Political Ravings of a Certifiable Card-Carrying Liberaltic

Friday, February 03, 2006

State of the Union?

If you thought the State of the Union was all just a bunch of hooey, you were wrong. Mostly hooey, yes. But when broken down into its fundamental components you can see that someone else obviously wrote it and GW must have practiced reading it for the better part of the five years he's been in office. In case anyone wants to keep score over the next three years, this speech is divided into Promises/Pledges, Claims, Facts, Theories, Goals and Pleas.

1) I will do my part to confront great issues acting in a spirit of goodwill and respect.
because great issues that act in a spirit of goodwill are the scourge of humanity
2) We will act boldly in freedom's cause.
what is freedom's cause? You must not have been paying attention because the answer is "oil".
3) The United States will not retreat from the world.
despite all rumors, America is not moving to Mars.
4) I will reach out and see your good advice.
yes, he did say "see". When he said this, was he looking at Harriet Miers or Michael Brown?
5) We must keep our word, defeat our enemies and stand behind the American military.
hiding behind the military is what great junta leaders do.
6) America will continue to rally the world to confront the threat of Iran.
since we no longer possess the capability to confront them ourselves.
7) We will not sit back and wait to be attacked again.
we're going to go quail hunting!
8) We will build prosperity by strengthening our economic leadership in the world.
because economic prosperity is the only kind that's important.
9) We will shape the economic future, so don't fear it.
like when Gilligan says, "I'm building a raft. Don't worry."
10) Reduce or eliminate 140 programs performing poorly or not fulfilling essential priorities.
if we can keep reducing and eliminating they will all perform poorly and won't be needed. Actually, excluding defense, the government really only has 136 programs.
11) Save another $14 billion for tax cuts next year.
unfortunately, your health care is going to go up by $14 billion next year.
12) We will use electronic records and other health information technology to control costs and reduce medical errors.
remember, the best way to use this information to control costs is to deny insurance to anyone with a medical problem.
13) New Science Pledges: 1) double federal commitment to something vague, 2) make R&D tax credits permanent (surprise!), and 3) encourage children to take more math and science (with this speech right here).
double an undisclosed amount of research money, make corporate tax cuts permanent and encourage kids to go to school. We're all doomed.
14) We should never forget, dismiss or betray our pledge to be worthy of public responsibility.
I will be worthy of public responsibility. Not worthy of your trust. Not responsible. Did he lose his place on the teleprompter and start making stuff up? Surely no one would write this.
15) We will show courage and finish well.
so we need to display a lack of fear whether we're afraid or not. We need to be confident whether our cause is just or not. we need to finish well? I guess we can't talk about winning any more.
16) We will lead freedom's advance.
by enslaving all the cheap labor we can find around the world.
17) We will compete and excel in the global economy.
especially if it involves compromising our morals. What morals?...
18) We will renew the defining moral commitments of this land.
"renew" here means "rewrite" since those other commitments weren't working out so great.
1) We seek the end of tyranny in our world
fighting fire with fire?
2) Help Iraqis build an inclusive government. (relieve old resentments, marginalize insurgency).
can you really relieve old resentments by killing the resentful. It's amazing that he can use inclusive and marginalize like that in the same sentence.
3) Continue reconstruction of Iraq (fight corruption, build modern economy).
if you believe that, I've got a bridge I'd like to build for you (cost plus and no-bid).
4) Strike terrorist targets in Iraq and train Iraqis to do the same.
a) create a terrorist target by occupying a country, district or area. b) get permission to strike them because they are now terrorists.
5) Compete with confidence
did you have a bunch of brothers? the littlest guy, not so bright, easy displacement target when mom found Neil's cocaine or Jeb's porn stash?
6) Raise standard of living
for at least three people in the country.
7) Generate new jobs
because those old jobs you had paid too much.
8) Killing socialist programs will cut the deficit (that didn't exist 5 years ago) in half by 2009.
ok, he didn't say socialist, but you could hear it in his voice. Entitlement is the code word.
9) Orderly and secure borders.
this illegal immigrant trade has got to stop. We could get a piece of that action. Forget organized crime. Let's try legislated crime.
10) Try to make coverage for individuals and small businesses portable so workers can switch jobs without having to worry about losing their health insurance.
note: There are no goals to make this portability affordable, and everyone can afford COBRA, right?
11) Advanced Energy Initiative - this crusade to lower our dependency on foreign oil is going to replace it with coal, solar, wind and nuclear power.
what is this new energy source you call coal? Is it clean and renewable?
12) Gasoline dependency: a) Improve batteries for hybrid and electric cars. b) Increase research in cars powered on hydrogen. c) Increase research in producing cheap ethanol to replace or supplement gasoline.
now if they would only fund this research.
13) Replace more than 75% of our oil imports from the middle east by 2025.
Oops, I wasn't supposed to say that. Never mind.
14) We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity.
what is human talent? And does this mean creativity in general, or specifically "human creativity" - oh yes, we should lead the world in human cloning...
15) American Competitive Initiative - Throw some money at math and science
except that evolution theory, or the global warming theory, and not really that much money.
16) Train 70,000 high school teachers in advanced-placement courses in math and science.
isn't this about 0.45 teachers per high school in America?
17) Prepare our nation to compete in the world.
remember, the ultimate competition is war.
18) Be a compassionate, decent and hopeful society.
at least metaphorically.
19) America's Youth Initiative encouraging caring adults to get involved in the life of a child.
We need more details. This could be the subtitle of quite a few bad internet sites.
Facts (and broad generalizations):
