Traffic looked horrible today, so I decided to camp out at the office until the State of the Union and then live blog it . . . if there’s anything interesting. Stay tuned and refresh often.
5:40 PM: Listening to Michael Jackson’s Thriller album wondering why everybody thinks it’s so great. Really wishing I had gotten that cute little loaf of cinnnanananmon chip bread from Great Harvest.
5:49 PM: Stop listening to Jackson and switch to Judas Priest. Crazy collection of music at work . . .
5:55 PM: Judas Priest isn’t even worth 1 piece of silver. Time to see if c-span.org works.
5:57 PM: c-span.org’s Real Player stream works. Yay for the Super Cyber Worldwide Network.
6:00 PM: Mrs. Bush has a nice pink outfit on.
6:02 PM: SCOTUS walks in . . is Alito with them? He got confirmed today.
6:03 PM: I believe he is.
6:06 PM: Bored. Checking email and stuff.
6:08 PM: POTUS enters the chambers. Dems collectively hum “The Imperial March.” Nice touch.
6:12 PM: And so it begins. Bush looks pleased as punch right now.
6:16 PM: “We seek the end of tyranny in the world.” Yes, that does sound idealistic, but then again the defeat of the Soviet Union was dismissed as idealism a couple of decades ago. “We will act boldly in freedom’s cause.”
6:17 PM: Nice drum beat of democracy through the Middle East: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt.
6:20 PM: “There is no peace in retreat.” Yes, let’s not become a paper tiger again. Bush is definitely commited to a US active and involved in the world. An outright rejection of isolationism.
6:23 PM: Iraq has come a long ways in just under 3 years: brutal tyranny to an elected government . . . and it seems a lot of people still expect an overnight success. “Omigosh, we’re still in Iraq! It’s a quagmire! It’s a failure!” Wake up, people.
6:24 PM: “Second-guessing is not a strategy.” Haha!
6:30 PM: First hiccup in the real stream. It’s switched to a lower quality. . .this always happens.
6:31 PM: Iran cannot have nukes. Agreed, but the UN ain’t going to do nothing. Europe is going to pussy foot around until we foot the bill and the commit the blood.
6:35 PM: Bush defends the NSA eavesdropping on terrorist calls into the US. Honestly, I think he’s got his legal bases covered. It makes good policy sense too. If Al Qaeda is calling a US citizen, we want to know what they’re talking about. It’s smart for Bush to point out that 2 of the 9/11 hijackers was contacted by people outside the country.
6:42 PM: Return to fiscal conservatism, cutting the budget in half by 2009, yadda yadda. I’ll believe it when I see it. Whoa, he asks for line-item veto. That could help eliminate a lot of pork, but I’m not so sure that’s what we need right now.
6:43 PM: The baby boomers are coming, including Bush and Clinton (his dad’s “two favorite people”). Medicare is going to be a huge problem in a couple of decades. A no-brainer but it seems a lot of people have their eyes shut about this. Things cannot continue as they are and the public needs to be weened off the idea of entitlement.
6:48 PM: “America is addicted to oil.” Bush announces a 22% increase in budget for alternative energy research. I’m all about this. Of course, Bush is in the back pocket of Halliburton and Big Oil, so all this research is probably going into how to make oil look like water and smell like daisies. We need to “move beyond a petroleum based economy.” Exciting!
6:52 PM: Nanotechnology! Super computing! Alternative energy! I’m a humanities type of guy, but, boy, I sure like these ideas. Little Johnny needs more math.
6:57 PM: American culture is facing dark times (e.g. Paris Hilton), and Bush is right that there is hope. However, the. answer. is. not. government. I think that’s a fundamental point that needs to be fought for and emphasized. If you’re concerned about the culture, don’t turn to the government. Of course, that little bromide is much tougher to work out in the real world.
7:00 PM: Sheehan got arrested for being an idiot before the SotU. Hey, Cindy, there’s a time and place for everything. Tonight is the President’s night. You get every other night.
7:04 PM: And that’s a wrap. Nothing especially ground breaking and some welcome news. Bush stands firm. Dems likely to do the same. Back into the old grind. I’m encouraged by both Bush’s foreign policy and domestic policy. The former is just keeping to the path we’ve chosen until the end and extending America’s influence for good in the world. The latter sounds nice, but I’ll keep my hopes in check until I see some activity on those ends (viz. budget cutting, curtailing pork, increasing appropriate education spending). Overall, I’d say this was a pretty uncontroversial address. Time to head home.
UPDATE: Charges were dropped against Sheehan. It seems she broke an unwritten rule of tradition rather than any law. It is important to remember that the chambers of the Capitol are not considered a public forum so 1st Amendment does not apply.