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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:48 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:47 am 
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Just to balance things out here...

Why would anyone clap for this jackass? I have a hard time imagining myself standing up and applauding him. I wouldn't stand up and clap for him once, I'd spit right in his face.

His speech was inturrupted 62 times for applause.

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Lemme sign a few autographs here...

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Pelosi: 'We will not cut off funding' for Iraq

“We will not cut off funding for the troops (war),” Pelosi said. “Absolutely not,” she said.

Is there a danger that Pelosi and Hoyer will disappoint voters who’ve just elected the new Congress, expecting it would take steps to end the war?

Yes — there’s a big danger, said Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich said the Democrats have only one way to end the war: vote against the $130 billion Iraq war supplemental spending bill that will be on the House floor in the spring.

“We vote it down,” Kucinich said, and Bush would be forced to end the war."

“The voters will not forget who let them down” if Congress chooses to keep funding the war. You can’t simultaneously say you oppose the war and then vote to fund it.”representative Kucinich said.

More here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16057734/

My comments: There's a big show going on right now to fool the voters, and voters who only listen to corporate media are utterly snowed over by the fake "firestorm charade" put on for their benefit.

The distraction is a big show about pulling the troops, but the real issue is never spoken by big money D's and R's on TV, (hense is is absent from the TV watchers minds-how convienient for the elite), the real issue is: are we going to pull the CONTRACTORS, our "special interests," and our 14 army bases out of Iraq? Are we going to pull the REAL REASON we went to Iraq in the first place? Are we going to pull AMERICAN INTERESTS (which the troops ar guarding), from Iraq?

Kucinich says right up front, the first move is to announce the troops are leaving, the CONTRACTORS are leaving, and the 14 US bases on Iraqi sand are leaving. Kucinich ain't bullshittin, but he can't collect money like the big money bullshitters get from the special interests. Kucinich says loudly and right up front: "Order a simultaneous return of all US contractors to the United States"

The troops are guarding American interests, the American interests must be pulled, funny, the big money celebrity politicians NEVER say that.

Kucinich plan: http://kucinich.us/node/1803

Some are not fooled at all by all the bogus pomp, some of us are too well read to fall for that shit.

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Last edited by baddy on Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:16 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:13 am 
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Interestingly enough this morning it was Dennis Kucinich who was interviewed on the BBC World Service to talk about the SOTU, surprisingly enough, as the US rep they picked to talk about it and he had some harsh things to say . . .

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:32 am 
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punknaynowned wrote:
Interestingly enough this morning it was Dennis Kucinich who was interviewed on the BBC World Service to talk about the SOTU, surprisingly enough, as the US rep they picked to talk about it and he had some harsh things to say . . .


Quite unfortunatly, due to big money paid hype for the special interest guardians that sways the bulk of the voters, Kucinich is just a little man now. I pray Americans will get wise to the charades and fucking the big money D's and R's are giving them and rally behind Dennis.

Dennis is nothing like Pelosi, Obama, or Hilary...will he get railroaded again by the big money Democrats like pro war, pro outsourcing, and pro PATRIOT Act Kerry did to him in the primarys last time?

So far it looks that way, Hilary is running away with popularity now, but after two more years of war, that may change.

Go Dennis.

Also,
Pelosi made it clear first thing (before she even took office), that defunding and impeachment were absolutly off the table. That is crutial to keep in mind because defunding and impeachment are the only two ways to end the war.

Paul Craig Roberts says impeachmenrt is the only way to stop the war and Dennis Kucinich says defunding is the only way, I say either will work, but there are no other ways.* Since Pelosi and the rest of the big money bastards have removed the only two ways to end the war, then I see the rest of their bullshit for what it is, razzle-dazzle for fooling voters.

