Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Ashley Pearson believes in you

Just one subject this time. Random thoughts on the State of the Union address:

Bush came out against steroids. I’m hoping some enterprising reporter asks my governor about this. And oh for fuck’s sake $23m for drug testing students. And he wants athletes to pee into cups to show children that there is “no short-cut to accomplishments.” Bush’s entire resume consists of short-cuts to accomplishments.

No Child Left Behind is “common sense.” Isn’t common sense what ignorant people like Bush claim to have?

He says when we next see someone in uniform, we should say thank you. A stripper in a cop uniform, for example. A member of the Village People. Hello sailor.

The D response, going on as I write this, is so tame that you have to wonder why Dean’s “anger” has been so castigated.

No mention of Osama, of course. Afghanistan is mostly mentioned in terms of women’s rights, which we know are fast going into the toilet. And WMDs? “We are seeking all the facts - already the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations. Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day.” A bit of a step down from previous claims, but still claiming too much.

Speaking of programs that won’t go anywhere, he didn’t mention Mars. He did mention the immigration thing. Maybe they can work on building those hydrogen cars he promised in the last State of the Union message.

He wants all the tax cuts made permanent, of course. If not, “millions of families will be charged $300 more in Federal taxes for every child.” I didn’t even know there was a tax on children, is that like a dog license? Similarly, the semi-fictitious “marriage penalty” morphs in this speech into a “tax on marriage.”

When Bush talked about marriage being “one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization,” CNN’s cameras went to a nun. “The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God's sight.” Unless you count excluding gays from “one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization.”

Presumably they’re also excluded from fucking. Shrub wants to double abstinence spending “so schools can teach this fact of life: abstinence for young people is the only certain way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.” I like the phrase “this fact of life,” which admits the programs will ignore the actual facts of life. Also, it’s not even a fact, unless rape has been magically eliminated. Just sayin’. “All of us - parents, schools, government - must work together to counter the negative influence of the culture, and to send the right messages to our children.” So “the culture” has nothing to do with parents, schools and government?

He will “unleash the compassion” of religious institutions, which may not have known that they were actually leashed (not that that would be a bad idea).

The NYT transcript is wrong about the closing, which is actually his usual, creepy, expanded version: may god continue to bless the USA. And a whole paragraph before about the greater power who guides the unfolding of the years. Dick Clark? Altogether, I think even more religious stuff than usual. And he used the word “character” an awful lot.

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