At five fifty-five, I get this clever idea: Why not do a real-time response to the State of the Union Address? In this information age, what could be more invigorating than a fresh response via Al Gore’s Internet?
Now it is 6:01, and we’re waiting for Pinhead to enter the chamber. He is preceded by the seating of his librarian wife, Laura – to much applause.
"Madam Speaker," they keep saying. Oh yeah – that’s right. She’s a lady.
6:03 – can’t we skip all these introductions and bring out the Pinhead? Is it really necessary for all these people to chat it up while they make their way inside? Find a seat already. Most of these guys and gals will be seeing them in Senate hearings over the next few months anyway – get on with it.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think there are more blue ties in the crowd this year.
They keep cutting to this ominous shot of a closed door. El Toro Presidente must be behind there – be alert! And here he comes, out of chute number one – Even he’s got a blue tie. Maybe I should be reading more "GQ". The applause follows a certain vainglorious hooting from the cheap seats – folks who may think they’re attending a reunion show for Foreigner.
I wonder what is in those little envelopes he gave Nancy and Dick. Maybe a gift certificate for Bed, Bath and Beyond? They have to sit next to each other for quite some time now. An most of all, they have to appear interested for the entire run of the speech.
"Madam Speaker" gets Pinhead his first cheap standing ovation. Nancy looked very pleased. It’s not what you kiss, but when.
"Decisions are hard, and courage is needed." Gee, I wonder where he’s going with this one.
He wants to balance the Federal Budget? Without raising taxes! Huzzahs from the crowd! He wants to eliminate the deficit in the next five years. Wait a second – was there a deficit when he took office the first time? Well, I guess it’s nice of him to clean up his mess before he wanders off into the sunset.
Ted Kennedy is asleep, drunk or has a raging migraine – more on this as it develops.
Parents who have children stuck in failing schools? What about failing students stuck in schools because of No Child Left Behind? Maybe there's something in the health care plan to provide for more on-demand brain transplants.
Does anybody do the math on this tax nonsense before the speech, or does it all have to get argued about after the fact?
It is now 6:25, and changing the tax code is now vital to making health care affordable. Of course! How could we have been so blind? At this same moment, it seems that "Dick" Cheney is sucking on a lozenge of some sort.
Yeah - I'm right - this place is rotten with pale blue neckties.
The border patrol is now going to be going after drug smugglers and terrorists, since the visiting worker program will limit the immigration problem. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to be chasing coked-up zealots with high explosives instead of their usual scared rabbits.
Now to the energy program: We're going to be using wood chips? What about that hydrogen car? Cut back on gasoline? How are we going to power those Hummers - and not just the ones in LA?
Pinhead just uttered the words: Global Climate Change. What sort of voodoo is that?
At 6:36 I went to the kitchen to grab some dinner. How did we end up on terrorism? Was there a link to Al Qaida and Global Warming?
"Harsh and Narrow Ideology" is this us or them? I've got to finish dinner to figure out what he's talking about.
I with it had occurred to me to keep a count of his use of the word "duty." He's full of a lot of duty.
At 6:41, Nancy is looking less enthused. Dick seems to have finished off that lozenge.
"It's not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it's the fight we're in." What the heck, any port in a storm, right?
Watching Dick and Nancy behind Pinhead just gave me flashback to Statler and Waldorf heckling Fozzie Bear. That would make this more interesting. The Brits have that part right.
Joe Biden doesn't seem to be buying this. I've also lost track of the "September 11" refrain. It's only getting a fraction of the applause that it used to .
At 6:51, I wonder if Richard Clark will be asked to be on Pinhead's new bipartisan committee to confront terrorism.
6:53: We will not allow Iran to gain "nookyoolur" weapons.
6:54: Same with North Korea - no nookyoolur weapons.
What if we used nookyoolur weapons to wipe out HIV/AIDs and malaria?
Hey! Dikembe Mutombo is sitting next to Laura Bush. He used to play for the Denver Nuggets. Now he's building a hospital in his hometown in Africa. Then the Baby Einstein lady. Then the subway rescue guy. And a war hero! Now we're getting them out of the seats! Where's John Cougar Mellencamp when you need him?
Time out: 7:03. He says "The state of the union is strong." All that for just one adjective? If you're staying tuned for the Democratic response - I'll be in the loo.