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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

State of the Union


First, I must note the passing of "Grandpa Munster" Al Lewis. Friend Fred had a piece on him dated February 5. Don't have much to add to that account, except that when he ran for NYS Governor in 1998, I DID vote for Al Lewis! Why? Because NYS has arcane election laws that require a party's candidate for governor to receive a certain threshold (50,000) of votes for it to be a "legitimate" political party into which someone could register, just as one can register as a Democrat or Republican. He was running as the Green Party candidate, and the ploy make them a legit party worked! At least for the four years until the next gubernatorial election in 2002, but that's another story.
***
Nice to see that President Bush has the flags at half-staff in honor of the death of Betty Friedan. Oh, I just heard it was on behalf of Coretta Scott King. And he and Laura are going to the funeral. I'm sure someone out there can make some snarky reference to Kayne West's Katrina speech here.
***
So, what DID I think of the address last week? Sorry, haven't watched it yet. I've TAPED it, but have a bit (OK, a great deal) of the jitters about actually seeing it.

Yes, I know it's silly. I've watched pretty much every State of the Union for decades. I did decide to pass on last year's festivities, however, fearing that it would upset my delicate sense of propriety. (Translated: I thought I would start swearing at the TV screen.) Then my wife says to me how I have a "responsibility to be an informed citizen." Where did she GET such nonsense? Oh. From me, the old poli sci major. Hoist by my own petard. So, I didn't watch, but the TV was on, and I got the gist, and was therefore suitably irritated.

I've watched the ad the Democrats ran that night. And I read the news accounts with the Democrats' standing O re: Social Security, the headline about our jones for oil. I've read what Chianca had to say. I've seen Lefty's comments, which make me feel that maybe it won't be so bad. No one has encapsulated my frustration about what the man says (vs. what he actually does) better than Mark Evanier. Meanwhile, Eddie's response is to post a picture that I also received, but chose not to post, for reasons of taste. Obviously, I'm not adverse to linking to it.

Speaking of snarky, someone sent me this:

Coincidence

This year, Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address
fall very close together.

Consider this irony: One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication.
The other involves a groundhog.
But my FAVORITE Presidential response appears on the pages of friend Fred (February 1). I think it's OK to let that birthday thing go to your head a little. (Wait until next month for MY wretched excess.)

Picture from the Daily Bulletin
***

Note: Chris "Lefty" Brown now at http://leftybrown.blogspot.com/ - I'm sure he'll explain why.

4 comments:

EM said...

Just call on me any time you need a tasteless political post, man. I'll be there for you.

Eddie

Roger Owen Green said...

http://leftybrown.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_leftybrown_archive.html#113933359585359561

Lefty explains.

Fred said...

Roger

The most fun I ever had with a Bush speech (coulda been SoTU, tho maybe
not) came about a year or so ago. It was after the Janet Jackson incident, that's for certain, since at least one of the networks ran his speech on delay. Like he was gonna rip open his shirt or talk about roosters, right? Well, Julie had one channel on on her TV, and we had another in our bedroom. Standing in the hall between the two rooms, it sounded all the world like he was mocking himself with the delay echo effect! Probably woulda worked on anyone, but given his dim sounding delivery, it was even funnier coming from the Pres!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Karl. Here's the first draft of my "State of the Union"
speech. I've put some questions for ya in parenthisaurs. Let me know
what you think. Best -W)

MY STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH by George W. Bush

Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, extreme members of
Congress,
ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages.

As we boldly enter a new year of hurling before us, I've come
before you to tell you that Freedom is spreading like cancer in the
Middle East, our economy is even robustier than it was last year and,
if
we all work together in this coming year, there will be countless more
fish to fry, or bake if you're watching your cholesterol.

Tonight, with more and more Americans going back to work, with
our nation an active force for goodnicity in the world, the state of
our
union is truly flamboyiscious. (SP?)