1) Dictatorships shelter terrorists, and feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction.
these are just stereotypes. I can think of at least one democracy that fits this description too.
2) If we leave, we show that a pledge from America means little.
let's try to keep this a secret if we can.
3) At the start of 2006, more than half the people of our world live in (so-called) democratic nations.
the other half live in China and India.
4) Lacking military strength, terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear.
we too can use the weapon of fear. Everyone's afraid of a lunatic.
5) There is a difference between responsible criticism and defeatism.
if you give him a dictionary, he'll tell you what it is. By the way, an example of responsible criticism is, "That's a great idea, Mr. President."
6) America is addicted to oil.
duh! The way a diabetic is addicted to insulin.
7) The United States is grateful for Justice O'Connor's 24 years of faithful service.
he actually meant this one to go in the "jokes" section, but ironically we are all grateful.
8) The destination of history is determined by human action.
except in the case of hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, volcanoes, floods, fires, lightning, land slides, droughts, ice ages, most diseases, blizzards, solar flares, earthquakes, sink holes, avalanches, aging, giant meteors, supernovae, global warming -- wait, actually that last one is determined by human action.
1) State of the Union is strong.
this is required in every SOTU speech. Imagine if they had a scale or color code for the strength of the union. "Today the Union is about a 7 (out of 10)", or "We've upgraded the strength of the country to Orange." I guess this doesn't work at a pep rally.
2) We have a clear plan for victory in Iraq.
it involves Iran getting a nuclear warhead...
3) Americans believe in the God-given dignity and worth of a villager with HIV/AIDS
unlike those other losers around the world. Why don't you believe in God-given dignity and God-given worth? This villager is dying. He just wants you to believe in his dignity and his worth. That's all he wants. Keep your silly medicines. Without dignity they mean nothing.
4) We can prevent another attack by listening to phone calls from/to suspected al Qaeda operatives overseas.
the question is whether they will or not.
5) The only alternative to American leadership is a more dangerous and anxious world.
I think he meant to say "the only advantage to American leadership is a more dangerous and anxious world." Because danger in Japanese also means opportunity. Are we attacking Japan again?
6) By 2030, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will make up 60% of federal budget
there are a number of ways to achieve this goal: 1) keep cutting taxes, 2) keep cutting other programs, 3) keep letting lobbyists create legislation that allow corporations to bilk the consumer. Why do we want to do this again?
7) If we legally exploit guest workers to create temporary jobs, it will reduce smuggling and crime, make our borders orderly and secure, and increase America's competitiveness.
competitive like hungry rats fighting over a scrap of bread on a sinking ship?
8) The lifting of test scores across the country means that we are teaching children how to take standardized tests better. This will improve our economy (when there is a big shortage of standardized test takers in the market.)
ok, it was paraphrased, but that's what he said. Look it up.
9) America is a great force for freedom and prosperity
unless you're not American. Actually, great is stretching it even for Americans. Well, maybe not for a few Americans.
10) Violent crimes are at lowest levels since the 1970s.
everyone is in prison (or Gitmo).
11) Welfare cases have dropped by more than half in the last 10 years.
they've used up their 6 months and are now living on the streets.
12) Drug use is down 19% in youth since 2001.
we've redefined "youth". If you're old enough to use drugs, then you're old enough to be called an adult.
13) Fewer (documented legal) abortions than at any point in the last 30 years.
because of the persecution of abortion doctors and clinics, they might as well be illegal again, but surely the new supreme court justices will fix this.
14) Number of children born to teenage mothers has fallen every year for the past 12 years.
except in areas where they fund abstinence-only programs. How does an adoption program lower the number of births? "Oh crap, I can't have this baby. I'll have to put it up for adoption."
15) Welfare reform, drug education, and abstinence and adoption programs are responsible for these successes.
along with these magic beans, intelligent design and faith-based emergency response teams.
16) America is not in decline and our culture is not doomed to unravel.
keep saying this and it will be true. It's like a mantra.
17) Judges are servants of the law and will not legislate from the bench.
if only this were true.
18) The federal government has committed $85 billion to the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans - removing debris, repairing highways, rebuilding levees and dumping money into corrupt no-bid contracts with Halliburton, Bechtel and all the other companies that find it safer to pilfer here than in a war zone.
you probably only saw (heard) the edited version. They were running short on time and had to remove some of the less important facts.
19) More than a million Americans have HIV and half of them are African Americans.
why mention this statistic? Since there is no follow-up, it seems the only reason would be to insinuate that African Americans are either gay, promiscuous or heavy drug users, or was he being compassionate?
20) We live in a period of consequence.
unlike the interstitials where all actions are insignificant.
21) We did not invite this great ideological conflict we are involved in.
didn't invite it? You don't call invading and occupying two countries while killing over 100,000 people, destroying infrastructure, creating warlords to replace government and attracting neighboring anarchical malcontents to further defile everything, an invitation to conflict? I guess it wasn't a formal RSVP, but I guess we could make up some fancy RSVPs on linen with gold leaf...
1) Future of America depends upon the end of tyranny in our world
an end to cruel and oppressive governments? Ironical.
2) There is no peace or honor in retreat.
there is no i in team. There are no poodles under my desk. This might be true but who knows what it means? I guess our psyche is so weak that if we decided to leave Iraq because it's a quagmire and they don't want our help, our nation's spirit would crumble and we would disintegrate into a country of loser socialists like France. Look what happened after we left Vietnam.
