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The State of the Union: A Line Item Response

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President Bush's final State of the Union address by Just Say K.B. via Flickr

President George Bush delivered his final State of the Union address this evening. As we mercifully begin the transition out of the Bush era, let us examine the President's speech in typical Washington fashion: taking out a few lines here and there for the most opportune response.

We have faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens. These issues call for vigorous debate, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve answered that call
Technically we have answered the call. Technically, if someone calls me, I pick up and then yell at them for a bit and hang up, I answered the call. Answering the call is different than having a conversation. Maybe that's what he means by "vigorous." In a presidency defined by rancorous campaigning and name calling, Bush has answered that call over and over.

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And let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time.
Gee, that sounds great. I hope Ohio’s former Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell doesn't show up and "deliver the election" as he did in 2004. Rigging an election isn't very cooperative.

America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace.
Slower pace. Hmmm, is that political speak for not at all? Last week, the federal government announced that just as 18,000 new jobs were created last month, the overall unemployment rate shot up to 5 percent, the largest spike in joblessness since Sept. 11. Hey, I hear there might be an opening for a brush clearing assistant in Crawford in 2009.

Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm, and I am pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders.
Zinger! Did you see the look on Hillary's face? I bet that was the same look she gave Bill after he walked in late every night from 1992 to 2000.

Next week, I will send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs totaling more than $18 billion.
I bet that doesn't include the nearly $500 trillion the war is costing us, including the millions in Iraqi Parliamentarian graft and no-bid contracts? Nah, probably just things like education programs, as he did in 2006. After all, children can't very well bring "Democracy" to Iraq, now can they?