Our recurring feature in which Gama News political experts Amiço and Chiwawa Boy of The José Trio discuss and debate each other on current world news and events


January, 2007
State of Confusion

by
Amiço and Chiwawa Boy

Hola everyone, I guess.

Amiço, what's wrong? We're going to do our occasional "mock the State of the Union" thing that you like to do.

Sigh, si, I know.

Then what's up? You did Tivo it, si?

Si. I just didn't want to wait until the weekend to be doing this. I wanted to be in Washington for all the protest rallies.

Look, I'm really sorry, Amiço, I am. But I was really busy the last few days.

No you weren't!

Si! I was!

Doing what? Work??

Of course not. It's January. Lousy weather for brick-laying.

Then what??

I was finishing up...a project of mine.

Oh, were you now? And what project would that be??

Amiço, what has that got to do with it?

Well, it's just that I was on the phone with José last night....

He didn't!

"Project" my ass!!

Project it where?

Huh? No, I mean, like hell you were working on a project!

Amiço, this was very important to me....

You were watching Top Chef all week!

Amiço, por favor, listen to me...the season finale's next week, and I needed to catch up on what has been going on. Can you believe that Michael lasted--

I HAD TO CANCEL A TRIP TO WASHINGTON!!!

Well, who said you had to wait for me before you started commenting on the speech??

Oh si, that makes a lot of sense! I'll just do a debate column by myself. That wouldn't look too f-ing strange!

Look, Amiço, calm down, por favor. This isn't like us. Bush is turning us against each other! Friend against friend. Colleague against colleague. Child against parent. Everyone else on the planet against the United States. That's his game. He wants us all to be divided so that if a good thing does ever happen on his watch, he can come off like he had united the whole country, just like Lincoln did.

Sigh...I guess you're right, C.B. I'm sorry for being so mad at you.

No, no, you were entitled. Now then, how about we fire up the ol' Tivo and watch this thing?

Si, si, let's get on with it.

So this is the first time Bush will be speaking to a Democratically controlled Senate and House, si?

Si, with the first ever female Speaker of the House sitting right behind him.

This should be fun. Oh hey, there he is waddling into the chamber.

The applause doesn't seem as demanding as it was in previous years.

Who's that little guy that just grabbed Bush's hand?

That's Dennis Kucinich. Oh, to give anything to hear what he's whispering to Bush right now.

Hmm, it looks like he's saying something about his days being numbered or something.

This speech should be a hoot, since Bush is planning to unveil his new Iraq strategy here.

This would be his, what, eleventh new strategy in Iraq?

Si.

Wait a minute, isn't the State of the Union supposed to be about domestic policy?

Ideally, si. What's also funny is that, like, the night before this speech, Bush's new approval rating came out.

No way, what was it??

Twenty-eight percent!

Que?!? That's like Nixon numbers!!

Just one away, si.

Oh, and there he is having to shake hands with Nancy Pelosi.

Ha-ha, you have to shake hands with the liberal woman who is two heartbeats away from your job!

And she gets to sit behind you the whole night to signal to the camera what parts of your speech are baloney. You were right, Amiço, this is going to be fun!

Told ya.

By the way, did I tell you exactly why I want Marcel to die of testicular cancer?

Chiwawa Boy...!!!

Sorry.

Thank you very much. And tonight, I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own--

As opposed to having someone else's honor?

as the first president to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker.

"You see? It's good that my stubbornness and incompetence lost the mid-term election for my party! Because now I get to be the first person in history to introduce a...ahem...lady speaker! You see? You see? I truly am great!"

In his day, the late Congressman Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. from Baltimore, Maryland, saw Presidents Roosevelt and Truman at this rostrum.

Uh oh, someone found out how to use Wikipedia.

God help us then.

But nothing could compare with the sight of his only daughter, Nancy, presiding tonight as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Congratulations, Madam Speaker.

Wait, hasn't D'Alesandro been dead for twenty years?

Si, so?

So how would he be able to see his daughter as Speaker of the House, let alone compare it with the sights of seeing Roosevelt and Truman?

Maybe Bush meant metaphysically or something.

So, and this is meant as no offense to Nancy there, if you're dead and your spirit supposedly has the ability to see all, know all, and experience everything the universe has to offer, according to Bush nothing can top seeing a woman serving as Speaker of the House??

I think he still has difficulty wrapping his brain around the whole "letting 'em vote" thing, let alone serving in Congress.

Two members of the House and Senate are not with us tonight,

"...because I ate their livers with some fava beans...."

and we pray for the recovery and speedy return of Senator Tim Johnson and Congressman Charlie Norwood.

Oh si, I just bet he's praying for Johnson to get well!

Madam Speaker,

Ha-ha, you had to say "Madame Speaker," twice!

Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

"...and our millions of illegal aliens."

The rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour--

Ah, so if it wasn't customary, you wouldn't be giving us yokels the time of day, is that it?

when decisions are hard and courage is needed.

Or, in your case, when thinking is hard and courage can be compromised.

We enter the year 2007 with large endeavors underway, and others that are ours to begin. In all of this, much is asked of us.

By who?

We must have the will to face difficult challenges and determined enemies--and the wisdom to face them together.

"Um, right? Togetherness? Now that I've had my ass handed to me for the first time ever, we're all in this together now, right? Right??"

Some in this chamber are new to the House and the Senate--and I congratulate the Democrat majority.

Aw, gracias. You can start by using the correct word...it's "Democratic," you nitwit.

Congress has changed, but not our responsibilities.

"I still expect Congress to be nothing more than a rubber stamp for whatever half-baked plans I can pull out of my own perverted ideology."

