State of the Union: 2006
Slag my charming co-blogger here on Total Drek.
TDWBC, our new Total Drek Washington Bureau Chief, and another in our tradition of acronym-names from hell.
So now, without any further ado, I give you the State of the Union: Total Drek style!
Slag: T minus 10 minutes. What networks are y'all watching?
TDWBC: I'll see the State of the Union [SOTU] on NBC. It's the only station we get clearly.
Drek: I think I'm on ABC.
Slag: Should I switch to CBS or CNN so we can get triple coverage?
Drek: I think I'll be on CBS in a second.
Slag: CBS is showing a weird CSI episode.
Slag: Actually it's NCIS. Wow, I didn't know it was produced by Donald Bellesario.
Drek: So far no sign of anything unusual...
TDWBC: That's Donald *P* Bellesario to you.
Slag: Now on ABC.
Drek: Any bets on the upcoming content? How often are we gonna hear about Alito, for example?
Slag: News says he will talk about America's "oil addiction." I wonder if there'll be any content there. Sure would be nice to hear from him.
TDWBC: I bet Alito per se is minor, but he'll be big on the duties of Congress to do whatever the hell he wants them to do.
Drek: Score! We're getting started here.
Slag: Ooh, it's starting!
TDWBC: NBC kicking it off.
Slag: I miss Peter Jennings.
Drek: Remember: any time he says "Straight up or down vote" or "terrorism" do a shot.
TDWBC: "In HD where available" -- yeah, I really want extra super face detail.
TDWBC: I don't have any booze.
Drek: I miss Dan Rather from the 2000 election.
Slag: Shall we introduce ourselves for the readers?
Drek: Hi. I'm Drek, I'm a Pisces, and I love walks on the beach.
Slag: Ik ben Slag, en ik haat meneer Bush.
Drek: No fucking way- Cindy Sheehan was arrested outside of the Capital?!
Drek: That's what they said.
Slag: Nothing on ABC.
TDWBC: Wow, I hadn't heard. Oh, she was arrested a month (? weeks?) ago during a protest.
Drek: Anyone notice Laura Bush is sitting next to a woman in a headscarf? It's like last time with the Iraqi mother.
TDWBC: No purple fingers this time.
Drek: Oh, shit, Condoleeza is here. I thought I felt cold...
TDWBC: Oh, introductions. I'm the Bureau Chief of the Total Drek Washington news desk.
Slag: Samuel Alito is going bald.
Slag: So is John Roberts.
TDWBC: Russert calls the atmosphere in DC "poison" -- desperately in need of compromise.
Drek: Wow- Clarence Thomas managed to stay awake this late.
Slag: Anchor blathering about Alito
Drek: I think the House doorkeeper is a woman- just like Republicans to make a woman get the door.
Drek: "The President proposes, Congress disposes..." This is some great commentary over here, I tell 'ya.
Slag: and the Court hoses!
TDWBC: Russert suggesting that Alito and Roberts may "bring over" moderates to the conservative side.
TDWBC: Thing is, they don't need to anymore.
Drek: The cameras are just locked on SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] tonight. Are they going to have a swimsuit competition, or something?
Drek: No joke- the court is conservative. God help us if any more justices die/retire in the next 3 years.
TDWBC: Russert talking about how punctual the president is. Good for him.
Drek: Punctual everywhere but grammar school, apparently.
Drek: Oh, and to military service.
TDWBC: I wish something else was on.
Drek: "Welcome back to the Bush Impeachment decision..." You mean like that?
Slag: Holy shit, Sheehan was arrested INSIDE THE CHAMBER. She was invited by a representative. They'll hold her for an hour and let her go.
TDWBC: Holy cow.
Slag: I repeat: HOLY SHIT. So much for free speech.
Drek: Here we go...
Slag: Yes, Laura is sitting next to a woman in a headscarf.
Drek: They called "Standing ovation number 1" when he was coming in. Dude, when the President enters a room, you STAND.
TDWBC: Williams noting the arrest of Sheehan. Was to be the guest of CA rep. Lynn Woolsey, arrested and taken off the premises.
Drek: Woman in headscarf looks... perturbed.
Drek: "...one of the few times you will see military uniforms on the house floor..." Until Bush declares himself President-for-Life, anyway.
Slag: ABC: Bush wants to portray himself as a compassionate conservative
Drek: Another standing ovation? I'm sorry- did he rise from the dead, or something?
Drek: Shit, he's leading with Coretta Scott King
TDWBC: Starting out with Coretta Scott King.
