Framing the Dialogue

My Turn At Bat

Sorry this is not a baseball post.  Those of us living in Pittsburgh with the hapless Pirates; holders of the longest losing streak of all professional sports (17 years and counting) don’t talk about much about professional baseball.  Our president gave his first pitch at a State of the Union speech and apparently did not hit the strike zone.  I confess to not watching as I could not bear to see Ms. Pelosi popping up every 30 seconds, Obama’s use of the words “I” or “me” a gazillion times or his unusual speech pattern whistling his S’s.  The fact that he is on television every 17 hours giving a speech did not weigh in his favor either.  I played tennis on our Wii (I achieved “Pro” status during his speech).

The nice thing about the Internet is that I was able to read the speech (much like he does) and interpret what he says for your enjoyment…

What he said“One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression.”

What he meant:  It’s Bush’s fault.  Please ignore the fact that I was in Congress and may have had a minor role in what transpired.”

What he said:  “And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.  But the devastation remains: One in ten Americans still can’t find work. Many businesses have shuttered. Home values have declined. Small towns and rural communities have been hit especially hard. And for those who’d already known poverty, life has become that much harder.”

What he was thinking in his head:  “Who wrote this crap?  How can I say that the worst has passed followed by the devastation remains?  Shoot!  I lost my place on the teleprompter.”

What he said:  “it’s time the American people get a government that matches their decency, that embodies their strength.”

What is his frame of referenceACORN, SEIU’s Andy Stern, Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, Hollywood, Chicago politics, Frank Marshal Davis, Chicago politics (I know that I said it twice).

What he said:  “But when I ran for president, I promised I wouldn’t just do what was popular, I would do what was necessary. And if we had allowed the meltdown of the financial system, unemployment might be double what it is today.

What he was thinking:  “I hope that they don’t remember that I promised that unemployment would not go above eight percent if we passed the stimulus bill.”

What he said:  “millions of Americans had more to spend on gas and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person, not a single dime.  Now, because of the steps we took, there are about 2 million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed.”

What he meant:  “I raised “fees” on everybody and how can they prove that I didn’t save 2 million jobs.  I have that cool website showing all of the jobs I saved.”

What he said:  “Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped saved jobs and avert disaster, but you don’t have to take their word for it.”

What he meant:  “My economist on the left is Keith Olberman and on the right is Chris Matthews.”

What he said:  “Talk to the window manufacturer in Philadelphia who said he used to be skeptical about the Recovery Act, until he had to add two more work shifts just because of the business it created.”

What he meant:  “That’s why we didn’t prosecute the brothers in the New Black Panther Party.  They’ll break a lot of windows so that will create jobs.”

What he said:  “So tonight, I’m proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat.”

What he didn’t say:  “Did you really think that we would give that money back or use it to reduce debt?

What he said:  “and the lobbyists are trying to kill it. Well, we cannot let them win this fight. And if the bill that ends up on my desk does not meet the test of real reform, I will send it back until we get it right. We’ve got to get it right.”

What he didn’t say:  “Not the lobbyists that give me money or the ones that I hired to work in the White House.  I mean the BAD lobbyists that work for conservatives or whomever I want to demonize today.”

What he said:  “Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.”

What Supreme Court Justice Alito said:  “You’re wrong.”

What Supreme Court Justice Alito thought:  “You’re wrong asshole.”

What Rep. Joe Wilson thought:  “You lie.”

What Al Gore was thinking:  “There is no controlling legal authority…it’s pretty cold in here.”

What Joe Biden was thinking:  “Nancy is looking pretty hot tonight.”

What he said:  “It means making tough decisions about opening new off-shore areas for oil and gas development.”

What he forgot to mention:  “We will require such cumbersome environmental regulations that ACTUAL new oil and gas development will not happen.”

What he said:  “And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.”

What he said during his campaign:  “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.

What he said:  “we will strengthen our trade relations in Asia and with key partners like South Korea, and Panama, and Colombia.”

What he forgot to mention:  “I have steadfastly refused to sign the Colombian Free Trade Agreement which would actually be a step toward this rather than another empty promise, but my union supporters would be mad at me…and not contribute hundreds of millions of dollars of their members’ dues to fund my next campaign.”

