Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Total Information Awareness resurfaces

Dubya's rating for last night's SOTU Speech - C minus. Although it should be a solid D, I'm giving him a bonus for looking like such a wuss. Still, it was just a big ol' turd of a speech. Nothing of substance, and my notes below were meant to be blogged last night. TiVo cut me short. I didn't care and just gave up. Editing the Bushies re-tread, uninspired, jingoistic lecturing into something worthwhile would be impossible. "A hopeful society..." Jeez, Dubya really drove that new "axis of evil" catchphrase into the ground last night. I'm sure the Bushies thought this sounded most like "it's morning in America". The "heroes" were BOR-RING - not a single Lenny Skutnik in the bunch. In many ways, Cindy Sheehan stole the limelight with a double-misdemeanor t-shirt. Sure to be the biggest search result from the speech in the Googling world today.

(all times translated to Eastern Standard, even for that weird part of Indiana that doesn't observe Daylight Savings Time)
• 9:07 PM - Alito, smug as a new Senior at a Princeton Eating Club midget bowling kegger.
• 9:09 Dubya makes his way in, really yuckin’ it up with Sheila Jackson Lee and Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Workin' on his street cred. Oh, and then he straightens up when he sees the guys in uniform.
• 9:10 John King on CNN says “(Dubya’s) a likable guy.” Yea, well then John King's a folksy dooshbag.
• Just seeing Hastert and Cheney sitting together raises the nation’s cholesterol 2 points.
• First hero introduction with creepy “they’re together now in heaven” overtones – Coretta Scott King. No representative made the gate.
• 9:16 Bin Laden identified by name for first time. “Allowing the violent to inherent the Earth.” Holy Biblical Overstatement, Batman!
• “There is no peace in retreat. And there is no honor in retreat.” Hubris never leads to true honor by always spurning retreat. I think Ted Baxter said that.
• Sarah lets it fly - “John Kerry’s a pussy for standing (for that line).” And tells me I can use it. Thanks, Hon.
• 9:22 “We are winning.” No word on what.
• Responsible criticism vs. defeatism – horribly overwritten politico-bunko. “Second guessing is not a strategy.” Neither is not having a strategy.
• 9:26 Hero alert! Soldiers. Bomb-sniffing German Shepard. Family of dead soldier (Dan Clay) introduced. CNN shot of soldier with bomb dog, both fighting back tears. Dubya with that TERRIBLE half-wink/half-smirk.
• “Dark vision of hatred and fear.” Dubya endorses the new album by Motorhead.
• 9:30 Calling out Iran. Everyone sychronize your Countdown Clocks - our new War is on the table. When Dubya starts speaking directly to the people of a Country, it's on. All that’s to be decided is the when.
• Hard shift to poverty and all its chums. Bleak, bleak, bleak. Turn that fake frown upside down, Dubya.
• 9:34 Patriot Act push. Looked like bad calesthenics in a 3rd Grade gym class seeing the GOP stand up.
• 9:35 NSA eves-dropping defense rundown. Hard spin. With snark.
• “Freedom is on the March.” Weird-ass request of both parties. No Dems should sign anything until their lawyers take a good luck at it.
• Calling for the Line Item Veto in a room full of Senators (who all want to be President) is like a motion for an evening of free cocaine at a fraternity convention. Everyone gets excited for a little while.
• 9:43 Dems draw the first blood of the evening when Dubya’s failed Social Security plan draws applause. And then he lumped Medicare and Medicaid into the call for action. Now THAT’s funny.
• All the domestic stuff blended together like a college freshman’s pasta sauce.
• Dubya tells Congress to be proud of itself. Awwww.
• Anti-cloning strangeness.
• Dubya’s hair is on the old guy side of his repertoire. Not his best hair day, by far. Laura looks, however, like her hair is one of the most successful programs in the past few years. Well worth a war, probably according to Ann Coulter.
• CRAP! Missed the end of it. Live TV jump cuts to Tim Blaine or Kaine or Rogaine. He looks like one of the Darrins from TV's "Bewitched".
(end o' notes)

I'm much more interested in what extent of things the Bushies are REALLY talking about when they mention the "Terrorist Surveillance Program". Remember "Total Information Awareness" back in 2001-2002. I suggest that's what we're looking at here. Just imagine that the NSA actually has a data mining project that covers absolutely everything, including you reading this and me writing this and all stops besides and all calls you make and everything you ever commit to the airwaves. Unless you're talking to someone face-to-face in your life, literally everything else. And now imagine how hard the Bushies will fight to keep people from knowing that they have this new weapon of monitoring their "enemies". Because you have to assume that someone will eventually use it against his or her political opponents, even if these horrifically sanctimonious Bushies actually believe that they'll always stay (wink, wink) pure and legally-justified. Will anyone stand up against the Program THEN? Who besides Cindy Sheehan's going to stand up against this pattern of abuse by this Administration? As we all saw last night, Dubya's not going anywhere no matter how diminished his political power to affect legislation may be.

But the time has come to move on. Lots of news out there, lots of reason to stay informed. Hope you're finding your own reasons for excitment today. Rock on.

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