Tuesday, January 31, 2006
By Steven L. Taylor

I will be live-blogging the SOTU for as long as I can stand to do so…

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By Steven L. Taylor

Fred Barnes on Fox News earlier this evening noted that in his experience covering the SOTU for about 30 years that the speeched tended not to be especially memorable. He noted three sound bites that stuck in his head:

Ford: “The state of the Union is not good.”

Clinton: “The era of big government is now over.” (from the 1996 speech)

Bush: “Axis of Evil”

Can anyone think of any other memorable phrases or soundbites?

I was thinking that maybe Clinton’s formulation that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare” was from a SOTU, but a quick search of his speeches reveals this not to be the case. (Here’s an index of Clinton SOTUs).

Anyway, the challenge is: can anyone remember anything memorable at all from a SOTU apart from the ones listed above?

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By Steven L. Taylor

Being a powerful, influential blogger or because e-mail is essentially free and I was accidentally added to an e-mail list (I am not sure which) I just received a preview press release on the President’s SOTU address.

Here’s what I see:

  • The need for the US to be a leader in the world (boilerplate from every post-9/11 speech the prez has given).
  • The US must spread freedom and not retreat within our own borders (freedom is good).
  • Families are important, and economic growth is good (who knew?).
  • We need alternative fuel sources (the whole “addicted to oil” bit, which is shaping up to be a key soundbite).

  • We must do something about health care (although exactly what, the press release doesn’t day).
  • Compassion is good (compassionate conservative on the march again).

Hmm, maybe those are excerpts from last year’s speech…

Well, that was an exciting press release, now wasn’t it?

(I must confess, I am in a flippant mood about tonight’s speech, we’ll see if that spills over into whatever liveblogging I do tonight).

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By Steven L. Taylor

Bush says U.S. addicted to oil (Reuters)

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By Steven L. Taylor

Less than jazzed about tonight’s SOTU? You aren’t along, and Kevin Drum has the numbers to prove it.

One suspects the interest in 2002 and 2003 had to do with 9/11 and Iraq, respectively.

Meanwhile, Matthew Shugart would like to get rid of the thing.

Of course, as I noted earlier, the speech, for all its flaws, has too much political usefulness to be done away with.

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By Steven L. Taylor

James has been at it for three years now (and quite successfully, I might add).

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP: No Special Election for N.J. House Seat

Corzine, who named fellow Democrat Menendez to fill the final year of his Senate term after Corzine became governor this month, said a special election would be too costly. He also said voters in Menendez’s district would be asked to go to the polls five different times over just eight weeks.

Ok, elections are expensive, but this really strikes me as unfortunate, as the Governor of New Jersey is denying a substantial number of citizens in his state adequate representation for a whole year because he decided to elevate the individual who held the seat.

Not only is that one less vote for the interests of the state, what about constituent services for that district this year?

If Corzine felt that a special election for the seat was too expensive, he should have picked someone else to fill the Senate vacancy created by his move to the governorship.

And this is rather odd:

The law does not allow the governor to appoint a replacement for a House seat, Assembly Democratic spokesman Joe Donnelly said.

Corzine said he would work with state lawmakers “to solve this problem for the future.”

It’s odd, because it isn’t the domain of the state legislatures to “solve” this “problem” as the issue of House vacancies are dealt with in Article I of the Constitution:

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

While it seems that there is some latitude on the calling of special elections, I am unaware of the idea that governors can simply unilaterally decide not to fill a seat–especially when we are talking about roughly half of a term.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Vai Reuters: Alito sworn in at US high court

Chief Justice John Roberts, Bush’s first Supreme Court nominee, administered the constitutional and judicial oaths in a private ceremony at the court, a spokeswoman said.

A public ceremony will be held tomorrow.

It’s a busy day inside the Beltway today: a new Associate Justice, the end of the Greenspan era (with an interest rate hike), a new Fed Chief, and the SOTU.

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By Steven L. Taylor

As expected: FOMC Raises Fed Funds Rate to 4.5%

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via Reuters: U.S. Senate confirms Bernanke as Fed chief

He was confirmed via voice vote.

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