Each of us is guided by our own convictions--

...unless you're a soldier.

and to these we must stay faithful. Yet we're all held to the same standards,

"Except for me and my buddies. We're allowed to be assholes because it's cute when rich guys manipulate poor people."

and called to serve the same good purposes: To extend this nation's prosperity; to spend the people's money wisely; to solve problems, not leave them to future generations; to guard America against all evil; and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us.

And what does any of that have to do with Bush again?

Well, because he supposedly knows what's best for us, what's best for our money, how to get this country back on the right path, how not to leave tremendous debt for our grandchildren, how to protect us from enemy attacks, and how not to put our troops into harm's way.

Ah...so when exactly is he going to start doing all this stuff?

We're not the first to come here with a government divided and uncertainty in the air.

Are you feeling uncertain about anything?

Nope. I am certain he's a douchebag.

So, his party loses one election out of 110 and so there must be uncertainty throughout the country?

Like many before us, we can work through our differences, and achieve big things for the American people. Our citizens don't much care which side of the aisle we sit on--

That's funny, as something in November seemed to have indicated otherwise.

as long as we're willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done. Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans, and to help them to build a future of hope and opportunity--and this is the business before us tonight.

"But first, let's talk about them Iraqis."

A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy, and that is what we have.

Um, we do?

Would the largest retailer in the country be suffering from their first ever negative quarter if the economy's growing?

We're now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth, in a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs, so far.

Si, but that's just from people in the Gulf Coast who've had to find new homes and jobs after Hurricane Katrina!

Unemployment is low,

It is?? Based on what?

inflation is low,

Then why does a comic book cost three bucks?

and wages are rising.

Is he taking credit for the Democrats' minimum wage increase??

You seem surprised.

This economy is on the move, and our job is to keep it that way, not with more government, but with more enterprise.

Ah, si, the government cannot help the economy at all. Cough-taxes on the rich-cough!

Next week, I'll deliver a full report on the state of our economy. Tonight, I want to discuss three economic reforms that deserve to be priorities for this Congress.

Because who wants to hear about the country's economy during the State of the Union??

Did he even say what state the union is in yet?

First, we must balance the federal budget.

Did I just slip into an alternate dimension?

"And by 'we' I mean much, much later presidents."

Does he really think he's fooling anyone into thinking that he's fiscally responsible?

Naaah, this is just lip service to the Democrats. He doesn't have the guts to do what's necessary to balance the budget.

We can do so without raising taxes.

See?

Si. So, how does he think he's going to do this then? Get a bank loan?

What we need to do is impose spending discipline in Washington, D.C.

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

We set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009, and met that goal three years ahead of schedule.

Wow, that would be impressive if the national debut wasn't $8.6 TRILLION! One-half hardly makes a dent in an amount that large.

Now let us take the next step. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the federal deficit within the next five years.

And if you believe that one....

I ask you to make the same commitment. Together, we can restrain the spending appetite of the federal government, and we can balance the federal budget.

The same commitment? Is he saying that we also need to figure out how to get rid of an $8.6 trillion debt? What is this, an interactive presidency?

Next, there is the matter of earmarks.

Which goes to the problem of lobbyists. It's interesting how he wasn't interested in getting rid of them when the Republicans controlled Congress.

Or when he was running for office.

These special interest items are often slipped into bills at the last hour, when not even C-SPAN is watching.

"When C-SPAN is watching?" He seems to have a unique theory on how television networks work.

Might this be the first State of the Union to mention a cable network?

Nope. Remember when Reagan spent twenty-two minutes complaining about BET?

In 2005 alone, the number of earmarks grew to over 13,000 and totaled nearly $18 billion. Even worse, over 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate. They are dropped into committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You didn't vote them into law. I didn't sign them into law. Yet, they're treated as if they have the force of law.

Oh, you mean like...oh, I dunno...signing statements??

The time has come to end this practice. So let us work together to reform the budget process, expose every earmark to the light of day and to a vote in Congress, and cut the number and cost of earmarks at least in half by the end of this session.

And here's the next thing he's setting himself up to take credit for, as if there's any doubt that the Democrats will curb lobbying influence in Congress.

And, finally, to keep this economy strong we must take on the challenge of entitlements.

Isn't that the one where the entitlements fight the Legion of Doom?

Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are commitments of conscience,

Well, that and law.

and so it is our duty to keep them permanently sound. Yet, we're failing in that duty.

Well, maybe if someone didn't give all the money away to rich shits and then try to push policies to privatize everything....

And this failure will one day leave our children with three bad options: huge tax increases, huge deficits, or huge and immediate cuts in benefits.

Or, the two real options could be either giving all of our children huge tax increases later or giving just really rich adults minor tax increases now.

Everyone in this chamber knows this to be true, yet somehow we have not found it in ourselves to act. So let us work together and do it now. With enough good sense and goodwill, you and I can fix Medicare and Medicaid and save Social Security.

Did you see that?!?

What??

Cheney just popped a nitro!

No he didn't!

Spreading opportunity and hope in America also requires public schools that give children the knowledge and character they need in life. Five years ago, we rose above partisan differences to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, preserving local control, raising standards, and holding those schools accountable for results.

"Now we just need to pass an act that actually works!"

Look! He's chewing it right now!

You can't chew nitro glycerin, Chiwawa Boy.

I'm telling you, he's having a heart attack right before our eyes. Why else is Pelosi smiling like that?

And because we acted, students are performing better in reading and math, and minority students are closing the achievement gap.

While many other underperforming students are simply removed from schools' progress reports.