TDWBC: Hope of a glad reunion? [i.e. between Corette Scott King and her late husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.]
Slag: Nice lead.
Slag: reunion = heaven
Slag: Cut to random black reps in audience
TDWBC: Yes, yes. A little, um, angelic for my taste.
Drek: No shit. Here too.
Slag: here too
Drek: "Moments of national mourning..." nice oblique reference to 9/11.
Slag: "Debates can be conducted in a civil tone" - subtle dig at Democrats
Drek: Bush: "Even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone." Because I'm told that Republicans are the party of inclusion.
TDWBC: I'll believe his efforts for civility when he cans Karl Rove.
Slag: "enemies of freedom" count: 1
Drek: Woo-hoo! Reference to the "Enemies of Freedom!"
TDWBC: Pursue or retreat. Yeah, that's the dichotomy that I always picture.
TDWBC: It's a complex and challenging time that can be reduced succinctly to black and white.
Drek: Is he accusing Democrats of being isolationist?
Slag: woohoo, let's invade countries!
Slag: USA will continue to lead?
Drek: Wow. Just... wow.
Drek: The only choice is to let us lead?
Drek: We're doomed.
TDWBC: Bush: "Some dismiss..." There's that civility.
Slag: Bush: “We seek the end of tyranny in our world.”
TDWBC: 9/11. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "Some say that goal is misguided idealism." No, we say you're a moron.
TDWBC: WMDs. Drink.
Slag: Wish I had something to drink.
TDWBC: Democracies respect the rights of their citizens and join the fight against terror. OR ELSE!
Drek: Bush: "Dictatorships... seek weapons of mass destruction." So... it's definitional? That's why we invaded Iraq?
Slag: "We will act boldly in freedom's cause."
Drek: I love his talk about Democracy in light of the recent Hamas victory.
TDWBC: Lonely democracies. Awww. Cute.
TDWBC: Purple ink! Drink!
Drek: Bush: "Millions of Iraqis marking their liberty with purple ink." Also: RPG fire.
Slag: At least he mentioned North Korea
TDWBC: Burma? When did we last show any inkling of remembering Burma?
Drek: He just called Islam a noble faith. He knows Mohammed isn’t just fancy-talk for Jesus, right?
TDWBC: Bin Laden. Said his name out loud. Wow.
Slag: He doesn't believe it, but it's a nice touch for the speech.
Drek: Bush: "They seek to impose a totalitarian system throughout the middle east." You mean Homeland Security?
Slag: Bin Laden's aim is NOT to seize power in Iraq. Lie. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "The terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear." Okay, one, yes, they're terrorists that’s why we call them that and, two, have you SEEN the photos from Abu Ghraib?
Slag: Inherit the Earth. Bible quote. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "In a time of testing..." Bible reference. Drink.
TDWBC: Just who is proposing isolationism?
Drek: Bush: "There is no peace in retreat." From where?!
TDWBC: No retreat, no surrender!
TDWBC: He's taking themes from 80s karate movies now.
Drek: Bush: "...and we will never surrender to evil." Because it's REALLY that simple.
Slag: John Kerry looks so sad.
Drek: That was, what, the eighteenth isolationism reference?
TDWBC: Again. Who the bloody hell is talking about isolationism?
TDWBC: Killed or captured. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "...we will move the world towards peace." Has he even looked at his foreign policy?
Slag: Clear plan for victory. Lie. Drink.
TDWBC: ThinkProgress has pretty good simultaneous fact checks.
Drek: Bush: "We are on the offensive in Iraq, with a clear plan for victory." But it's, what, a secret?
Drek: The plan I mean.
Drek: Why is there a little girl on TV?
TDWBC: Examples: Terror attacks have intensified worldwide; Bush "Rebuked Coretta Scott King’s Call on Affirmative Action"
Slag: Our coalition. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "Our coalition has been relentless..." Don't forget Poland.
TDWBC: Dems not standing when he says "we are winning." Looks pretty dramatic on film.
Drek: Has anyone spotted any, you know, content yet? So far this is like a pep talk from a retarded Vince Lombardi.
TDWBC: Road to victory is the road that will take our troops home.
TDWBC: Decisions made by our military commanders... hmm, I've heard that before.
Drek: Wait- did he just disavow responsibility for military decisions? Dude- you're the Commander in Chief!
TDWBC: Responsible criticisms and counsel.
Drek: Bush: "We have benefitted from responsible criticism and counsel..." Um... when?
Slag: We have benefited from responsible criticism and counsel... from both parties. Lie. Drink.
TDWBC: This is madness.
