News: State Of The Union, With A Vengeance
By Gurn Blanston, AP White House Correspondent
President Bush said Wednesday that even though the state of the union is strong, he understands why some Americans are worried in a time of war and job cuts.
"I understand there's an anxiety about the time of war," Bush said, trying to keep the momentum of the previous night's State of the Union address with an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. "That's natural, seems like to me, even though this economy is roaring. It is strong, when you recognize we've overcome a lot."
In Tuesday's speech, the president rebuked critics of his stay-the-course strategy for the unpopular war in Iraq. "There is no peace in retreat," he said, "although there is a 'treat' in retreat. Y'ever notice that? Doesn't make sense."
Other notable and puzzling claims made by Bush included, "During my administration, we have significantly reduced the number of Weebles that fall down. Most of 'em now just wobble. That's better for America."
Steeling his resolve, the President insisted, "We must stay strong in the face of adversity, and stare down the evil-doers in the world, like Superman did with Lex Luthor back in the '70s."
Touting his recent victory in the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito, Bush bragged, "I can only smile when I think of finally coming closer to restoring the proud legacy of the white man on the federal bench. Ginsberg and Thomas, I'm lookin' at you."
Addressing those who have criticized his policies about domestic wiretapping, Bush quipped, "If there are people inside our country who are talking with al-Qaida, we want to know about it, because we're having a helluva time finding those guys. We could star-69 'em or somethin'."
Striking a cautious tone, the President continued, "Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, like centaurs, satyrs, minotaurs and whatnot."
Turning to the people of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, Bush was encouraging: "Just remember that with February comes Mardi Gras, and that means boobies. Lots of 'em. That sounds like a good deal to me."
Speaking to the citizens of Iran, Bush imparted, "America respects you and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran. So, y'know... get busy."
"Hindsight alone is not wisdom," Bush said. "And second-guessing is not a strategy." Bush quickly added, "And if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his ass a-hoppin'," to a perplexed audience.
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