They can blabber and fluff up their chests all they want, but if they keep the money coming, and they keep the commander in chief prosecuting this evil war, then the war will of course go on unabated, and the special interests will keep in raking in the taxpayer's money, as well as keep their rights to Iraqi oil.
__________

*To back up my comments aove, here's what they said:

Paul Craig Robets that Impeachment is the only way:
Only Impeachment Can Prevent More War

The Manipulation of the American Mind

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts01222007.html

"Nothing can stop the Regime except the immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney. This is America's last chance."

and Kucinich:

"Kucinich said the Democrats have only one way to end the war: vote against the $130 billion Iraq war supplemental spending bill that will be on the House floor in the spring. " He indicated that he didn’t yet have the votes he’d need to defeat the spending bill, [gee, I wonder why].

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Last edited by baddy on Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:28 am 
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ya, even NPR puts him on the bottom of any list of contenders.
If the Dem party picks Clinton I'll be really disappointed. I liked Bill and I think Hilary's smarter than him. I know yer arguments against her baddy, yet I think she falls under the rubric of 'absolute power corrupts absolutely' and it just makes me squirm.
Listening to the SOTU , I thought Bush did a pretty good job, for a trained monkey. He did the same ting he always does when pushed against the wall: state the obvious that actually makes sense (I'm thinking about the middle class paeans he made) and then go on to list several nonsensical things of what to do about it, none of which have any chance of actually occurring.
The one thing I could agree with Bush was his repeated statement that the war that is now in Iraq IS THE most important crisis the US has ever dealt with. I agree. Throwing more troops over there without a plan again is NOT a solution. But if we leave now baddy or Congress cuts funding and we have to leave we will never live it down. Granted, we shouldn't have gone to begin with and damn sure shouldn't have let it spiral out of control once we did get there, but that's all rivers of blood done spilled, along with Abu Ghraib, Gauntanamo, the detaining of innocents, the wire tapping, the hustling of of people to secret detention camps and so on. The one solid out of this mess would be with hard won diplomacy on several levels and now that is all but moot as a result of the idiotic prosecution of this war.

There were a number of things in the news yesterday that actually made me sit up and listen. Carter getting air time about the oppression of the Isreali gov't. The new general going to Iraq saying the situation is dire, the defendant lawyers in the Scooter Libby perjury case saying that Karl Rove was the main culprit for the Plame case (didja hear that one?), the report that productivity in the states has maxed out which will entice inflation to go up and hence interest rates (the evidence is appearingthat the trickledown econ-rejuvenation bullshit is dead in the water) and the report I heard about the western Federated Province in Pakistan and the lawlessness there . . .
all came out yesterday, like they're priming us for something else. Bush may be readying for some covert action in Iran which would become the next debacle . . . but I always wonder what's under the surface. This is not the corporate lobbyist's game, they could care less about that, so long as the economy keeps going

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:06 am 
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as far as the contractors go and their interests . . .
simplified, there are two kinds: the one's who are only in it for the $$ and those who feel that the US has good things to offer for the world and they want to be there to do that.
From a certain viewpoint, it is the worst and highest form of hubris to think that the US is a paradigm of virtue and that should be exported all over, especially to those who don't want it.
As far as the contractors go I always think of The British East India company and we are currently duplicating all of their mistakes in the travesties of the Nineteenth century. I feel that it's as if John Company has diversified in our present age into a seriously demented multi-headed hydra WITH NO FUCKING OVERSIGHT. Yet, the only way to divest them of the power that they swing around all over is take away their profit margin. If they can't make $$, they can't spend it.
I say they don't spend $$ here in the States on health care, jobs, urban blight and the rest is because the majority of them see no way to make $$ at it. On the other hand, the contractors have been leaving Iraq in droves because it's currently an unsecure $$ hole, just like the 'insurgents' want them to see it.
Have you noticed how well China is doing since our contractors went to Iraq? well now, our contractors are going to China, along with our trade deficit. Meanwhile we lose all credibility in the mideast because of one jackasses stupid ass policies and the contractors are busy makin money somewhere else already.
I haven' yet woken up :roll: but the coffe's brewin :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:43 am 
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Hi punknaynowned,
I agree with virtually 99% of what you said, and will add a "here, here" to many of your words.