TDWBC: Bush, 1. Civil tone, 0.
Drek: Bush: "Second guessing is not a strategy." Like you'd recognize one of those, anyway? The Book of Revelations is not an intelligence briefing!
Slag: Stand behind the American military. Support the troops. Drink.
TDWBC: Oh. Smirk. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "We must stand behind the American military in this vital mission." We're behind THEM just not YOU. That can happen in a Democracy, you know.
TDWBC: There's a big german shepherd in the audience.
Drek: I'm looking at an air force officer with a German Shepherd.
Slag: Probably a guide dog.
Drek: Whaddya think: bomb sniffer, or wounded vet with no sight?
Slag: "We can support the troops without supporting the President." - Trent Lott, 1993
TDWBC: Nice, Slag.
Slag: I'll see if I can find the reference for that.
Drek: Nice. A Vet's family seated right behind Laura Bush.
TDWBC: He winked at them.
Drek: He thinks the woman on the right is hot, probably.
TDWBC: "Hi, I'm a prop. Nice to meet you."
Slag: Support the troops. Drink.
Slag: Ha! He drank!
Drek: Bush: "Let us never forget the sacrifices of America's military families." He cozies up to the military pretty well for someone who dodged his own service.
Drek: You know, I don't have a problem with supporting democratic reform in the middle east, but I don't think a tank division is the best way to accomplish that.
TDWBC: Thinkprogress: Strategy for Iraq failing on all three fronts; Bush has failed to support troops
Drek: Bush: "The Palestinian people have voted in elections, and now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, and work for a lasting peace." I was wondering how he was gonna deal with that.
Slag: Radicalism is on the rise in the Muslim world, including Iran and Pakistan. I don't think things are getting better.
Drek: Bush: "Liberty is the right, and hope, of all humanity." What does that MEAN?!
Slag: Liberty is the right and hope of all humanity. True but contentless and misleading. Drink.
TDWBC: It means he couldn't squeak in "gift from god" when talking about Saudi Arabia.
Drek: Oh, shit- sounds like we're gonna invade Iran.
TDWBC: Nucular. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "The nations of the world must not permit Iran to gain nucular weapons."
Slag: He talked about this in 2002 with "Axis of Evil." We're not gonna do crap about non-Iraq nations.
Slag: Wow, he's being direct about Iran, though. I'm getting scared.
Drek: Bush: [to the people of Iran] "We respect your right to win your own freedom." We just didn't respect Iraq the same way...
TDWBC: Isolationism again.
Drek: Isolationism! Drink!
TDWBC: Oh, there's the god-given bit now.
Slag: Compassion. Drink.
Drek: Did you notice Cheney smile a little when Bush said, "A young girl sold into slavery?"
Slag: He's making a link between poverty and terror. That's good.
TDWBC: When I hear him talk about, I wish I didn't care about all of those things.
Slag: Compassion. Drink.
TDWBC: Okay, again, just who is talking about cutting off foreign aid? Oh, right, the Republicans.
Slag: Terrorism here at home. Here we go...
TDWBC: The enemy hasn't lost the capability to attack us.
TDWBC: Nice achievements there, G-Dub.
Drek: Bush: "The enemy has not lost the desire, or the capability, to attack us." So, um, you've totally failed?
Slag: Support the troops. Drink.
TDWBC: Drek, are we like just =grooving= in the same wavelength, or what?
Slag: "Gentlemen, this is a football." [Reference to Vince Lombardi]
Slag: AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! PATRIOT ACT! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Drek: Bush: "I ask you to reauthorize the Patriot Act." And I know which of you support it already, because I've tapped your phones...
TDWBC: Telephone calls. Here it comes.
TDWBC: He's suggesting that he could have prevented 9/11!
Slag: Authority given to me.
Drek: Holy shit, he's gonna claim that (1) he has the authority and (2) that it could have stopped 9/11.
Slag: SPYING ON AMERICAN CITIZENS
Drek: Look, a lot of things could have stopped 9/11, that doesn't mean they're CONSTITUTIONAL.
TDWBC: Hearing from Gonzales before the Senate is going to be *good*.
Slag: *Appropriate* members of congress have been informed.
Slag: Republicans standing, Dems not.
Slag: Smirk. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "If there are people inside our country who are talking... with al Qaeda... we want to know about it," The first pause there really gave something away, I think.
TDWBC: Smirk. Drink.
Drek: Victory. Drink.
Slag: We need support of our friends and allies. True but misleading. Drink.
TDWBC: Maddening. As if somebody, anybody, wants to stop us from listening in on Al Quaeda.