I wonder if his left arm is tingling.

Now the task is to build on the success, without watering down standards, without taking control from local communities, and without backsliding and calling it reform.

"...because 'reform' means that I failed."

How long can a person having a heart attack live without medical treatment?

Will you knock that off already??

We can lift student achievement even higher by giving local leaders flexibility to turn around failing schools, and by giving families with children stuck in failing schools the right to choose someplace better.

Ah, so now he believes in the right to choose only when he wants to pawn off the responsibility and accountability of a federal policy onto local authorities.

We must increase funds for students who struggle and make sure these children get the special help they need.

And while they're getting federally funded help, surely these students and their grades won't just disappear from the schools' testing results.

And we can make sure our children are prepared for the jobs of the future--

"...like being a six-foot chess pawn and bullet target in a desert land."

and our country is more competitive by strengthening math and science skills.

This coming from a man who created the largest deficit in the country's history and is morally offended by science.

The No Child Left Behind Act has worked for America's children, and I ask Congress to reauthorize this good law. A future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available health care.

If only a political party didn't let both the insurance and pharmaceutical industries control every aspect of our health care system, huh?

When it comes to health care, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled, and poor children.

"...and no one else!"

And we will meet those responsibilities. For all other Americans,

"...you're screwed."

private health insurance is the best way to meet their needs.

Unless you can't afford it. Then, you're gonna die.

But many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy.

See?

And so tonight, I propose two new initiatives to help more Americans afford their own insurance.

You like how he isn't even considering an option that doesn't involve everyone in the country selling their souls to the insurance industry?

Si.

First, I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents.

"You can now claim an infected spleen as another child."

Families with health insurance will pay no income on payroll tax--or payroll taxes on $15,000 of their income.

Did he misspeak, or did he really mean that uninsured people will have to pay part of their income if they're already paying a payroll tax?

Who knows with this clown anymore.

Single Americans with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $7,500 of their income. With this reform, more than 100 million men, women, and children who are now covered by employer-provided insurance will benefit from lower tax bills.

Finally children who receive health insurance from their employers can stop worrying about paying high taxes! This truly is a golden age.

At the same time, this reform will level the playing field for those who do not get health insurance through their job. For Americans who now purchase health insurance on their own, this proposal would mean a substantial tax savings, $4,500 for a family of four making $60,000 a year.

Notice how he's not proposing anything about simply lowering the price of health insurance?

And for the millions of other Americans who have no health insurance at all, this deduction would help put a basic private health insurance plan within their reach.

Or anything not about making the whole country beholden to the insurance industry.

Changing the tax code is a vital and necessary step to making health care affordable for more Americans. My second proposal is to help the states that are coming up with innovative ways to cover the uninsured.

"I believe it's called the penal system...."

States that make basic private health insurance available to all their citizens should receive federal funds to help them provide this coverage to the poor and the sick. I have asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services to work with Congress to take existing federal funds and use them to create "Affordable Choices" grants. These grants would give our nation's governors more money and more flexibility to get private health insurance to those most in need.

Sigh...what's wrong with universal health care?!?

There are many other ways that Congress can help. We need to expand Health Savings Accounts. We need to help small businesses through Association Health Plans. We need to reduce costs and medical errors with better information technology. We will encourage price transparency.

Well, don't you know that if we tried that here, we'd end up like Canada.

Si, and that would be bad because...?

Um...well...uh...some of them speak French?

And to protect good doctors from junk lawsuits, we passing medical liability reform.

But then who's going to protect innocent patients from quack doctors who now feel that they have federal protection to not have to perform surgery correctly?

In all we do, we must remember that the best health care decisions are made not by government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors.

Then you better be the first one to come to a woman's aid the next time some religious fundamentalist redneck pharmacist refuses her prescription for birth control!

Extending hope and opportunity in our country requires an immigration system worthy of America, with laws that are fair and borders that are secure.

Ah si, here we go...more lazy, ineffective U.S. policy to solve a problem that didn't really exist in the first place except in the minds of old white guys.

When laws and borders are routinely violated, this harms the interests of our country.

...yet secures the interests of Wal-Mart and the hundreds of other businesses that take advantage of illegal aliens.

To secure our border, we're doubling the size of the Border Patrol, and funding new infrastructure and technology.

What about the Safety Patrol?

Yet even with all these steps, we cannot fully secure the border unless we take pressure off the border, and that requires a temporary worker program.

And now it's time for Bush's annual plea to create a new slave class of citizens.

We should establish a legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis.

Um, don't we already have one? It's called a Green Card, si?

As a result, they won't have to try to sneak in, and that will leave Border Agents free to chase down drug smugglers and criminals and terrorists.

"...all of who are clearly sneaking in from Tijuana."

We'll enforce our immigration laws at the work site and give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers, so there's no excuse left for violating the law.

"Now then, onto why I invaded Iraq...."

This guy's going to talk about legal responsibility?

We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals.

"You know, like da Borg!"

We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country without animosity and without amnesty.

Which means...what? You're going to start shooting us neutrally?

Convictions run deep in this Capitol when it comes to immigration. Let us have a serious, civil, and conclusive debate, so that you can pass, and I can sign, comprehensive immigration reform into law. Extending hope and opportunity depends on a stable supply of energy that keeps America's economy running and America's environment clean.

Oh, this ought to be good! He's going to try to use all those big science words to talk about the environment!

That's sort of like Hitler talking about how he can best help the Jews.

For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil.

Si, si...Texas oilman...funny that you say that--oh, he wasn't trying to be funny about it this time.