I would like to offer further thought on one of your thoughts, because it's very important to do this right so as to avoid a possible problem you pointed out. You wrote that we couldn't "just leave" because things would fall apart and we'd never live it down. I agree, but perhaps I am remiss to not pointing out that this is not an abandonment, rather it's a transition to international peace keeping forces, largely with a Muslem face with the help of surrounding Muslem nations.

If you look at Kucinich's plan, or Naders, or virtually any true progressives, a big part of the withdrawel is an accompanied transition to an international peacekeeping force, (and because US special interests are no longer part of the prize, othewr nations will be willing to help).

We leave because it is the right thing to do, not because we are "beaten."

This is more than ceasing to do the wrong thing, it is a beginning of doing the RIGHT thing. First and foremost in this is consideration for the plight of the Iraqi people, and that means instead of spending $10 billion a month on war for a while, we're going to be spending $10 billion a month on aid.

Turning over control to international peacekeeping forces as we withdraw US interests and US troops is the right thing to do. I feel the American people will finally be appriciated forforcing their corruption ridden government to FINALLY do the right thing.

Not only are 140, 000 US troops, and 100, 000 contractors (whose numbers are growing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 11_pf.html), walking around causing violence, but US interests with rights to Iraqi oil is causing violence. Sharing some of the proceeds with those Iraqi's who will play along is causing violence as it creates "have nots." Besides the troops and the contractors, foreign rights to Iraqi oil are now written into their client state government, (democracy grows ground up, it cannot be imposed top down with special privelege for those in the right place at the right time), Paul Bremmers 100 orders are causing violence.

We leave the right way because it's the right thing to do, and it's a transition with a lot of aid, not an abandonment. We went in there to impose our interests, and we must now squelch hopes of attaining those interests. We hear this from people like Kucinich, but not from the big monied politicians, the monied politicians would like us to be "afraid to abandom them."

And on the opposite side of the coin, there is no hope that the troops are going to be able to protect US interests and beat them into submission. It's a false presupposition that US troops staying there is going to help something. Similar to East Timor, the violence quelled when the fighters were pulled, there was no blood bath as the pundits warned against throughout the previous 25 years of US backed slaughter, (250, 000 dead, 1/3rd of the island's population).

Excuse the copy/paste, but here's Kucinich's plan, like many rational plans, it is not at all abandoment:

These are the elements of the Kucinich Plan:

1. The US announces it will end the occupation, close military bases and withdraw. The insurgency has been fueled by the occupation and the prospect of a long-term presence as indicated by the building of permanent bases. A US declaration of an intention to withdraw troops and close bases will help dampen the insurgency which has been inspired to resist colonization and fight invaders and those who have supported US policy. Furthermore this will provide an opening where parties within Iraq and in the region can set the stage for negotiations towards peaceful settlement.

2. .US announces that it will use existing funds to bring the troops and necessary equipment home. Congress appropriated $70 billion in bridge funds on October 1 st for the war. Money from this and other DOD accounts can be used to fund the troops in the field over the next few months, and to pay for the cost of the return of the troops, (which has been estimated at between $5 and $7 billion dollars) while a political settlement is being negotiated and preparations are made for a transition to an international security and peacekeeping force.

3. Order a simultaneous return of all US contractors to the United States and turn over all contracting work to the Iraqi government. The contracting process has been rife with world-class corruption, with contractors stealing from the US Government and cheating the Iraqi people, taking large contracts and giving 5% or so to Iraqi subcontractors.

Reconstruction activities must be reorganized and closely monitored in Iraq by the Iraqi government, with the assistance of the international community. The massive corruption as it relates to US contractors, should be investigated by congressional committees and federal grand juries. The lack of tangible benefits, the lack of accountability for billions of dollars, while millions of Iraqis do not have a means of financial support, nor substantive employment, cries out for justice.