Slag: We want their help as long as we lead.
Drek: Bush: "The only alternative to American leadership, is a dramatically more dangerous... world." Nice. I'm sure the EU will love that.
TDWBC: Isolation. What's *with* that.
Drek: Dude- he compared himself to Roosevelt. He's a Democrat, Dubya, did you forget?
Slag: Support the troops. Drink.
Slag: Freedom. Drink.
Slag: Wow, I just sent 2 drink IMs in 3 seconds.
Drek: Hilary Clinton was standing just then. And applauding.
Drek: Bush: "Our economy is healthy- and vigorous..." If you're a CEO...
Slag: 4.6 million new jobs? how many new people have we produced? This may be misleading.
TDWBC: More jobs than Japan and the EU.... who are in recession?
Drek: First reference to natural disasters...
Slag: Protectionists. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "We're seeing some old temptations return... protectionists..." WHO?!
Drek: Bush: "We have claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy..." Yeah, from the Republicans, before they started courting the Hispanic vote.
TDWBC: Drek: +1
Slag: This economy could not function without immigrants. But will he let the TDEC in?
TDWBC: Competing With Confidence. That's the backdrop for speeches next week.
Drek: Bush: "Americans should not fear our economic future, because we intend to shape it." Don't we always?
Slag: Tax relief.
TDWBC: 4 years of uninterrupted economic growth?
Slag: More than 4 years of uninterrupted economic growth? Is that true?
TDWBC: Is that actually accurate?
TDWBC: I *love* how they can't pass tax cuts without sunset provisions.
Slag: Massive tax increase when tax relief ends? Isn't it just $600?
TDWBC: And then immediately call for them to become permanent.
Drek: Bush: "We need more than temporary tax relief... I urge the Congress to make the tax cuts permanent." And the mice voted to bell the cat...
TDWBC: Anybody see him in Kansas, blindsided by the question about education funding?
Drek: Yeah, I saw it.
Slag: I didn't see the Kansas thing.
Slag: Cut social programs.
Drek: Bush: "My program will eliminate more than 140 programs..." Because my astronomical debt is really getting out of hand.
Slag: Cut the deficit in half by 2009? Is that even possible?
Drek: I doubt it, Slag.
Drek: He wants a line-item veto?! FUCK NO!
Slag: Line item veto! More power for the President!
TDWBC: Pass the line item veto got applause. Didn't republicans HATE it when Clinton had that?
Slag: Clinton joke. Hillary's not laughing.
Slag: Social security. I thought he gave up on that.
TDWBC: Leading in to HSAs here?
Drek: Now he's on to Health Savings Accounts.
TDWBC: Big middle finger from Dems!
Slag: Dems applauding "congress did not act." Damn.
Drek: Ha. They applauded about Congress not acting on Bush's Social Security plan.
Slag: This is like UK Parliment
Slag: I've never seen the U.S. like this.
TDWBC: Made him look cranky.
Drek: Wow. Apparently the Dems do have some guts left.
TDWBC: A commision to examine the impact of retirement?
Slag: Bipartisan. Drink.
Drek: He wants a commission to examine this? We know the damned impact you fuckwad.
Slag: Put aside partisan politics .Drink.
TDWBC: Huh, never thought about studying the problem before, ever.
Slag: Reaching out to workers. Sad effort.
Drek: Bush: "No one can out produce, or out compete, the American worker." Except for China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, India...
Slag: Reflects our values .Drink.
Slag: Damn you Bush, stronger immigration laws! I want to get married!
Drek: Amazing that he can advocate stronger border protection after accusing everyone else of being isolationist cowards.
Slag: Bush has no shame.
TDWBC: Drek: Hah!
TDWBC: Leading in to HSAs here? Which of course, won't make health care more affordable to anybody.
Drek: Bush: "Keeping America competetive requires affordable healthcare." As Dems have been saying for literally decades.
Slag: Electronic records. Totally insecure.
Slag: HSAs. Drink.
TDWBC: Strenghthen the Doctor-patient relationship? That's got to be code for tort reform.
TDWBC: "Portable" coverage, for your transitory job of the future.
Drek: That's some solid discipline among the Dems. Very little applause here.
TDWBC: Lawsuits, there we go.
Slag: Here we go with the tort reform.
Drek: Look, liability reform is a small issue...
Drek: Woot! Energy policy time.
Slag: America is addicted to oil.
TDWBC: Wow, that's sort of an abrupt transition.
Slag: TECHNOLOGY WILL SOLVE ALL OUR PROBLEMS! WOOHOO!