And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists--

And invading a sovereign nation without reason or provocation doesn't??

who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments, and raise the price of oil, and do great harm to our economy. It's in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply--

...which you'd hate.

the way forward is through technology.

...which you hate.

We must continue changing the way America generates electric power, by even greater use of clean coal technology, solar and wind energy, and clean, safe nuclear power.

Si, because there aren't any other inherent problems with using coal or nuclear power.

We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel.

Didn't he already propose something like this a while ago?

Si, he wants everyone to drive a bubble car like Fozzie did in that Muppets racing game for Playstation.

We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol using everything from wood chips to grasses, to agricultural wastes.

A car run on pigshit...spoken like a true hillbilly.

We made a lot of progress, thanks to good policies here in Washington and the strong response of the market.

Because when I think of environmental responsibility and awareness, I instinctively think of the GOP.

And now even more dramatic advances are within reach. Tonight, I ask Congress to join me in pursuing a great goal. Let us build on the work we've done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next 10 years.

"...by increasing gas prices another four bucks a gallon!"

When we do that we will have cut our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East. To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017, and that is nearly five times the current target.

...a target your administration has continually tried to fight, reduce, and block.

At the same time, we need to reform and modernize fuel economy standards for cars the way we did for light trucks, and conserve up to 8.5 billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017.

"...hopefully long after I'm dead in case it doesn't happen."

Achieving these ambitious goals will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but it's not going to eliminate it.

So the solution is conquering those countries?

And so as we continue to diversify our fuel supply, we must step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways. And to further protect America against severe disruptions to our oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

No, evidently stockpiling and hoarding is the answer.

America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil.

"...and I will do everything in my power to keep us on that verge until the end of time!"

You want some Hi-C, Amiço?

What flavor?

Ecto Cooler.

No, gracias.

Suit yourself. I'm taking a big pull on this sucker!

And these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.

PPPFFFfffttttt!!!!

You okay, Chiwawa Boy??

Si. My computer screen's all orange now! What did he just say??

Something about global warming.

Oh, you mean that thing he doesn't believe in and keeps saying needs more study??

Si.

Wow, what a two-faced flip-flopper! Is this the first time he's ever acknowledged global warming as a serious environmental threat?

Si, and only six years into his term.

Sorry, but it's too little, too late, Georgie Boy! You mocked the environmental movement for most of your political life, and now you're going to do an about-face just because you lost control of Congress? You cowardly hypocrite!

A future of hope and opportunity requires a fair, impartial system of justice.

You mean like when you executed all those people in Texas?

The lives of our citizens across our nation are affected by the outcome of cases pending in our federal courts. We have a shared obligation to ensure that the federal courts have enough judges to hear those cases and deliver timely rulings. As president, I have a duty to nominate qualified men and women to vacancies on the federal bench.

Oh, you mean like your private lawyer and some business associate's drinking buddy?

And the United States Senate has a duty, as well, to give those nominees a fair hearing, and a prompt up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.

You ever notice he wants an up-or-down vote only on things in which he knows there's going to be an intense debate?

Si, so then he can blame that nasty, mean old Congress for holding up our democracy.

I would say if any one thing shouldn't get a quick up-or-down vote it's the appointment of someone to a lifetime post on one of the three branches of the government!

For all of us in this room, there is no higher responsibility than to protect the people of this country from danger.

"...even though not a single oath of office says anything about that, but who follows that anyway?"

Five years have come and gone since we saw the scenes and felt the sorrow that the terrorists can cause.

Okay, stop the clock! Who had thirty-five minutes?

Notice he hasn't said the "I" word yet?

I still want to know what state our union is in.

We've had time to take stock of our situation. We've added many critical protections to guard the homeland.

...most of which were illegal. Wiretapping, anyone?

We know with certainty that the horrors of that September morning were just a glimpse of what the terrorists intend for us--unless we stop them. With the distance of time, we find ourselves debating the causes of conflict and the course we have followed.

Is anyone still debating anything?

Really, when everyone on the planet tells you that you're wrong for legitimate reasons and you still say "No, I'm right and that's it!", that's not really a "debate."

Such debates are essential when a great democracy faces great questions. Yet one question has surely been settled: that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy.

And we've done that...when??

I thought during the 2004 debates he said he knew Iraq didn't attack us?

From the start, America and our allies have protected our people by staying on the offense.

We have? I don't think history says that....

The enemy knows that the days of comfortable sanctuary, easy movement, steady financing, and free flowing communications are long over. For the terrorists, life since 9/11 has never been the same.

Then why do new terror cells keep springing up throughout the Middle East?

Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen.

"This way we can make anything up and say we stopped it!"

We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented, but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast.

A "plot?" Por-fa-vor! It was barely a rumor, and you didn't even let the mayor of Los Angeles or Californians in Congress know about it until four years later!

We broke up a Southeast Asian terror cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean.

Wait a sec. So he's now taking credit for what the British were able to do with good old fashioned police work??

For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them. Every success against the terrorists is a reminder of the shoreless ambitions of this enemy. The evil that inspired and rejoiced in 9/11 is still at work in the world.

...because you refuse to go after the people who masterminded the attack.

And so long as that's the case, America is still a nation at war. In the mind of the terrorist, this war began well before September the 11th, and will not end until their radical vision is fulfilled.

Does he even know what their vision is?

I don't think he sees it as a protest against American occupation in the Middle East and just instead sees it as crazy guys wanting world domination.

So in his mind he thinks he's fighting Lex Luthor?

Which, in his mind, would make him....