It is noteworthy that after the first Gulf War, Iraqis reestablished electricity within three months, despite sanctions. Four years into the US occupation there is no water, nor reliable electricity in Bagdhad, despite massive funding from the US and from the Madrid conference. The greatest mystery involves the activities of private security companies who function as mercenaries. Reports of false flag operations must be investigated by an international tribunal.

4. Convene a regional conference for the purpose of developing a security and stabilization force for Iraq. The focus should be on a process which solves the problems of Iraq. The US has told the international community, "This is our policy and we want you to come and help us implement it." The international community may have an interest in helping Iraq, but has no interest in participating in the implementation of failed US policy.

A shift in US policy away from unilateralism and toward cooperation will provide new opportunities for exploring common concerns about the plight of Iraq. The UN is the appropriate place to convene, through the office of the Secretary General, all countries that have interests, concerns and influence, including the five permanent members of the Security Council and the European community, and all Arab nations.

The end of the US occupation and the closing of military bases are necessary preconditions for such a conference. When the US creates a shift of policy and announces it will focus on the concerns of the people of Iraq, it will provide a powerful incentive for nations to participate.

It is well known that while some nations may see the instability in Iraq as an opportunity, there is also an even-present danger that the civil war in Iraq threatens the stability of nations throughout the region. The impending end of the occupation will provide a breakthrough for the cooperation between the US and the UN and the UN and countries of the region. The regional conference must include Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

5. Prepare an international security and peacekeeping force to move in, replacing US troops who then return home. The UN has an indispensable role to play here, but cannot do it as long as the US is committed to an occupation. The UN is the only international organization with the ability to mobilize and the legitimacy to authorize troops.

The UN is the place to develop the process, to build the political consensus, to craft a political agreement, to prepare the ground for the peacekeeping mission, to implement the basis of an agreement that will end the occupation and begin the transition to international peacekeepers. This process will take at least three months from the time the US announces the intention to end the occupation.

The US will necessarily have to fund a peacekeeping mission, which, by definition will not require as many troops. Fifty percent of the peacekeeping troops must come from nations with large Muslim populations. The international security force, under UN direction, will remain in place until the Iraqi government is capable of handling its own security. The UN can field an international security and peace keeping mission, but such an initiative will not take shape unless there is a peace to keep, and that will be dependent upon a political process which reaches agreement between all the Iraqi parties.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:13 am 
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great idea, all around, love it, let's do it!
. . .
we're not gonna be able to convince the UN or even the Arab League to go in there as peacekeepers -- into the Shia/Sunni 1300 year old feud -- without some incentive for the participants. Because it's the right thing to do? Then why not Darfur or any place that has ethnic or otherwise 'cleansing' going on?
Rwanda? Sierra Leone? The Congo? What about the networks in Indonesia?
Who's gonna pay for it? Not the US?

but it's the best idea I've heard in awhile. Let's implement it!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:43 am 
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State Of The Union?
Bill's got a good one:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011807B.shtml

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:06 pm 
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punknaynowned wrote:
great idea, all around, love it, let's do it!
. . .
we're not gonna be able to convince the UN or even the Arab League to go in there as peacekeepers -- into the Shia/Sunni 1300 year old feud -- without some incentive for the participants. Because it's the right thing to do? Then why not Darfur or any place that has ethnic or otherwise 'cleansing' going on?
Rwanda? Sierra Leone? The Congo? What about the networks in Indonesia?
Who's gonna pay for it? Not the US?

but it's the best idea I've heard in awhile. Let's implement it!


Interestingly, the great threat of saddam to his neighbors was perceived more by the US, than by any of the country's around Iraq itself, there was a lot of fence mending going on with her neighbors. Shia and Sunni have been living intermixed in harmony (in jordan for example), for a long time, and in contrast, the longer we descend down the violence spiral the harder it is going to be for the people to heal themselves.

It must be kept in mind that when the primary reasons for the current violence (this chaos wasn't there pre invasion), are removed, there will be a lot calmer a place for peacekeepers to police, (while a ground up government is formed).

