[Update: The portion Glenn Reynolds referred to in his post-speech post (thanks for the link, by the way) is located at the beginning and the end of the live-blog portion of this post (update III below) and the network was ABC.]
I have not yet decided whether or not to liveblog the speech. It will depend in part on whether or not my kids are in bed yet. [Update: Obviously liveblogging has commenced below.] Please feel free to use this thread to discuss the speech and liveblog it yourselves if you would like. From the advance speech excerpts I have seen, the one that stands out to me is regarding America’s dependence on oil. I have little doubt that the speech will be a winner.
What almost certainly won’t be a winner is the post-speech “analysis.” A few things I will be surprised if I don’t hear from the network pundits: that Bush is sugarcoating the total disaster that exists in Iraq, that Bush does not fully grasp the problems many working men and women face everyday… blah, blah, blah…Jack Abramoff…culture of corruption…recitations of all the polls showing low support for Bush…Jack Abramoff…that Bush doesn’t like black people (but not in those words)…Jack Abramoff… blah, blah, blah…that Bush only included certain points to pander to specific groups that don’t like him… and last but not least, Jack Abramoff.
Jack Abramoff might just be the new Halliburton.
Update: The quote I referenced above is already the banner at Drudge, “America is addicted to oil.” When I read the advance excerpts that was the one quote that jumped out at me immediately. It will be interesting to see the reaction in the room to that line.
Update II: Bruce Kesler conducted an informal focus group of his own with his copy of advance excerpts from the speech. His results are interesting and encouraging. I suspect that what he found was discovered by the White House well in advance of this speech. I will be listening to the speech now to identify the passages directed at the Kesler playgroup focus group.
La Shawn Barber is planning to liveblog the illegal immigration portion of the speech.
I love this 16 Word SOTU speech. Link via Michelle.
UPDATE III (Live-blog begins): The speech has not even yet begun and already on ABC two references to the President’s horrible approval ratings, inept reaction to Katrina, disaster in Iraq, Abramoff scandal…blah, blah, blah. These people are TOO predictible. Now they are discussing Sheehan as a security concern. She has been arrested for trying to get a banner into the speech. Forget the speech, the coverage on this network will be poll numbers, Sheehan, doom and gloom. Where is the flippin’ remote?
9:12 — So far the best picture is of the Supreme Court justices with Roberts and Alito in robes. Thank you Mr. President.
Beginning with tribute to Coretta Scott King seems pretty smart and appropriate.
9:18 — Sheehan has been arrested. More about Sheehan at the SOTU in the post below.
9:22 — On Iraq
“WE ARE WINNING”
Decisions will be made by military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, DC.
“Hindsight is not wisdom”
“Second guessing not a strategy”
“stand behind American military in this vital mission”
“those who know the costs also know the stakes”
I am LOVING this speech!
9:26 Sobbing now (me, not Bush). Don’t forget the sacrifice of America’s military families.
9:37 — I am really loving this speech. The portion about not waiting for another attack and the lesson Bush is giving to learn from Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan against isolationism is great.
9:39 — The Economy. Preach it, Mr. President.
McCain is clapping for the line “make the tax cuts permanent”. Maybe he should have voted for all of them in the first place instead of engaging in “tax cuts for the rich talk.”
9:43 — Absolutely the best piece of theater: the Democrats, led by Hillary, hooting and hollering in celebration that they didn’t act to save social security. Followed by the ultimate slapdown from President Bush pointing out that the problem is NOT going away and that it is too important for partisan politics. Do the Democrats feel about an inch high right about now? Of course they don’t, but they should. Thank God for this man who keeps pushing what I would like to see for my kids, social security reform, in spite of polls and politics.
9:49 — I still cringe everytime I hear him say “nucular”. Since I am sure it really annoys all his critics, though, it makes me grin, too. The energy portion of the speech sounds good. I haven’t a clue whether or not any of it will work, but it sounds good.
10:03 — speech just ended. I thought it was good, but not great. My absolute favorite part, and the part getting the most discussion in the comments section, was when he got the Democrats to cheer the defeat of social security reform. He had some big ideas. He was extremely gracious.
Charlie Gibson is an idiot and a jerk seriously misguided (I edited that last line because it sounded too Kosian when I re-read it) — when his cohost (Elizabeth Vargas) said the President put his hand out across the aisle, Gibson said that yeah he did reach out to Democrats and then he wondered if the President had done it four years ago if all this partisanship could have been avoided. What a total idiot Gibson is. Bush let Kennedy write the education bill for goodness sake and then invited the guy to view a movie at the White House. That is above and beyond, baby. What did Charlie want from the President? Idiot! Ugh. Now he is saying most of the speech could have been given verbatim by Bill Clinton because of the tone. Clinton was THE most partisan President EVER. Seriously, I have to find that remote. (I am not too lazy to change the channel manually, if I don’t use the remote it messes up the satellite.)
I really wish the President had hammered the Dems on the spectacle that has been the judicial confirmation process. I guess he didn’t think it was necessary, but I think he should have made the point.