What he said:  “of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform, reform that raises student achievement, inspires students to excel in math and science, and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans, from rural communities to the inner city.  In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education.”

What he meant:  “I want to pour lots more money into the education system and I do NOT want to hear anything about voucher programs.  I killed that one in D.C. that helped hundreds of inner city kids.  Remember that I’ll need even more of the NEA money for my next campaign.”

What he said:  “When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all 50 states.”

What he meant:  “We know what’s best for your children and how we want them taught.  You just pop them out and we’ll do the rest.  I thought that there were like 57 states?”

What he said:  “After nearly a century of trying — Democratic administrations, Republican administrations — we are closer than ever to bringing more security to the lives of so many Americans.”

What he meant:  “OK the Democrats have been trying to take over health care while the Republicans have sort of resisted.  I hope that by “security” you did not think that I meant national security which is actually constitutional.  I am talking about the biggest entitlement in history.”

What he said:  “And according to the Congressional Budget Office, the independent organization that both parties have cited as the official scorekeeper for Congress, our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades.”

What was going through his mind:  “I sure hope that they don’t do any mental math and realize that I am increasing the deficit by several trillion each year which kind of make saving one trillion over twenty seem paltry.  I really hope that they don’t watch Fox News and realize that the CBO is REQUIRED to accept our wild assumptions when the score these bills.  Oh and we hid the medicare stuff outside of the bill.  Oh and we collect taxes for ten years while only providing benefits for six.”

What he said:  “So let me start the discussion of government spending by setting the record straight. At the beginning of the last decade, the year 2000, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion.”

What he said:  “It’s Bush’s fault!”

What he said:  “By — by the time I took office, we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program.”

What he said: “It’s Bush’s fault.”

What he said:  “On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. All this was before I walked in the door.”

What he said:  “It’s Bush’s fault.”

What he was thinking:  “Hey is TOTUS skipping?  It keeps repeating the same thing.”

What he said:  “Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected, but all other discretionary government programs will.”

What he forgot to mention:  “That will give me two years to jack up the spending before I “freeze” it.  I always have the “discretion” to spend more.  Hey where is Hillary?”

What he said:  “We will continue to go through the budget line by line, page by page, to eliminate programs that we can’t afford and don’t work. We’ve already identified $20 billion in savings for next year.”

What he was thinking:  “I hope no one asks us to show the savings.  That is how we got in trouble with the create or save jobs shell game.

What he said:  “even after paying for what we spent on my watch, we’ll still face the massive deficit we had when I took office.”

What he said:  “It’s Bush’s fault.  Maybe I should smack the side of TOTUS to stop the skipping.”

What he said:  “Now, yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I’ll issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.”

What he was thinking:  “Separation of powers my butt.  Everyone knows that the Executive Branch is the most powerful now that I am in office.  I may take on the Supreme Court too.  Supreme my butt.  I do love those doily things that Ruthie wears on her robe.”

What he said:  “We will reward good governance, work to reduce corruption, and support the rights of all…”

What he was thinking:  “You saps thought that I was talking about America.”

What he said:  “To reduce our stockpiles and launchers, while ensuring our deterrent, the United States and Russia are completing negotiations on the farthest-reaching arms control treaty in nearly two decades.”

What he forgot to mention:  “Of course the Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, North Koreans, Iranians, Cubans, and Venezuelans will have them, but we will not let the fact that our enemies have nukes deter us from getting rid of ours.  I have to do something to earn that Peace Prize.”

What he said:  “The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates to silly arguments, big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.”

What he was thinking:  “Except they are not turning away from that damned Fox News, and the conservative talk shows, but I’ll get them my pretty.  Wait we’re not in Kansas are we?”

What he said:  “God bless the United States of America.”

What Rev. Wright was thinking. :  “God Damn America.  The Obama’s have come home to roost.”

 What Nancy Pelosi was thinking:  “Exercise jumping up to applaud every two minutes…free; Botox injections…$5,000; permanent smile…priceless.  Ooh I need to reserve a military jet to take my family skiing…er attend a legislative junket in Vail…no bottom shelf liquor this time.”

What I was thinking:   “OMG

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