American interests and troops guarding them leaving also means Iraqis know the invaders are not going to be there permanently, and they're not going to plunder and turn their country into a client state. It means they will truly be receiving liberation. This will also help make a calmer place for when the peacekeeping forces take over.

The way it is now, surrounding neighbors dont want any part of helping Iraqi's guard Americans, and American interests in Iraq.

Ninety percent of Iraqi's want us out of there, fourty seven percent figure it's ok to pick off an invader if you can. They know what they need.

And the final reason peacekeepers will have friendlier terrain amongst the Iraqi citizens is that we're going to begin monitary reparations for what we've done to that country for the last 16 years. With big time aid coming in instead of bullets and bombs, the Iraqi's will be busy rebuilding their country, with the hope of a future that belongs to them, (instead of to a client state of the invaders). Peacekeepers are not going in to settle 1300 year old differences, they're going in to help with policeing support during massive rebuilding. Replacing widespread unenployment with a future makes people much calmer.

Of course having all this good stuff mean hard fought for American Interests in Iraq have to leave...and there's the hitch.

_______________

As far as Darfur and other types of crisis, the UN (with the veto abolished so the US can't veto everything the rich don't like), can direct what the US does as far as any military personell leaving American shores, and non military aid can be considered for anywhere.

_______________
To consider Indonesia, one needs to consider all, including American involvement there, especially since 1975.

_______________
Yup, the US is gonna pay for a lot of Iraq. If we start acting like a friend, we'll get the friend price on their oil :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:42 pm 
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baddy:
In response to your post on applause...
What needs to change in order for dissent to be allowable inside the Senate chambers?
I know they can hit the gavel and more if someone makes noise, but as your applause post shows, even people who disagree with Bush spend alot of time trying to earn Brownie Points from the various others in the room and otherwise.
I have to assume that there is at least one Senator who is personally disgusted by Bush and would at least be in the position to NOT shake hands with him or maybe give a sneering look as he walked bye. But, not even these minor infractions ever surface, just non-stop polite shit. When did the US turn into the country that goes by the rule of "as long as we're polite, any asshole is a good asshole"?
I suppose we don't need to get as silly as the UK where screaming in Parliament seems to be somewhat fashionalbe, but I think that dynamic of speaking freely is preferrable to what we have now - silence with respect to the President. Shameful.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:31 pm 
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The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
What needs to change in order for dissent to be allowable inside the Senate chambers?


The people to stop sending the stewards of the rich to congress, OR the big money to be removed from elections, (meaning again, the stewards of the rich to be removed from Congress).

The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
I have to assume that there is at least one Senator who is personally disgusted by Bush and would at least be in the position to NOT shake hands....

Yes, there are a few good ones in the Senate. Out of 100 Senators, I often like things from Byrd, Durbin, Kennedy, and I'm hopeful about Webb, maybe one or t6wo others.

Things are considerably better in the House, I'd say about 100 (out of the 435 house members), are decent people, (they are from both parties, slightly more Dems I think).

Problem is in both chambers, the folks with all the power (money), represent special interests, the folks who represent the people get very little voice. Many people know corporate money controls Congress, but not as many realise fully what that means. It means corporate controls what Congress discusses and doesn't discuss, and corporate controlls what the people get.

Also, in both chambers now Republicans are also speaking out against Bush on specific things, some quite harshly. Some because they're sincere, some because they know the people hate Bush.

But overall, the money controls what get's talked about and passed, and what is not talked about and never will have a chance at passing..

I also need to mention that I went the "other way" with the applaud photos because of the heavy bias to offset some of the cartoons which showed an unrealistic image, especially one that a lot of money is spent propagating. I showed those photos to show there were plenty of smiles and applause to go around, and with reference to some of the cartoons (like bush hiding behind sandbags from the supposidly mighty opposing democrats), I wanted to show that it wasn't that way.

