Drunkblogging the State of the Union
5:21PM I've tuned in to CNN, as usual, and I'm seeing Eliot Spitzer for the first time as a TV host. It doesn't seem possible, but I think I find him even creepier on TV than hookers found him in person. With that, it's time to make a pitcher of martinis. If you'd like to drink along with me, you can find tonight's recipe here.
Full drunkblogging to commence at 8:30PM Eastern.
5:31PM Word is, the President's forward-looking speech will place heavy reference on Sputnik, launched in 1957 by a country which ceased to exist 20 years ago.
5:32PM NOTE: All times Pacific, apparently. I'm not psychic.
5:36PM Only CNN will broadcast Michelle Bachmann's "official" Tea Party response. Nevertheless, Eliot Spitzer has me seriously thinking about switching over to Fox.
5:40PM United Liberty is doing a group-liveblog -- sober, it seems. Posers.
Seriously, they have a good group going over there. Check it out.
5:41PM Joe Biden and that nylon tarp on his head are entering the House chamber. But the talk is all about who will sit with whom. At least when campfire hippie circles sing kumbaya, they're sincere. Nauseating, but sincere.
5:44PM OK, I'll give props for the Tucson Massacre ribbons. They could be a little more understated, but, hey, this is Washington.
5:48PM These GM ads are brought to you by... you.
5:51PM CNN Guy: "The question is, where will ya cut?"
The Eagles: "Everything, all the time."
5:54PM Re: That last comment. I have never before quoted the Eagles, and I promise it will never happen again.
Meanwhile, Wolf Blitzer is calling us all uninformed crybabies. There's some truth there -- but some projection, too.
5:54PM David Gergen says the text of Obama's speech is light on specifics. Hard to believe, from the state Senator who once specialized in voting "present."
5:56PM There comes a point in every budget-cutting debate, where the media reminds us that we want our cake and to eat it, too. They never, however, offer alternatives.
Because the last thing these DC-insider reporters want is for money and influence to leave Washington. Because it would include them.
6:00PM Here comes the Cabinet. Even from the wide-view of the Chamber, Tim Geithner has a grin like a sociopathic reptile.
6:01PM The first martini is already gone. Doing the PJTV wrap later tonight could get... interesting.
6:05PM Blitzer & Crew are at desperate pains to remind you that the new Congress even includes freshman Democrats!
6:06PM "Mr Speaker, the President of the United States."
6:06PM Just so you know, I don't cheat and pause on a TiVo or DVR. This is 100% live. Although at the moment, only about 15% drunk.
6:08PM There seems to be some unexpected gladhanding.
6:10PM Wolf Blitzer, birdlike, is fascinated with the President's shiny tie.
6:12PM Remember when Bush warmly welcomed Pelosi as the new Speaker? Obama was ever-so-slightly less gracious. By which I mean: "Nearly dismissive."
6:13PM Where is he going with this Tucson tribute?
6:14PM "We are still bound together as one people." Ah -- using Gabby as a call for bipartisanship, meaning, "Do what I want." It's lofty and cheap all at once.
6:15PM "New laws will only pass with support" from both parties. Would only that were true last year!
6:16PM I tell you now: This is a setup for Clintonian triangulation, minus the Clintonian move to the center.
6:17PM Boehner is approximately the same color as his tie, which is somewhere between lavender and fuchsia.
Almost makes me want to puce.
6:17PM One million jobs created last year! That's not even treading water, folks.
6:18PM "You didn't always need a degree" to get a good job. Well -- here comes the reinflation of the higher education bubble.
6:19PM Whoa -- those "revolutions in technology" started HERE. Let's name a Chinese innovation before we go mucking around with that.
6:20PM "The competition for jobs is real." I had a comment, but the left-right-left skull-metronome made me forget it. Sorry.
6:21PM This is, without a doubt, the most American speech he's ever given. Upbeat, optimistic, reverent of our past. But I have a bad feeling his prescriptions will be... less so.
6:22PM We need to out-everything the rest of the world. Including, I suppose, out-tax and out-regulate.
6:23PM Yep. Here it come. No one can predict what the next great invention will be -- but we'll target investments, anyway. "Cognitive dissonance" is a phrase without meaning in our nation's capital.
6:25PM "This is our nation's Sputnik moment." OK, fine. Let's have a government with the size and scope of the one JFK left us. We'll have many Sputnik moments.
6:26PM For over 200 years, Americans have opened their factories with government checks. FIFY, Mr. President.
6:27PM Biofuels! While food prices soar. Lovely. It'll be very skinny people driving those million electric cars.
6:27PM And... the obligatory dig at oil companies.
6:29PM "If we want to win the future... we must win the race to educate our kids." So true. Will he be willing to take on social promotion, PC classrooms, or teacher unions?
6:31PM Replace NCLB? Great! The question remains, however: With what?