Drek: Bush: "America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world." Like Argentina and Canada.
TDWBC: How many damn clean energy initiatives has this guy announced?
TDWBC: Clean coal. *Great*.
Slag: Zero-emission coal-fired plants? Is that even possible?
Drek: It isn't.
Drek: It is physically fucking impossible.
Drek: A 22% increase in clean energy initiatives? You know 22% of nothing is still nothing.
Slag: Clean safe nuclear energy. Until you transport the waste.
Slag: Ethanol cars.
Drek: Dude, electric cars and hydrogen cars are LESS energy efficient than gas powered. Likewise with Ethanol!
Drek: You have to burn other fuels to make them.
Slag: But they *feel* more clean.
TDWBC: ThinkProgress: Dependence on Foreign Oil Has Increased Under Bush
Slag: Move beyond a petroleum-based economy. Even the Republicans are starting to get it. That's good.
Drek: Wait, wait, next he's gonna tell us he has a device that can give every man a 12 inch penis.
Drek: Here it comes...
Slag: HE'S FUCKING CUTTING STUDENT LOAN PROGRAMS!
Drek: Bush: "Our greatest advantage has always been our educated and hard-working people."
Drek: We're doomed.
TDWBC: You know who I bet would be great at getting American Competetiveness grants? ENRON.
Slag: Oh, shit, nation's children a firm grounding in math & science.
Drek: Just not biology. Hellooooo Intelligent Design.
Slag: Is he seriously going to raise NSF funding?
Slag: Nope, he wants privately funded research.
Slag: Sorry I asked.
Drek: He's trying to diffuse the "Republican War on Science" argument.
TDWBC: Did you see the funny double-take the whole audience just did?
Drek: No Child Left Behind. Drink.
TDWBC: It was like, "everybody applause, now sit NO STAND"
Slag: Raising test scores = education
TDWBC: What will be the "steroids" moment in this speech?
Drek: Bush: "Preparing America to compete in the world is a goal we can all share." Well... duh.
Slag: American Competitiveness Initiative. What is that?
Slag: Compassionate. Drink.
Slag: Welfare cases have fallen in the last decade. BECAUSE you cut welfare, doofus!
Drek: Bush: "There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades..." Gee, THAT doesn't send a message when it comes in a paragraph making reference to violent crime...
TDWBC: "A life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment."
Slag: Abstinence. Drink.
Drek: Then scream
TDWBC: It's like an ABC after-school special.
Drek: Abstinence-only doesn't work you morons, stop applauding!!!
Slag: Activist courts. Drink.
Slag: He hasn't mentioned Katrina by name.
Drek: He just linked unethical behavior to activist courts?! Are you kidding me?!
TDWBC: Unethical conduct is LOOK activist judges!
Slag: His speechwriters are so slick.
TDWBC: Tell me, who are the pessimists again?
Drek: Bush: "We have proven the pessimists wrong in the past, and we will do so again." Bush, you ARE a pessimist.
Drek: Alito. Roberts. Drink.
TDWBC: Alito looks like he needs a personality transfusion.
Slag: Activist judges. Drink.
Drek: $10 says Roberts is wearing lingerie under that thing.
Slag: Smirk. Drink.
TDWBC: Creating human animal hybrids!?
Drek: Oh, shit, he wants to outlaw fucking biotech?!
Slag: Medical unethics. Science = bad!
TDWBC: Is this the island of doctor Moreau all of a sudden?
Slag: Gift from our creator. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "Human life is a gift from our creator..." Well, we didn't need the separation of church and state.
Slag: Uphold the public trust? The Republicans? How brazen is this shit?
TDWBC: Answer: Way, way brazen.
Slag: Tom DeLay! Bill Frist! Jack Abramoff!
Slag: Compassion. Drink.
Drek: Compasison. Drink.
TDWBC: "A hopeful society." Drink.
Slag: Hopeful society. Drink.
Slag: Symbolic job for Laura Bush ahoy!
Drek: Could Laura's dress be any more pink? Seriously.
TDWBC: Remember how the Republicans HATED it when Hillary Clinton was part of the President's initiatives?
Slag: Hopeful society .Drink.
TDWBC: New Orleans, first mention.
Slag: Finally mentioning New Orleans, one hour into speech.
Drek: Kathleen Blanco looks PISSED.
Slag: As she should be.
Slag: Hey, where's Ray Nagin?
Drek: Bush: "Let us work for the day when all Americans are protected by justice..." Because, shit, not under my administration.