3) Hindsight is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy.
right now, I'd settle for hindsight and second-guessing.
4) The only way to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their dark vision of hatred and fear by offering the hopeful alternative of political freedom and peaceful change.
of course this alternative includes a war, occupation, lots of death, a corrupt new infrastructure, both organized and unorganized ubiquitous crime, a fundamental theocracy with a slight flavor of democracy, and a proliferation of McDonald's and Wal-Marts.
5) Liberty is the right and hope of all humanity.
although some people would rather have food, a place to live, a healthy environment, no more bombs, affordable health care, a job, privacy, education, a robust economy, corporate regulation, transparent government, staffed and funded federal agencies that can do their jobs, robot insurance, etc.
6) Underfunding compassionate programs increases suffering in the world, undercuts security and dulls our conscience.
so why do we want to do this then? Oh wait, you're talking about faith-based compassionate programs, not real compassionate programs.
7) Our economic performance this year is the envy of the world.
if this is true, the world has really low standards. If only we had another Republican president like Bill Clinton...
8) To increase taxes would centralize economic power in Washington.
conversely, reducing taxes only weakens the president and congress. Something is wrong with this theory.
9) The way to solve the worst problem today in congress (earmarks - aka pork) is to create an even less regulated, less supervised, less controlled power: the line-item veto.
if recent history is any indication, this would be exploited and perverted in every way possible by this corrupt leader (or whoever is pulling his strings). Giving the line-item veto to this administration would be like taking the vice president hunting with a loaded gun.
10) A health savings account will magically give individuals and small business employees access to insurance that they couldn't get last year.
I added the magically in there, but it was implied. Because responsible people don't spend their money. They save it in case they have some kind of catastrophic health problem. Couldn't I just pledge to be worthy of responsibility? Then I wouldn't need a health savings account.
11) The middle east is an unstable part of the world.
12) A life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment
that's all you need? No religion? Tell me again why we had to set up a theocracy in Iraq then?
13) A hopeful society depends on: 1) courts that deliver equal justice under the law, 2) institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners, 3) elected officials that uphold the public trust (in public at least) 4) giving special attention to children who lack attention and love, 5) coming to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency, and 6) boldly fighting diseases like HIV/AIDS.
ok, who really needs to be hopeful. Maybe we should be satisfied with rich.
14) Human life is a gift from the president's creator.
we should probably go ahead and open it.
15) Gifts should never be discarded, devalued or sold.
Christmas gifts, birthday gifts or gifts from the president's creator?
1) Congress - Please demonstrate the compassion of America
Powerpoint presentation, diorama or collage will be fine. No more interpretive dances.
2) Please reauthorize the Patriot Act to give LEAs, intelligence, military and homeland security the tools they use to fight drug trafficking and organized crime to do some other unspecified task.
we've proven that the big brother concept works great in a television laboratory setting. Imagine the ratings we could get if we made the whole country a reality-based program.
3) We need the support of our friends and allies. Please help us because freedom is on the march.
it sounds like I made this up, but he really made this plea. I didn't have to paraphrase this. Honest! ... You looked it up didn't you?
4) Congress - Please give me bipartisan support in this long war against a determined enemy.
is this like a boilerplate plea? With a signature here, he could say congress agreed to anything. War on terror, war on poverty (oops, wrong party), war on abortion, war on privacy, war on employment, war on a healthy environment, war on free speech, a war against the robots.
5) Congress - Please make tax cuts permanent.
tax cuts? There were tax cuts?
6) Congress - Please pass a line-item veto.
wouldn't it just be quicker to get rid of congress so that he could write the laws and sign them at the same time? I guess using the line-item veto could be a new sport like find-a-word or the bible codes. It could be the next sudoku. (not sodoku - that's rat-bite fever)
7) Please create a commission to examine the full impact of baby boomers.
when we launch them in a rocket into the moon? Quick answer: 1) they're about to stop paying into social security and start taking all the money out of it, 2) they're probably going to need more medicare and medicaid benefits, 3) they're going to live a long time so you better not need social security or any health coverage when you retire and 4) if you want to keep the roads usable we're going to have to create a whole separate infrastructure unless we all want to drive 15 mph everywhere.
8) Please pass medical liability reform this year to make sure that doctor's, hospitals, HMOs and really anyone in the medical business cannot be sued no matter what kind of egregious mistakes or misdeeds they conduct.
because doctors work really hard and what do they get for all this hard work (besides all that money)? Grief. They have to see people die, they don't get time for a real life, they don't even have time to drive their really expensive cars or enjoy their really expensive houses, or really expensive trophy wives/husbands. When they have to work fourteen to sixteen hours a day and be on call the rest of the time, don't they deserve a little slack when they make a mistake? I guess you all want these guys to become lawyers instead. Just what we need, more lawyers. See, with this reform we won't need those lawyers any more so we're killing two birds with one stone (so to speak).
9) Please support the American Competitive Initiative because we all need to be more competitive.
do we really need an initiative to be more competitive?
10) Please stop human cloning.
from the Dick Cheney example we can see that it will only lead to disaster.
