It’s 6:59pm Mountain, so we’re ready to start. And when I say that, I mean, “We’ve had a couple-three pitchers of beer.”
7:00pm Andy is liveblogging, too.
7:02pm Dick Cheney looks stiffer than usual. They up his meds?
7:03pm Comments closed on this post. Use the Open Comments thread below.
7:04pm It dawns on me maybe I should’ve peed before we left.
7:06pm Good applause, but you can bet a lot of the folks in there are clapping because he’s a lame duck.
7:09pm First impression: It’s a sea of red ties.
7:11pm Nice intro mentioning all the free elections going on — but, let’s be honest, the PA reference was a bit of a stretch.
7:13pm No holds barred, Bush dropped the S-bomb (Social Secuirty, if only by inference) right at the opening bell.
7:14pm Boilerplate time. Job growth, economic growth, hope for the future, etc. This will go on for a couple minutes, so it’s probably safe to make use of the men’s room. Back in a flash.
7:15pm Community colleges in a SOTU address? This reminds me of last year’s silly SOTU talk about that pressing Federal issue — steroids.
7:16pm We’re into the Laundry List part of the speech, where Bush (or any President) lists all the ways he’s asked Congress to spend money the last 12 months. The Federalist in me cringes.
7:19pm Mmm, ethanol.
7:20pm I swear to Whomever somebody in the Denver Press Club (not a blogger!) just applauded something Bush said, but I was joking with Andy and missed it.
7:22pm Bush just promised to close the borders to bad people, but leave them mostly sort of kind of open to anyone willing to pick lettuce for sub-minimum wage. Run that by me again?
7:23pm “Strengthen and save” social security. Bush just re-triagulated Clinton’s “save social security first” triagulation. Will it work?
7:24pm I’d really, really respect Bush a whole lot here, if he’d just up and admit, “As bad as FDR screwed up Social Security, I’ve *really* screwed the budget on Medicare.”
7:26pm “Social Security is going to go under.” OK, that was a paraphrase, but Bush got booed for speaking the truth. Bad form.
7:26pm Andy has the secret to better liveblogging. “I’m just making shit up,” he tells me.” And I need another beer.
7:27pm Smart, smart, smart. Bush just mentioned three Democrats who endorsed some sensible SS reforms, and which reforms they suggested. Not huge applause, but maybe enough. Powerful politicking there.
7:28pm “Any changes must be gradual…” That’s reassuring for younger folks like me, who look at old age the same way as Methusula.
7:30pm “The goal here is greater security in retirement.” Now, that’s just not true. Greater opportunity? Yes. But that always always always entails greater risk. (Of course, the risk of SS going broke is even greater. You play the hand you’re dealt.)
7:32pm Hoo-boy. Yes, I agree that marriage shouldn’t be “redefined by activist judges.” It is, however, already being redefined by millions of gay couples who are, for all intents, already married. Now the law just needs to catch up to the reality.
7:33pm So, no selling kidneys of aborted fetuses to gay couples. Or did I conflate a few things?
7:35pm “Every nominee deserves an up or down vote.” But they won’t get one, no matter what. That’s part of the process. The Dems have, in some cases, abused that, but not enough people care enough to apply enough pressure to change things. And getting rid of the filibuster would be a solution worse than the problem.
7:36pm “Reauthorize the Ryan White Act.” Nothing wrong there.
7:38pm Bush is no country club Republican when he talks about race. The man sounds sincere, and sincerely concerned. You might not agree with his policies, but you can’t fault his honesty.
7:39pm Bush promises that we’ll pass along all our freedoms to our children. Is he about to call for the repeal of the PATRIOT ACT?
7:40pm Finally, a little GWOT talk. I’m prepared (with a martini now) for Hoo-Ya! Mode.
7:41pm “…support our military, and give them the tools for victory.” I know I’m supposed to be a deficit hawk, but some money just has to be spent, dammit.
7:42pm “My Administration continue to build the coalitions…” Take THAT, Franco-German obstructionists!
7:44pm Bush really is at his best talking Wilsonian talk about spreading freedom and opposing tyranny. I always thought Wilson was a muddle-headed fool (and in practice, he probably was), but 9/11 changed me. Added: “The advancement of freedom will lead to peace.” Amen, brother.
7:46pm Bush is talking nice about the PA, and things there do look improved. But Palestine is a case of “blow me up once, shame on you; blow me up twice, shame on me.” It’ll be a good while – and a lot of good deeds – before the PA can be trusted.
7:48pm Ah, we’re on Iran, where Bush can pin some of the blame on our Euroallies. Seriously, though, we have to get serious about the mullahs. Maybe we are. Bush says to Iran: “As you stand for liberty, we stand with you.”
7:50pm “The victory of freedom in Iraq…” will help bring victory in the GWOT. Why is that such a difficult thing for some people to see?
7:51pm “Mortar fire on election day…” Puts things in perspective, don’t it?
7:52pm Did I say “mmm, ethanol” already? Anyway, mine is in the form of a very icy Citron Martini. Yum.
7:53pm Bush’s Reaganesque pull-one-out-of-the-crowd moment tonight was a fine one. Either you saw it, and you know what I mean, or you missed it, and my words couldn’t do it justice. Let’s just say there was a purple finger involved.
7:54pm “We will succeed in Iraq, because the Iraqis are willing to fight for their own freedom.” Well, the jury is still out on that one, but got a big boost forward on Sunday.
7:55pm Right now, it sounds like Bush is winding up long and slow to announce a VERY limited troop withdrawal.
7:57pm Nope, nothing on that yet. Instead, no “artificial timetable.” And to that I say: Good. Telling the bad guys when you’ll leave tells them just how long they need to keep their heads down.
7:58pm Bush is praising the troops, and I can’t think of a president who did it better, ever. No wonder they love this guy. For all his faults (read the first hour of liveblogging), Bush knows the troops, and they know him.
8:00pm If you’re not tearing up a little right now, you’re not watching. Again, words fail. Back in 90 seconds.
8:02pm Maybe it’s just what every President does, but Bush is hauling out another FDR quote. Looking for some bipartisanship?
8:03pm About 54 minutes – under an hour. All we have left is the Democratic response. Pelosi will be doing half of it again, so expect hillarity to ensue.