Tired and hurting

Not to mention tired of hurting. (What a difference a preposition makes.)

The weather has been agreeably warm for February - instead of the bone-chilling cold and rain we had last year, this appears to be a La Niña effect, with highs in the upper 70s, even into the low 80s. That just means we’ve got MEGA amounts of fruit from our trees (lemons, grapefruit and oranges), and I’m having a tough time getting rid of all of it.

But I’ve had three ‘Migraine Days’ in the last week exactly at the time that there has been an upsurge in demands on my time.

One thing I have noticed, though, is a MASSIVE upswing of visits, and I finally figured out why - the link to the Bareback Mountin’ parody. Apparently I’ve migrated to the very top of the list when people go Googling for the string “brokeback squadron”. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m not looking a Trojan in the mouth. Especially if he claims to be hung like a horse.

(Or something like that...)

Anyhow, if I take enough medicine that I don’t hurt, I have a tough time tracking mentally. If I don’t, I just… hurt. Visit some of the excellent livejasmine blogs and other websites in the column over there on the left, and I’m gonna rest up for a little while until I find something to rant about.

More Constitutional Thoughts

What would you say to the idea that anyone receiving any government assistance - which does not include Social Security Disability, retirement or veteran’s benefits - should not be allowed to vote in any elections for however long they receive such assistance.

By “governmental assistance”, I’m talking about HUD rental subsidies, welfare, food stamps and the like.

The reason is simple: those who are receiving benefits should have no say in how the laws are written (including a say in choosing those who write the laws).

Now, I’m not saying this should be a permanent thing, just to last for however long they are receiving that free sex chat assistance. If they ever become a productive member of society again, then they get that voice back.

What do you think?

The State of The Unions

Well...it’s 8:41 PM, and I’m getting things ready for the liveblogging. Two short thoughts that I wanted to share.

(NOTE: The bulk of the liveblogging post has been moved below the fold. Hit the “Read More” icon to, well, read more.)

First, that this POTUS is great at giving relatively short speeches....his predecessor was so f-ing long winded, I could never do this. Secondly, I’ve been watching an A&E special on Flight 11 (Atta’s plane on 9-11) and it’s putting me in a mood that will not serve liberals well.

The beer is Michalob Ultra. I’ll post here, then back up the liveblogging commentary into the ‘Read More’ zone. Updates will hopefully be timestamped...depends on how fast the President speaks.

I’m going to listen to the speech on streaming audio (610 WTVN)....maybe catch it via video over C-Span, if I’m lucky.

8:45--looks like the video feed is working OK....I have the TV as a backup, though. Beer time. If you want to make a comment, I will be sure to check those and post them as I can, or answer them if I need to. I also put out e-mails to Polipundit, Glenn Reynolds, Michelle Malkin, Ed Morrissey, and John Hawkins. Let’s see if they can be so kind as to send a few readers our way.

8:52--Oh, Yeah, Michelle Malkin comes through huge!!!! Smart, Classy Conservative.

8:54: Some quick thoughts. GWB has to come in here and be clear, plain, and optimistic. He seems to get better in these situations....usually right when he needs to. A clutch hitter is what they call that. He needs to come out firm on Iran (and informative on Iran....tell us why they are a threat, and what his plan is), he needs to give us an update on Iraq, what is going right in the War on Terror, and how the economy is. Other than that, I would really like to see the fiscal conservative make a showing tonight....we need controls put on spending, and he needs to take the lead....because his conservative base is pretty darn tired of the spending.

8:58: The cohort of reps and senators that will be escorting the President in is being introduced....why? Is this a pat on the back?

More thoughts.....yeah, conservative governance, strong military, and firm plans for the coming year. GWB is leaning precariously close to beconming another 2nd Term lame duck...he needs to get his political feet back underneath him, and tonight can go a long way towards doing that.

9:01--Here come the Justices of SCOTUS....who’s the new guy with the glasses? Heh......is John Kerry applauding? In fact, it looked as if 30% of the room was standing shock still......

9:05--Come on, people, quit glad-handing and have a seat.

9:08--Here comes the President. Ijust read over at Captain’s Quarters that Cindy Sheehan is in attendance? I also read there that she was arrested. ??? Anyone out there that can confirm or deny that she was arrested? I know she’s at the SOTU. All the way from Venezuela......

9:10--Blue tie....calm strength. As always. This guy has a lot of blue ties. At 9:11, the President asks Hastart to hit the gavel, and he does...if only to get another round of applause going.....

9:12--First off...Coretta Scott King tribute. Saw that coming. Good applause for that.

9:14--Addressing the tone in Washington. “Tonight, the State of the Union is strong, and we will keep it strong together on Jasminlive.mobi.” Now, listing the choices between moving forward, and retreating. Protectionism and reactivity leads to decline, so we must continue to lead.

9:15--Now describing the reasons behind terrorist attacks, and how dictatorships aid terrorisms. In 1945, there were two dozen democracies, and now there are 122. Mentioning elections in Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan. Mentions Syria, Iran, N. Korea, and Burma by name as dictatorships.

