State of the Union Live Thread

George Bush's final State of the Union address -- sad isn't it? -- is scheduled to begin shortly -- the cabinet is entering now. It's always painful to watch Bush speak for any extended period of time, but this is a must-watch to see how he intends to frame his final year in office (how are his steroids and switchgrass initiatives going, anyway?) Clearly on his agenda tonight is framing the fight over FISA as the weak (and friends to terrorists) Democrats trying to prevent him from keeping Americans safe. I also expect he'll address the economy -- how's he gonna spin that disaster I wonder? And no doubt he's looking to salvage some sort of legacy out of his disastrous presidency. Following his speech, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius will be giving the Democratic response.

Follow along in the comments.

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Update [2008-1-28 21:4:32 by Todd Beeton]:Christ, MSNBC has let Chris Matthews out of his cage and he literally just said that Bill Clinton is a lucky man because he inherited an economic recovery, which ended just as he was leaving office. He then said that Bush has been "very strong" on the economy. WTF? I know, I know, change the channel. But I was watching Keith.

Update [2008-1-28 21:8:41 by Todd Beeton]:Chris Shays just kissed Bush on the cheek. OK, first of all, what's with the kissing thing anyway, but seriously, he just gave birth to The Kiss: The Sequel! No doubt the Jim Himes campaign is cutting together a video as we speak...

Update [2008-1-28 21:17:38 by Todd Beeton]:If a bill that raises taxes reaches his desk, he will veto it. Oooh, scary. Trying to cast himself as a paragon of fiscal restraint, what a joke. Not even conservatives believe that.

Update [2008-1-28 21:21:9 by Todd Beeton]:Love the shots where the Democrats sit while the Republicans stand and clap. The latest: when Bush said to make healthcare more accessible and affordable: "expand consumer choice versus government interference." Yeah, cuz that's working out so well.

Update [2008-1-28 21:23:20 by Todd Beeton]:Did he seriously just defend No Child Left Behind? Love how he reminded us that it was bi-partisan. Yep, one of the many cases against bi-partisanship, Bush, thanks for making the point.

Update [2008-1-28 21:29:15 by Todd Beeton]:George Bush: champion of science!

Update [2008-1-28 21:30:47 by Todd Beeton]:Did he just say he wants to outlaw the "buying, selling and cloning of human life?"

Update [2008-1-28 21:33:39 by Todd Beeton]:Whoah, Bush just came out as pro-choice! Ohhh, pro-charitable choice. That oldie but goodie. Certainly, one of the more pressing topics of the day.

Update [2008-1-28 21:38:55 by Todd Beeton]:Watching Bush speak just reminds me how little credibility he has on any subject. What's it going to be like to have a president I respect and who's words actually mean something. Looking forward to finding out in a little less than a year.

Update [2008-1-28 21:57:15 by Todd Beeton]:No, dumbass, the invasion of Iraq has already emboldened Iran.

Update [2008-1-28 21:57:15 by Todd Beeton]:If Congress doesn't re-authorize the Protect America Act, "our citizens will be in greater danger." He also got in a shout out to telecom immunity. So that's it? Now he's on to Darfur and Burma. Hmm, strange.

Update [2008-1-28 22:4:49 by Todd Beeton]:Keith: the speech was "George Bush's greatest hits of unfinished symphonies."

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The Truth about John Edwards and New Orleans

From my Katrina blog, The Wayward Episcopalian: Nathan in New Orleans:

"I am very glad that John Edwards highlights New Orleans recovery while the MSM largely ignores it, but a deeper analysis shows that sadly, Edwards is no Gulf Coast champion and neglects the issue almost as much as the media. As of today, the phrases "New Orleans,""Gulf Coast," and "Katrina" do not appear once on his campaign's issue page, blog frontpage, or homepage. In a speech last week here at Dartmouth, Edwards barely mentioned New Orleans - it only got a passing half sentence while he discussed the broader issue of poverty. In his reply to the President's State of the Union address, he does not criticize the President for failing to mention hurricane recovery, and in fact does not even mention the region himself. In post-SOU interviews, Edwards only discussed New Orleans when Cooper directly asked him about it - the issue didn't come up with King or Scarborough... For a man who brought hundreds of student volunteers to the city last spring, this neglect was shocking, unexpected, and depressing."

Visit The Wayward Episcopalian: Nathan in New Orleans for the rest. Yesterday's post dealt with Road Home program, the largest recovery failure. Other posts are reflections on time with the Episcopal Office of Disaster Response.

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The Case Against Cheney

Since day one, we have, for the most part; all assumed that it was the Vice Presidents office that leaked the information about Valarie Plame, violating the federal law that bars the "outing" of intelligence operatives.

Vice President Dick Cheney wrote a memo that effectively confirms his intimate involvement in strategizing about how to counter the inquiry into the Bush administration's politically motivated outing of CIA operative Valarie Plame. This was revealed in the former vice presidential chief of staff "Scooter" Libby's trial on charges of obstructing a federal investigation.

This blatant conspiracy to punish a critic of the Bush administration is just like one of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon in the seventies, who by the way was Dick Cheney's boss at the time. One could say he learned at the knee of the master.

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Son Of Dead 9/11 Cop Asking To Meet With President

Cross-posted from Tort Deform

I feel at this point there has been enough discussion on this blog for readers to understand my critique of the government's response to the environmental effects of Ground Zero, as well as how the city and federal government have allowed and encouraged the unnecessary legal hurdles standing between our heroes and compensation and support.

Indeed, the EPA, at the apparent behest of our Chief Executive, was a major cause of the environmental impact because it falsely stated that Ground Zero was safe for human habitation. The newest story from the Associated Press:

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Bush's SoTU Pushes Ideology at Expense of Middle Class

The think tank I work for - the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy was up late last night working on our annual "Rapid Response" to Bush's the State of the Union address.  Let me tell you-  on the domestic front (which is the area we work on) President Bush's State of the Union address attempted to sell America on a full scale political philosophy; the philosophy that privatization is the answer to everything. Bush is promoting a failed ideological experiment on the backs of struggling Americans.  The President's highly ideological "solutions" refuse to address the core cause of the problems the middle class is facing. I'm thinking that has something to do with how Bush's friends in the oil industry and the healthcare lobby are a huge part of why we have these problems in the first place.

Our response to the State of the Union analyzes the speech from the perspective of what is in the best interest of America's middle class and those struggling to become middle class.  We highlight specific lines from Bush's address and offer policy information, stats and facts providing an analytic counterpoint to his proposals.

Here's some highlights from our response that show how the President's proposals are not going to cut it.

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