Well, I didn’t end up playing the State of the Union drinking game, but I did watch a few minutes of the speech (any more than that, and I woulda thrown something heavy at the TV).

[ If you happen never to have seen one of these addresses to the nation, you should know that every 15 seconds or so, the president says something dramatic and with great emphasis, and all the congresspeople and senators and other audience members stand and applaud for about 30 seconds, finally quieting down so the speech can proceed. ]

Well, my favorite part by far last night was when Bush was discussing the PATRIOT Act and said “Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year,” when an unexpected round of applause burst from the Democrats (and any sane-minded person) in attendance. He looked for a second like a deer caught in the headlights, poor guy.

He went on, of course, to ask our representatives to renew those provisions and help fight the war on terror. He didn’t note, unsuprisingly, that the PATRIOT act has been grossly misused to investigate (non-terrorism related) corruption in Las Vegas, coerce reporters into giving up their First Amendment rights, and threaten Federal Air Marshalls (the people hired to protect you from terrorists on airplanes). It’s for certain the act has been invoked many more times, but since the law actually prohibits anyone (banks, libraries, ISP’s, etc.) from mentioning that they’ve been asked to provide a law enforcement agency with any information, we might never know.

Good thing I didn’t watch the whole thing, I’d have been too angry to come in to work today.

posted January 21, 2004 – 7:12 am
Old News
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