Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of the Union - Live Blog

It's been a while. But I thought I'd give live-blogging the State of the Union address a shot. President Bush is entering Congress now. I'm watching it on Fox.

I'll dispense with the time stamps tonight. I'll just keep updating this thread as it goes along. As long as Blogger's servers behave, just keep refreshing to see the updates.

The speech is beginning now...

Standing ovation across the aisle for a mention of a free and soveriegn Iraq. Teddy Kennedy too? The cameras didn't show.

Bush is launching into some rhetorical groundwork to address social security already. Making generic statements about building a better future for our children. And suddenly the bi-partisan applause is gone.

Geez! The Dems are sitting on their hands over a statement about gaining millions of new jobs.

Hillary is shown politely applauding though.

Budget promise to cut the deficit in half by 2009. And if he doesn't succeed, he surely won't be re-elected. Wait a minute....

Educational stuff now. Lots of fluffy talk here. Education - we're going to get more of it. Pell grants increase.

Joe Lieberman is shown applauding a line about junk-lawsuits. But others in his party are heard to grumble.

A GOP standing O for Bush's line about a healthcare agenda. Dems politely applaud but don't stand. Some "huzzah's" for some of the specific items he lists here. I can't say exactly who huzzahed what.

These addresses are such weird theatre. The Congress Critters make it seem like part sporting event, part street theatre, part partisan rally.

Less dependence on foreign energy gets another bipartisan standing O.

Appropos nothing, Dennis Hastert is not a pleasant looking backdrop to this speech. And VP Cheney has a weird smirk frozen on his face.

Immigration talk now. High-minded generalities though. People are applauding and standing, but he didn't lay anything in particular out here.

Social Security now. We're starting with general statements. No big disagreement here.

Now the meat. For Americans 55 or older the system "will not change in any way." Grumbling from the Dems.

Bush stating that the old system was for a different era. Society has changed. People live longer now. Draw more benefits. Instead of 16 workers for every beneficiary, we're down to just over 3 per beneficiary. And soon it will be 2. In 2018 SS is in the red. And each year after it gets worse.

By 2042 SS bankrupt. Some Dems shout and grumble at this.

Bush draws upon parents thinking about planning for their children to put this in perspective. Now we're into full partisan mode. Dems stony silent. GOP standing O.

"We must fix SS once and for all." Bush cites past ideas for reform from both parties. Says all these ideas should be on the table. Reform is bigger than partisan politics. Bi-partisan standing O.

Guided by basic principles. No reaction from either side as he lays these out. One gets the impression they're on pins and needles, not knowing what he'll say.

Voluntary personal retirement accounts gets a GOP standing O. Dems grumble and sit on theirhands. This is why young people who favor Democrats are acting like fools.

Bush is heavy into sales mode over personal retirement accounts now. Lots of promises, but skipping the "how" details. All the same, the sales job is not bad.

The GOP is very pleased. Another standing O. The Dems sink further into their seats.

Marriage now. Shouldn't be redefined by activist judges. Bush endorses protection of marriage amendment. GOP standing O. Dems grumble and sit.

Scientific advances should serve human dignity. No human embryo use for medical experiments. Human life never bought or sold as a commodity. He has about half the Dems and all the GOP standing O over this.

Heading into judicial nominations now. "Every judicial nominee deserves an up or down vote." Many Dems actually boo here. Biden caught on camera laughing.

Don't know what the heck this last thing was about. Apparently both parties are against gang violence. Um... thanks guys. But what called this into question?

Laura Bush is heading up some new program. She's politely applauded.

Dramatically expanding use of DNA evidence to prevent wrongful conviction. That's an unexpected good idea.

Bush talking about security improvements since 9-11 now. Thanks those working on that. Easy applause line for both parties.

Bi-partisan standing O for continuing War on Terror. Another for supporting the military with funding.

Bush now talks about all the nations we're working with in the WOT. Emphasizes coalition building. But without France, we all know it will still be called unilateral.

"The only force to stop terror is the force of human freedom." GOP standing O. Dems don't stand, but some applaud.

A rather complicated exposition ending in "the advance of freedom will lead to peace," draws a weird reaction among the Dems, ranging from grumbling to standing O.

350 million to assist Palestinian statehood? Unexpected. Mixed reaction on both sides of the aisle.

A call upon Arab nations - specifically calling on Saudi Arabia and Egypt - to step up their efforts to implement Democracy.

Calls out Syria to end support for terror. The word "accountability" was used. That was a threat.

Similar comments about Iran end in a call to the Iranian people: "As you stand for liberty, America stands with you." Nicely stated.

Iraq now. Bi-partisan standing O for reference to Iraqi election. Some nice statements about Iraqi citizens courage get another warm response.

Introducing an Iraqi guest in the gallery with heart-warming personal anecdote. Biggest response from Congress of the night.

I'm wondering if Senator Kennedy is standing with the rest for all these Iraqi triumphalism comments. Almost all the rest in his party are. The cameras haven't shown him once.

"Freedom in Iraq will make America safer for generations to come" gets another nice bi-partisan response. The camera shows Senators Clinton and Kerry applauding, but not standing. Many other Dems stand, and all the GOP.

No time-table to bring troops home. But line about their eventual return is another standing O across the aisle.

A military mom and dad who lost a Marine son in the assault on Fallujah are introduced. They're shown making tearful greetings to the Iraqi lady introduced earlier. Very touching moment. Very long applause.

Bush seems to be wrapping up now. Poetic words about spreading freedom now. "The road of providence is uneven and unpredictable. But we know where it leads. It leads to freedom."

That's the end. Bi-partisan standing O at the end. That's another unexpected moment.

The big moments here for me were the clear dividing line when Bush laid out even the attempt to reform Social Security. That's going to be an old-school dirty legislative fist-fight.

The other would be the seeming softening among the Dems over anything Iraq related. They truly seemed more supportive in moments I didn't expect.


Blogger Kyle said...


I menat to sent you for decent (non-partisan) article on the Soc. Sec. debate. With the State, it seems even more relevant. It really does a nice job of illuminating the 16-1 vs 2-1 ratio of workers paying into the system into the future.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Woah! Sorry for the poor typing!

8:46 PM  

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