9:17--Moves onto radical Islam. Calls OBL a ‘character’, and speaks about their aims. Talks about terrorists using fear via beheadings and bombings. They have miscalculated. We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it.

9:19--We cannot find security in retreating to our own country. The battle would follow us here. If we leave the world to fend for itself, we show everyone that we do not believe in the ideals we expose. we will never retreat, and never surrender to evil. I guess Murtha’s been addressed....America rejects the false security of isolationism. we are responding to the historical call to liberate the oppressed. We are on the offensive against terror, in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are helping Iraq biuld a representative government, rebuilding the economy and infrastructure, and training the Iraqis. we are proud to be their allies in the cause of freedom.

9:22--Iraq has gone from tyranny to a constitutional government in three years. We are winning, and we are in this fight to win. As usual, GWB is best on the foreign policy/WoT items so far.

9:24--This road to victory is our road home. Those decisions will be made by our military leaders, not by poiticians in DC. Another glaning shot at Murtha. We have adjusted our strategy, and listened to advice from all sides. There is a difference in defeatism and advice. Second guessing and defeatism are not sound strategies to win. People should speak in candor, but withdrawal would be a disaster for Iraq and Afghanistan. However we feel about this war, we must keep our word, finish the job, and stand behind our military. Direct hit on the Murthanites and defeatists.

9:26: Marine SSGT Dan Clay: “I know what honor is.....it has been an honor to serve and protect all of you.....don’t hesitate to honor those who protect what is worth protecting.” His mom, dad, and sister are there. GWB is choked up. Note Laura and an Iraqi woman that are there in front of the family.

9:27--We are grateful to all the miltary personnel, and we should remember the sacrifice of the military families.

9:28--Best way to end terror is to spread liberty and representative governments. Elected governments need to must work for stability for those who put them into office. Refers to Hamas and Palestine....says Hamas must recognize Israel and must begin true negotiations. Moves on to explain that Middle Eastern democracy will be different than ours, but it is still the only way they will be able to move forward.

9:30--Iran now....the nations ofthe world must not let Iran gain nuclear weapons. Finally, we are moving towards a full explanation of his Iranian policy. People of Iran....we respect you, and your freedom. We look forward to the day where we can be friends with a democratic Iran. That’s it? Looks like GWB is going to stand fast on this....he’s guarding his flanks on the issue.

9:32--Moving on to helping those poor in other parts of the world, and Bush is tying it in to isolationism, and how isolationism will hurt people around the world by stifling our ability and presence. He is moving on to the Patriot Act via a segue into first responders and fighting terror at home. Now, he is moving on to the wire-tapping situation....he has authorized the program to monitor calls out to foreign terrorists. This has been cleared by lawyers, and members of Congress were debriefed. The program has helped. We need to know if people in this country are speaking to terrorists, so we don’t get hit again.

9:36--We cannot withdrawal from our international leadership. Presidents of the past recognized this. In this war, presidents of the present and future must have the backing of Congress. Bush asks the Congress to stand with him as America fights terrorism and leads the world in this war.

9:38--Now to the economy. Our economy has produced more jobs in the laast 4 years than Japan and the EU combined. We are growing, but we can’t get complacent. People that say that we should isolate ourselves, or make the government take a larger role, are wrong. people that stand against immigration are wrong. These are forms of economic retreat...Bush has a better path. Americans should not fear their economic future. We should grow our economy. The tax relief we passed has put $881 billion back in the hands of the citizens. This relief is posed to expire. If it does, it will be like a large tax increase. Make the tax cuts permanent.

9:41--The budget will cut 140 bad or underperforming programs The deficit will be cut in half by 2009 (not enough....ed. note) Now to earmark reform. Way to address this? Pass the line item veto.....if only he’d use it......

9:42--Mandatory spending cuts. Baby Boomer retirement (great joke there about him and Clinton). The benefits to them will equal 60% of the budget. Congress did not act to save Social Security (cheers from Democrats...even that sounded weak as water) and the situation is doing nothing but getting worse. We need to form a commission and offer bipartisan solutions. Put aside partisanship and solve this problem. Boy, the Dems looked bad there.....sheesh...and a commission? Proof that the Prez got beat the heck up on this last year.

9:44--To remain competative, we need to keep markets open. Free markets. Moving to immigration. We need a policy that benefits America, and the economy. We need safer and better defenders. We need a visa and amnesty program that is humane. Weak cheers for that.

9:46--We need to make sure we have health care for those who cannot afford it. We will make the system more responsive via tech and streamlining. We will work on improving medical savings accounts. He asks for Congress to pass medical liability reform this year.

9:48--America is addicted to oil. Best way to break this addiction is technology. We are on the threshold of great advancements. 22% increase in Dept. of Energy research $$...pushing alternatives to oil-based energy. More research for hydrogen, ethanol, and make it (ethanol) practical within 6 years. Goal is to reduce oil imports by 75%, and make our dependance on Middle eastern oil a thing of the past. Sounds pretty confident.

