Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State Of The Union: What To Expect

I don't know about you, but this is the first State of the Union speech I've looked forward to in about six years. If there's one thing about this President, it's his ability to latch onto a crisis and ride it all the way to political victory. And what better crisis to latch onto than terrorism -- terrorism in America's coal mines.

So I'm expecting our President to point out tonight that:
  • "Homeland security" means making sure people come home from work secure in their lives and health.

  • Although we've already lost 15 brave miners this year, we lose more than 15 workers every day as a result of workplace accidents.

  • We should be ashamed that Australians and Canadians do a better job protecting their miners than Americans.

  • That although most businesses want to do the right thing, we need to weed out those few "bad apples" with higher fines and stronger criminal penalties. And just as we are now able to negotiate penalties down from the maximum in order to take into account a business's small size, we should also be able to raise penalties above the maximum in order to take into account a multinational corporation's huge size.

  • That if we can communicate with a space ship orbiting Pluto, for heaven's sake, we can sure as hell figure out how to communicate with a miner a few hundred feet under the ground. And if we can send people into space with enough oxygen to keep them alive for weeks, we should be able to send miners into the ground with enough oxygen to keep them alive for a few days.
And finally, our President will point up to his lovely wife up in the balcony, where, sitting next to her will be the widow of a miner killed at Sago. And our President will vow that he shall not have died in vain.

This is going to be fun. I can hardly wait.

UPDATE (January 31, 10:03 pm): I'm so disappointed.