And these past five years have given us a much clearer view of the nature of this enemy. Al Qaeda and its followers are Sunni extremists,

Ah, calling the Sunnis terrorists as opposed to just another faction of citizens, smart move there. What, didn't he think there was enough of a civil war there already??

He still hasn't said "Iraq" yet.

He's trying to turn it into some sort of sick turf war, with him in the diplomatic role as mediator.

possessed by hatred and commanded by a harsh and narrow ideology.

"Now then, let's move on to why women aren't allowed to have miscarriages...."

Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite.

Si, I hate it when someone believes something even after all evidence of the contrary has been presented.

They preach with threats,

"Bring 'em on!"

"Wanted dead or alive!"

instruct with bullets and bombs, and promise paradise for the murder of the innocent.

"Now then, about why executing a teenager is the Christian thing to do...."

Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions.

...says the man who has trouble with simple English.

They want to overthrow moderate governments, and establish safe havens from which to plan and carry out new attacks on our country.

Don't they already have that now?

By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon the cause of liberty.

How exactly does one "retreat from the world?"

I would guess some sort of spaceship is used.

They would then be free to impose their will and spread their totalitarian ideology.

Si, that's called a Republican majority.

Listen to this warning from the late terrorist Zarqawi: "We will sacrifice our blood and bodies to put an end to your dreams, and what is coming is even worse."

You have to admire their commitment. In this country people gun down doctors and blow up clinics if they don't like abortion, but they don't put themselves at any risk to push their ideology.

Osama bin Laden declared: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."

Wow, he mentions bin Laden but not Hussein? This isn't the backward George W. Bush that I know.

These men are not given to idle words, and they are just one camp in the Islamist radical movement. In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who are just as hostile to America, and are also determined to dominate the Middle East.

Wait, so he thinks both Shiites and Sunnis are terrorists? I'm beginning to think he doesn't want anyone in control of Iraq!

Many are known to take direction from the regime in Iran,

He said it! He said it!

No, no, he said "I-ran."

Oh, sorry. Was so close there.

which is funding and arming terrorists like Hezbollah, a group second only to al Qaeda in the American lives it has taken.

"It is my goal to make sure that Hezbollah is second to no one!"

The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat.

"...in other words, Iraqis."

Whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent they have the same wicked purposes. They want to kill Americans, kill democracy in the Middle East, and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale.

Well, maybe if Americans left them alone and stayed the hell out of their country, then they wouldn't want that. Just a thought.

In the six years since our nation was attacked,

"...everyone fell into a coma and was asleep for the last year."

Huh?

He said it's been six years since September 11.

No, he didn't. The White House transcript says "sixth year."

I'm not telling you what was scripted. I'm telling you what he said.

I don't believe you. Rewind the Tivo and play it back again.

dekcatta saw noitan ruo ecnis sraey xis eht nI

Okay, playing it back now....

In the six years since our nation was attacked,

Okay, I owe you a Jolt Cola.

I wish I could report to you that the dangers had ended. They have not.

But what about all the things that didn't happen that you were so proud of?

And so it remains the policy of this government to use every lawful and proper tool of intelligence, diplomacy, law enforcement, and military action to do our duty, to find these enemies, and to protect the American people.

Well, there's a first time for everything....

This war is more than a clash of arms; it is a decisive ideological struggle,

Si, the dumb versus the deadly.

and the security of our nation is in the balance.

"...well, not really, but you know what I mean."

To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred, and drove nineteen men to get onto airplanes and to come and kill us.

We're getting rid of airplanes?

What every terrorist fears most is human freedom--

Aw, that's really sweet. They also hate Santa Claus, from what I've been told.

societies where men and women make their own choices,

Unless you want to marry another man you love, or have an abortion because your life is in danger.

This speech has a familiarly sappy ring to it.

answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments.

Yeah, because nobody in this country lives their lives out of resentment...well, except for religious fundamentalists, those border patrol rednecks, anti-gay activists, and anyone at Bob Jones University.

Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies--

...says the man who invaded a country for no reason.

and most will choose a better way when they're given a chance. So we advance our own security interests by helping moderates and reformers and brave voices for democracy.

"...by setting up a puppet democracy that we can trot out every few months and paint all the women's thumbs purple to show that they're going to be all right."

The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity.

That's the great question of our day?? Not "What can we do to reverse the effects of global warming?" or "What laws can we pass to guarantee homosexuals all the social rights everyone else in the country has?"

And I say, for the sake of our own security, we must.

"For the sake of my legacy, we must."

In the last two years, we've seen the desire for liberty in the broader Middle East, and we have been sobered by the enemy's fierce reaction.

"It's almost like they don't want us there!"

America's kinda becoming the fun guy who shows up at a party and then never leaves.

In 2005, the world watched as the citizens of Lebanon raised the banner of the Cedar Revolution, they drove out the Syrian occupiers and chose new leaders in free elections.

And the state of the union is...?

In 2005, the people of Afghanistan defied the terrorists and elected a democratic legislature.

So the state of our union is "see Afghanistan?"

And in 2005, the Iraqi people--

Finally!

Forty minutes in and we come to the first direct mention of Iraq.

I thought this was supposed to be the last chance for him to defend the war?

He better hurry up then. NBC isn't going to delay Deal or No Deal? indefinitely.

held three national elections, choosing a transitional government, adopting the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world, and then electing a government under that constitution.

Si, democracy can be impressive if you force it on people.

He sure is trying to make a parallel with American history, isn't he?

Si, and it only took this country several months and intense outside pressure, too!

Despite endless threats from the killers in their midst, nearly 12 million Iraqi citizens came out to vote in a show of hope and solidarity that we should never forget.

