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Friday, Jan 23, 2004, 4:08 am

As good as a bag of Funions

By A.L. Loy

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watched young
Bush inform me on the state of the nation was a lot like going on a
junk food
bender. Not much there, not good for me and later I'm sure I'll get
the.. well,
you get the point. The whole speech was emptier than a bag of Funions.
A man can
think so much his head might well explode goes an old folk song. Young
will not have to worry about losing the top of his cranium. It will
take at
least a week before I get my English skills back.

Between Rep. Rangel falling asleep (Sen. Clinton might have been
checking his
state with a mirror under his nose) and Sen. Kennedy?s facial
imitations of Jim
Carey the night was not without amusement. At one point, little Bush
that there are people who want to repeal the Patriot Act and left just
space for a chorus of voices to cheer. Bush?s face contorts to the look
of a
rancher having stepped in cattle droppings. I see the writer getting
the cattle
prod later, either from Ridge or Ashcroft.

It was nice to know that Dick Cheney could show up. Although I am under
suspicion that Disney has developed a Cheney robot. On cue he would
stand, clap
and sit. He also had the habit of poking his head out onto the left
side of the
screen and staring down the back of Bush?s neck. Now I get Tom
Tomorrow?s Ed
McMahon references. ?Yes sir. That was a good point. Those damn
liberties are
just getting in the way. Good move not mentioning those details on the

I find it interesting that Bush tries to connect his foreign adventures
with the
domestic problems. In the speech, he seemed to be trying to bridge any
the American people might perceive in the ?protection? of
style="font-size: 10pt;">America style="font-size: 10pt;"> to his (lack of) domestic policy and plans
increase jobs. More Funions.

How about the one for increasing college funding, after he has axed so
student aid?

In his 2003 budget proposal Bush wanted to cut 1.3 billion dollars in
support. The Pell grant, the most common type of student aid, has not
kept pace
with the raising cost of tuition. In 1975, Pell grants covered 80
percent of
college costs. Today it only covers 38 percent of cost at a public
Many colleges have resorted to branding their name, selling naming
rights to
buildings, and privatizing cafeterias and loan services.

I feel the need to be personally irresponsible. I think I?ll blame
drugs in
sports. Why not, the president did.

A.L. Loy is assistant publisher at In These Times.

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