State of the Union

You know, the thing that annoys me, no, that really pisses me off is that listening to Bush is that half of what he says makes perfect sense. I’m willing to buy that there are two religious factions in Iraq, one supported by Al Qaida types, the other by Iran. Both of whom hate each other but also hate us. Okay, wow, nuanced discussion of difficult problems.

And then he immediately starts talking about our enemy, the terrorists. To use a baseball analogy, he seems to be suggesting that everyone who plays the Rangers is the Chicago White Sox.

Also, I’m eager to hear what folks think of this idea of civilian reserves. Is this a mercenary corps? And he’s talking about enlarging the military. Where will these extra military folks come from? I was unaware that we were lowering the standards for people to enlist because those folks were just beating down the doors. So, I’ll be curious to see what folks think of this.

And did anyone else have a good snicker when Bush was talking about how healthcare decisions are best left up to doctors and patients?

I know I did.

21 thoughts on “State of the Union

  1. Jim Webb is one of the people who Sarcastro and I agree upon. In fact, his strong note of support so surprised me (used to him being…well, sarcastic) that it caught my attention and made me go learn something about Webb. The more I hear, the more I like. Webb’s speech was indeed fantastic. Good work, Virginia!

  2. I was impressed. I have to tell you, hearing Webb speak, I felt a glimmer of optimism, like here is someone who understands what’s going on and who is willing to tell it to us.

  3. I missed the Webb rebuttal, as I turned off the SOTUS about half-way through.My understanding is that Harry Reid handed him the speech he was to deliver. Webb read it and replied that he would just as soon write his own instead. That tells you pretty much what you need to know about Jim Webb.

  4. Considering how Olbermann and Matthews were fawning over it, I bet you’ll have no problem seeing it over and over again on MSNBC today.I’m sad you turned it off, though, as I was counting on you, as my resident military expert, to explain what this civilian corps was supposed to do. I figure by the lack of enthusiastic response from the Joint Chiefs of Staff it’s not going anywhere, but it was weird.It was almost as if he was implying that it’s not that folks in America don’t want to go to Iraq and fight, it’s just that we don’t want to have to join the military to do it.

  5. There are already "civilian contractors" there, betsy. Mercenaries, really. And i don’t mourn a single one of them. Part of me dies whenever i hear about a soldier killed or wounded, but these guys are chasing money, and i feel comtempt for all of them. You want to serve? Join up like all the rest. There are companies like Blckwater in South carolina that you might google to learn more.

  6. I kind of love Jim Webb. He’s blunt and irascible which is a nice change of pace for my home state. We have a tendency to go for smarmy shitheads (see George Allen). And not to be a dork about this, but I teared up a wee little bit when Nancy Pelosi did all the officiating stuff. It was a historic moment and I am a sucker for that sort of thing.

  7. I only flipped in and out but on first consideration the "civilian reserves" sounded to me like "let’s have taxpayers cover Halliburton’s payroll expense".I share the general appreciation for Webb’s fantastic response.

  8. Jon, didn’t Kleinheider say that you are a liberal anarchist? Isn’t the whole concept of a state of the union antithetical to your position?Mack! Where did this heartless tough guy position come from? Need I remind you that you’re supposed to be a softy leftist like the rest of us?

  9. Well, there are beliefs regarding how the world should work, and then there are beliefs regarding how to make the best of what we’ve got, and the two are not always sympatico.And of course being that anarchism is unfriendly to all hierarchical power structures, not just a state proper, and sometimes you have to play one against the other. So until we reach utopia, we sometimes need the state power structure to undermine the patriarchal power structure, the corporatate power structure, etc…

  10. So, does that mean I can go ahead and file you under "potential client" for my dominatrix services or would I have to assume that you would come to our sessions for the sole purpose of pretending to be dominated, only to turn around and tickle me until I peed myself?

  11. Interesting attitude Mack. Does that mean if I get run over by a bus in front of the office you have no sympathy? Afterall, I knew the bus depot was right there, and I still went in for the money.There’s some pretty sketchy things going on with Haliburton and some of the other civilian contractors, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to die. In a corporate sense there are a lot of bad things going on, but you don’t seem to be talking about not mourning Haliburton’s woes. You seem to be talking about something a lot more personal.It’s an interesting juxtaposition that the soldiers who go there to fight and kill get your sympathy if they are hurt or injured, but the civilians who go to help the soldiers, or help fix all the problems of a war just get what they deserved because they were paid to be there.