TDWBC: ThinkProgress: "The Bush Administration Continues To Bungle Katrina Reconstruction"
Slag: Reagan didn't mention AIDS until 1987.
TDWBC: A hopeful society. Geez. If we just *wish* hard enough, we'll all be allright.
Slag: Smirk. Drink.
Slag: End the stigma of AIDS? Holy fuck?
TDWBC: History turning in a wide arc.
TDWBC: A widening gyre?
Drek: Bush: "History is turning in a wide arc, toward an unknown shore." So... it's doing what it always does?
TDWBC: He's comparing himself to Lincoln and MLK.
Slag: Courting the black vote. Drink.
Drek: A LOT.
Drek: I think Barack Obama is about to vomit.
Slag: Courage. Drink.
Slag: Freedom's advance. Drink.
TDWBC: Interesting how ... vague ... this whole speech is.
Slag: Moral commitments. Drink.
Drek: Bush: "We will renew the defining moral commitments of this land..." Um... what?
Slag: God bless America. Drink everything you gots.
Drek: Wait, that's the end? He didn't even speak an hour?!
Drek: What a fucking wuss.
Slag: Worst. President. Ever.
Drek: The commentators here are remarking on how the Dems kept sitting.
Slag: ABC: "He's a president who raises big ideas." Lie. Drink.
Drek: Commentator: "The first half of a speech... was a grand vision." Of what, precisely? Freedom?
Slag: ABC: reached out with an olive branch to Dems. Damn conservative media.
TDWBC: I guess by "vague" I mean nothing we haven't heard any number of times before.
TDWBC: "an olive branch?"
Slag: Yep. Exact quote.
TDWBC: ...and it was always vague the first time around, anyway.
Drek: They just referred to Bush as a former Texas oil man. That would be good except he's really more of a "Texas business failure man."
Slag: Anchors talking shit about Democrats not applauding.
TDWBC: NBC suggesting that it's too far into his presidency for Bush to call for compromise.
Slag: Stephanopolous: he led with war on terror, weaker on domestic issues.
Drek: "A couple times in this speech the President managed to get the Democrats up on their feet." Yet, the number of times he didn't...
Drek: Dude- they're saying the President tweaked Congress about social security. The Dems have been hollering about the problems for years.
TDWBC: Russert talking about the conflict between Bush's statement that he informed congress of wiretapping and, well, reality.
TDWBC: Will have an "enormous impact on his presidency" as it's viewed historically.
TDWBC: W.H. correspondent saying that the nation doesn't see spying as a controvery.
Slag: ABC still talking shit about Dems not joining Bush's plans. Did any Republicans join Clinton's programs?
Drek: Commentators are claiming Bush actually went to Congress. "The white house version [regarding the wire tapping scandal] is that members of Congress said, 'No, we should not write new laws.'" Yeah, because Congress often gives up power.
TDWBC: NBC: Williams says that the President is deeply troubled by the division between the political parties.
Drek: Yeah, he's troubled everyone doesn't kiss his ass.
Slag: No shit, Bush wants both parties to agree with him.
Drek: About Bush: "9/11 is tattooed on his brain. He will never, ever, forget it." Nor will he risk anyone else forgetting it, either.
TDWBC: Frist is following Bush around the floor like a puppy.
Slag: Harry Reid said this morning that he doesn't trust Bush.
Drek: This was a pretty lame speech. Really the only strong parts were relating to Bush's "Science is bad" bit. I think he's trying to secure his base since, really, that's all he's got left.
Slag: The President has left the building. Cut to commercial.
TDWBC: ThinkProgress: "Despite Bush’s claim that ‘In recent years, America has become a more hopeful Nation,’ 61% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track."
Drek: Democrat rebuttal coming up. I reckon it's gonna suck so hard, it blows- like last year.
TDWBC: At least he didn't trip over his tie this time. His delivery, smirks and under-his-breath chuckles aside, was okay.
Slag: Tim Kaine is an interesting choice for response. I'm wondering what he'll say.
TDWBC: Did Pelosi and the Wash. gov. do the response last year? That was miserable.
Slag: My grades: B+ for speechification, D+ for content quantity, D- for content quality.
Drek: D- is way to high.
Drek: He said essentially NOTHING.
Drek: Oh, wait, I forgot: "Freedom is good."
TDWBC: Freedom is good, but he didn't talk all that much about Iraq ... except to say that isolationism is bad. Oookay.
Drek: Yes, we should invade foreign countries because isolationism is bad. Sort of like what Hitler did in 1939.