11) Please reauthorize the Ryan White Act to end waiting lists for AIDS medicines in America.
this is actually a good thing. No joke. That's a great idea, Mr. President.
12) Please God, bless America.
and let us win more gold than Germany in the 2006 Winter Olympics. USA! USA! USA!
1) Two of my dad's favorite people are me and Bill Clinton.
Why is this supposed to be funny? Is it because Clinton handily defeated him in the '92 election and then showed him what a real president could do to stimulate the economy and nurture goodwill across the globe? Or is it because Clinton was a better Republican than he was and showed him how to deregulate corporations and create the foundation for all the corruption that now exists in this corporatocracy?
2) Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security... -- (applause)
Bam! Bitch slap, Mr. President!
1) we can pursue enemies of freedom or retreat from duties hoping for easier life.
are you all a bunch of wimpy little chickens? Bock. Bock. Bock. Don't make me invoke the draft.
2) we can lead world economy or shut off trade and opportunity.
aren't there any other choices? How about build a stable and safe economy?
3) road of isolationism and protectionism is temptation of the devil (danger and decline).
but domination, decimation, exploitation and oppression are ok?
4) Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror.
democracies are supposed to allow people to decide what's best for the country. Maybe we're not smart enough to be a democracy. With the choices we're making, we're destroying the world. We aren't respecting the rights of our citizens and we don't acknowledge that our neighbors even have any rights. Maybe democracies replace hope with resentment?
5) Some men rage and fight against the success of freedom.
at first the awkward phrasing was kind of funny. After five years it's just become tiresome and frustrating. Fight against the success of freedom??? Was this written by a third grader? Who hears this and says, "Yes! Why do they rage? Why do they hate our freedoms?" I don't know. Maybe the answer is out there on the internets.
6) Radical Islam -- the perversion by a few of a noble faith into an ideology of terror and death.
to know a perversion, I guess it helps to be one. An ideology of terror and death is not a new concept to this administration either.
7) Freedom progression - dictatorship, liberation, sovereignty, constitution, national elections.
and after that, constitutional theocracy, oppression, chaos, coup, dictatorship. Circle of life.
8) Decisions to reduce troop levels are made by military commanders (like me), not by politicians (like me).
is he trying to blame the generals for not bringing troops home, or is he warning congress that he's going to only listen to his war cabinet.
9) We've changed our approach to reconstruction in Iraq.
now it's more of a hands-off approach.
10) We have a duty to speak with candor.
and I'll speak with candor right now and tell you that I'm shirking this one.
11) Iraq and Afghanistan are strategic countries.
strategic for what? Stepping off point for the eastern European campaign? Perfect spot for ArabDisney? Nice place for a new secret prison? Testing ground for new weapons? Practice arena for civil war observations? Poppies and oil?
12) The leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace.
we wrote a constitution for them too. It seems pretty arrogant for a country still mired in two preemtive wars to create an edict to an oppressed people telling them they should work for lasting peace. It appears that one way to work for a lasting peace is to kill all of your enemies.
13) Americans are rich, yet we still can't afford complacency.
maybe he means rich in compassion because we obviously still need some more tax cuts.
14) Extra $880 billion for Americans to spend with tax cuts.
you know what I'm going to buy with my extra money? 1) get poorer health insurance, 2) less air conditioning and heating for my house, 3) less gasoline for my car, 4) some apparatus to clean the air and water that I need for me and my family and 5) a boat since the ice caps are melting.
15) Last 2.5 years, 4.6 million jobs created.
this is something to brag about? It's the worst jobs creation record since the great depression. In the last 2.5 years, 3.75 million new people entered the labor market. In the 5 years he's been in office, almost 2 million people have been added to the jobless list. Unemployment is still low because we use bogus numbers to measure it. If we measured it like most European countries (including prison population, parolees, people who have given up on finding a job, etc.) our unemployment rate would be above 17%. Something to be proud of!
16) We are on the threshold of incredible advances in alternative energy sources
which seem to include coal-fired plants, solar and wind technologies, and safe nuclear energy. Incredible!
17) Three of the most critical basic research programs in science are 1) nanotechnology, 2) supercomputing, 3) alternative energy and 4) the human cloning project.
doh! I wasn't supposed to mention that last one. Edit that out.
18) You can measure our greatness by who we are and how we treat one another.
but we're asking you not to if you don't mind.
19) Things Americans are worried about: 1) unethical conduct by public officials, 2) Activist courts that redefine marriage, 3) children who need direction and love, 4) fellow citizens still displaced by natural disaster, and 5) suffering caused by treatable diseases (like gayness).
I say we focus on number one above starting at the top and get rid of the guy who 1) got us into this illegal war, 2) sold out our port security to a terrorist state, 3) broke the law and listened in on our private communications without a warrant, 4) shirked his duties as a president and spent almost 30% of his time on vacation, 5) rigged at least one election by stealing and suppressing votes, 6) facilitated war profiteering through either corruption, incompetence or both, 7) manipulated intelligence for personal gain, 8) systematically destroyed all the safeguards set up to protect our environment, and 9) created a level of hostility and hatred for us around the world such that we will probably never recover.
20) Forms of human cloning to be banned: 1) creating or implanting embryos, 2) human-animal hybrids and 3) buying, selling or patenting embryos.
Couldn't we use human clones to solve the food shortage around the world? Maybe we could breed them to taste like chicken.
My Questions:
1) If we know the phone numbers of suspected al Qaeda operatives, then why can't we arrest/bomb them now? (or at least call them and ask them politely to stop).

