SOTU Liveblogging, 2006

Ok, the Dem response was better than last year’s, but still boring. I’m going back to physics. You can just wire that money directly over here, George.
He’s revised the Democratic slogan to “There’s a better way”. A little punchier, I guess.
The Pentagon is “sacred ground”?
Kaine’s going for a “nice reasonable bipartisan” thing.
Tim Kaine has the raised eyebrow thing going big-time.
On to the Democratic response, because I am a glutton for punishment.
C-SPAN commentator: “Well, the president’s certainly taking his time leaving the chamber…”
It’s over, cue music: “America…. America…. America! Fuck yeah!
Ok, I just missed a few minutes so I could talk to my advisor. What’s he talking about now? I caught something about embryos or something, was that stem cells? Grr. Ok, he’s on to corruption–wait, now it’s something else. Is he randomly jumping between topics or am I just confused?
More money for physics? Hey, thanks! Maybe this means our grant will get funded.
“Nukular” again. Well, at least he’s making reference to alternative energy. But ethanol costs more energy to produce than it ultimately provides. I’ll wait until I see how much money actually gets allocated to realistic projects.
“Congress did not act on my proposal to save Social Security” MASSIVE applause. Awesome.
Line item veto? He’s never even used the regular veto.
Yeah, better make the tax cuts permanent, otherwise those American families in the top 1% of income might get an unwelcome increase. Oh wait, he left out part of that too.
Hmm, I don’t think he’s going to mention that the job increases can be accounted for by public sector jobs. Especially just before he criticizes “the government taking a larger role”.
Seriously, has he even read the Constitution? I do not think it says what he thinks it says.
“RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH.” If there are people inside our country talking to Al Qaeda, get a fucking warrant.
Mixed reaction from Congress in response to “PATRIOT Act”. Seem to recall that happened previously.
“Nukular”! Twice! (I was at a seminar last week where a physicist was saying this… it’s spreading.)
“Rule of law, protection of minorities, and strong accountable institutions” Hey, can we get some of that here?
“A duty to speak with candor” I think he takes that about as seriously as his Texas Air National Guard duty.
Here’s the part where criticism of the war is undermining the troops, or something.
Bush just gave a rousing argument against isolationism, delivering a stunning rebuttal to… the crazy guy on Telegraph Avenue. Seriously, who’s arguing for isolationism that it needed to be addressed? Keep kicking that straw man…
“Enemies of freedom”… there’s one! Oh, wait…

9 thoughts on “SOTU Liveblogging, 2006

  1. Justin

    I don’t suppose they got the choreography right to have Cindy Sheehan’s arrest at the same time W was blathering about “enemies of freedom”? And they’re usually so good at staged artificial photo-ops, too…

  2. Mason

    Travis, that was amusing (your commentary, not the SOTU).
    I was playing pool with a friend at The Ath. It was on in the background, but I usually was able to do a reasonable job ignoring it.
    I am confused by one of your comments (“Line item veto? He’s never even used the regular veto.”). Wouldn’t the line item veto be expected to increase one’s use of vetoing in general? Then get rid of the stuff one doesn’t like and keep the rest…

  3. Justin

    I’d guess the line-item veto thing is a reaction to the recent reiteration (perhaps re-legislation would be better?) that torture is, in fact, illegal. Even with Alito on the Court, that “signing statement” BS won’t stand up – I’d predict 6-3 or 7-2 when/if an Imperial Presidency case along those lines comes up (Alito, Thomas, and possibly Roberts being the blank check to W votes).
    Loved the Cartman reference! :)

  4. Chris L-S

    I didn’t even bother trying to listen to it – I was doing something much more important: making dinner.
    Um, wasn’t the line-item veto declared unconstitutional not so long ago? I have no idea what the context was, since I didn’t listen.
    I just find it interesting how many liberals are just as hot and bothered about Bush at this point in his presidency as conservatives were with Clinton around this point in his presidency. Yeah, totally different reasons, but it’s still fairly amusing. Even the references to how he wants to be an emperor, with no law but his own…

  5. Arcane Gazebo

    Mason: My thought process was something like, if he’s just rubber-stamping everything Congress sends him why does he need a line-item veto? But of course the counterargument is that he hasn’t vetoed anything because he approved of the bills in general but just disagreed with some small items. I was well aware of this but wanted to be a smartass.
    Justin: Interesting point, I hadn’t thought about that. It certainly goes toward expanded executive power, although perhaps in a less overtly sinister way than some of their other maneuvers.
    Chris: I was never clear on whether the line-item veto could be enacted by statute or if it required a constitutional amendment.

  6. Justin

    I remember the line-item veto existed briefly under Clinton, but I don’t recall if it was removed by the courts or by Congress (this would have been after ’94).
    Thinking about W asking for it really drives home the point that when it comes to executive powers not enumerated in the Constitution, the absolute key consideration should be whether you’d still support giving the power in question to a President of the opposing party. Or if you dislike a power, if you’d support it if your party were in power. Warrantless wiretaps – hell no, unless possibly if I personally were President, and even then I’d think twice. :) Line item veto – not sure. IIRC Clinton did fine with it, it’s a great tool to help control pork (all the more important since the supposed “fiscally disciplined” party has been in power), but then again W could pull some tricks with it on those rare occasions when his pet Congress disagrees with him. On balance I’d probably favor allowing line-item vetos, assuming it’s constitutional.
    Re: Bush-hatred and Clinton-hatred – I never did understand why exactly the wingnuts hate the Clintons so much. Whereas AFAIK even W himself is aware that a lot of people honestly believe he’s a crook…

  7. Mason

    I have a vague memory of being in favor of line-item vetoes back in the day (for pork reasons), but my current thoughts are that I’m a bit scared of what some people (lots of people?) might do with them.

  8. Josh

    Every time I see the SOTU abbreviation I mentally think “STFU”.
    This has led me to two conclusions: First is that the latter abbreviation is a great response to the SOTU in general. Second, The SOTU should be changed to STFU for convenience. And maybe it’s just my sake-drenched brain talking, but “State of the Fucking Union” delivers a lot stronger of a message in my book.

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