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Thread: State of the union reality check.

  1. #1
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default State of the union reality check.


    WASHINGTON President Bush set energy self-sufficiency goals Tuesday night that would still leave the country vulnerable to unstable oil sources. He also declared he is helping more people get health care, despite a rising number of uninsured.

    Whether promoting a plan to "save Social Security" or describing Iraqi security forces as "increasingly capable of defeating the enemy," Bush skipped over some complex realities in his State of the Union speech.

    ENERGY:

    By identifying only Mideast oil imports for reductions, Bush was ignoring some of the largest sources of U.S. petroleum, among them Canada, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela. The U.S. considers Venezuela a source of political instability in the region; relations with Mexico have been strained over immigration; and violence has curbed nearly 10 percent of Nigeria's oil output.

    Imports of oil and refined product from the Persian Gulf make up less than a fifth of all imports, according to the government.

    Bush has spoken of reducing reliance on foreign oil in every State of the Union speech, if not as explicitly as in this one, and presidents back to Richard Nixon outlined similar goals, to little or no effect.

    Nixon announced Project Independence in 1973, setting a goal of energy self-sufficiency in seven years. Then, the U.S. imported 35 percent of its oil; now it's close to 60 percent. This, despite substantive steps taken by Nixon and Jimmy Carter to spur both supply and conservation, including construction of the Alaskan oil pipeline and reduction in the highway speed limit to 55 mph for many years.

    HEALTH CARE:

    Noting that the government must help provide health care for the poor and elderly, Bush asserted, "We are meeting that responsibility."

    It is true that a new prescription drug benefit took effect this year, a new entitlement for up to 42 million disabled and older people. But implementation has been rocky: Mark McClellan, the administration's top Medicare official, recently acknowledged that tens of thousands of recipients probably didn't get medicine due to confusion and computer glitches, prompting some lawmakers to seek an extension of the May 15 signup deadline to work out the snafus.

    An incomplete picture also emerges on health care for the poor.

    The number of uninsured has increased nearly 5 million since Bush took office in 2001, to 45.5 million in 2004, two-thirds of the total from low-income families, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

    And while total federal spending on the health care "safety net" for the uninsured edged up from 2001 to 2004 adjusted for inflation, slightly more than 1 percent spending actually decreased from $546 to $498 per uninsured person due to the jump in uninsured, the Kaiser group said.

    Bush actually is expected to propose curbing the growth of benefit programs such as Medicare and Medicaid in his 2007 budget request next week.

    SOCIAL SECURITY:

    Bush said Congress did not act last year on his "proposal to save Social Security." In fact, his plan does not take care of Social Security's future solvency; instead, he wants to let younger workers divert some of their Social Security payroll taxes into private investment accounts to take advantage of the possibilities for a better return.

    IRAQ:

    Bush's upbeat account of progress in Iraq, coupled with an acknowledgment that "our enemy is brutal," left unstated a variety of setbacks in turning control over to Iraqi forces, including Iraqi Army desertions in the volatile west.

    KATRINA:

    Addressing Hurricane Katrina aid, Bush said a hopeful society "comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency" and the government is meeting New Orleans' "immediate needs."

    Federal money is indeed being used to build stronger levees and provide business loans and housing assistance. But the government has declined to rebuild levees strong enough to sustain a Category 5 hurricane, and it recently rejected as unnecessary a $30 billion redevelopment plan for Louisiana that state officials considered the cornerstone of their hopes for rebuilding.

    HOMELAND SECURITY:

    Bush urged Americans to back his secretive domestic spy program, saying he was using his "authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute" and noting that "appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed."

    Bush did not address the counterarguments that he failed to heed a separate 1978 law that specifically calls for court approval to conduct the surveillance. Some lawmakers have also questioned why Bush did not brief more than eight members of Congress about the program, which has been in effect since 2001.

    EDUCATION:

    On the theme of improving math and science education, Bush boasted, "We have made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country."

    In 2005, fourth-graders and eighth-graders posted their highest-ever math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and black and Hispanic children narrowed their achievement gap with whites in both math and reading. But the fourth-grade reading performance was essentially flat, and in eighth grade, reading scores dropped.

    SPENDING:

    The president said that "every year of my presidency, we have reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending." That doesn't tell the full story because the category he cited omits big-ticket spending items like Iraq, natural disasters such as Katrina and homeland security.

    He spoke of saving taxpayers $14 billion next year if his budget proposals are adopted, not mentioning some of those savings would come from health care programs such as Medicaid.

    Hard to believe this came from Fox News. Is Murdoch not getting the tax breaks he expected?
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

  2. #2
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the union reality check.

    Maybe this is as good as they could spin it.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the union reality check.

    Nah, I think the chimp pissed off Murdoch.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the union reality check.

    What did Chimpy do, use his teeth while blowing the guy?
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the union reality check.

    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch

    ENERGY:

    By identifying only Mideast oil imports for reductions, Bush was ignoring some of the largest sources of U.S. petroleum, among them Canada, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela. The U.S. considers Venezuela a source of political instability in the region; relations with Mexico have been strained over immigration; and violence has curbed nearly 10 percent of Nigeria's oil output.

    Imports of oil and refined product from the Persian Gulf make up less than a fifth of all imports, according to the government.

    Bush has spoken of reducing reliance on foreign oil in every State of the Union speech, if not as explicitly as in this one, and presidents back to Richard Nixon outlined similar goals, to little or no effect.

    They should just use the hot air from his head. The nation could be run on that for decades.
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    Elite Member Glasgow53's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the union reality check.

    Wonder what Bush's oil buddies have to say about his statment that this country is addicted to oil?
    Keep passing the open windows.

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    SVZ
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    Default Re: State of the union reality check.

    he speaks as if he were afflicted......no charisma at all.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the union reality check.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glasgow53
    Wonder what Bush's oil buddies have to say about his statment that this country is addicted to oil?
    They're too busy rolling around in the 36 billion dollars they raked in over Katrina to bother making a statement right now.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the union reality check.

    Quote Originally Posted by SVZ
    he speaks as if he were afflicted......no charisma at all.
    "as if he were afflicted"? Honey, Smirky's a living, breathing birth defect!!!!
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: State of the union reality check.

    Bush may have admitted that the US is addicted to oil,
    but his whole raison d'être as a president is to sustain that addiction.

    1. The War in Iraq

    2. The war in Afghanistan (which is far from over)

    3. The attempted coup d'état in Venezuela in 2002

    4. The sudden importance of the Kiev election was
    due to the fact that the country is criss-crossed with
    oil pipelines, and America has a great interest in
    securing available pipelines for shipping oil overland.

    5. And -- if you're a conspiracy nut -- the rumor that
    excessive drilling for oil off Aceh caused an underwater
    cave-in that resulted in the tsunami of 2004, which killed
    over 200,000 people.

    6. I forgot about his plans to drill in Alaskan wildlife refuges.

    The president can publicly acknowledge the addiction to oil,
    but he will do nothing to ameliorate it.

    ♫` ∴|| ~∞≠∝ ♫♪ $ -4C

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