George Bush is that kind of boyfriend.

You know the kind. His State of the Union was the classic doghouse speech.

"Don't worry, baby, it'll all be different from now on." ... "Let's not fight about what's in the past - we've got a great future together." ... "I only followed you on your night out with the girls because I love you." ... "I promise I'll do things to show how much I love you from now on." ... "Please, baby, stop being angry at me." ... "Don't think about how I used to be, I realize now that I have to change." ... "Why can't we go back to the way it was in the beginning?"

As a disclaimer, I didn't see the entire thing. About a quarter of the way in, some important stuff came up and I had to go. I've since read the speech and avoided all spin and commentary.

By and large, the speech seemed to be meaningless platitudes. The kool-aid drinkers will take it hook, line, and sinker (they always will) but the rest of the population will see it for what it is. The President can claim the economy is good, but if you can't pay your bills, you aren't buying it. The president can claim that free trade is a good thing, but if your job just got outsourced to India, you might disagree. Bush can claim his tax cuts have made our economy better, but if you're feeling the pinch, taking him at his word is unlikely. His railings on Social Security and tort reform seem a bit like old news...

Hybrids and new technology will reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 75% by 2025? Um, thanks for the wishful thinking, George. Same for the 100,000 teachers in Math and Science. Great ideas, don't get me wrong. You'll forgive me if I don't think they'll actually see the light of day. If you actually do make them happen I'll give $5 to the RNC. I swear. Same goes for the Gulf Coast Recovery Efforts. I'm sorry if I don't take you at your word. Promising aid isn't enough. I want to see you actually provide some of it.

Bush also gave recognition to his new Supreme Court Justices and Alan Greenspan. He even touched on the ethical scandals in Washington. All fluff, no real substance.

So, a largely harmless speech that will provide a small and temporary bump in the polls, right? No. As has become a Bush tradition, there was a 'Big Lie' tucked in there too.

"So to prevent another attack -- based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute -- I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected Al Qaida operatives and affiliates to and from America.

Previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have and federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed."

All of those claims are as false as the Niger Yellow Cake claims. Other presidents tapped international phone calls, but they got warrants because the Constitution does not provide for a president breaking laws he finds inconvenient.

Oh, and one more thing... There was an arrest made IN THE HOUSE CHAMBER in the minutes before the Speech. Seems Cindy Sheehan, who was invited had the audacity to wear a shirt with the number of soldiers killed in Iraq on it. One more example of Free Speech squelched by the Bush Administration. (SEE UPDATE 3)

Short entry for an important speech. Probably more to come as it sinks in.

UPDATE 1: 1:01 pm

The LA Times has a great article on Bush's "stretch" to defend his warrantless spying. The meat of the article:

Defending the surveillance program as crucial in a time of war, Bush said that "previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority" that he did. "And," he added, "federal courts have approved the use of that authority." [...]

However, warrantless surveillance within the United States for national security purposes was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972 -- long after Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt stopped issuing orders. That led to the 1978 passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that Bush essentially bypassed in authorizing the program after the Sept. 11 attacks. [...]

Bush's historical reference on domestic spying marked one of several points in his speech in which he backed up assertions with selective uses of fact, or seemed to place a positive spin on his own interpretation. [...]

The president also seemed to ignore Supreme Court precedent when he called for Congress to give him the "line item veto." But Congress did that once, in 1996, and it was used once, by former President Clinton. But in 1998, a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional. That was affirmed by a 6-3 decision of the Supreme Court.

UPDATE 2: 9:02 am Thursday

It seems that the whole increase research in alternative energy thing was a lie. (SHOCK!) The New York Times is reporting that "The Energy Department will begin laying off researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the next week or two because of cuts to its budget." If that's how Bush encourages alternative energy research, I'd hate to see what he'd do to discourage it.

UPDATE 3: 3:26 pm Thursday
CNN is now reporting that the ejection of Cindy Sheehand and also the wife of Congressman Young were both unfairly removed without legal cause. No laws were broken.

On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said neither woman should have been removed from the chamber. "We made a mistake,"

Lets see how many right-wing bloggers or noise machine pseudo-pundits apologize.

UPDATE 4: 8:58 am Friday
This should probably be its own post. I'll add it to the bottom of something else, but post it here too. Paul Krugman has a great reaction to the speech in his NYTimes column, reproduced here without the Times Select Cost involved.

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