Slag: He did announce an energy initiative, a teacher training initiative, and encourage congress to renew the Patriot Act and the Raise the Deficit with Tax Cuts Act
TDWBC: So that's 1) old, 2) old, 3) old?
Drek: Don't forget that committee to "Study" healthcare.
Drek: Here we go with the Democrats: Tim Kaine.
Slag: He's very unglamorous.
Drek: What is with his left eyebrow?
Slag: He worked as a missionary.
Drek: Coretta Scott King reference...
Drek: Bush: "Our faith teaches us..." Watch as the Dems mistakenly try to pander to the evangelicals.
TDWBC: On Sheehan, from Yahoo: "Sheehan, who was invited to attend the address by California's Democratic Rep. Lynn Woolsey (news, bio, voting record), was reportedly already seated in the House chamber when she was detained, CNN said."
Drek: Sorry, I meant Kaine.
Slag: "Bad management" is a good theme for Dems to focus on.
TDWBC: I have Kaine muted. But it looks like he's trying to sell me a stock-trading self-improvement package.
Slag: Did he not shave today?
Drek: Kaine: "There is a better way..." Oh, please, let the Dems actually propose some things.
Slag: Kaine trying to reach out to moderates.
Drek: The eyebrow is freaking me out.
Slag: He's doing the Clinton thumb thing.
Drek: Kaine: "Tonight we heard the President call to make the tax cuts permanent, despite his administration's huge deficits." YES!
Slag: Oh shit, he made the analogy between government and parents. that's not good.
Slag: Playing up states' rights. Good.
Drek: Kaine: "The Administration's No Child Left Behind act is wreaking havoc on local school districts."
Drek: Holy shit, this guy is actually bringing it.
Slag: Content ahoy!
Drek: Indeed, content: the iceberg to Bush's Titanic.
TDWBC: Un-muted just in time to hear him talking about massive cuts to education.
Drek: Student test scores. Drink.
Slag: Health care, good.
TDWBC: New drug plan -- poorly planned and executed.
Slag: There's a better way. Drink.
TDWBC: So, coming in late. Is "there's a better way" the theme of this?
Drek: Kaine: "There's a better way." I smell a talking point/slogan.
TDWBC: Don't know if it's a strong one.
Drek: Actually, it's better than our last one: "Democrats- we're not Bush."
Slag: Seems a bit vague as a slogan.
Slag: Support the troops. Drink.
TDWBC: Democrats: Please like us more?
Drek: Democrats: Now with half the sex scandals!
TDWBC: That's actually a pretty good line: We're compelled to ask if the president's policies are best.
Drek: Kaine: "Are the President's policies the best way to win this war? We now know that our troops in Iraq were not given body armor, or the best intelligence."
Slag: Wow, the administration wants to CUT Army reservists?
TDWBC: Followed by questions of troop levels, intelligence, and funding, it's pretty reasonably well-argued.
Slag: There's a better way. Drink.
Drek: This dude is making Bush his bitch, despite the scary eyebrow.
TDWBC: Too many Virginia references?
Slag: Veteran's services. That's a great talking point. Bush is cutting them.
Slag: Yep, too much Virginia.
Drek: Trying to turn the states' rights card on the Republicans.
Slag: There's a better way. Drink.
Slag: Yay! Wants oil companies to return record profits!
Drek: Kaine: "Democrats... are leading the way on energy reforms."
Drek: Look at Kaine's face- he knows he's whupping some ass.
Drek: Kaine: "The administration is falling behind in other critical areas..."
Slag: Being a bit vague now...
Slag: A better way. Drink.
Slag: Bipartisanship. Drink.
Slag: Rights endowed by our creator. Bible and Declaration of Independence reference. Nice.
Drek: Kaine: "The better way is to focus on service... it's about protecting the rights endowed by our creator... and ensuring that the light of liberty shines on every American."
TDWBC: So, a real substantive question: Do you think Bush's speech convinced anybody who's not already on board of, well, anything?
Drek: But I bet he still gets a four-point bump.
Slag: This bipartisansihp stuff doesn't fly after the Democrats' middle finger in the speech.
TDWBC: Interesting discussion today about the mythic bump at Mystery Pollster.
Drek: I think it may, actually.
Drek: Kaine did well.
Slag: God Bless America. Buy some more, then drink it.
TDWBC: But buy American.
Slag: A Better Way count: 9 (source ABC)
TDWBC: Frist versus Obama on NBC.
Slag: content quantity: A content quality: B
Slag: eyebrow: F---
TDWBC: Eyebrow: Independently sentient.