...while anywhere between sixty and one hundred thousand other Iraqis have been killed since the invasion.

A thinking enemy watched all of these scenes, adjusted their tactics, and in 2006 they struck back.

So, in other words, ultimately we did nada to make a damn bit of difference.

In Lebanon, assassins took the life of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent participant in the Cedar Revolution. Hezbollah terrorists, with support from Syria and Iran, sowed conflict in the region and are seeking to undermine Lebanon's legitimately elected government.

So, Chiwawa Boy, how's things been with you?

Huh? Oh, I was thinking about how hot Elia is.

Grrr!

In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces.

And the state of the union is...?

In Iraq, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam, the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia--and it succeeded.

You know, maybe people over there would be more respectful of buildings and things if our own hillbilly soldiers weren't photographing themselves sliding down the banisters of Saddam's palace like they were reenacting a scene from Home Alone.

Radical Shia elements, some of whom receive support from Iran, formed death squads. The result was a tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal that continues to this day. This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we're in.

I think most intelligent people knew all along that this would be the fight we'd be in over there, dumbass.

Every one of us wishes this war were over and won.

Who said anything about winning too?

Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept,

Vietnam.

our friends abandoned,

New Orleans.

and our own security at risk.

Letting Osama bin Laden escape so we could go after Saddam.

Ladies and gentlemen, on this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle.

You mean like a Vietnam outcome or a World War II outcome?

Let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory.

When did victory suddenly become infinitely more important than sparing lives?

In the mind of an egotist?

We're carrying out a new strategy in Iraq--a plan that demands more from Iraq's elected government, and gives our forces in Iraq the reinforcements they need to complete their mission.

So, in other words, the same strategy, only reworded.

Our goal is a democratic Iraq that upholds the rule of law, respects the rights of its people, provides them security, and is an ally in the war on terror.

I thought the goal was to track down weapons of mass destruction and hunt down terrorists supposedly threatening to use them on us?

In order to make progress toward this goal, the Iraqi government must stop the sectarian violence in its capital.

It's that simple!

But the Iraqis are not yet ready to do this on their own. So we're deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq.

Wow, you can actually hear his approval rating dropping even lower now!

The vast majority will go to Baghdad, where they will help Iraqi forces to clear and secure neighborhoods, and serve as advisers embedded in Iraqi Army units.

How is this different from what they're supposed to be doing now?

With Iraqis in the lead, our forces will help secure the city by chasing down the terrorists, insurgents, and the roaming death squads.

...which we also should have been doing all along.

And in Anbar Province, where al Qaeda terrorists have gathered and local forces have begun showing a willingness to fight them, we're sending an additional four thousand United States Marines, with orders to find the terrorists and clear them out.

I guess he thinks if we send more troops into Iraq then we'll finally find terrorists there.

We didn't drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan--

Um, nope, we didn't evidently.

only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq.

"Okay, maybe not 'free.' Maybe just differently bloody."

The people of Iraq want to live in peace,

"Not while I'm around!"

and now it's time for their government to act. Iraq's leaders know that our commitment is not open-ended.

Booo! He's in reruns now! He said all this earlier this month.

They have promised to deploy more of their own troops to secure Baghdad, and they must do so.

Yeah, because between the greatest nuclear superpower in the world and a bunch of Iraqi farmers, they're the ones who have trouble keeping their word.

They pledged that they will confront violent radicals of any faction or political party, and they need to follow through, and lift needless restrictions on Iraqi and coalition forces, so these troops can achieve their mission of bringing security to all of the people of Baghdad.

Now he's blaming the Iraqis themselves for all the continued bloodshed toward Iraqis? Isn't that a Cheney line?

Iraq's leaders have committed themselves to a series of benchmarks--

...even though they have yet to meet a single previous benchmark or deadline, but okay.

to achieve reconciliation, to share oil revenues among all of Iraq's citizens,

"So I now declare myself the country's sole citizen."

to put the wealth of Iraq into the rebuilding of Iraq,

"Sorry we blew up your homes. Just use your oil money to build a new hut. What's the problem?"

to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's civic life, to hold local elections, and to take responsibility for security in every Iraqi province. But for all of this to happen, Baghdad must be secure. And our plan will help the Iraqi government take back its capital and make good on its commitments.

I just like how he's betting all of our chips on a government that can't really seem to do anything to defend itself. I think there's some unresolved co-dependency issues there.

My fellow citizens, our military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options.

"Well, okay, that's a lie."

We discussed every possible approach.

"...sort of."

In the end, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance for success.

"And because it's the only one that will still make me look good if it should work."

Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq, because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far-reaching.

Such as...?

He never seems to really illustrate what would happen if we don't win in Iraq, does he?

That's because as far as this country is concerned, nothing will happen except it will be looked at as the greatest blunder in American history, and he knows that.

If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides.

It doesn't seem as if they're waiting.

We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country, and in time, the entire region could be drawn into the conflict.

Si, a civil war across Iraq would just suck.

For America, this is a nightmare scenario.

Gee, if only someone didn't start all this shit then, huh?

For the enemy, this is the objective. Chaos is the greatest ally; their greatest ally in this struggle.

I don't know, we seem to be helping the terrorists greatly in this.

And out of chaos in Iraq would emerge an emboldened enemy with new safe havens, new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to harm America.

Yeah, because invading their country without reason didn't give them enough of a reason to hate America.

To allow this to happen would be to ignore the lessons of September the 11th and invite tragedy.

And it's back to connecting Iraq with September 11.

