Last night I watched the 2004 State of the Union Address with some friends.  In my opinion, the President did a much better job this year, although once again I was unable to play the game to conclusion.  In order to facilitate improved game play, we watched with Closed Captioning enabled.  This was the source of great amusement.  The live captioner made some interesting typos.  My favorites were “the people of eric” [Iraq] and “the people of hungry gary” [Hungary].  There were also a good amount of run-of-the-mill preposition substitutions and a very interesting spelling of 'account' while the camera lingered on Ted Kennedy. 

The whole state of the union thing is fun to watch.  After a while you can begin to determine social and political standing of attendees by the color of their tie and/or suit.  Important Republicans were all wearing Red patterned ties while Mr. Bush wore a solid (to my eyes at least) red tie.  Minor functionaries wore grey ties.  Special guests wore black ties (I think).  The webcast graphic at whitehouse.gov must be the one from last year, because it shows the President in a blue tie.  The male members of congress all wore dark grey or black suits for the most part.  The female members of congress, however, seemed to have their choice of black, blue or red.  The Democrats seemed to opt for light shades of red, while the Republicans wore blues and reds that were closer to primary.  It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between the shades of red/blue and political standings.

The only other interesting thing I noticed was Mr. Bush proposed a “...refundable tax credit...“ to help Americans buy health insurance.  I know nothing about taxes, but this seems like a poor way to phrase this.