Update IV: John Hinderaker asks if anyone was watching.
11:00 Rudy is on Hannity and Colmes.
Looking back at my live blog, I want to change my assessment of the speech as good, but not great, to good overall and great in parts. The foreign policy part of the speech was excellent, great, kickass — I loved it.
I think much of the rest of the speech was almost too bipartisan. I think he should have pointed out the horrible treatment Alito got, not in an “in your face” way, but in veiled terms, after praising Alito’s character and qualifications. There are other places in the speech that I wish Bush had been a bit less gracious, but I am sure that his way was the smart way to go. Heck, look at Bruce Kesler’s playground focus group (referenced above). Heck, it sounds like the President was telling them exactly what they wanted to hear in terms of tone. Good speech overall, with some portions of it reaching levels of greatness. That is my final word on it. Unless something else occurs to me.
Update V: You absolutely HAVE to read Jon Ham’s live blog of the speech. It is perceptive and smart, but it is also hilarious (Pelosi “stalking” the President as he entered the room — what a perfect description). It was his first live-blog attempt and it is some of the best live-blogging I have seen.
11:40 — Wacky Wes Clark is on Hannity and Colmes saying that he has been told by some soldiers about some wrongdoing by our troops against Iraqi civilians. He says he is not saying it is our policy, but he says “some soldiers” have told him some of that has happened over there.
Mary Katharine Ham has a great take on the Democrat’s response — heads might just roll.
I agree 1000 percent with Hugh Hewitt’s take on the point made in the speech (and by Democratic response)about which party is serious about national security.
John in Carolina posted about one of the best pundit lines of the night from Fred Barnes.
Here’s a Marine’s take on the Democratic response.
Roger has an idea for a great political ad in the comments section.
I was being really good by not saying anything out loud about something distracting in the Democrat’s response, but Ian wasn’t so well-behaved in the title of this post. Emily Yee noticed too, and even has an eyebrow roundup.
12:20 — On CNN (Larry King), Bill Richardson just said he was troubled that the President was so uncompromising on the issue of terrorist surveillance (NSA intercepts). Someone please save that tape in case he runs for President. Thank God that the President won’t compromise on tracking terrorists and listening in on their phone calls. Have Democrats not figured out yet that the public understands this issue and it isn’t some budget dispute over increasing education spending by five percent or ten percent, it is a matter of life and death and there is no room for compromise on this issue.
Tonight's American Idol shows auditions from Greensboro, NC. It is about time they came to North Carolina, considering first place winner Fantasia Barrino and the most successful runner up ever, Clay Aiken, are both from NC. The two hour show begins at 8:00 p.m. EST.
Update: I already know who I want to win American Idol Season 5 -- Kelly Pickler from Albemarle, NC. She talks like I do (or like I did when I was 19) and she is absolutely adorable. Oh, and she sings like a bird. She won the hearts of the AI judges, too, even Simon. Pickler has a moving story, as well. Her mother left her when she was two and her father has been in and out of jail for drugs. She lives with her grandfather in a small house in Albemarle, where she works as a waitress (on roller skates at Sonic). She is modest and doesn't seem to realize how incredibly talented she is. She will be fun to watch.
FINALLY the football game is over. I hope everybody has visited the bathroom and is ready for some ACTION.
UPDATE: WE DON'T WANT THE SUBWAY POSTGAME SHOW. WE WANT JACK.
UPDATE: What the hell has Jimmy Johnson done to his hair?
UPDATE: Here we go. I pity the West Coast.
UPDATE: I hate the needle-to-the-heart part.
UPDATE: Jack is wearing a hard hat. They'll NEVER penetrate that disguise!
UPDATE: The bastards shot former acting acting president Allstate Insurance Spokesperson!
UPDATE: They're setting up a hard perimeter. That's always good.
UPDATE: WHOA! Chloe has a boyfriend! He's, like, 9, but still.
UPDATE: Frank's hot new girlfriend does not seem quite so hot now that we get a good look at her. But she is a major upgrade from Audrey.
UPDATE: The new girlfriend's surly teenage son looks alarmingly like Chloe.
UPDATE: Michelle is reminding Tony that they used to run scenarios. That is SO romantic.
UPDATE: They got Michelle! These people are dropping like flies.
UPDATE: Oral-B has a new toothbrush that looks genuinely scary.
UPDATE: Whoa. Edgar has not been skipping the Krispy Kremes.
UPDATE: NOW THEY'RE AFTER CHLOE. It's like they want to wipe out everybody who had anything to do with the last season! And who can blame them?
UPDATE: New Girlfriend (NGF) to Jack: "I can't thank you enough for all the work you've done around here." Heheheheh.
UPDATE: Jack wants Chloe to go dark.
UPDATE: Jack got out his Secret Agent Kit! He's baaaaaaccckk!
UPDATE: NOT AUDREY! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
UPDATE: The first lady is not taking this well.
UPDATE: Jack has commenced hitting people.
