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Thursday, February 3, 2005
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Not a Laundry List?

By Steven Taylor @ 11:27 am

I am listening to Limbaugh’s response to the SOTU (he thinks it Bush’s best speech ever). He started the show by stating that it wasn’t your typical laundry list of government programs. Did I hallucinate last night, or wasn’t the first half of the speech chock full of government programs and spending?

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The Blogger’s Lament

By Steven Taylor @ 11:24 am

Between some oversleeping and a meeting this morning, I have blogged nothing to this point. Now I feel out of touch and out the loop. What has been said today? Will blogging 4 or so hours later than usual mean that I am coming to the day’s news too late? Oh, the torrid speed of information in the internet age!

Perhaps I should just wait and see what’s on Nightline….

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Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Nightie Night

By Steven Taylor @ 9:51 pm

Well, he seems to be getting good reviews (better than I expected). However, I am tired some am shutting down.

More tomorrow.

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The Rebuttal

By Steven Taylor @ 9:45 pm

I hate the opposition rebuttal

I hate it when my guy wins
I hate it when its my guy who spins
I hate it cause it’s a huge bore
I hate it each year more and more

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  • Wizbang linked with On The Democratic Response
SOTU: Wrap-up

By Steven Taylor @ 9:19 pm

It was a fairly pedestrian speech, although it certaily contained some significant policy issues, although nothing especially new on those topics.

It was too a laundry list (which is not unusual for SOTUs, but this one seemd especially listy, at least for Bush).

The delivery was fine and I can’t fault the writing. While I understand the political reasons for doing so, leading with domestic policy and then going to foreign policy seemed stylistically odd for this president. I think this was better than last year’s speech, if memory serves.

As for Taylor’s Iron Law of Political Speeches, I am not sure what the key sound bites will be at this point.

More wrap-ups:

  • James Joyner.
  • Glenn Reynolds was quite impressed, stating “Bush’s best speech ever” which strikes me as a bit of a stretch. The latter half was superior to the first. I agree with Glenn that the President seems quite comfortable.
  • Ann Althouse: “Generally, I think Bush sounds strong and confident, giving one of his better performances.”

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  • Villainous Company linked with LiveBlogging The State Of The Union Address
SOTU VII: The Foreign Policy Part

By Steven Taylor @ 9:13 pm

It took the foreign policy portion, towards the very end, before there was any good rhetoric. Not surprising, I guess. Of course, it was mostly re-run-ish from the inaugural.

Bush is simply more poetic and seems more sure of his general vision when it comes to the foreign policy side of the coin.

I liked this part:

One of Iraq’s leading democracy and human rights advocates is Safia Taleb al-Suhail. She says of her country, “we were occupied for 35 years by Saddam Hussein. That was the real occupation. … Thank you to the American people who paid the cost … but most of all to the soldiers.” Eleven years ago, Safia’s father was assassinated by Saddam’s intelligence service. Three days ago in Baghdad, Safia was finally able to vote for the leaders of her country — and we are honored that she is with us tonight.

Certainly the part about Sargent Norwood was the most remarkable portion of the evening-especially since the President himself appeared to be tearing up and the embrace between Mrs. Norwood and Ms. al-Suhail was quite remarkable in its symbolism.

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SOTU VI: The List

By Steven Taylor @ 9:05 pm

This SOTU is living up to the adage that the speech is often nothing but a laundry list of items that the President wants. Further, it seems to lack a coherent theme.

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  • Truth. Quante-fied. linked with SOTU Live!
SOTU V: Gay Marriage

By Steven Taylor @ 8:59 pm

The marriage amendment statement strikes me as a pander, because he has to know that it has no shot. He may well believe in it, but there is no way that it is going to pass 2/3rds of either chamber, let alone both.

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By Steven Taylor @ 8:54 pm

Some observations:

  • He did a pretty good job of explaining the problem without too much “crisis-ese":
    Social Security was created decades ago, for a very different era. In those days people didn’t live as long, benefits were much lower than they are today, and a half century ago, about 16 workers paid into the system for each person drawing benefits. Our society has changed in ways the founders of Social Security could not have foreseen. In today’s world, people are living longer and therefore drawing benefits longer — and those benefits are scheduled to rise dramatically over the next few decades. And instead of 16 workers paying in for every beneficiary, right now it’s only about three workers — and over the next few decades, that number will fall to just two workers per beneficiary. With each passing year, fewer workers are paying ever-higher benefits to an ever-larger number of retirees.

    So here is the result: Thirteen years from now, in 2018, Social Security will be paying out more than it takes in. And every year afterward will bring a new shortfall, bigger than the year before. For example, in the year 2027, the government will somehow have to come up with an extra 200 billion dollars to keep the system afloat — and by 2033, the annual shortfall would be more than 300 billion dollars. By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt. If steps are not taken to avert that outcome, the only solutions would be drastically higher taxes, massive new borrowing, or sudden and severe cuts in Social Security benefits or other government programs.

    Of course the bankruptcy date will be contested.

  • The booing/harumphing from the opposition almost sounded like the House of Commons.
  • The litany of Democrats who had Social Security reform ideas was a smart idea.

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By Steven Taylor @ 8:40 pm

If you you thought that the second inaugural was too broad, overly visionary and lacked details, you should be loving this speech. So far it is a rather looong list of details.

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Other SOTU Blogging

By Steven Taylor @ 8:28 pm

The always entertaining Stephen Green is live blogging also.

As is Andrew Sullivan.

James Joyner was, but the computer ate his homework.

Also: Truth. Quante-fied.

Kevin Drum live-blogged as well.

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SOTU: The Speech Itself

By Steven Taylor @ 8:27 pm

Read ahead if you like: Full text of 2005 State of the Union speech

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By Steven Taylor @ 8:24 pm

What’s that state?

“Confident and strong.”

I am always curious as to what adjectives the Pres(any Pres) will use. Those’ll work.

And while I am for SS reform, I am still not sure that the crisis line of attack is the way to go (i.e., the “what will the state of the union be for our chidlren” bit).

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By Steven Taylor @ 8:22 pm

Nice opening line about the elections in Afghanistan, Palestine, Ukraine and Iraq-fits well with the second inaugural.

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