Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of What Union?

With friends like these...

Well, after watching Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union, your Webwench has figured out how just how the Democrats plan to save Social Security: they will bore you to death, hopefully before you're old enough to collect your benefits.

Can't wait 'til Howard Dean takes the helm of the DNC and starts kickin' some butt.

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Death-defying democracy

With a helicopter droning above the oppo factory (which sits some four blocks from the U.S. Capitol building), the president presented the parents of a fallen soldier, both resplendent in the purplish color reminiscent of the indellible ink used to mark the fingers of Iraqis who voted last weekend. When the mother leaned forward to embrace the Iraqi woman--whose father was martyred by Saddam Hussein--in the First Lady's box, the moment was truly moving. And Bush himself seemed to mist up.

Your blogstress did not support the invasion of Iraq, and thinks quite a mess has been made of things there. Nonetheless, she is gratified by the willingness of the Iraqi people to defy death to vote. In America, one must defy the death of the spirit to vote--and depending where one lives, perhaps an obstruction or two--and too few do.

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Training and equipment

"We have given them training and equipment," said the president of the our men and women in uniform.

Just not enough of it. And just not the stuff they need--like vehicle armor. The prison factory in Illinois that makes armor kits for military vehicles hasn't received an order since October.

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Nothin' left to lose

The Internationalist has joined your cybertrix in the oppo factory, just in time for the freedom riff. The president suggested some nice things that the tyrants of Egypt and Saudi Arabia might do if they wanted to make a pretty democracy.

"What is he doing?" asked your blogstress of the Internationalist. "Did he, like, call Mubarak and Fahd and say, hey, I gotta say a coupla things in the speech about freedom in your land. Don't you worry about none of it, though. But that stuff about the Uranium people risin' up against the moo-lahs, well I just might mean that."

"He's not saying anything bad [to the ears of the dictators]," the Internationalist explained. "He's just saying things that won't happen."

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A lock of your hair

So now we're expanding the collection of DNA evidence. One wonders whether the collection will be predicated on the accusation of a crime, or just on general suspicion.

Your blogstress had wondered just why, for three months last spring, her garbage appeared to be getting special treatment, picked up in the middle of the night while that of her neighbors was collected late in the morning. She liked to imagine John Ashcroft lingering over its contents, muttering incantations over a collection of chicken bones, cigarette butts and sanitary products in their post-sanitary state. After all, what of interest to the powers that be could be found in a Webwench's rubbish? As it turns out, it just may be the discarded contents of her hairbrush.

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By your own account

So we find ourselves at the real sell-job of the speech: the give-away of the nation's retirement program to Wall Street. Call them personal accounts, as the president does, or private accounts, as the more truthful do, we're still talking about opening a hole in a program that works as a closed system, and therefore screwing up the dynamic flows that sustain the system.

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State of What Union?

As citizens of this country eye each other across what the media have sold as a great divide, the president of the United States has just entered the hall where he will deliver his annual State of the Union message.

Beginning with a self-congratulatory nod to the elections recently taken place in Islamic lands, the president elected by those who would deem America a Christian nation was not able to claim this last U.S. presidential election as one more fair and free than that which brought him to office in 2000.

Mr. Bush has just assured us, even as your blogstress dons her driving gloves (the better to blog you with, my dear), that his new budget will eliminate a raft of government programs that are wasteful, none of which he specified. However, a look at his last budget should afford us a notion of just which programs the president considers to be "not working".

The Veterans Affairs medical benefit program that provides all veterans with health care? Wasteful. In the last budget, Mr. Bush decided that veterans of modest means (say, a single male earning less than $30,000) were no longer eligible for enrollment in the V.A. system. Scheduled surgeries at some V.A. hospitals were apparently deemed wasteful, as hundreds of non-elective surgeries were cancelled at a single Oregon facility for lack of staff. Can't wait to see who's to be thrown over the side in this year's budget (due for release next week).

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