SOTU Simul Simul Blog

I'll be doing a bit of simul-blog of President Bush's final State of the Union tonight, simultaneously working on my motion in limine project for Legal Research and Writing. We'll see how it goes.

SCOTUS at SOTU? Looks like Alito, Breyer - who's looking quite old, Kennedy, and Roberts.

Laura and the girls have arrived in the chamber. Jenna's black dress is far better looking and more appropriate for the occasion than Barbara's choice for the evening. Speaker Pelosi's in lavendar, having a great time up on the rostrum with Cheney, no doubt.

CSPAN is looking a little fuzzy for some reason.

8:05 Central - And here's POTUS.

A blue tie? A sign of unity?

Maine's Olympia Snowe gets in a handshake. Mary Landrieu of Lousiana does, too.

Something's screwy with the C-SPAN audio.

A wink from Bush as he sips some water. Was it Hillary? Ted Kennedy? And now a half wink over the Republican side.

Pelosi seems to be clapping vigorously at the prospect of this being Bush's final SOTU.

In the opening remarks, a hint at China's rise as an economic competitor.

And now, the economy. He's a little feisty. No pork for you. Act swiftly.

[But will a tax rebate this summer be too late even if the stimulus is passed tomorrow?]

The IRS accepts money order?

There's Dave Obey sitting next to Charlie Rangel - Rangel laughs (and rightly so) at Bush's remarks about the government keeping a balanced budget like American families.

Earmarks = bad. Talk of veto.

...the Eastern District of Louisiana says so, but does the Fifth Circuit caselaw?

Housing. Housing. Housing.

The No Child Left Behind Act. Hmmm. Read Chapter 9 of Conscience of a Conservative. Education is the province of states, not the federal government. Funded or not, I disagree. Grants or scholarships for students excelling in specific areas critical to U.S. national security are appropriate, like the Barry Goldwater Scholarship for math and science students.

Free Trade agreements. He gets, at the very least, that these agreements are in America's strategic interests, although he doesn't specically detail how we're now competing with China for South American trade.

He whips the word "hemisphere" out as if proud of getting it right after all his practicing.

And now - wait for it, wait for it, one more time...NUKE U LER!

He's right on the unfairness of Kyoto-type treaties.

...let's see, an unpublished source. Man, I despise citations.

Stem Cells - why are we increasing funding? Morals and science aside, why is the government expending funds on it?

8:30 - OOH - now judges. A strict constructionist line. "A prompt up or down vote."

Awesome - the four justices present are completely immobile as the camera pans over. Black robes. No twitching. No movement. Impartial. Nice work.

"The armies of compassion..." in the Gulf?

NOLA! A North American summit headed here to New Orleans. Should be fun.

It looks like Pelosi is reading a book - perhaps it's the speech text - that's more interesting. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, a large, bright purple dot in the crowd, stands clapping, alone, on her side of the aisle.

Foreign Worker's proposal gets a chilly reception from the GOP.

"Advancing liberty in troubled regions of the world..." Don't make bellicose talk about Iran.

"blood soaked finery" - that is clearly not a Bush line

"We will deliver justice to our enemies." The young soldier seated above Jenna Bush is very late to clap, claps briefly, and is done before everyone around him. Haunting.

A mini surge for Afghanistan. Marines.

..."It takes two to tango, in court as well as on the ballroom floor." Can evidence of this subsequent remedial remedy be used to impeach or not?

Iraq. The narrative. Widespread applause for the work of the troops and civil servants. Even at least one of the Justices.

A full-throated roar from the Republicans as Bush announces al-Qeada is on the run and will be defeated.

Was that a random elk mating call or a Marine hoo-wah?

"a protective overwatch mission" A new euphemism.

[Bush, really, has not changed over the course of seven years. His rhetoric remains the same, the narrative style, the tone, the unchanged insistence on Iraq. The belief that everything is possible through a little government help. The insistence that things are looking better. A black and white view. A man who needed to create a Reaganesque good versus evil storyline to fit his abilities, his mindset. A man who does not recognize how broad a brush he paints with and what it will mean overseas.]

Iran. Nuke u ler!

"And above all know this...America will confront those who threaten our troops..."

Alito's been clapping rather enthusiastically, even standing, throughout the evening. The other justices have been more subdued. Breyer now gets in a few half-hearted slaps of his thigh.

Fully fund a global poverty initiative? Break the cyle of famine. [Bush, as in SOTUs past, tries to solve all the world's problems - no matter what the cost]

Is there anything we haven't increased funding for?

New measures for vets are great, but talk about the necessary, unsexy cuts in spending that must correspond.

...does this deserve its own subsection in Argument or not?

9:02 - liberty in their hearts (what about in actuality?)

the state of our union will remain strong

[the young soldier seated above Jenna Bush is still seated even as everyone else rises at the end of the speech]

...ok, it's time to buckle down and Westlaw some of these cases cited in the footnotes.