UPDATE: Jack is taking the NGF's surly teenage son (STS) in the helicopter. It's a chance for them to bond.
UPDATE: The First Lady says she is, quote, "not making this up."
UPDATE: Edgar is the size of a two-car garage.
UPDATE: They're not at speed! I hate it when people are after me and I'm not at speed.
UPDATE: Hey, Jack is stabbing now. Is that new? He was always more of a shooter.
UPDATE: Do NOT mess with Chloe.
UPDATE: The guy actually believed Jack wouldn't shoot him! Obviously he has never seen this show.
UPDATE: At this rate, by the end of the second hour there's going to be nobody left alive in Southern California.
UPDATE: Celebrity skating? Where will it end? Celebrity welding? Celebrity eye surgery?
UPDATE: Why are they showing the highlights of the first hour, which we JUST WATCHED??
UPDATE: Edgar ran it through a high-res filter. That's exactly how I would handle it.
UPDATE: Chloe's going to get Jack a schematic.
UPDATE: "Jack would never murder his friends."
UPDATE: Edgar is jealous.
UPDATE: President Manilow is SUCH a wienerhead.
UPDATE: They launch in less than an hour! (Who the hell are they?)
UPDATE: Jack's girlfriend is thinking she should have kept dating the plumber.
UPDATE: Chloe is reading the agents' transponders. She is some woman!
UPDATE: "Relax. He's really good at this."
UPDATE: Jack is booted up, and Chloe is uploading to him.
UPDATE: Jack is a smooth talker.
UPDATE: You rarely see that kind of cleavage on a first lady.
UPDATE: Edgar found out that Chloe's logged in remotely! With an external socket!
UPDATE: HEY! ASSASSINATED FORMER PRESIDENT ALLSTATE INSURANCE SPOKESPERSON IS ALIVE AND DOING COMMERCIALS!
UPDATE: I don't like the looks of the bald guy with the accent and the guns.
UPDATE: At some point, even the FBI is bound to notice all the unconscious agents lying around.
UPDATE: There's, like, dozens of agents after Jack. They have NO chance.
UPDATE: The girlfriend's on the 210 at the 10.
UPDATE: Chloe is a stand-up gal.
UPDATE: Jack really does care.
UPDATE: Somebody is messing with the first lady's mind, such as it is.
UPDATE: Edgar says there's chatter! They're sourcing it! The reliability's approaching 95 percent!
UPDATE: Eventually the bald guy is going to punch President Manilow out.
UPDATE: I see guys like that in the Miami Airport all the time.
UPDATE: You watch. The airlines will claim this is a weather delay.
UPDATE: OHMIGOD! THE WEASEL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT! HE'S IN ON IT!
UPDATE: Looks like there will be shooting tomorrow night.
OK, everybody take a handful of powerful sedatives and try to get some sleep. We'll recap tomorrow. You'll be on your own tomorrow night, but I think you have shown, in the comments section, that you are completely out of your minds up to the task.
My aunt recently emailed and asked if I wanted the recipe for my grandmother's bourbon rolls. She said she had forgotten about them until her kids asked for them this Christmas. I told her to send it on, along with the recipe for Maw Maw's macaroni and cheese. I made the mac and cheese tonight and it was wonderful. (The smell alone was divine.) I think I will try the bourbon rolls for my husband's birthday next week. The recipes, as my aunt relayed them to me, are below. Enjoy.
I don't think mother had a recipe for macaroni and cheese. She cooked the macaroni then layered her baking dish with macaroni, butter, and cheese until it was full. Then she would mix an egg with milk and pour it over the mixture. She would then bake it until it was bubbly and brown on top.
Here is the recipe for bourbon rolls.
1 large box of vanilla wafers (crushed). 1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup candied cherries 2 cups pecans 1 cup candied pineapple 3 tablespoons bourbon
Roll in powdered sugar, and wrap in aluminum foil, then let set in refrigerator for a week.
For those not familiar with bourbon rolls, they are rolled out into a log shape and then sliced when ready to serve. When I made the mac and cheese tonight, I used shredded sharp cheddar and I also added salt and pepper when I layered the cheese and butter.
I have talked about "24" for at least a week now, and in so doing have neglected one of my other "must see" shows, American Idol. Don't giggle. I love the show, and I don't care who makes fun of me for it. I know the words to most all of the songs (many from my childhood) and I can watch it with my children because none of the songs, dances or costumes are inappropriate.
My nine-year-old daughter loves last season's winner, Carrie Underwood. So much so, in fact, that I am almost sick of her new CD, we have listened to it so many times. Actually it is quite good, especially if you like country music. We also are fans of our hometown runner up from three seasons ago, Clay Aiken. I really enjoyed hearing him sing a lot of the songs I loved growing up by artists like Elton John and the Bee Gees and he seems like a genuinely decent human being.
If you haven't watched the show before, take a look. The first episode airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. on Fox with the open tryouts. After a few weeks the field will be narrowed to the finalists. My kids are pretty excited. Gotta go.