I thought the lessons we learned from September 11 was that heads of state should read their daily security briefings and not engage in business deals with families of wanted terrorists.

Ladies and gentlemen, nothing is more important at this moment in our history than for America to succeed in the Middle East,

So this is an important moment in American history by proxy?

to succeed in Iraq and to spare the American people from this danger. This is where matters stand tonight, in the here and now.

"...as opposed to the there and yesterday."

I have spoken with many of you in person.

"...provided you contributed heavily to my election campaigns, of course."

I respect you and the arguments you've made.

"...the way I respect people I publicly mock, belittle, and ignore."

We went into this largely united,

I guess he means a more general "we."

in our assumptions and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure.

Si, millions of people did not vote for failure twice!

Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq,

"...um, again."

and I ask you to give it a chance to work.

"...um, again."

And I ask you to support our troops in the field, and those on their way.

"...whether they like it or not."

The war on terror we fight today--

"...is misdirected and ineffective."

is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others.

"...well, mainly just 'I.'"

And that's why it's important to work together so our nation can see this great effort through. Both parties and both branches should work in close consultation.

He proposes now that he's thoroughly whipped.

It's why I propose to establish a special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties.

Oh bueno, another Iraq study group you can ignore.

We will share ideas for how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us.

"...um, except when it comes to terrorist attacks or hurricanes."

We'll show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory. And one of the first steps we can take together is to add to the ranks of our military so that the American Armed Forces are ready for all the challenges ahead.

Oh dear god, C.B., brace yourself for the draft mention....

Bracing!

Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years.

"We will now start accepting the induction of puppets."

A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps.

Oh, you mean like...the reserves and National Guard??

Such a corps would function much like our military reserve.

"...who are all now on active duty in Iraq and are dying left and right."

It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.

Well, surely this won't get abused by the government when troop levels become too low yet again.

Americans can have confidence in the outcome of this struggle because we're not in this struggle alone.

"You're never alone with Jesus."

We have a diplomatic strategy that is rallying the world to join in the fight against extremism. In Iraq, multinational forces are operating under a mandate from the United Nations.

Suuure, now he wants to be diplomatic and work with the United Nations!

We're working with Jordan and Saudi Arabia and Egypt and the Gulf States to increase support for Iraq's government. The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran, and made it clear that the world will not allow the regime in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons.

This also has a familiar ring to it.

With the other members of the Quartet--the U.N., the European Union, and Russia--we're pursuing diplomacy to help bring peace to the Holy Land, and pursuing the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.

"And just in case I'm not spreading us too thin yet...."

In Afghanistan, NATO has taken the lead in turning back the Taliban and al Qaeda offensive, the first time the Alliance has deployed forces outside the North Atlantic area. Together with our partners in China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, we're pursuing intensive diplomacy to achieve a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

"We're not succeeding, but we're pursuing it!"

We will continue to speak out for the cause of freedom in places like Cuba, Belarus, and Burma--and continue to awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur.

And by "we will," he means he'll let George Clooney do it and then just take credit afterward.

American foreign policy is more than a matter of war and diplomacy.

"...it's a lot of war!"

Our work in the world is also based on a timeless truth: To whom much is given, much is required.

Sooo...we're only doing anything because we'll get something later?

We hear the call to take on the challenges of hunger and poverty and disease--

"We're letting voice mail get it."

and that is precisely what America is doing. We must continue to fight HIV/AIDS, especially on the continent of Africa.

But we'll also bitch and moan if they want to put an HIV-positive Muppet on Sesame Street over there.

Because you funded our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the number of people receiving life-saving drugs has grown from 50,000 to more than 800,000 in three short years.

...yet teaching about safe sex is still a no-no.

I ask you to continue funding our efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. I ask you to provide $1.2 billion over five years so we can combat malaria in fifteen African countries.

What's this, the Mars of diseases? He'll forget about this in a month or two.

I ask that you fund the Millennium Challenge Account, so that American aid reaches the people who need it, in nations where democracy is on the rise and corruption is in retreat. And let us continue to support the expanded trade and debt relief that are the best hope for lifting lives and eliminating poverty.

What's he babbling about now?

Sounds like Y2K.

When America serves others in this way, we show the strength and generosity of our country.

So, we just help people for the P.R.?

These deeds reflect the character of our people. The greatest strength we have is the heroic kindness, courage, and self-sacrifice of the American people. You see this spirit often if you know where to look, and tonight we need only look above to the gallery.

And here comes the cheap sentiment and treacle. He must be done talking about the country now.

So, the state of the union is...?!?

Dikembe Mutombo grew up in Africa, amid great poverty and disease. He came to Georgetown University on a scholarship to study medicine, but Coach John Thompson got a look at Dikembe and had a different idea.

"...an evil idea. A grinchy idea!"

Dikembe became a star in the NBA, and a citizen of the United States. But he never forgot the land of his birth, or the duty to share his blessings with others. He built a brand new hospital in his old hometown. A friend has said of this good-hearted man: "Mutombo believes that God has given him this opportunity to do great things." And we are proud to call this son of the Congo a citizen of the United States of America.

This is really getting boring. Can't we turn it off now?

Sit tight, C.B. It's almost over.

But this isn't going anywhere! This is like watching an episode of that Ren and Stimpy show from Spike TV!

After her daughter was born, Julie Aigner-Clark searched for ways to share her love of music and art with her child.

I guess merely exposing her to it was out of the question?

So she borrowed some equipment, and began filming children's videos in her basement.

Um....

I feel ill now.

The Baby Einstein Company was born, and in just five years her business grew to more than $20 million in sales.

