Thursday, February 02, 2006
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Random Musings during the SotU
I wasn't going to liveblog, but I've had so much fun doing it with 24 that I might as well do it here, too.
9:17 - Rummy really looks like a hard-ass tonight. Also looks tired.
9:19 - Who's the jackass in the middle of the Dems that's doodling during the speech?
9:20 - Who are those three women in the bright yellow, red and blue dresses, all in a row? It looks like a Dr. Seuss convention in the middle of the State of the Union.
9:22 - Cheers to the couple of Dems who stood and applauded to "We are in this fight to win, and we are winning." Jeers to the assholes who don't support that statement.
The camera pan wasn't big enough on the next line, about not letting the war be fought by politicians. If they were being honest, nobody would have stood up on that one.
9:28 - "Let us never forget the sacrifices of our brave military families." So, Joel Stein wouldn't have stood on that one, would he?
9:30 - (As I was starting to type this, Bush said "nukular" twice. I hate that.) Bush says that Iran needs to stop sponsoring terror in Palestine and Lebanon. Agreed, but it makes me realize something (not really sure why): terrorists doesn't work for me anymore as a descriptive noun. That makes it sound like they're just trying to prod us with fear to behave in a certain way. They are murderers. Butchers. Maniacs. And terrorists, to be sure, but we need to stop using only that word.
9:34 - Interesting. Bush asks Congress to reauthorize the Patriot Act. From a wide-angel shot on C-Span, I could see some applause in the Democrat section. But, strangely, as soon a the Republicans started standing, that applause stopped. I wonder, could there be someone enforcing the applause or lack thereof on the left side of the aisle?
GREAT response to the wiretapping criticism, and there's another little spat of applause from the Dems. It's just too rational for ALL of them to ignore reality.
9:38 - There's the boom moment I've been waiting for, paraphrasing: more new jobs than Japan and the EU combined. That's a powerful stat.
9:42 - Hah! That was actually a pretty good joke, and it broke up the speech nicely. I approve.
Meanwhile, W and Bubba are the same age? Bubba looks at least 10 years older, if not more... and did even before all his heart troubles started.
9:47 - Well, there goes the trial lawyers. We're finally going to reform medical malpractice lawsuits.
9:49 - Here's the energy section we hear so much about in the past few days. Now is NOT the best time to be encouraging coal use. And...
SIGH. Ethanol. All I can do is sigh.
9:50 - Here comes more sighing. GET THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE SCHOOLS. It's too cumbersome to do effectively on such a widely disparate level.
Still, at least he has an important goal in mind, I guess. I'm just not sure what the feds can do to make things better.
9:53 - He just through out a whole bunch of encouraging statistics there. I'd like to see the sources, but that section gave me a pretty decent optimistic boost there.
9:55 - The SCOTUS justices weren't sure if they could applaud the addition of their new members. I'd say absolutely. The following line about not legislating from the bench? No, they should stay quiet. The next? Yeah, stand up and applaud Sandra Day O'Connor. Whether you like her or not, she gave a large portion of her life trying to do what she thought was right for the nation.
Judges should remain non-partisan, but those aren't partisan issues.
9:58 - Watching all of the standing up and sitting down, I feel like we should be in the Catholic Church.
9:59 - Yay Laura! She's so cute.
10:07 - Having met the man 3 times, it's really interesting to watch him work the crowd and sign autographs. I know how those people around him are feeling right now—they are completely at ease, and they feel like he is engaging each one of them personally. Really remarkable.
10:12 - David Brooks raises a good point on the PBS coverage: Bush sees a more active role for government than most Republicans. I guess I'm part of "most Republicans."
Tom Oliphant follows-up with another point: "If a Democratic President had stood up and read that section on Iran, I would have criticized him for failing to draw a firm line in the sand." I thought it was pretty strong, but I did think it pretty clearly communicated that we're not planning to invade or attack, or even instigate Iran with any meaningful force—and that betrays our nation's fear of the consequences of doing what may be totally necessary.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Explanation and Illustration
Tom Bevan, writing on RCP does a pretty good job of explaining why Democrats have been losing national elections of late—projection, poor focus, poor campaigns, and poor candidates are what I get out of the piece.
And it seems to me that this Slate piece by Michael Kinsley provides a fairly useful illustration of Bevan's points. Reading the latter, I couldn't help but think, "Man, does George Will know how to push Michael Kinsley's buttons, or what?"
Two interesting pieces, though—so read them.