Knight Ridder still knows how to write a lede:
WASHINGTON - One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.
What the president meant, they said in a conference call with reporters, was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025.
But America still would import oil from the Middle East, because that's where the greatest oil supplies are.
Thank goodness it happened during the State of the Union, perhaps the one night that the media pore over and absorb what the President says, and do some fact-checking before coming back with questions. Otherwise, people might have bought that "addicted to oil" stinkola. My God, who the hell is George Bush to tell me I'M the one addicted to oil? I take the fucking bus to work, George--by choice. How about you? You're more concerned about human-animal hybrids than you are gas-electric. Glad to have the traditional media wipe the shine off that garbage right from the get-go, before letting the White House make it sound like an asset.
My two favorite moments of the SOTU, by the way:
1) The look Senator Clinton gave George, as Bush made a rueful joke about her husband and his Dad. An ailing Jon Stewart nonetheless accurately described it as "the place where boners go to die."
2) When Bush started building to his half-hearted diatribe against the Democrats for killing Social Security, he began by poutily reporting that they had done so. Before he could move on to his firm yet folksy rejoinder, the Democrats got in their most enthusiastic applause of the evening. The President stared somewhat blankly as the applause continued for a few moments. I think I saw some high fives. I'm not sure if I'm more impressed whether it was spontaneous or totally planned.
I liked Tim Kaine's speech, and I thought the set and setting were better than some of the truly lame 'responses' of the past--but he's no Cicero. Physical peccadillos should be irrelevant in serious matters of state, but I have to say that every time his left eyebrow shot up like Exxon stock, I totally lost the riddim of the speechifying, and stared at The Brow. And he had a weird way of moving the tagline, "We can do better," back and forth within sentences--sometimes not even pausing between the last word of the previous sentence.
Six down, two to go.