Drek: And the commentator says, "...Kaine a very conservative Democrat. You heard him make several religious references during his speech." Man, I am an Atheist, and I am NOT in the majority in the Democratic party, okay?
Slag: Villagarosa, mayor of LA, gave a response today on Univision.
Slag: The Republicans have stolen religion for themselves. Read "What's the
Matter With Kansas"
TDWBC: Frist talking about HSAs and malpractice reform. 'Cause he's a doctor.
TDWBC: Frist says that the partisan division is "disheartening." That's quaint.
Drek: Hey, I got McCain here.
Slag: What we see here is not consistent with a persistent vegetative state...
Slag: George Will on ABC
Drek: McCain: "I think you could argue that there hasn't been an attack on the United States since 9/11." Um... I think, yes, you could argue that. Except for the anthrax.
TDWBC: So, one *could* argue that. He's *technically* correct.
Slag: The anthrax that was sent to DEMOCRATIC lawmakers.
TDWBC: Oh. Doesn't count?
Drek: McCain: "His statement about Iran was... important." Nice vague description.
TDWBC: Obama talks about HSAs being great for people who have lots of money.
Drek: So's the Republican Party.
Slag: Nice job by Obama.
TDWBC: Russert notes that the war goes on, uncontrollable by either party.
Drek: McCain is hammering on the corruption issue. i.e. "I want to be PRESIDENT!"
Drek: I got Joe Biden coming up here.
Slag: Martha Raddatz: the President's approval rating is higher when he's talking about terrorism. Great point.
TDWBC: NBC has signed off, gone to a re-run of Scrubs.
TDWBC: Respect my prioritah!
Slag: Raddatz: it's like Bush cut and pasted sections from old speeches.
Drek: That's a good point.
TDWBC: Cut and pasted, yes.
TDWBC: It was all old stuff.
Slag: Raddatz: In Iraq, we'll start seeing new definitions of victory. Nice to see someone on TV calling bullshit.
Slag: Charlie Gibson talking about international reaction soon.
Drek: Biden: "He [Bush] has let events shape us. Four years ago he made his Axis of Evil speech, and now North Korea has four times more nuclear weapons..."
Slag: Ooh, Fareed Zakaria!
Slag: Nice job by Biden.
TDWBC: Good on Biden.
TDWBC: Listening to Think Progress radio now. It's mocktacular.
Slag: Zakaria is holding his head at 2 o'clock like a turkey.
Drek: Biden: "I think the solution is, we should be getting literally the rest of the world... and putting pressure on their [Iraqi/Kurdish] constituencies... they need outside help... And we're not doing that."
Slag: Zakaria: most Americans think the rhetoric doesn't mesh with the reality of what's going on in Iraq and Iran.
Drek: Biden is pounding on Bush for not listening to the military commanders.
Drek: Okay, next up are journalists. I think we're about done here, folks.
Drek: Final thoughts?
Slag: Zakaria: it's INCONCEIVABLE that the terrorists could gain power in Iraq, for the very reason that the president tells us that most people have welcomed democracy.
TDWBC: Final thought: 3 more years is plenty of time to do more damage.
Drek: That was... optimistic.
TDWBC: Just going with my gut, here.
TDWBC: I mean, they haven't repealed the 14th Amendment, yet.
Drek: Fair enough.
Slag: Final thought: the Democrats have a great opportunity in the midterms .I give them 30% odds of making gains in the house and senate, but they probably can't get a majority. The tide may be turning, my friends. Slowly but surely.
TDWBC: That's better than mine.
Slag: Lots of campaign time left.
Drek: Final Thought: The President's reassurance of his base will give him a slight improvement in public approval, but the lack of actual content will leave the remainder of America cold.
Slag: What's the over/under on the gain in his next approval rating?
Drek: I give it four points, plus or minus 2.
TDWBC: Long-term, no bounce. Short-term, a couple points.
Slag: 5 quatloos on over.
TDWBC: Any bounce will be buffered by Gonzales going before the senate.
Slag: 10 quatloos on less 6 months from now
Slag: (i.e. his approval rating will be lower in 6 months)
TDWBC: He'll have to climb down a manhole for it to get much lower.
Drek: Here's hoping...
Drek: Any last snarks?
TDWBC: Thanks for hosting, Drek. Lovely canapes.
TDWBC: (I liked the snacks, too.)
TDWBC: Okay, signing off from the news desk. I'm so-and-so.
Slag: Nice to meet you, insert pseudonym here.
Slag: Good night!
TDWBC: You, too. See you at the Drek picnic in the Pocanos. 'Night.