The State of the Union is Cluttered
The web is filled with all kinds of SOTU chatter. What he said, what he didn't say, and of course the always popular, "is Cheney actually breathing on his own." So, I went looking and found some articles which offer a diverse look at last night's address in Washington. It is worth noting that protesters were outside the White House making their opposition known to the President and in regard to his policies on the steps of the capitol.
The consensus seems to be that Mr. Bush delivered an average at best speech, probably better than his approval rating, but the bar in Washington ceased to be that high a long time ago.
The good news is that nearly 70 percent of the American public knows something is wrong. More Americans are paying more attention to their government's engagements abroad and asking critical questions. Americans' concerns and attention may be too little too late, but increased public awareness, commentary, debate, and involvement means that the Union of the State is increasing and strengthening.
But what is it that unifies the United States? By the end of President Bush's State of the Union address, it was clear that the unifying force upon which this administration continues to depend is fear - of terrorists and purveyors of evil who wish to harm or destroy our civilization. The attempt to scare Americans back into line, and into silence, was palpable in the President's invocations of the horrors of September 11th and his dire warnings that more horrors await us if the US withdraws from Iraq and leaves it to the terrorists.
As you know, I didn’t watch the SOTU. I read the transcript and felt better for saving myself the aggravation of hearing President Bush blow smoke up my ass. And then I read the response from Senator Webb and felt pretty good about the future of the country.
But we Canadians watch these things southern - though I didn't as there was an episode of House to watch on Global. [I am really starting to get into House even though the plots are incredibly formulaic. Hugh Laurie is doing the best acting on TV and carries the entire thing on his back. Without him it would look like a rerun of the 1970s show Emergency.]
Anyway, Gary wanted a group project on the State of the Union speech last night. I was going to keep these limited to Canadian topics but what the heck. Just remember that the strict manners rule (as opposed to the everyday mild manners rule) applies. No debate and certainly no personal slagging. State positively what you think with links to support your thought and graciously observe upon the positive statements of others. References to your own college degrees in an effort to persuade will lead to ridicule.
It took over a half-hour of waiting, but finally President Bush unleashed his answer to all the Democrat lob shots: Dikembe Freakin' Mutombo!
Yes, Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo [Dike, for short], the 7-feet-2-inch, 230-pound NBA center, now stands to defend the lane as Bush goes for 21,500. Folks, the Democrats have little chance with the second leading shot-blocker of all time pounding the paint.
The centerpiece of the president’s energy proposal is the dramatic and laudable goal of cutting gasoline consumption by 20 percent within a decade, but the mix of policies and technologies he would use to get us there isn’t clear. The president’s support for accelerated development
of renewable fuels and improved fuel economy is headed in the right direction, but fuel economy still appears to be getting the short end of the stick in administration priorities. The U.S. Congress will need to pass strong new fuel economy and renewable fuel mandates if the
president’s goals for increased energy independence are to avoid the fate of similar proposals by at least five previous presidents.
Beyond biofuels, the array of other promising renewable energy sources-including solar energy, wind power, and geothermal energy-received only a mention in the president’s speech, and is
generally ignored in his detailed energy plan. It will therefore fall to Congress to develop the kind of solid, far-reaching national commitment to renewable resources and efficiency that will be needed to fuel a strong domestic economy and lower the consumption of oil and other