  12. I’d most likely pretend to be dominated just so I could get inside & crack open a window, so that I could sneak back in later to get photos of your conservative clients, which I would then use to blackmail said clients into rethinking their public stances on a number of issues.Then I’d come back & tickle you ’til you peed yourself.

  13. No W, I’m strictly speaking about those that go there to fulfill traditional combat roles. However, military is probably much different than when i served, more reliant on outside contractors to guard envoys and the like, so I’m giving myself some wiggle room. I have real problems with those that seek to enrich themselves during wartime, no matter the service they provide. Of course, I’d have no problem with civilian medical staff, but really, if someone believes that this war is worth fighting, join.

  14. Mack, you didn’t complain when the Magnificent Seven came and liberated your village from the bandit leader Calvera. They were mercenaries.Or, was that the Three Amigos?

  15. Come now, Sarcastro. No one’s going to complain when Steve McQueen shows up, no matter what he’s doing.Mack, aren’t most of these contractors ex-military men? I’m not appalled by them as individuals. Folks have to earn money one way or another. I’m appalled that they earn so much more money than our soldiers for doing the same thing, costs that are eventually borne by us after Halliburton and the like bills us for their time.I don’t blame the mercenaries. I blame our government for sending mercenaries in to help fight a war.If we need more troops in order to win (which I think everyone agrees we do, if "winning" is completely securing Iraq), and we don’t have them, then the President needs to look the American people in the eye and say "We can’t fight this war effectively with the troops we have. Either more of you need to join or we’re going to have a draft."And then let the American people either get on board or riot in the streets.

  16. Nice try, Sarcastro, but pretty much everyone knows I am Zapata, reincarnated. And, yes, we had a plethora of pinatas…

  17. Betsy, perhaps. i agree that someone in charge had better say, look, join up, help us get this done, and forget your precious little tax cut for awhile, or, indeed, just bring back the draft. However, I think that alot of merc supply "companies" thought they had hit paydirt in Iraq, that the money would be awesome, and the hostilties distant. Mercs are just people? Sure, people who trade their services for money, so I don’t mourn them when they get killed. Like i said, some of it is inevitable, so once again, I’m awash in a sea of grey…

  18. I should say so! Look how many undocumented workers are here because they want to trade their services for money and you’re certainly not fine if they’re killed.Yes, I’ll admit, they come off as smarmy and know-it-all-y (the mercenaries, not the undocumented workers) and yes, they come off like they thought they’d hit paydirt.But, my friend, we’re on the side of the people, are we not? Even the assholes.We have to be about destroying systems and reforming people, not about destroying people and reforming systems.Ha, I’m such a leftist. I wonder if I should just start wearing a beret and snapping instead of clapping.

  19. Also, Mack, I should hope you’re not Eufemio Zapata reincarnated, unless you’re back to make up for your drunken womanizing.

  20. You’re Zapata?I thought you were the kid who stole the rooster Gallo del Cielo in order to make enough money in El Norte to buy back the land that Pancho Villa stole from father long ago. Of course the people of El Sueco still curse the theft of Gallo del Cielo and the scar upon your brother’s face turns red when he hears mention of your name.As far as the contractors over there are concerned, good for them. They didn’t make squat when they were on active duty and their veteran’s benefits are a joke. More power to them in maximizing their earnings potential.

  21. Home to Houston/Steve EarleWhen I pulled out of Basra they all wished me luck Just like they always did before With a bulletproof screen on the hood of my truck And a Bradley on my back door And I wound her up and shifted her down And I offered this prayer to my lord I said “God get me back home to Houston alive and I won’t drive a truck anymore” Early in the mornin’ and I’m rollin’ fast Haulin’ nine thousand gallons of high test gas Sergeant on the radio hollerin’ at me Look out up ahead here come a R.P.G. If I ever get home to Houston alive Then I won’t drive a truck anymore I’ve driven the big rigs for all of my life And my radio handle’s “Train” Down steep mountain roads on the darkest of nights I had ice water in my veins And I come over here ‘cause I just didn’t care Now I’m older and wiser by far If I ever get home to Houston alive Then I won’t drive a truck anymore Great God A’mighty what was wrong with me I know the money’s good but buddy can’t you see You can’t take it with you and that ain’t no lie I don’t wanna let ‘em get me I’m too young to die If I ever get home to Houston alive Then I won’t drive a truck anymore

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