OH!

I still feel ill.

In November 2001, Julie sold Baby Einstein to the Walt Disney Company, and with her help Baby Einstein has grown into a $200 million business.

Si, that's what happens when you sell your soul to Lucifer.

Julie represents the great enterprising spirit of America. And she is using her success to help others, producing child safety videos with John Walsh of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Julie says of her new project: "I believe it's the most important thing that I have ever done. I believe that children have the right to live in a world that is safe."

Okay, we get it! She's great! She's a hero! She's a mom! She's king of the world, okay?!?

And so tonight, we are pleased to welcome this talented business entrepreneur and generous social entrepreneur, Julie Aigner-Clark. Three weeks ago, Wesley Autrey was waiting at a Harlem subway station with his two little girls, when he saw a man fall into the path of a train.

It was just Scooter Libby leaping to his death.

With seconds to act, Wesley jumped onto the tracks, pulled the man into the space between the rails, and held him as the train passed right above their heads. He insists he's not a hero. He says, "We got guys and girls overseas dying for us to have our freedoms. We have got to show each other some love."

Wasn't this a Wonder Twins segment?

There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey. Tommy Rieman was a teenager pumping gas in Independence, Kentucky, when he enlisted in the United States Army. In December 2003, he was on a reconnaissance mission in Iraq when his team came under heavy enemy fire. From his Humvee, Sergeant Rieman returned fire; he used his body as a shield to protect his gunner. He was shot in the chest and arm, and received shrapnel wounds to his legs, yet he refused medical attention, and stayed in the fight.

Wow, what a brave, stupid man.

Just end already!! I've got Top Chefs to watch!!

He helped to repel a second attack, firing grenades at the enemy's position. For his exceptional courage, Sergeant Rieman was awarded the Silver Star. And like so many other Americans who have volunteered to defend us, he has earned the respect and the gratitude of our entire country.

"...but I'll have Karl Rove fund a group to slander him if he ever says anything even slightly negative about me!"

END, END, END!!!!

In such courage and compassion, ladies and gentlemen, we see the spirit and character of America, and these qualities are not in short supply. This is a decent and honorable country--

...except when we screw up royally, like in Iraq.

and resilient, too. We've been through a lot together. We've met challenges and faced dangers, and we know that more lie ahead.

"...especially with me in charge!"

Yet we can go forward with confidence, because the State of our Union is strong, our cause in the world is right, and tonight that cause goes on. God bless.

Go right to hell.

That's it?!? "The state of our union is strong??" Not "troubled?" "Divided?" "Angry?" "Changing??"

Chiwawa Boy, you should know by now that the State of the Union isn't a progress report anymore. It's just posturing and self-congratulations.

But for what?? What has he done in the last year that was so flippin' great? His failures over the last year lost him Congress.

And the fact that we were able to change who has the power there should, if nothing else, prove that the state of our union is strong. We're united and in agreement that we're heading in the wrong direction.

I sooo would have told George to pack his knives and go home a long time ago.

That wasn't another Top Chef reference, was it?

Huh? No, of course not. That was...um...hey, what's that over there??

What? Where?!?

Buonas noches, everyone! Elia, call me!

C.B., there was nothing--Chiwawa Boy? Chiwawa Boy?

Dork...everyone knows Ilan's gonna win anyway.


He Said/He Said November, 2006: Torture
He Said/He Said August, 2006: Pluto
He Said/He Said July, 2006: The Anti-War Movement
He Said/He Said May, 2006: Surveillance
He Said/He Said April, 2006: Immigration
He Said/He Said February, 2006: Anniversaries
He Said/He Said December, 2005: War on Christmas
He Said/He Said September, 2005: Hurricane Preparation
He Said/He Said July, 2005: Presidential Diversions
He Said/He Said May, 2005: Revenge of the Ditz
He Said/He Said April, 2005: The Pope
He Said/He Said February, 2005: Cartoons
He Said/He Said December, 2004: New Year's Past
He Said/He Said October, 2004: Amiço and Chiwawa Boy's Super-Cool Election Spectacular!
He Said/He Said August, 2004: Terror Alerts
He Said/He Said June, 2004: The Gipper
He Said/He Said March, 2004: Language
He Said/He Said February, 2004: Nudity
He Said/He Said January, 2004: State of Delusion
He Said/He Said December, 2003: 2003: The Obligatory Year in Review
He Said/He Said October, 2003: Marriage Protection Week
He Said/He Said September, 2003: Blackouts and Rub-outs
He Said/He Said July, 2003: Virginity and Celebrity
He Said/He Said April, 2003: France
He Said/He Said March, 2003: War
He Said/He Said February, 2003: Award Season
He Said/He Said December, 2002: Resolutions
He Said/He Said October, 2002: Fear
He Said/He Said September, 2002: The Emmys
He Said/He Said August, 2002: Baseball
He Said/He Said June, 2002: The Pledge
He Said/He Said May, 2002: Cloning
He Said/He Said February, 2002: Sex
He Said/He Said January, 2002: The State of the Union
He Said/He Said December, 2001: The Holidays
He Said/He Said August, 2001: McDonald's
He Said/He Said July, 2001: Music
He Said/He Said May, 2001: The Death Penalty
He Said/He Said March, 2001: The Oscars
He Said/He Said February, 2001: Napster


The Gama News Team ©2007 GAMA Productions. The Gama News Team and its related characters are the exclusive properties of GAMA Productions. All rights reserved.

The José Trio concept, Amiço, and Chiwawa Boy are the exclusive properties of Catra Enterprizes, a Catra-Dohtem, Inc. company.