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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Can I Get an Amen?

A little laundry list of things:

  1. “It’s now safe to return to the bars of Denver.” That sounds suspiciously like a call for a Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash. To take place on February 18. At an as yet undecided location.

    Or am I reading a little too much into that? Either way, this might be a good time to start RSVPing.
  2. The State of the Union address? A decent speech very well delivered with a few really punchy lines about things I like (line item veto and a pretty tough line directed at Hamas), a few oblique references to things I don’t (general opposition to gay marriage and, it would seem, more than enough spending increases to counter his proposed spending cuts), and a new line of attack on entitlement reform that just might have reinvigorated me for the fight. SOTU addresses aren’t meant to be much more than broad strokes, so this worked well within that context.
  3. The Democrat’s response was even less convincing although delivered as well as any response in recent history. Which is clearing a mighty low hurdle, I have to admit.
  4. Flipping through the cable stations after the speech, I was amused to find Cooper Anderson talking to Arianna Huffington and Andrew Sullivan. A big, bold graphic proclaimed “BLOGGERS REACT” (although it could have been “REACTION"--can’t remember). So, take one foaming at the mouth hard left blogger and one left-leaning (except for his moments of inconsistent hawkishness) writer with a serious and severe dislike of Bush, and there’s your blogger response to the SOTU address. You know: because it’s balanced that way. When Anderson asked if anyone would remember this speech in two weeks, it was utterly hilarious to see two people with such obvious axes to grind stumble over themselves to tell us all just how poor the speech was. And some news execs wonder why the public believes that the news is delivered with a leftist bias.
  5. Tonight, while working on a couple of projects, I’ll be watching Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josey Wales. Good stuff. Gritty, dirty, brutal, bloody, and dark.
  6. Cindy Sheehan is afforded an opportunity to act with dignity and self-restraint; instead she martyrs herself at the altar of her self-obsessed attack on US policy. Without asking her to tone down her rhetoric, I would just note that as soon as the speech was over, she would have had ample opportunity and ample media interest to deliver her own, personal rebuttal. Instead she chose to make an ass out of herself; all it would have taken was one hour of realizing that the spotlight wasn’t going to be on her. The fringe will glory in recounting her oppression; the rest of the country will shrug and wonder why she couldn’t be bothered to act like a grown-up for one evening.
  7. For a good chunk of 2005, the left was gleefully looking forward to a Republican self-immolation. And they sort of got their wish. For the GOP, 2005 wasn’t precisely a banner year. Between rising energy costs, a start-stop stock market that helps to define public opinion of the economy, both good and bad news in the war on terror, corruptions scandals, and a President who couldn’t pull off the most important parts of his own agenda, there has been an opportunity for the Democrats to make headway. Instead, the Democrats have whined their way into being liked even less than Republicans and their activist base--the true believers in the divinity of Kos, for example--are threatening to splinter off since not all of the Democrats were willing to go to war over Alito.

    Amazingly, after such a rough year for the GOP, it’s the Democrats who look like they’re on the run, not the Republicans. Amazing.
  8. Though she doesn’t manage to show even a drop of class or understanding of proper context for her protest, I still don’t think that Sheehan should have been arrested.
  9. Madrugada’s The Deep End. That’s an album all y’all rock fans should own. The best CD you’ve probably never heard of from a band that I’m really starting to love.
  10. What I really don’t get is the Democrat’s backslapping ovation on their own obstructionist tendencies in reference to Social Security reform. Here’s the fact: Social Security (and all of our big, scary entitlement programs) are a serious growing threat to the long-term well being of our country. There should be no celebrating the fact that we couldn’t find the right solution to the problem, there should be a renewed interest in finding the right solution and a disappointment that we couldn’t create the right framework for attacking the problem. Seriously, folks, our growing entitlement spending is as big a problem (and, arguably, it qualifies as a national security issue) as radical Islamic terrorists. It doesn’t have the immediate sense of threat, I admit, but the problem grows more and more difficult to handle with each passing year.

    Unchecked, the bill that comes due over the next few decades could bring this country to its knees more surely than another terrorist attack of 9/11 proportions. It could make us into a younger version of Germany or France and reduce us to standing on the sidelines as even younger, more vigorous economies and political powers shape the future of the globe. Unemployment will rise along with inflation while our political influence plummets. Now is the time to find solutions.

    So, yeah, that celebration of failure is a little disconcerting.

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