SOTU Text, Etc.

Here's the full text of Bush's State of the Union speech.

And here's the Democrats' response.

Last year, I did a super-condensed version of the SOTU.

This year, I was/am too tired. Though I'll note two strange things:

1. For all the talk about Social Security reform, etc., Bush spent a fair amount of time talking about hardcore social conservative issues, including opposition to gay marriage and abortion. Yet this time around, those things went largely uncommented upon by pundits after the fact. Not sure what that means (probably nothing), but I thought it interesting.

2. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the head of the Senate Democrats, burned a fair amount of time recounting one of the fakest aw-shucks anecdotes heard in recent times, the verbal equivalent of a $3 bill:

A few weeks ago, I joined some friends of mine for a bite to eat at The Nugget--Searchlight's only restaurant [Searchlight, Nevada is Reid's hometown]. We were sitting down in a booth, when a young boy, about 10 years old, named Devon walked up to us.

Carrying a skateboard under his arm, he said, "Senator Reid, when I grow up I want to be just like you."

Well, the truth is Devon could probably do a lot better. But the point still holds and it is this: No one ever had to tell young Devon to dream big dreams, no one ever had to teach him that America is a place of possibility.

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    No one ever had to tell young Devon to dream big dreams, no one ever had to teach him that America is a place of possibility.

    Yeah, nobody has to teach kids to have big dreams, or that America is supposedly the "place of possibility". This much is evident from various popculture TV shows trumpeting the rich supastahz' opulent lifestyle.

    No, what must be taught, or better, learned, is that your boundless childhood dreams shall be tempered by an extremely oppressive State. When you're a kid, you think, I'm gonna start a company and make alot of money be very successful---but you have no idea that the State will regulate your every move and steal half your wealth. This is a painful lesson that stings the most that first year out of college, when you're doing your own taxes, and you see just how much the government takes from you.

    You can dream big dreams, and no, that doesn't have to be "taught", Senator. But what we don't teach our kids is that their dreams will soon clash with an omnipotent juggernaut that cares nothing for those dreams. No, the monster cares only for its own survival and propegation. It's too bad we don't have a course in high school called "how the government will crush your freedom". I sure could have used something like that when I was a kid.

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    Nick Gillespie,

    I suspect its because everyone realizes that a federal constitutional prohibition against same-sex marraige is going nowhere. Its red meat for the social conservative bigots.

  • Joe Pulcinella||

    Oh, puh-lease!

  • ||

    Reid was cloying. I needed to brush my teeth afterwards.

    Haven't Washington Democrats ever heard of subtelty? I haved that same clubbed over the head feeling as when John Kerry "reported for duty" at the convention.

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    What is this trend of young children writing to/approaching politicians?
    What the hell are we teaching our kids?

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    I know the Nugget in beautiful Searchlight. There's nothing like having a bite to eat with the clanging of slot machines in the background. You can look out the windows and follow the progress of the hooker working the truck parking area.

  • norbizness||

    I did a sort of condensed version. Be warned, though. I don't like this guy and his piece of shit Administration. Is that adequately disclaimed enough?

    On the plus side, the First Lady facing down the East Side Kings in Austin should be something to behold.

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    Please enjoy my official summary:

    "Hi everyone.

    There's been a lot of people voting lately. I like that idea.

    My generation is feeling good. Social Security will outlive us. Our parents are dying, and the free time their inheritance will buy us means we can buy more pills and think about what laws to pass on our grandchildren.

    Fiscal discipline is important. Here is a long long list of government programs I will enact and expand. America is a land of opportunity for Mexi-cans not Mexicannibis. I will spread the influence of markets for everything but embryos.

    Damn it does NOT feel good to be a gangster.

    We are working closely with our allies in China, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to help stop evil authoritarian regimes.

    America has always been on the front line of freedom. Like when we abolished slavery 30 years after everyone else did.

    Told you so about communism. Good bless."

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    For all the talk about Social Security reform, etc., Bush spent a fair amount of time talking about hardcore social conservative issues, including opposition to gay marriage and abortion.

    Eye of the beholder, perhaps? Here's how much time Bush spent on the issues by my count:

    Social security- 9:50
    Gay marriage- :41
    Stem cells- :53

    No mention of abortion outside of the stem cell issue.

    Sounded to me like he was just namechecking those social issues for the base, but isn't going to aggressively pursue them like social security reform or the energy bill.

  • ||

    We are working closely with our allies in China, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to help stop evil authoritarian regimes.

    Chuckle...snort...good one.

    Like when we abolished slavery 30 years after everyone else did.

    Actually Brazil abolished slavery in 1888. But aside from that nitpick great line. (chuckle)

  • ||

    Evan--I know exactly what you mean. I've been working my first "real world" job out of college for the past year and it took me months to come to grips with how much I have taken out of each paycheck. I am suprised people don't automatically become libertarians after the first time they pay taxes.

    On a side note, what kid wants to grow up to be just like a government flunky? Can't our children look up to someone more deserving than Senator Reid?

  • ||

    Isaac Bertram,

    More nitpicking:

    The gradual emancipation of slaves started in Brazil in 1871 (e.g., individuals birthed by slaves were born free, etc.).

    Cuba did not abolish slavery until 1886.

    Anyway, the U.S. was significantly behind the ball on the issue; most Latin American countries outlawed the practice upon gaining idependence from Spain (first decades of the 19th century), Britain having ended slavery (and the apprenticeship program that followed it) by 1838, France ending slavery in 1848, etc.

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    Ben

    You really want to get bummed. In ten years I get to retire and you will be one of three workers who will get your payroll tax given to me.

    Now in return you'll get to do the same thing to the next generation. That is unless in the mean time Congress comes to its senses and decides that taxing poor kids to give money to rich geezers is a really, realy shitty idea.

