What I need here is a live blog.

I don't know anything about reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Thus, in principle, it's possible that Bush has just proposed a good idea, though the odds are against it.

By contrast, Bush's plan to destroy America's health care system is a very bad idea.

I like that Bush explicitly linked his plan to destroy the public school system with the idea of Pell Grants. That's appealing to liberals. And, of course, conservatives like George Bush are always shortchanging the Pell Grant system just as once they're done using poor kids as a bludgeon with which to beat down teachers they'll lose all interest in funding vouchers and return to their usual starve the poor attitude.

"Generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions" -- a great idea; maybe next we can develop a pony-based source of power. Or maybe we could reduce emissions by relying on the floo network.

The climate change section actually managed to get more faith-based after the carbon capture part. Innovation is, of course, essential to reducing emissions. But the way you create the incentives for emission-reducing innovation is to put a price on carbon by auctioning tradable emissions permits. Just standing around and hoping -- or even having the government shovel wheelbarrows full of money -- isn't going to do anything.

"Entitlement spending and immigration" -- fascinating to watch the lame duck returning to the scene of the two big issues that wrecked his popularity . . . guest-workers for all, Social Security benefits for none!

“We trust that people when given the chance will choose a future of freedom and peace” -- remember when conservatism was based on a dour, realistic view of human nature and the human condition? I miss those days. There's no time right now for a treatise on the full sociological naiveté of this bizarre statement but it's obviously -- obviously -- false that liberal democracy is some kind of human default condition. It took thousands of years to emerge! Constructing stable, legitimate political institutions is difficult.

Surge stuff. I've written tons about this. Not going to do anymore in Iraq. Just note the total, utter, complete, all-encompassing lack of candor and honesty about the conflict between the CLCs and the Iraqi government. With regard to Iraq one has to wonder time and again why, if this policy is so great, does it need to be constantly sold by means of massive dishonesty.

Okay, wait, it's impossible to avoid commenting on the GOP's loud Iraq-related cheers. Democrats take note -- the GOP thinks this is a winning issue for them and are bound to campaign on it; the other party needs to be prepared to fight on these issues and can't afford to count on the election being all-economy all-the-time.

"The time has come for a Holy Land where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side-by-side in peace" -- well said. Too bad about those years worth of bad policymaking by George W. Bush whoever's been running the country or maybe we'd be a lot closer to that goal.

"There has not been another attack on our soil since 9/11" -- anthrax! Anthrax! Oh well. For some reason that whole episode has been officially erased from the historical record or something.

Lusty applause from the power of small government for unlimited surveillance power.

Malaria -- good stuff. AIDS, too. I'll also note that banal diseases like measles kill way more people in the developing world than you'd think and we should put some emphasis on them as well.

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