Having 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 Bush 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 mentioned that there are people who want to repeal the Patriot Act and left just enough 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 the 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 ?energy plan.?? 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 success the American people might perceive in the ?protection? of America to his (lack of) domestic policy and plans to increase jobs. More Funions. How about the one for increasing college funding, after he has axed so much student aid? In his 2003 budget proposal Bush wanted to cut 1.3 billion dollars in college 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 university. 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.