Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The Shirker
I will not be watching Bush's State of the Union address tonight. I know that shows a shocking lack of public spirit, not to mention a dereliction of blogger/pundit duty, but I have my blood pressure to think about, which will go high enough reading the news reports, let alone watching the damn thing. (Last year I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail instead, so maybe I'll start a tradition and watch it again tonight.) But if you're planning to watch the speech, you might want to refer to the State of the Union Dictionary from the Center for American Progress to help you understand what you're hearing. Some choice excerpts:

"Economic success: Economy loses 2.5 million jobs: could have lost 3 million."

"Incentives to work: Welfare recipients need a few dollars less, otherwise they won’t show up for work; CEOs need a few million more, otherwise they won’t show up for work."

"Coalition of the willing: 160,000 U.S. troops, 'symbolic' support from the South Pacific archipelago of Palau, and 2,000 Moroccan monkeys to defuse mines."

"Mission Accomplished: Seemed like a good idea at the time."

Ifs, Buts, Candy, Nuts, Christmas: Every now and then, a news story's spectacular details trump its true news value, as is the case today with a University of Wisconsin scientist suggesting that the helium-3 in moon rocks could meet the nation's power needs for the next millennium. All we have to do, see, is shovel up the moon rocks, extract the helium from them, and voila! Energy independence forever! Except first, we've got to figure out how we're going to mine it and process it, and how to get the mining and processing stuff up there, and how to get the helium-3 back down from 250 million miles away, when everybody thinks just getting a couple more astronauts up there to walk around for six hours might cost half-a-trillion dollars. Oh, and figure out how to use it down here, where our cars and power plants aren't equipped to burn it yet. But other than that, holy cow, what a great thing! Wisconsin Public Radio played this story like it was the wonder of the age this morning--or like the scientist was some news producer's uncle.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?