2) Where does the constitution say it's ok to listen/read phone calls and email without approval (warrant) from the judicial branch?

3) If as you stated "previous presidents used the same authority with approval of federal courts", then why don't you need the approval of the federal courts?

4) Who determines the appropriate members of congress that are "kept informed"?

5) How much and how often are they briefed?

6) What terrorist attacks have been prevented? How did the surveillance program help prevent them?

7) How does getting a warrant hinder surveillance programs when you can get the warrant up to 72 hours after surveillance has started and FISA courts almost never deny a request?

8) If all of this information is classified and will never get out, and you don't need permission to listen, and you're not worried about using the information to prosecute (only to protect us), why are you telling us that you are listening? Why not just do it illegally and secretly?

9) If this government is too lazy and cheap to protect us from hurricanes, global warming, flu pandemics, environmental hazards, rising health care and oil costs and the debilitation of lack of education, then why should we believe that you are spending all this money to listen to phone calls and protect us from future terror attacks?

10) Could this really be an excuse to use surveillance to gain other information that will help in political campaigns, corporate endeavors, lawsuits, blackmail, insider information, etc.?

11) Who would believe that this president would use a line-item veto to get rid of excess spending from earmarks when he has never vetoed a single bill in the 5+ years he's been in office? Are we to believe that there hasn't been any pork in any of the bills passed, or do the benefits of those bills outweigh the necessary evil that comes with the earmarks, or did someone forget to tell the president that he has the option not to sign everything that comes across his desk?

12) Human-animal hybrids?