9:50--American Competitiveness Initiative, to keep us competitive in education and progress. Double $$ for sciences (nanotechnology, for example). Tax credits for scientific development and innovation. That makes sense in a capitalist society..pay people for their invention. Children need to be pushed towards the sciences....classes need to be rigorus and challenging. If we insure that our children succeed in life, they will insure that we succeed in the world.

9:53--American greatness is not only measured in what we have, but by how we treat each other. Welfare cases have dropped by 50%. Teenage births have been falling for 12 years on a row. There is a quiet trend here...a rise of personal conscience. Everyone here has a right to be proud of this record.

9:54--A little note: This SOTU is all about America engagement and leadership.

9:56: We have proven the pessimists wrong before, and we will do it again. Courts need to deliver justice. Mentions Roberts and Alito....a little political nose-rubbing there. Good for him. Thanks the Senate for confirming them, and says he will continue nominating people that do not legislate from the bench. Pays tribute to Sandra Day O’Connor. Thanks.

9:57: Anti-cloning remarks.....obvious he sees it as abhorrent.

9:58: Now to ethical reform. We pledge to the people that we will behave ethically....we can never betray that trust.

10:00--Gets the plug in for his wife’s program for needy and uncared for children. Resources will be added so that kids stay in school.

10:01--$85 billion for New Orleans. WOW. However, we need to address problems that existed before the hurricane. As we recover, we need to work for the day where all Americans are protected equally by laws. Huh....I thought they were.

10:01--Bush asks Congress to renew the Ryan white Act for AIDS research. 50% of AIDS cases are from African Americans.

10:02--We are in the middle of a great battle. The destination of history is determined by human actions. Mentions Lincoln and MLK and WWII as points of history that people could have made decisions and settled for half. We will lead freedom’s advance. We move forward with optimism......God Bless America.

Now, I’m listening to Fox News, but here’s my take, and some notes on the Democratic response:

As usual, optimism and forward-looking prevailed. The theme was obviously “America: Engaged and Leading”. As usual, he was best on foreign policy, but committed to little where Iran was concerned....just that we stand with the Iranian people, and that he is going to go the UN route this time. Sometimes, I think that he is going this route only to show how worthless the UN is. His energy policy has turned around...he sees that ANWR and further oil from the Middle East is a pie-in-the-sky idea, and that we need another direction where oil and energy is concerned. This is energy policy is not new to this speech, but he expounded on what he had said before. That and programs for education and economic development.

In short, he was classic Bush. Strong on foreign policy, especially the War on Terror. Supportive of the Iranian people, and he calls the dictators around the world just that. Definite on tax cuts, free trade, and his economic vision. Basically, he said that people that oppose his engaging, internationally-leading ideas and ideals are isolationist and defeatist. That came through quite strongly.

What would I say about this? Well, it was well defined, strong and pretty uniform on those things he has supported. Also, it reflects the realities of the changing situation in America. We have to get away from oil...that wasn’t the situation in 1999. It looks like he was taking something off of the speech, especially in the domestic policies area.....not that he didn’t know what he was saying, but because he wanted to sound as if he wanted to work with the Democrats. Why. I don’t know

I don’t think he wants to. I think he will do what he thinks he should, as he has from the get-go.

In my ear, I am listening to the Democratic response. Talking about government delivering results. I haven’t heard a sound policy yet from them...a lot of bashing of the POTUS, and saying that there was a better way. No direction I can discern...not a single coherent point. If they win any seats this year in the House or Senate, it is because the GOP is worthless.

10:21--Mr. Kaine is now talking about the WoT. Are the President’s policies the right ones to win the war? We know the info given to the US was wrong. Now, he is lying about the body armor/vets benefits/...that meme is still alive. No...not lying. Just pushing the meme. Now, to energy, and the hearings to have the oil companies return their profits.....ah, the foul breath of socialism.

10:25--The administration is falling behind in environment, keeping jobs in America. These are federal failures. We need to focus on service and results. We need a change. Democrats are working to restore...what did he just say? That the Democrats are working to restore ethics and bipartisanship? Did this guy watch C-Span at all last week?

10:27--That guy sounded like a PBS narrator. Whoah......

It is clear that the Democrats are a bigger-government party than the Republicans are....this whole “the federal government is here to serve you’ is kind of troubling.....now, C-Span is interviewing Louise Slaughter, a Democrat. There is a deep, deep feeling there that they (the democrats and liberal Left) are isolated and that they have been personally expelled from the power structure. She said “Things aren’t like we want it..” or something like that three or four times. It is so “Us Vs. Them”, I am surprised they can get enough gumption to go vote....and she said that they only do that 6-8 days a month.

Well...let me put a few final thoughts out here...Bush has ideas and a vision, and the Democrats come off as just opposing him no matter what his decisions or plans are. Bush gave a B to B+ speech, but he stayed true to his worldview, which is still shaped by September 11th, 2001. Democrats stayed true to theirs, which was shaped on 11-7-2000. Their response was a C- at best.

Commentary welcome. THANKS FOR COMING!!!