This past year, we have accomplished many things that no one
expected and some outright feared.

Our No Child Left Behind Act has not only increased our
youngins' ability to read and do math, but we have decreased the
student
population dramatically, nationwide. Now, when a child graduates high
school, not only will he or she be able to print his or her name tag
while asking "Do you want fries with that?" they'll be able to add up
the menu total.

The past year, we've reframed and totally regurgitated
Medicare,
creating thousands of jobs in emergency room care.

We have added two million jobs in non-auto construction related
fields.

We have plugged the holes of the bankruptcy dykes, who
threatened to cheat honest bankers and credit card employers out of
their hard squandered cash.

We have tackled such hard questions as how frightened are you
of
Social Security disappearing, how many hurricanes can FEMA handle and
how fast can the House pass a bill when no one is looking?

But we must not rest on our laureates.

The year ahead will present us with challenges both overseas,
at
home and elsewhere.

I'm going to remind you all that we're living in hysteric
times.
The decisions we make today will help shape the direction of events
for
years, even weeks, to come.

Now, recently, there has been a hornet's nest of inflappatory
(SP?) rhetoric concerning my involvement with so called "domestic
spying." It's true, I have allowed NASA to spy on Americans but let me
remind you of one important fact: the world changed after 9/11.

Think about it. 9/10? You're riding your bike whistling a happy
tune. 9/12? You're scared stiff. In between? 9/11. Bingo.

If any of you don't remember 9/11, we were attacked by a group
of drooling madmen who hate us for our freedoms, so I decided to
lessen
them.

And, if NASA can safely land people on the Moon, it can handle
this finely.

Our "domestic spying" program isn't. (Does that make sense,
Karl?) It's a program devoted to "terrorist surveillance" or, as I
call
it, "terrorist tattling."

If al Qaeda is talking to you? E-mailing you? Sending you a
candy-gram? I want to know about it. This program only involves
American
citizens who are calling known terrorists in another country or
another
state. We have a list of terrorist groups we're monitoring from al
Qaeda
to al PETA and al Quaker.

The terrorist tattler program is necessary to protect America
from attacks either within our own borders or even closer. Terrorists
will use every available weapon at their disposal, from dirty bombs to
free speech, to break the will of the American people. I vow I will
never let that happen. That's my job.

Some people say that I've broken the law. That's not true. A
President has inherent authorities given to him by the Constitution.
One
of them is breaking the law. I hope this puts an end to the issue.

Oh, yeah, I don't know Jack Abramoff, either.

This year, I'm asking Congress to help me in passing bills that
will help all American people struggle.

We're setting a goal of creating two million more jobs, some of
them actually in this country.

We will tackle affordable Health Care insurance the way we did
Medicare. By this time, next year, Americans will be dancing in the
streets, unless they're too old or too sick.

We will help an additional 200,000 unemployed workers get
training for a new job. If you could build a Bronco, you can flip a
burger. It's the American way.

We should not be content with laws that punish hardworking
people who want only to provide for their families, and deny
businesses
willing workers, and invite chaos at our border. It is time for an
immigration policy that permits temporary guest workers to fill jobs
Americans will not take, like joining the military. This will not
apply
to Canadians.

Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of
our society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges or odd
people. For the good of families, children, and society, I support a
constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage as
long
as divorce is left out of the equestrian.

As you all know, the world is facing a possible pandemonium of
bird flu. As your President, I vowel that no foreign birds will be
allowed in this country without having proper background checks done.

I'm also pleased to report that our ongoing War on Global
Terror
has had an explosive effect on the world. After 9/11, and our world
changed after 9/11, we decided to go after the evil-doers and tackle
Afghanistan. I'm proud to report that Afghanistan is now a democracy,
the Taliban has started it's own political party and that formerly
vicious warlords are now elected officials. Plus, their economy is
booming thanks to farmers who grow flowers. From what I understand,
they've had a record year.

