as state co-option of the direction of science. I'm not a fan of that.

    Plus the animal/human hybrid comment was hysterical.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 6:38 PM  

  • Paul, would you be in favor of a government ban on the types of experiments the Nazis did on Jews in WWII? These were actual scientific experiments.

    By Blogger Brian Hagedorn, at 12:03 PM  

  • No Jew consented to those experiments. There is already a ban on assault and battery and stuff like that.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 1:18 PM  

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