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    "I suspect its because everyone realizes that a federal constitutional prohibition against same-sex marraige is going nowhere."

    This morning, I saw Pat Robertson interviewing Frum on the 700 Club (or whatever they're calling it now)--somebody has to keep an eye on the enemy--and both of them seemed to agree with Gunnels.

    ...on this issue anyway.

  • ||

    Let's just call it what it is: Social Security is a government run pyramid scheme.

    As for that kid wanting to grow up to be a Senator (forgot about "like you Mr. Reid" - ick), he needs some serious psychological help.

    What ever happened to dreaming of being a cop or fireman? Next thing you know, these kids will want to be high-priced lawyers.

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    Gary

    I could nitpick more by pointing out that several US states (eg PA - 1780, MA - 1783) abolished slavery very early in that timeline.

    Treating the US as a unitary state (which many people, esp. foreigners, do) creates many problems in overlooking many of the liberal impulses that arose in the States (eg abolition of capital punishment in MI, 1845) and were exported to Europe (much to the consternation of those in the traditional power structure).

    Of course, enshrining slavery in the COTUS and the Fugitive Slave Act, effectively maintained slavery as a national institution, so one ought not to be that sanguine.

    The corollary of the verse "the sins of the fathers..." is of course "the children shall not be rewarded for the virtues of the fathers".

    But I shouldn't go on because I don't want to spoil Pavel's joke, because it was really good.

  • ||

    I love H&R.

    You never know when an errant quip will get you either ignored or enlightened as to the historical progression of New World abolishionism.

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    Saudi Arabia abolished slavery in 1962.

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    Saudi women are still enslaved.

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    The whole Egypt thing caught me off guard in the speech. They just signed a big trade agreement with the US and Israel (!) and the economy is opening up. There's a good article in the WSJ on the new PM and the reforms he's instituting. I was impressed at the liberalization of the economy since my previous visit. The government is still pretty authoritarian and brutal, but it's an improvement.

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    Isaac Bertram,

    I could nitpick more by pointing out that several US states (eg PA - 1780, MA - 1783) abolished slavery very early in that timeline.

    Don't forget Vermont; it abolished slavery in 1777 (its constitution is considered by some EAR scholars to be the most radical of the original thirteen states) - of course it was rebelling against the state of New York at the same time it was rebelling against the British crown, so there's the technical question of whether one considers it a state in 1777 or 1791. Its ban was also outright, whereas most of the northern states that banned slavery did so gradually.

    Treating the US as a unitary state (which many people, esp. foreigners, do) creates many problems in overlooking many of the liberal impulses that arose in the States (eg abolition of capital punishment in MI, 1845) and were exported to Europe (much to the consternation of those in the traditional power structure).

    Well, I don't believe I was doing that (any more than you guys were at least).

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    "Saudi women are still enslaved."

    And the "guest workers" the Saudis bring in from other parts of Asia often don't fare much better than the indentured servants of another age.

  • ||

    I don't know that it's fair to compare enclaves where slavery was abolished (Vermont) to nation-state wide emancipation (Britain, later US).

    It should also be pointed out that abolitionism in the northeast was about as much an exercise in moral courage as lifting a ban on negroes in the NHL.

    As Britain abolished slavery, the empire was still profiting much from the use of slaves in sugar cane harvesting, among other things.

    Seems to me no matter how you slice it America was behind, not in front of, that particular march to freedom.

  • Ken Layne||

    Considering the limited opportunities in a tiny near-ghost town like Searchlight, Nevada, maybe the kid really did say such a thing. And he probably meant, "I would like to be able to get out of this freakin' graveyard and fly on jets and have hot young staffer gals running around, and all on the taxpayer's dime, just like you Unca Harry!"

  • ||

    Being Senator Bigshot sounds better than driving down to Laughlin every night to deal blackjack to cheapskate oldsters killing Social Security checks.

  • ||

    When I was Devon's age, I didn't want to be Harry Reid, I wanted to be Brit Reid. Black Beauty was a sweet ride!

    Two or three years later I wanted to be one of those young, good-looking guys getting elected to Congress who had the windblown hair and held their sportcoats over their shoulders, shaking hands with voters, their shirtsleeves rolled up all the while.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Well, I don't believe I was doing that (any more than you guys were at least).

    It was more of a general caution. I think you know too much about the sovereignty of the States, and the diversity within the country to do that.

    Oh, and I would never forget Vermont. If it didn't get so fucking cold I'd probably live there. I just picked two states I know from memory.

    Oh, Wyoming, Female suffrage (1870). Most histories credit New Zealand (1893?) with being the first country to give women the right to vote. Switzerland didn't get around to it til 1971.

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    None of the above is intended as an endorsement or even defense of Bush.

  • ||

    P.S. I suspect their participation has contributed to keeping our Presidents beardless.

    Few people realize it's just covert product placement by the razor/shaver industrial complex.

  • ||

    Isaac Bertram,

    We're moving to NC from northern New England.

    We've had an exceptionally mild (except for about a week) winter so far in our little micro-climate. Where we live it was 43 degrees today. That's blazing hot for this time of the year. Its expected to stay in the mid-30s to low-40s for at least the next ten days or so.

    Though southern New England has been buried in snow this winter, we've had relatively little. If it continues this way expect lots of forest fires.

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    Pavel

    Seems to me no matter how you slice it America was behind, not in front of, that particular march to freedom.

    Taken as a whole that would seem to be true. There's also a great deal to be said for those countries that were able to accomplish it without exploding in civil war.

    GG

    Where we live it was 43 degrees today.

    Sounds downright balmy. :) It wasn't much warmer in Central FL a few days ago. (It's actually been colder some days).

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