THOUGHTS ON DUBYA'S SOTU SPEECH
How is the union doing
The state of the union is strong.
Hmm, the state of the union is "strong". Just what does that mean in the scope of the state of the United States of America through the years? To figure this out, we must consult the Modified Starbucks Scale (MSS)...
When one orders a warm beverage at Starbucks (not that I've done that recently), your choice in sizes for the beverage are tall (small), grande (medium), and venti (large).
Applying that to the SOTU, it can be three different things: "Strong" (weak), "Very strong" (alright), and "The state of the union has never been stronger" (strong, and I remember Clinton saying that a few times).
To put it another way, it's like having straight B's in grad school.
As for the speech itself, it was the usual. Tax cuts . . . permanent tax cuts . . . dividend tax cuts . . . accelerated tax cuts . . .
personal accounts . . . faith-based . . . missile defense . . . yada . . . yada . . . etc.
The $15 billion to combat AIDS in Africa was good to hear. Where it will fit in Dubya's budget is yet to be seen. If it makes a dent into his tax cuts, then how principled and compassionate will he turn out to be? Which of those two things will get the short end of the stick? And needless to say, what's the point of all that money if you deny family planning funds and programs to the entire continent? (and by the way, he pronounced it "connent") Also how bout if Dubya talks to his buddies/donors from the Pharmaceutical industry about making deals with the more-afflicted African nations (elsewhere too) more quickly and fairly. The hydrogen cell automobiles are a good sign as well, I wonder how George Will
is gonna take it?
Al Qaeda is not a concern anymore. Fascinating. I'd like to know what the people of Bali think of that. And by the way, where's that guy who masterminded and financed 9/11? Eh, forget it.
"On the Korean Peninchula..." The what!?!? Oh, fuck it.
I was amazed to hear a transition which sounded like it came straight out of The Onion:
On the Korean peninsula, an oppressive regime rules a people living in fear and starvation. Throughout the 1990s, the United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that the regime was deceiving the world, and developing those weapons all along. And today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions. America and the world will not be blackmailed. America is working with the countries of the region South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia to find a peaceful solution, and to show the North Korean government that nuclear weapons will bring only isolation, economic stagnation, and continued hardship. The North Korean regime will find respect in the world, and revival for its people, only when it turns away from its nuclear ambitions.
Our Nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean peninsula, and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq.
Of course, The Onion's headline was "Bush on North Korea: We Must Attack Iraq".
And the usual non-case case was made for war with Iraq. "Gassed his own people" . . . aluminum casings (if that's why we're going to war, then get me out of here, I'm off to Canada, or Taiwan or something). And wasn't the evidence of Saddam aiding Al Qaeda something like a guy who was passing through Iraq and got medical treatment in Baghdad? Yumpin' jiminy.
Remember that poll about how 50% of Americans think at least one Iraqi was among the 9/11 hijackers? Ponder that question in terms of Bush's speech. We know that ZERO Iraqis participated in the attacks. Did anything Bush say have the effect of making such a fact the slightest bit clearer?
Before September 11, 2001, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents and lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and other plans this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that day never comes. (emphases mine)
Would that clear things up for said 50%? That first sentence has no other purpose than to muddy the issue. After everything, the case for war is still as empty as those warhead casings the inspectors found . . . for missiles that could travel, um, 12 miles.
We'll know more (or possibly not), when Colin Powell goes to the UN on February 5th. I don't think he'll be getting his full-blown Adalai Stevenson on, but we'll see. If they had a real case for war, we would have heard it by now.
Anyway, nothing I didn't expect escaped the chimp's lips. Though, when he talked about his faith-based drug-treatment plan, I got the feeling he was talking from, um, experience, and it recalled to me a classic Bushism, slightly-altered for the occasion:
I understand drug addiction. I was one.
Heh heh heh. I hope you enjoyed my silly commentary. Less than two years until Kerry/Edwards/Dean is inagurated, so I have that to look forward to.