I thought it was awfully combative, but I’m too tipsy from all the references to “freedom” to have an really well-informed opinion. My sober wife Becky — who’s more of a “swing voter” than I am anyway — writes: “It was inspiring. I went into this speech thinking that Bush was bumbling dumbass and now, I feel he’s doing a good job. His thing on reducing dependence on foreign oil, on Iran and nukular weapons, and on Katrina and rising from the ashes to be something better was right on. The guest worker thing. If the election was tomorrow, I’d vote for Bush.”
More of Becky’s thoughts here.
P.S. What is wrong with Tim Kaine’s left eyebrow???
P.P.S. Fox News (including Newt Gingrich) and CNN both said Kaine’s speech was very good, though. I was more interested in the bag of Doritos than in Kaine’s speech, but I suppose it was good.
P.P.P.S. Lots of less-positive reviews of Bush’s speech in comments.
InstaPundit: “Better than I expected, though that’s a function of my low expectations.”
Daily Kos: “Nowhere near as good or powerful as last year’s (which I thought was his best speech ever). This was, frankly, more of the same ol’.” And: “among the most predictably tedious, warmed over State of the Union performances ever televised.”
Hugh Hewitt: “A great speech, focused early on the crucial issues facing the world … There was great urgency in the president’s speech tonight, and a recognition impossible to avoid that one party is serious about the national security and pressing domestic issues and the other is not.”
Wonkette: “OMG HUMAN-ANIMAL HYBRIDS! BUSH SAYS NO TO WEREWOLVES. HEAR THAT CONGRESS? The man is taking a stand. To repeat: Hybrid cars: Good. Hybrid human-animals: Bad. Do not clone Jack Abramoff.”
Too much “freedom”!
UPDATE: This entry originally published itself several hours late and with no picture. I have since adjusted the timestamp; I’ve had no luck thus far with the picture. Stupid Sprint PCS.
For those who want to play along at home, here are the official rules for the BrendanLoy.com State of the Union Drinking Game. :)
For those in South Bend, remember… Fischer Grad building 27, apartment #2C, starting at 7:30 PM… speech begins at 9:00 PM.
“Notre Dame, in its own way, is just a bigger form of high school.” –Prof. Flanagan
Samuel Alito has been confirmed, 58-42, as the 110th U.S. Supreme Court justice. He will be sworn in later today, before the State of the Union address.
Here’s the roll call. Chafee (R-RI) voted no; Byrd (D-WV), Conrad (D-ND), Johnson (D-SD) and Nelson (D-NE) voted yes. Everyone else voted along party lines.
Meanwhile, there are rumors on the Internets that a closeted gay Republican senator in a “fake” heterosexual marriage will be “outed” soon in retaliation for voting for Alito. (Hat tip: Kos, via Confirm Them.)
At left are Harriet Miers and Professor Kelley. (Hat tip: Alex Talcott.)
All right, we have a location for tonight’s State of the Union viewing/liveboozing party: Dmytro’s apartment, Fischer Grad Residences building 27, apartment #2C. The speech is at 9pm, but people are invited to begin gathering, hanging out, and pre-drinking, if they so desire, at 7:30 PM. :)
Once the speech begins, we’ll be using the Official BrendanLoy.com State of the Union Drinking Game Rules, which will be a modified version of this drinking game. I’ll be working on the modifications during the day today. Any suggestions are welcome in comments.
Anyway, if you’re planning on attending, or even think you might come over, please comment here or e-mail me at bloy[at]nd.edu. I need to get a rough idea of how many people are coming, so I’ll know how much booze to buy! (I’ll be making a beer run around 5:30 PM.) There’s no need to give me a final, definitive answer — “I might come” is a perfectly acceptable response — I just want to get as much information as possible. Thanks!
The Washington Post reports that the debate over global warming in the scientific community has shifted from whether it’s happening (yes) to whether we’re approaching a “tipping point” at which its effects will become damn near irreversible, at least in the short term. Excerpt:
There are three specific events that these scientists describe as especially worrisome and potentially imminent, although the time frames are a matter of dispute: widespread coral bleaching that could damage the world’s fisheries within three decades; dramatic sea level rise by the end of the century that would take tens of thousands of years to reverse; and, within 200 years, a shutdown of the ocean current that moderates temperatures in northern Europe. …
Scientists who read the history of Earth’s climate in ancient sediments, ice cores and fossils find clear signs that it has shifted abruptly in the past on a scale that could prove disastrous for modern society. Peter B. deMenocal, an associate professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, said that about 8,200 years ago, a very sudden cooling shut down the Atlantic conveyor belt. As a result, the land temperature in Greenland dropped more than 9 degrees Fahrenheit within a decade or two.
“It’s not this abstract notion that happens over millions of years,” deMenocal said. “The magnitude of what we’re talking about greatly, greatly exceeds anything we’ve withstood in human history.”
I must say, the quote from James E. Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, saying that a 4-degree increase in the planet’s average temperature would “imply changes that constitute practically a different planet,” is asinine. The planet has gone through much more drastic climate changes than this, and it’s still the same Earth. That said, just because the Earth will survive, and remain the same planet, doesn’t mean our civilization will survive intact. So this is a genuinely worrying business. (Hat tip: A Nun Mouse.) Cue flame war…
P.S. Speaking of asinine:
Some scientists, including President Bush’s chief science adviser, John H. Marburger III, emphasize there is still much uncertainty about when abrupt global warming might occur.
“There’s no agreement on what it is that constitutes a dangerous climate change,” said Marburger, adding that the U.S. government spends $2 billion a year on researching this and other climate change questions. “We know things like this are possible, but we don’t have enough information to quantify the level of risk.”
So basically, we don’t know yet exactly when these things will happen, so that’s a good reason to continue endlessly “researching” but not actually taking any concrete action. If we ignore the problem, maybe it will go away!
The Brits, by contrast, evince the vastly more sensible approach:
David Warrilow, who heads science policy on climate change for Britain’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that while the science remains unsettled, his government has decided to take a precautionary approach. He compared consuming massive amounts of fossil fuels to the strategy of the Titanic’s crew, who were unable to avoid an iceberg because they were speeding across the Atlantic in hopes of breaking a record.
“We know there are icebergs out there, but at the moment we’re accelerating toward the tipping point,” Warrilow said in an interview. “This is silly. We should be doing the opposite, slowing down whilst we build up our knowledge base.”
Brits 1, Americans 0.