Of course there were people who did not applaud everything, most from the House and probably about 100 of them were sincere. There were also times when it was the image-correct thing not to applaud, politicians on both sides of the aisle have voters to impress, so looking like you disagree with Bush can get you votes, (long as you keep the money for the war coming, and Bush looking bad as "the culpret" driving the war).

It was a lot of pomp and horseshit politics, it makes me angry that people keep voting these assholes in. We have to have wars and poverty instead of a flourishing society.

Who was it who said, "Americans can have anything they want, trouble is they don't seem to want anything."

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:38 pm 
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baddy wrote:
Just to balance things out here...
Why would anyone clap for this jackass? I have a hard time imagining myself standing up and applauding him. I wouldn't stand up and clap for him once, I'd spit right in his face.


Yeah, I'd like to do it too...and more...

Meanwhile, in about two or three weeks from now, I'm going to see the film "The death of a president", a fiction about Bush being gunned down next October. I think I'll have a ball. I get my kicks by seeing morons being wiped out.

I asked myself this week how many deaths Bush can be blamed for since 2003, counting soldiers and civilians, assuming also those who died due to the civil war all this mess started ? They said on the radio 35000 civilians for 2006 alone. That's a lot of blood on one's hands !!!

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This has been a great read so far. :) I don't have much to say. I was rather disgusted after reading about the speech (I wouldn't watch it live for anything... BBC's summary sufficed). I'm becoming increasingly disgruntled with the idiots in power making all the wrong, stupid decisions.

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I can't watch that SOB anymore.

Smoke & Mirrors, snatch & grab, Misdirection & of course Dick "shotgun" Chaney.

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□□: Speaker, Cheney, □□vice- □□gentleman, remarkable citizen and citizen: Every year, and by □is vulgar by the law, my □□surface □in tests □□the nation. This year, I □gather at □the chamber deeply understand to the front □□depth □the qualitative day. You and I take □I □□family in the huge consequence □the time. In □□the time □□□□□, I □have □□the reform □□□item important □I □□family; I □organic □□one kind of fearful disease saves the tens of thousands of lives overseas. My □□work □□□is shared numerous □, and I □□reply each danger □and prestige □beautiful □person's each □□person. (Palm □

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:05 pm 
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baddy wrote:

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i'm with Dick on this one ...ZZZZZZZZZZ

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I didn't watch a minute of it. I just can't stand to watch the guy.


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sir_galoot wrote:
baddy wrote:

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"Oh please God, let 'em take Libby."


:) :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:28 am 
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calvin2hikers wrote:
I didn't watch a minute of it. I just can't stand to watch the guy.


I did, but it's almost impossible for me to focus on Bush. I am so deep in apathy I don't know if I will ever get out after two terms with this idiot.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:56 am 
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I watched about 15 minutes of it and got tired of hearing the same old stuff. Why dont they just record his speeches on tape? Then he could just stand up there, open his mouth, and press play! It was kind of like watching the little engine that could be derailed, exploded, and yet is still muttering "I think I can."
I guess Frank was right about cocaine decisions... :P

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:49 am 
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Pup_Tentacle wrote:
I watched about 15 minutes of it and got tired of hearing the same old stuff. Why dont they just record his speeches on tape? Then he could just stand up there, open his mouth, and press play!


I think they've already been doing that.... :mrgreen:

But seriously, I'm in the same boat as Cal. Just can't stand to watch Bush.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:23 am 
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In his final State of the Union address on Monday night, President George Bush made it clear that he is not going to coast in his final 11 months in office, issuing challenges to Congress to pass an economic stimulus package, make his tax cuts permanent, keep funding the war in Iraq and focus on the "unfinished business" that lies ahead.

But he also didn't offer up many new ideas, and for the man who five years ago spoke of an "axis of evil" and used previous addresses to announce his intentions of going to war in Iraq and to rattle his saber at terrorists threatening America's security, it was an uncharacteristically tempered speech that sometimes felt like a soft-focus highlight reel of his seven years in office. He gave his speech in front of a clearly divided, partisan-minded Congress, including at least two bitter Democratic presidential rivals who are eagerly looking forward to the end of his term, but who pointedly avoided looking at each other.

