Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The State of the Union

Yes, I watched but mostly because we were all too lazy to get up and turn the channel on the remoteless TV in the office.

With that said, did anyone notice how excited Alito seemed to be? I'm hoping it was because he was just confirmed to the highest court in our nation, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, on to Shrub. His speech didn't disappoint me in that I wasn't expecting anything truthful or honest to begin with. However, all that talk about our nation going down "the road of isolationism and protectionism," the we need to decrease our dependency on oil or that we should join him in the new American Competitive Initiative still couldn't convince me to get up and turn the TV off. Besides, I was knitting cool oven mitts.

Seriously though, his speech was nothing new. I did notice the references to Iran as an "Axis of Evil" had disappeared yet the groundwork for going after Iran has now officially been set. I have no idea where the hell he's going to get the military force, but I'm sure he'll flub it somehow anyway. Really, can Shrub not say *terror,* is his pronunciation (terra) to go along with nuclear (nu-clear)?

What pissed me off, naturally, was his insistence in making his tax cuts permanent and the subsequent standing ovation the Repub's gave him. I'm sure they've all heard by now that the middle class is rapidly disappearing, unemployment rates are still high and don't seem to be coming down anytime soon what with Ford and GM closing plants in the next 5 years, the poverty level is steadily increasing (it is now a little over $18K, amazing yes?), more and more Americans are shouldering the financial burden for health insurance premiums...need I go on?

The above (and quote below) lends truth to the notion that Shrubie doesn't read any newspapers and lives in a bubble.

"Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy," he said. "Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil..." Bush proposed new tax credits and an "Advanced Energy Initiative -- a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research" -- laudable ideas if not for the fact that the same promises have turned into giveaways for the energy industry throughout his presidency. This, a day after Exxon announced that it had turned an all-time record profit in 2005. (link)
I could only laugh when I heard that because, if there is anything Bush has a direct interest in, it would be oil.

The new health care initiative Bush is proposing is a joke and I hope it fails miserably much like the attempted reformation of Social Security earlier last year. Allowing individuals to pay into an account so they can eventually save money for their eventual health care needs seems like a good idea if it weren't accompanied by a $1,000 deductible. To many persons, like my Good Friend L, this deductible is ridiculously high because that's $1,000 out of a pocket that is most likely to be empty to begin with. For persons living off Social Security and/or Disability, how in the hell can they afford such a high yearly deductible? Not to mention the reason 46 million people in the US are uninsured is not because they’re too lazy to sign themselves up, but because they can't afford the high monthly cost insurance companies feel they must charge.

He told the American people, 46 million of whom are uninsured, that their problem was too much insurance, and that he would beef up his Health Savings Accounts proposal. He said it even as seniors are in a grey revolt, trying to figure out how to maintain coverage under the prescription drug benefit, his last healthcare scheme.

Molly Ivins addresses the double-speak in Bush's address to the world ('cause when the President of the US speaks, people watch) by reminding us that while Shrub states we need to decrease emissions and put more money into developing alternative fuels, he's trying to get NASA to lie about global warming.

The Bush administration is now trying to stop NASA's top climate scientist from speaking out on the need for prompt action on global warming.
I'm not really all that surprised since he's been denying such a thing as global warming could even exist despite years of evidence to the contrary.

She says more in the article, so go read it all. It's not that long either as she gets straight to the point as only Molly Ivins can.

In a WashPo editorial, Shrub's speech was referred to as "subdued," "realistic," was said to have "reflected Mr. Bush's changed political circumstances," and displayed little ambition to tackle some of America's greatest challenges at home or abroad." But we knew that already, didn't we, because this is how he was his entire first term, yet he got re-elected anyway.

In the above article, Holland referred to Bush's speech as "yesterday soup, reheated." Holland also stated that, "After five years running the country, without a single policy he could point to that hasn't turned out to be a failure George Bush has only one thing left to say: "My presidency is finished."

And by golly, I think he's right. Too bad he still has a little less than 3 years to go. (see sidebar for more precise estimate.)