Thursday, February 03, 2005

State of the Union

It back by my own choice (rather than popular demand or anything), a running blog commentary on a political event . . . in this case, the State of the Union address.

(One note on methodology. In order to get a rough gauge on how much of the speech time is devoted to endless clapping and shouting rather than speechifying, I set a regular digital kitchen timer to 60 minutes. I note when the speech begins and start the timer. Ever time POTUS stops for applause, I stop the timer. When the speech is over, I note the time. I subtract the chronological time elapsed for the speech and subtract the elapsed time according to my kitchen timer. The difference give a rough estimate of applause, in minutes only.)

9:00 Is Peter Jennings reporting from the Blair House or something? It looks awful Victorian with the frilly window shades and such. Come on Peter, that multi-million dollar media center you call a studio in NY isn't good enough? Now that your the BMOC among the anchors, you can do whatever you want?

9:01 The Invisible First Lady appears, wearing baby bluish?

9:02 The Cabinet begins to enter the chamber. (You can't tell anyone without a program.) Random notice #1: When Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton nods, her helmet hairdo bobs vigorously.

9:03 Peter Jennings hints that the First Lady is supposedly going to be put in charge of something this term? I wonder what it might be? Since I don't watch the news much these days, I really don't know what this is going to be.

9:04 POTUS enters the chamber. Note that he is not wearing a crown and sporting an ermine cape.

9:06 There are signs on the seats that read SENATE and HOUSE. Do these yahoos not know where to sit?

9:07 Dennis (Don't Call Me Denny!) Hastert announces the POTUS . . . more applause ensues.

9:08 And . . . start! He comes out swinging with mention of democracy on the march around the world--Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq! Booyah! Booyah! Booyah! (I might have added a booyah.)

9:09 "The state of our union is confident and strong." That's a wrap, good night everybody!

9:12 First view of Senator Hillary Clinton (D, NY). She doesn't look well. Is she still recovering?

9:14 W just made an extremely weird face. His mouth was all lined up and grimacy. Very odd! And then he lashes out with one of the weirdest State of the Union non sequitors I have ever heard . . . frivolous asbestos claims? Can someone give me some background on this one?

9:17 And we have the first "nucyoolur" reference! Plus Cheney's smirky face is already irritating.

9:18 W wants us to be less dependent on foreign energy. Great, but wasn't that why we went to Iraq? Or is Iraq an annexed territory now, so it doesn't count as foreign? Oh, forget it, I'm rambling.

9:22 Somebody find that yahoo that clapped all alone when the W mentioned that "Social Security benefits will rise dramatically in the next decades" and have him thrown out by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

9:23 Longest bit of sustained speech, during W's discussion of the long, slow death of Social Security. Even though the Democrats visibly murmur when he tells them that it will be bankrupt in 2042.

9:27 What is that glow over there? A shining light? Oh, its the first Barack Obama sighting!

9:30 Marriage should not be defined by activist judges. (But it should be defined by me.)

9:33 John Ashcroft certainly agreed with something. I wonder if he will break out is joyous song?

9:34 Awww Yeah! The First Lady is down in the hizzouse, yo! She'll get down in the mean streets and scare those gang bangers straight, my brother, cause she's got the mad skillz, boy! (She's gonna be the one to clean up gangs? Hmmm.)

9:37 First mention of 9/11/01.

9:38 ". . . the al-Qaeda terror network still has leaders" (in Iraq! I shout sarcastically; Tegan chimes in, Yeah, Like Osama! Remember him?)

9:41 the next "noyooclear" reference

9:43 "the U.S. has no intentions of imposing our government on anyone else and want governments that reflect that nation's culture." So, if Iraq sets up an Islamist state, is that okay with you George?

9:44 W mentions Secretary of State Condi Rice, and does NOT call her "my wife."

9:46 Cheney is fidgeting, adjusting his tie, chews his mouth, and apparently considers the bit of bagel still stuck in there from breakfast . . . seriously, is he having problems? Are his clothes not comfortable enough?

The story about the Iraqi woman (special guest of FL Laura Bush in the balcony) that decided to go and vote this past Sunday, even though there were mortars going off. W says that Americans recognize that spirit of freedom.
Do we really? In this country, we roll over and hit the snooze on Election Day. In this country, people decide not to vote if it is raining too hard. That's a good model for democracy.

9:58 Switched off the rest of the speech to watch Smallville, in which Clark's (superpower) secret is revealed to Chloe. His other secret remains safely hidden with Lex.
(See what I mean about not caring about democracy? I'd rather watch a TV show about a teenage Superman.)

During the 50 minutes of speech that I watched, approximately 16 minutes was taken up by clapping, jeering, boisterous "yeah, yeahing," and other partisan vocalizations.

1 comment:

lulu said...

Nicely done, Burb! The ol' spark returns! My props to the wife--bitchin' comment, babe!