The first half of the 53-minute speech focused mainly on an economy Bush said is "undergoing a period of uncertainty." The frank assessment of the recent meltdown in the nation's housing and financial markets led to a call for the quick passage of a $153 billion economic stimulus package, which Bush warned Congress to avoid loading up with unnecessary changes that could "delay or derail it."

"This is a good agreement that will keep our economy growing and our people working, and this Congress must pass it as soon as possible," he said.

Among the other modest economic proposals Bush put forward were:

» Making his tax cuts permanent. Bush warned that not doing so would result in a tax increase. "Some in Washington argue that letting tax relief expire is not a tax increase," he said. "Try explaining that to 116 million American taxpayers who would see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800. Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I'm pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders."

» Passing legislation to end what he called a "bias in the tax code" against people who don't get health insurance through an employer.

» The reauthorization of the controversial No Child Left Behind education bill, whose results he said "no one can deny," as well as support for a new $300 million program called Pell Grants for Kids, which would allow low-income children to attend better schools.

As is typical in State of the Union addresses, Bush was interrupted repeatedly by applause, with many of his lines drawing standing ovations, though most were only from the Republican side of the room as many Democrats sat quietly with their hands clasped politely over copies of the address. The chilliness extended to one of the most commented-upon bits of offstage theater: seating arrangements that placed Democratic presidential contenders Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama just a few seats away from each other. The rivals did not appear to make eye contact during the address, and at one point, Clinton leaned across Obama to shake hands with Senator Edward Kennedy — who had enthusiastically endorsed Obama earlier in the day — and Obama appeared to look the other way to avoid Clinton's gaze.

Bush made token mentions of fixing the ailing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid systems, working on alternative fuels and energy conservation and passing the kind of comprehensive immigration legislation that is unpopular among many Republican legislators, but none of those major goals are likely to be achieved in a year when most are looking to see who will be the next occupant of the White House.

And while Bush mentioned Colombia, Panama, Lebanon, the Ukraine, Burma, Sudan and Zimbabwe, he barely made reference to some of the countries he has repeatedly discussed over the past two years: Iran and North Korean.

The second half of the speech was dominated by foreign affairs, mostly Iraq, where the president seemed relieved to deliver the news that his controversial 30,000 troop "surge" was paying off.

"Some may deny the surge is working," Bush said. "But among the terrorists, there is no doubt. Al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated." He also mentioned that 20,000 troops will be coming home in the next few months, but once again stressed that he will offer no timetable for the withdrawal of American troops, warning that doing so could lead to a security meltdown.

"Members of Congress," he said, "having come so far and achieved so much, we must not allow this to happen."

Taking up the task that has enthralled, and typically exasperated, many a late-term president, Bush again said that he hopes to achieve an elusive peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people and to establish a Palestinian homeland by the end of the year.

"The time has come for a holy land, where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side by side in peace," he said.

Though aides had said that the speech would be a look forward, not a misty glance back at past achievements, Bush, facing some of the lowest approval ratings of his term, did indulge in some nostalgic thoughts.

"Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum," he said, a glint of a smile crossing his face as he began his final Union address. "In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. 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 the call. Yet history will record that amid our differences, we acted with purpose. And together, we showed the world the power and resilience of American self-government.

"All of us were sent to Washington to carry out the people's business. That is the purpose of this body. It is the meaning of our oath. It remains our charge to keep."

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:15 pm 
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jimmie d killed the forum wrote:
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MWAHAHAHA! Thanks for the toons Jimmie!

Oh Baddy: I have a date limit. We're restricted to 1500 MB. And I DON'T want to spend it by opening a quadrillion Bush photos, unless they feature books upside-down or groin-pecking turkeys.
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