Wednesday, February 01, 2006

SOTU analysis

Yes, I know it's late, but I couldn't watch the whole thing live, and I've been busy, and I wanted it to be thorough, so here goes, blow by blow as I watch it.

I find it very interesting that the President chose to open by talking about bipartisanship. I find it incredible that he talks about having a civil debate when he employs the master of incivility, Karl Rove. I find it incredible when he lets his underlings go out and accuse the minority party of treason, and of being weak on our security.

And from there, he wound straight into 9/ if the entire nation didn't see that coming. It has been over four years now, and we can have a talk about terrorism and a talk about Iraq without bringing up 9/11. It's become a cliche, devoid of real meaning to so many people, and it no longer serves any purpose except to sound repetitive.

As far as freedom for nations goes, I find it interesting that the President said nothing about the repression from some of our "allies" in the war on terror, such as Russia, China, and Uzbekistan. He brought out the usual players in Iran, North Korea, and Syria, and what's up with Burma and Zimbabwe being thrown in? Seemed a bit odd and out of place.

I wonder if Bush realizes he channeled Nixon when he said there is no peace and honor in retreat.

"Isolationism" is the new buzzword, it seems. He kept saying it over and over again. He then followed up by using more cliches, like "a clear plan for victory" in Iraq. He said we're on the offensive in Afghanistan, yet we kinda blew an offensive against bin Laden at Tora Bora, didn't we?

Oh, I see, force decisions will be made by military commanders and not politicians, yet Rumsfeld is the one who vetoed a force invasion over and over? Isn't he a politician?

And for the love of God Almighty, I am so damn sick and tired of this "responsible criticism" versus this "defeatism" and "second-guessing is not a strategy." Well, if you'd run this war right, we wouldn't be second-guessing, would we?

And if we were standing behind the American military, we'd have armed them right, not taken their life insurance away if they buy their own, safer body armor, and put the troops there to succeed quickly. Instead, the Pentagon says the Army is near its breaking point. Good one, sir.

Of course, the feel-good moment with the family of a dead soldier. I am sincerely sorry for their loss, and sorry that they are props for a man who didn't do his job right.

Unprecedented action to fight AIDS didn't include condoms, which likely could've done a better job of preventing its spread. In fact, sir, you cut off aid to those who included safe sex and not abstinence into their AIDS programs.

I want to throw my remote through the TV, followed by my fist. He is lying through his teeth. Courts have NOT approved the authority he's claiming. The Supreme Court REJECTED that authority, and Congress was NOT informed, and the spying had NOTHING to do with 9/11. The information was already in the system, but the system failed. Two of the terrorists, for instance, were able to buy tickets despite being on several no-fly lists. "Terrorist Surveillance Program," my ass. It was grand scale spying.

Oh, hey, more crap. Tax relief stimulating our economy, eh? Why are the rich richer and the poor poorer? Why are our deficits going through the roof? "Tax relief." Gee, let's get in the old time machine and compare this economy to 1998 and 1999, when, gee golly, we had surpluses and a more balanced economy, where poor people weren't falling further on the misery index. This whole section is code for "screw the poor, give the rich more tax breaks" and it's all been refuted by the Congressional Budget Office, which notes that his projection depends on not one more dollar being appropriated for Iraq and Afghanistan and ALL discretionary spending being cut.

Line-item veto was passed already, Clinton used it briefly, and then the Supreme Court shot it down as unconstitutional. I'd like to see it back, but it's not gonna happen.

LOL! Bush screwed up with the Social Security line. Wow, did he give Democrats a chance to cheer, and he looked pissed delivering the next one.

Ah, Health Savings Accounts, great if you have the money to spend, not so much if you're poor. Cutting Medicaid=more uninsured people.

I'll be damned. He's talking about getting off oil. I'm stunned. (Apparently he didn't mean it. The White House tried to take it back today.) This is something we should've done years ago, and I'm glad to hear him say it. It will be a huge savings for us.

I see that Bush has been reading Tom Friedman. About time on this one. I don't have a great math aptitude, but we need to highlight those that do and employ them so India stops kicking our ass.

You know why abortions and teen pregnancies are declining? Hint: it's not abstinence, since those pledges are being broken regularly. They're using condoms.

Wow, I want to smack him for the swipe at gay marraiges. Leave them alone!

And natural disasters, like Katrina AND your handling of it? Yeah, nice job NOT mentioning them.

Hey, let's applaud the man who will break down our civil rights, Sam Alito. He will be legislating from the bench, alright, rewriting our Constitution so that it's okay for the President to spy on us without warrants. Yippee.

Cloning? What? Human/animal hybrids? WTF?!

Ah, reform. Such a quaint concept. Letting the corrupt decide how to reform themselves.

Amazing, he finally found time for Katrina victims...however short.

Well, there it is. A lot of sweeping rhetoric, some good things, a bunch of crap, and there you go. I can't believe that the anchors bought his b.s. about him "reaching out." He "reaches out" on national television, and then he turns around and looses the hounds to blast them into the Stone Age. Then, when Democrats say "Enough!" they get branded as being obstructionist. He's done this too many times to deserve any more cooperation.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Filibuster! Filibuster!

Or maybe convince enough Republicans to not vote for Alito....nah, it'll never happen.

At least Chafee saw the light to save his political ass and regain a little respect.

An excellent post I saw this morning demonstrates that the crucial bar is not 41, it's 60. If there are 59 "yea" votes and 39"nay" votes, it's not enough to invoke cloture. So those few Democrats opposed to a filibuster would simply have to vote "present" or abstain, and cloture fails. And if Frist wants to still try and push the nuclear button, Robert Byrd told him that he'll see what a filibuster really is.

Could you imagine Frist trying to have Byrd punished? The 88-year-old eminence gris and unofficial Senate historian standing on the floor, railing at Republicans trying to trash the rules that held our nation since 1781, while Ted Stevens is banging away on a gavel trying to silence him. The imagery would be incredibly powerful.

So, I say again, Filibuster! Filibuster! And I say, and will continue to say it, because unlike John Roberts, whom I found to be a decent guy, Sam Alito...not so much. He is willing to subordinate his judicial power to the president king democratic monarchy that he argued for back in his Reagan days. A lot of people on my side of the fence still furiously scream about Reagan, but I'm not one of them. He was human, and he didn't win the Cold War so much as he brought it to an orderly end by using carrot and stick politics as deftly as any president since Teddy Roosevelt, but he did an excellent job as President. America pulled itself out of the morass of the 1970's thanks to him, and he recognized bipartisanship was a good thing, something that this president could learn a lot from.

Alito should not be on the Court. If he cannot put two and two together and see that it was the clear intent of the Founding Fathers that Congress is the dominant body in our republic, and not the president, then he is not the constitutional genius those on the right say he is, and he does not possess the proper abilities to be on the court.