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Daily Briefing: SOTU Chattering Edition

Bush details proposed overhaul of Social Security, celebrates advancements in Iraq, and seeks to streamline inefficient government programs: "We are all part of a great venture: To extend the promise of freedom in our country, to renew the values that sustain our liberty, and to spread the peace that freedom brings." [WP, NYT, LAT, WSJ, USAT, WT]


Bush describes Social Security plan as fiscally responsible, not radical; legislative skills will be tested in process. [WP, NYT, LAT]

Proposed Social Security changes include lowering benefits for future retirees; raising retirement age; capping benefits for rich retirees; and tying benefits to prices, not wages. [WP, NYT, WT]

Senior administration officials admit private accounts will not keep system solvent; Bush stays positive. Question remains: how? [LAT, WSJ, USAT]

Reid: "The president's plan is so dangerous. . . it's wrong to replace the guaranteed benefit that Americans have earned with a guaranteed benefit cut of 40 percent or more. Make no mistake, that's exactly what President Bush is proposing." [NYT, LAT, USAT, USAT, WT]

In Laura's box, Iraqi woman spontaneously hugs mother of fallen marine; Bush turns emotional. [WT]

Several moderate Republicans pass opportunity to cheer Bush on. Instead, Snowe "smiled uncomfortably and re-crossed her legs." Kerry, meanwhile, "was frowning in concentration," then "relaxed his features into a mask of cheerful complacency." [WP, NYT]

Laura to lead effort to "show young men an ideal of manhood that respects women and rejects violence." Bush calls for "special training for defense counsel in capital cases" and declares, "taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all." [NYT, LAT, LAT]

Bush keeps focus on Middle East, vows to increase financial support to Palestine: "The goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace is within reach, and America will help them achieve that goal." [NYT, LAT]

Agenda takes fiscal goals on a run. [LAT]

Bush wants immigration laws reformed, says "guest-worker" program is a priority. [WT]

Breathing examples of policies available under the dome. [NYT]

Brownstein: Bush "hinted at more flexibility than he has typically displayed." [LAT]

Shales: "Bush looked alternately ebullient and determined, with little gestures of cockiness popping up now and then." [WP]

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It started with them damn hats. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

A guest post by "Knitsy McPurlson," which we suspect is not a real name.

Yr Wonkette is not the only website run by brilliant peoples unafraid to poke people with sharp, pointy sticks. Ravelry.com – a website for knitters, crocheters, and other folks interested in textiles and fiber arts – is poking people with knitting needles, which are very sharp indeed.

This past weekend, Ravelry.com's founders showed the world how easy it is to de-platform white nationalists and racists when they banned all "support of Donald Trump and his administration" from their website, concluding they "cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy." Seems like people smart enough to decode a knitting pattern are also smart enough to decode Trump's not-so-hidden message of racism and white nationalism.

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One day, God willing, my grandchildren will click open their history textbooks and read about the Central American migrant internment camps. They'll learn about sick kids, locked in cages, kept hungry and dirty and cold for weeks on end, and they'll be horrified.

"Bubbie," they'll say, "how could this happen in America? How could there be toddlers sleeping on the ground without blankets, without soap or toothbrushes to clean themselves?"

"I don't know. I wish I had done more. I'm ashamed," I'll say. We will all have to answer for this atrocity. But some of us will have to answer more than others. Not just the archvillains like Stephen Miller and John Kelly, but the people who kept right on doing their jobs, even as those jobs morphed into defending concentration camps.

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