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Blogging the SOTU


Let's take some of these gems as they come...

17 mentions of "freedom" from the guy obsessed with assaulting it here at home.

Did you notice the president had on a purple tie tonight? Very subtle. He could have come up with a purple finger or maybe covered head to toe in purple paint.

We also heard him mention "weapons of mass murder." WMM. That's apparently the new WMD.

The president also brought back that old chestnut, the line-item veto. This from a man who has yet to veto a single bill. In over five years in office. I guess the line-item veto was this year's voyage to Mars.

One of the most heartwarming moments came when Joe Lieberman kissed W. even longer than he did at last year's speech. A salute to "Brokeback Mountain," I guess.

Twenty mentions of "hope" or "hopeful." Which I guess is a shout out to the 58% of Americans who disapprove of him -- and who can hope for the day when we no longer have to listen to him.

Wow, trying to equate "staying the course" in Iraq with Lincoln fighting slavery, Martin Luther King not stopping in Birmingham or Selma, and Americans surrendering Europe to Communism. Chutzpah, indeed!

I love that the biggest applause line of the night was an unintentional one, the spontaneous clapping that followed his mention of the fact that Congress hadn't acted on his Social Security plan. Bush looked flustered, unsure how to respond. Sitting next to me was actor (and HuffPost blogger) Paul Hipp, who said: "Next time I want a president who can improv!"

I'm pretty sure this was the first State of the Union speech with the words "wood chips" and "switch grass"... but, of course, even those were surrounded by lies, too.

"So we strive to be a compassionate, decent, hopeful society."

It's the Return of the "C" word. Compassion. Too bad Katrina wasn't spelled C-A-T-R-I-N-A.

Lots of talk about isolationism (indeed 5 mentions of either "isolationism," "isolating," or "isolation"). He is clearly afraid that the American DNA is so solidly against imperial adventures that protecting the U.S. homeland first is going to become a huge populist issue if only some Democrat would take it up. He calls it "isolationism," we call it minding our own business and there are millions of us in the red states, too.

"Our economy is healthy, and vigorous, and growing faster than other major industrialized nations."
Don't believe the hype. Yes, the GDP grew 3.5 percent in 2005 (though it was only up 1.1 percent in the last quarter). And, yes, productivity is up. But median wages fell, our trade deficit is over $760 billion (80 percent higher than when Bush took office), inflation is at 3.4 percent, the highest it's been in half a decade, and the gap between the Two Nations is wider than ever. Not exactly figures to crow about.

The President just delivered the biggest lie of the speech, claiming a "clear plan for victory" in Iraq. I think I even saw Hastert do a spit take on that one.

"If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores."

Ah, yes... the Flypaper strategy: Fight 'em over there, so we won't have to fight 'em over here. But Osama seems intent on moving the battlefield to our shores whether we're in Iraq or not.

"In this decisive year, you and I will make choices that determine both the future and the character of our country. We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom -- or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life."

Whoever asked for an easier life? Just the opposite, we've been waiting to be asked to sacrifice -- to help fight the war on terror, to help break our dependence on foreign oil. But the only thing this president has asked us to do is go shopping and go to Disney World. Of course, he has asked for the sacrifice of the troops who have had to go into battle under-equipped and with no exit strategy.

"The only way to protect our people ... the only way to secure the peace ... the only way to control our destiny is by our leadership -- so the United States of America will continue to lead."

And by leading, he means doing whatever the hell we want, whenever we want... the scorn of the rest of the world be damned.

"Abroad, our Nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal -- we seek the end of tyranny in our world... the future security of America depends on it."

Ah, a return to the soaring rhetoric of his inaugural speech. Rhetoric he conveniently forgets about when dealing with those he wants to do business with like the Chinese government.

Follow Arianna Huffington on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ariannahuff