6:33PM "We want good schools all across the country." Again, I love this stuff. The question remains: How to get them? And his answer is: "Give lots more respect to these rent-seeking, over-insured, lavishly-entitled, PC automatons."
6:34PM Savings for affordable college! Wait -- what?
6:35PM If you're unemployed, take a student loan. Yes, exactly, Mr. President. That's how we'll regain our competitiveness.
6:36PM Apropos of nothing, Boehner's Gabby ribbon is now horizontal.
6:37PM Apparently, mouthing the words of the Pledge of Allegiance is good enough for citizenship. Sweet. I'm a citizen like 12,000 times already.
6:38PM China is building newer airports, it's true. Their first one was built circa 1987.
6:40PM "We'll make sure this is fully paid for." "80% of Americans access to high-speed rail." Look at a map. Impossible. He's just gone from optimistic to silly. Outlandishly so.
6:41PM Wait -- we need government "investments" to invent the Kindle and the iPhone 4?
6:42PM Lower corporate tax rates? Excellent. But meaningless without a corresponding reduction in nanny-statism.
6:42PM The call for tax reform is a good one, but might just be a decoy to keep congress from undoing the damage of the last two years.
6:43PM Don't we have free trade agreements with numerous countries he's been ignoring for two years?
6:44PM AHHH! WAXMAN CLOSEUP! AAHHHHHHH!
6:45PM "Anything can be improved," in regards to Obamacare. Then why the rush to pass it? OK, he'll trade the 1099-MISC requirement -- but for what? Anything?
6:47PM I'm a parent. I care about my kids. But since when did keeping our kids dependent until their mid-20s count as good parenting?
6:47PM OK, here come the spending cuts... [CRICKETS]
6:49PM Freeze domestic spending for five years. That would freeze it at current levels. That's not a cut. That's not savings. That's locking in four years of orgiastic spending.
Oh, except for some military cuts he finds "painful." Boo-hoo.
6:50PM Don't cut our investments! They're investments! I swear! Listen: If you want investments, then stop taxing investors so much and let them do their thing.
6:51PM "Further reducing health care costs." I have no comment, I am so full of disgust.
6:52PM Excuse me, Mr President? How did you vote on Social Security reform last time it was offered up?
6:52PM Re: My comment about not taxing investors so much? I do believe the President just promised to "tax you bastards back to the Stone Age."
6:54PM "Let me take this one step further." Nooooooooooo! He wants a "government of the future." In other words: Al Gore on David Letterman wearing comical goggles, smashing an ashtray with a hammer. And that was so long ago, Letterman was still funny.
That's you're government of the future.
6:56PM "We'll cut through red tape," just as soon as my blue-ribbon commission on red-tape disposal has file the appropriate report, approved by Congress and implemented by the EPA's red-tape burial office.
6:57PM The liberal dreams of a government that is "open and competent." The conservative knows it just won't happen.
6:58PM "America's standing has been restored," as I take credit for Bush policies.
7:00PM This is a strange way to end the speech. He had his high notes at the beginning, a muddle in the middle (with apologies to Dr. Seuss) and an off-putting foreign policy bit at the end -- complete with a call not to shoot up no Muslims? I take it back -- this is a strange speech, overall.
7:02PM This is a strange way to end the speech. He had his high notes at the beginning, a muddle in the middle (with apologies to Dr. Seuss) and an off-putting foreign policy bit at the end -- complete with a call not to shoot up no Muslims? I take it back -- this is a strange speech, overall.
7:02PM So -- the drawdown begins in Affghanistan this summer. Even though results are mixed, at best. I was wary of the surge there, but this drawdown is... the worst kind of mixed signal.
7:03PM We're gonna be allies with El Salvador!
7:03PM Screw you, China. We've got El Salvador! In March. Maybe.
7:04PM We stand with Tunisia! Not with Iran's protestors, so much. But screw you, China -- we've got Tunis. Maybe. Unless they remember Iran.
7:05PM Clinton's SOTU speeches were much longer, but they ended sooner.
7:06PM We have Hindu troops. GAY Hindus. Screw you, China!
7:07PM Sorry. Got a little slaphappy there.
Although his call on his alma mater to allow ROTC strikes me as empty, at best.
7:08PM We're ending on a positive note by refuting Thomas Friedman. This is a pretty big twist -- for the .01% of Americans who know about the Friedman column in question.
7:10PM "I AM the American dream, b****es!"
Sorry -- getting slaphappy again. Still, nice props to Biden & Boehner.
7:11PM Every time he gets them whipped up, he kills his own momentum. It's a very strange speech.
7:13PM "We do big things, the idea of America endures, our destiny remains our choice." So long as our choice is DC's choice.
That's what I got out of this speech.
How about you?
7:43PM I'll host the Trifecta wrap up live on PJTV in just a couple minutes.
Yes, in my current condition -- why do you ask?
7:51PM One more thing: Michele Bachmann is showing Paul Ryan how it's done.
Good on ya, CNN, for showing us this.