It's 8:40 PM, January 23rd 2007 and we are just 20 minutes from the President's State of the Union Address. From what has already been leaked to the press, I already have serious problems and reservations in the direction he will want to lay out for the American people, and our nation. His health care plan...it would hit my wife and I quite hard. Figuring out how to deal with all those without coverage needs to be addressed, but it cannot be done in a fashion that weakens the coverage we have. Energy...alarm bells went off as soon as I heard the term 2010 mentioned with it. I look for him to further try to sell the American people on nuclear as both an alternative and renewable energy, when it fact it is neither.
As the speech unfolds, I am going to be concerned with keywords, phrases and themes. One word I suspect we will not hear a lot, but underlies much of what he will say, is sacrifice, and specifically sacrifice within the middle class.
Interesting notes....8:47 and Pelosi was just on camera chatting with Vice President Dick Cheney. She's wearing a rather boring and almost matronly lime toned suit with white blouse. Member of President's cabinet not in attendance for this speech is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales...there is a scary thought.
Nine minutes to show time...need to refill my coffee. Also, dying for a cigarette here, as this is one of those times when I would be absorbed with smoking...no can do, am three hours short of being smoke free for three days. Not that big of and accomplishment, but one day at a time as they say...it's a start. Everyone is starting to find their seats, so this thing is about to launch.
Laura Bush has arrived in her worn out choice of a red dress. Supreme Court now entering. (Only 4 out of the 9)Now the President's cabinet, led by Condi Rice.
Pelosi's Marble Ceiling line just got trotted out again...give it a break, was not that good of a line the first time it was used.
The State Of The Union (starting NINE MINUTES later than promised).
First note of interest...his choice of tie. Not a power color, but instead a more subdued pastel color.
Bush pays honor to Pelosi...notes he is first president to thank Madam Speaker.
Defining Hour...(sacrifice from the start in statement of much is asked). First thing he does is call for bipartisanship...Republicans did not do it.
Economy growing...that id debatable for the middle class, and how many of those jobs he claims went to A) illegal aliens, and B) pay low wages? Three Economic Concerns.
1. Balanced Budget-where was the concern his first six years. Claims it can be done without raising taxes. Calls for spending discipline. Promises no federal deficit within 5 years...does that include COSTS OF THE WAR?
2. Earmarks...he cannot be granted line item veto. Wants earmarks cut in half. (McCain likes that one.)
3. Entitlements...basically Social Security. Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security can be saved...How? No child left behind brought up...educating non English speaking children of illegal aliens is a major stumbling block, but he will not admit that. Short on this...he wants No Child Left Behind reauthorized.
Now on to health care...Private Health care...
1. Tax deduction for health insurance. Up to $15,000 of your income is not to be taxed. This means middle class pays for the insurance for the poor. Good for those who pay for their own insurance, good for poor, but if your company pays for your health care, you get seriously SCREWED.
2. Help states that are making insurance available for all...in short, we would be asked to pay for grants to those states. He also is back to HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS, which are a laugh. He again wants medical liability reform, which would in my opinion protect doctors GUILTY of malpractice.
Immigration Reform...secure borders...that is a joke.
1. Double border patrol, but NO FENCE.
2. Wants temporary worker program...this is hidden citizenship, and will continue to depress middle class American wages.
3. Same old rhetoric on employers.
4. Amnesty under the guise of EARNED CITIZENSHIP, which is AMNESTY.
He calls for a serious debate, but trotted out the same dead AMNESTY HORSE.
Energy! Clean! Break Foreign Oil Dependence. Diversify our energy supply.
1. Electric! BINGO...clean, safe NUCLEAR POWER...KNEW IT WAS COMING. The FIX IS IN for GNEP, and GNEP is not clean, nor safe.
In short, this area of his speech is a RERUN. Calls for reduction of gas usage in American by 20 percent in ten years to stick with the NUCLEAR 2010 THEME. Attaining this goal would reduce imports from Middle East by 75 percent...question is, how to REALISTICALLY get there.
He is calling to drill in environmentally sensitive areas, and to double strategic oil reserves...this after the one billion barrel increase in 2005...so much for smacking BIG OIL.
Fair System of Justice...get serious...two border patrol officers are in prison while illegal aliens and a drug dealer walk free, and break our laws at will. He wants up or down vote on is nominees...fine, we vote NO.
Stop the Terrorists...this is where he will defend Iraq. YEPPERS, calling to take the fight to the enemy. Success measured by things that did not happen. There is a win/win for his argument in that we cannot prove or disprove that which never occurred.
America is still a nation at WAR. Sunni Extremists. Shiite Extremists. Iran gets it's first mention along with Hezbollah. In one sentence, he just tried to defend every mistake, and every corruption of our constitution he and his cabinet have done.
Remove conditions of blind hatred...his way...WAR. He is still calling on us to BUILD FREE SOCIETIES in the middle east, and if necessary at the business end of and M16.
His whole section on Iraq is a reran montage of everything he has been saying for the past two years as his ratings in the polls have slid into the toilet. Since when are the people of Iraq OUR FRIENDS? He is calling on us to find our resolve, and our resolve it TOO BRING OUR TROOPS HOME, rather than leave them in the middle of a Civil War. We as a nation DO NOT SUPPORT THE SURGE, the president should honor our will. How many American deaths will occur in trying to SECURE the city of Baghdad? He tries to hold the label of failure over our heads to force his will onto the American people...we are tired of that threat, tired of the threats of this administration.
Where MATTERS STAND...he is trying to tell both house and Senate that they did not vote for failure, and that requires them to give the SURGE a chance for success. I disagree. We have tried the surge before, always with poor results.
He wants to create a new Commission on Terrorism within Congress. Calling on Congress to increase the size of military. Increase in military of 95,000 troops in a period of five years. Volunteer Citizen Reserve Corp. So, he now wants regular citizens to risk being called up to DIE. Iran brought up again...no NUKES. Calls for Israel Palestinian Peace. Nothing new, nothing worth really pursuing. At least he claims he will make and effort in Darfur...we shall see on that one.
Aids in Africa gets a mention. Call for $1.2 Billion to fight malaria. Debt relief to eliminate poverty, but not for AMERICAN CITIZENS...that's a sad reality if you think on it.
Speech is wrapping up...same old same old.