In Iraq, the Iraqis are standing up so we can sit it out. They
now have their own government, their own Constitution, their own
problems.

Before the United States of America drove out the Butcherer of
Baghdad, Iraq was a country filled with mass graves. Today? There are
no
more mass graves, just a whole bunch of little ones. Before the United
States went to the aid of our Iraqi brothers and sisters, Saddam
brutalized his own people. Now that they have their own elected
government, Iraqis are free to brutalize each other as they see fit.

(Karl, I think this is where we should introduce dead soldiers'
parents, wives and kids. See if you can get one kid to bring a bunny.
Bunnies are cute. Plus, Easter is right around the corner.)

Democracy is on the march in the Middle East, with more and
more
people choosing ballots over bullets or, sometimes, both.

As you know, even in Palestinia, there were free elections.
And,
if not free, relatively cheap. We look forward to working with the
Humus
Party in reaching a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian
problem as soon as they take Israel's total destruction off the table.

Now, I know, when it comes to my foreign policy of peace,
democracy and loving yourself as much as your neighbor does himself,
there are some naysayers in this country who say "nay." But, where you
say "nay?" I say, "hey, how's it going?" And many brave people with
purple fingers say "hey" back, but it's in a different language so I
can't quite catch all of it. It's awesome-inspiring.

I suppose that makes me an optometrist. Some people look at a
glass and wonder if it's half-empty or half-full of it. I always know
it's half-full of it.

Now, in order to protect our great Homeland and to allow it to
prosper, I ask Congress to do two things: make my tax cuts permanent
and
re-authorize the Patriot Act.

Many of my opponents have unfairly said my tax cuts are biased
because rich people save the most. Well, a-heh-heh (Karl. People love
it
when I wink and laugh.), any economist knows that rich people have the
most money to save because they have the most money. (Karl. Is this
redundant or smart?)

They, then, take their savings and put it back into our great
economy, creating new jobs for house servants, valets, car detailers,
and tennis pros.

And don't forget the backbone of our country, the small
businesses run by entremanures. My tax cuts guarantee them savings
when
they expand their temp services, limousine services and landscaping
enterprises.

As some of you know, the world changed after 9/11 and, since
the
creation of The Department of Homeland Security, we have not been
attacked a second time. Sure, a lot of other countries have, but they
don't have Homeland Security departments. We do. They don't. That
simple.

Remember, these evildoers we are fighting never sleep. Their
vision is dark and dim and they never have their eyes checked. Like
the
Tin Woodsman in 'The Wizard of Oz,' they have no hearts. They don't
even
have tin. They kill innocent men, women, children and bunnies (Karl. I
guess I'm just in a bunny mood today.). In order to save the children
and bunnies, I ask Congress to make Homeland Security a bastardion of
our country.

The War on Global Terror will last a bazillion years. In Iraq
alone, we're battling "rejectionists," "poo-pooers," "al Qaeda,"
"foreign fighters," "local fighters," "commuters," "Baathists,"
"Showerists," and Venutians. We have to be vigilant. We have to stand
tall in the saddle.

Now, I know I have my critics because of the war and Homeland
Security, and I know this is an election year but, in the spirit of
bi-partisanship, I extend a fig towards the opposition and say, if I
may
use Latin? "Ix-nay."

Every bad thing you say about the War on Global Terror makes
the
evil-doers laugh and our soldiers cry. Think about it.

So, in closing, in this coming year, we must not look back. We
must look in the opposite direction. We must jog on the treadmill of
hope towards a more peaceful and zesty future. The road somewhere will
be long and, maybe, lumpy. But it's up to us, as pothole filling
patriots, to keep that road alive and well. And tread upon it as we do
ourselves.

As Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt once said: "We have nothing to
fear but fear itself." So, smile and be afraid. I'm in charge.

God bless me. God bless Mommy and Daddy. And Barney. God bless
all Americans. God bless der Homeland.

C