SOTU Liveblog (and open thread)

9:09: And we’re off! This is AJ; Joe and John may jump in at some point. Hey look! CheneyBot makes an appearance!

9:11: I guess this is what happens when your speechwriter jumps to WaPo . . . “Vigorous debate and we answered the call”? That, um, doesn’t make any sense.

9:15: Look, it’s Serious Bush. He’s very sad about the economy he ruined. And he’s threatening to veto a bill that he’s already agreed to sign. Ooohhh, Cheney is VERY amused by the idea that some people pay taxes. Funny stuff!

9:20: In only four short years, we can get back to the surplus we had . . . right before Bush was elected. So he’s telling me it’ll take four years to undo eight years of economic damage? Um, that seems like a bad deal.

9:22: Doctors should make health care decisions! Unless insurance companies overrule them. Or if you can’t afford to see a doctor. On the bright side, I loved Hillary’s response to that, which was basically to roll her eyes. Also: trial lawyers are baaaaaaaad. Baddity bad bad. God forbid people should be have a remedy after being harmed.

9:26: Our children is learning!

9:29: I could have sworn we were at war somewhere . . . I guess I was wrong. Weird.

9:31: Will that new technology get us to Mars? I heard we’re going to Mars. Mars, anybody? Mars?? I also heard that dedicating money to research helps it along. Energy research included, I’m pretty sure. Could be wrong.

9:35: Just about at the half hour mark. Nothing about Iraq. Nothing about Afghanistan. Maybe he’s saving it for his closing argument or something.

9:38: Immigration is the “other” pressing issue. Not sure what the first one was . . . Mars? Bush is brutalizing his base on immigration right now — he knows that his bill was torpedoed by Republicans, right?

9:41: Hey look, foreign policy! Yeah, how’s that Lebanon thing working out right now? The ol’ purple finger routine is pretty ridiculous at this point, no?

9:42: 9/11. Millions of people just did a shot. P.S. We’re gonna get that Osama guy one of these days. Terrorists! Another shot, everybody. Try to keep up.

9:45: Iraq time. New mission: pay off our former enemies. Make no improvements in the political situation. Call it victory. This is very frustrating to watch. “Iraqi government has stepped up as well” . . . like, uh, how?

9:49: Iran. Drink. You know, it’s easy to just keep claiming that we’re going to win. But it would be kinda cool if Bush changed something — anything — in his strategy for those purposes.

9:53: Baghdad is making progress. Also, Baghdad needs to make progress. There seems to be some kind of logical issue there, but I can’t figure out what it is. Iraq = source of stability. Mmmkay. Aaaaaaand they’re GOING TO ATTACK TEH WASHINGTON!!11!11!! If you’re scared enough, maybe you’ll vote Republican.

9:55: Iran is TEH EVIL. Also, they’re looking for nukes. Seriously. I’m sure this isn’t scaremongering. Honest. “America will confront those who threaten our troops” . . . unless your name rhymes with Shmin Shladen.

10:00: FISA time — Democrats are soft on terror, terror, 9/11 . . . I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this movie before. In related news, FDL just exploded.

10:02: Why did Bush grin when he mentioned Darfur? Hey, alliteration! That’s a fun toy. Is this over yet? I’m in a room with about 25 people and it’s devolved into shouting at the teevee. Just excruciating all around. I will now light myself on fire.

10:04: Look ma, no legacy! As far as I can tell, the big goals for this year are (1) reducing earmarks, and (2) scaring people. On the one hand, it’s not very ambitious. On the other, he might actually be able to handle those goals. But none of our big problems will be helped. 2009 can’t come soon enough. And with that, I’m outta here. Have a good night, and don’t forget to drink lots of water before you go to bed tonight. TTFN.

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