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Friday, Sep. 19, 2014

The real State of the Union

Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008, at 8:33 AM

You may have watched President Bush's State of the Union address last night.

Here's another look at the State of the Union, not the somewhat-rosy picture painted for us by a leader who wants to build on what he thinks is his legacy.

*We're still in Iraq. Some say we should get out, others say we should stay indefinitely. Sadly, the final decision may end up being based on the beliefs of a polticial party instead of what's best for America and our troops. And don't forget the other factor: Trying to bring together two warring factions unlikely to ever agree.

*Americans continue to lose their homes. The economy sputters. Too many Americans overspend and get into homes they can't really afford or loans they have no realistic hope of paying off. Business-focused Bush thinks the answer is to hand out dollars for yet another spending spree.

*We can't trust an administration which thinks secrecy in government activities which should be transparent is the code word for success. Meanwhile, more safeguards should be in place to ensure eavesdropping activities snare only those truly involved in terrorism and not innocent Americans. Those programs have way too much potential for abuse.

*Illegal immigrants are tolerated -- even encouraged -- by many industries at the same time the goverment claims efforts will be made to cut off the flow.

*Social Security may not exist 50 years from now the way things are going. Most of us can think of wasteful programs from which money could be reallocated.

*Forget cutting health care care costs and get realistic. As long as pharmaceutical and insurance companies are involved -- and they always will be -- costs will keep rising.

*As long as prices keep rising at the same time industries lay off employees or reduce others' salaries, the lower-upper income split will continue to widen. Will there no longer be a "middle class" at some point?

*Much of the world hates us. Yes, we should have the strongest military possible and the clout to demand respect from countries which threaten us. But there's a big difference between strength and arrogance. Arrogance belongs to the weak. We aren't weak. Bush doesn't understand, which may expose an insecurity under his bluster.

And I wonder if Bush's successor, no matter which party, can make any real difference as long as Washington power brokers are out for themselves and their big-money supporters' causes instead of what best builds the nation.


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Oh, and another thing, if our administration wanted us to stand behind our troops, then perhaps they should get out from behind a desk, in an air conditioned room and switch positions with the soldiers...

I think every person who plans, votes for, and supports a war, should not only SAY they do, but be obligated to SHOW they do...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 6:32 PM

You can't categorize all Democrats the same tdc, by the way, there are people on the "right" who have common sense enought to understand that, supporting our troops, means bringing them home to defend OUR nation, not Iraq...

The "left" people love and defend our troops, that's what we don't throw them into carelessly planned and implemented, and even ILLEGAL wars! So, take what you have now, and continue to suffer for decades b/c of a horrible administration who answers to absolutely NOBODY!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Feb 2, 2008, at 6:28 PM

How the left supports the troops-

http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_81204...

This is the best blog I could find to post this under. If this is an example of the opposite in office now, I'll take what we have now.

-- Posted by tdc on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 2:54 PM

I'll add this as well... Our president hasn't included us in anything, not even properly electing him first... Now, all of a sudden he wants to involve the people, it's a little late for that. Saving face, doesn't make you a good president.

REPOST FROM THOM'S BLOG:

WAR? AND THE LIE THAT GOT US THERE -- The SOLE reason given for the invasion of Iraq was to disarm Saddam of the weapons we sold him. Should we still be there, NOPE. Wrong diagnosis, stop the uneffective treatment.

NATION BUILDING [even though Bush said he would NEVER do that]? - Mr. Bush's own words Thom in the 2000 presidential election debates... "And so I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building.

I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war. I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow a dictator that's in our and it's in our when it's in our best interests.

But in this case, it was a nation-building exercise. And same with Haiti, I wouldn't have supported either."

HOUSING MARKET DISASTER? Excuse me, the government sets the rates at which consumers pay to borrow the funds... thus depreciating the houses values. Once those "sub-prime" loans were taken off the shelf, the people couldn't afford to live above their means anymore, much like in the 1920s.

MORE BANKRUPTCY THAN EVER? -- Not the governments fault, never said it was, just so happens that this crisis happened when the Neo Cons were in power

A CURRENT RECESSION? -- Housing market DOWN, auto sales DOWN, Retail sales DOWN, Gas prices UP, Inflation UP, Jobless claims UP, United States federal deficit 9,000,000,000,000+ AND counting...

PATRIOT ACT? -- This one should be repealed ASAP. It was passed at a time that our people were still in shock about what happened on Sept. 11th, 2001, and I doubt very seriously that even half of the "representatives" that voted for this bothered to read it.

ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING? -- Isn't this part of the "Patriot Act"? SURE IS... but it is the most legally challenged part of it too. Part of giving MORE executive power to Bush, a power not warranted by the Constitution.

RECORD HIGH OIL PRICES? -- yeah OPEC, but we deal with the Saudi royalty who are a large terrorist organization. All they have to do is stop sending us oil and the entire economy would be useless. It is the governments fault for waiting until the situation was so bleek to begin looking for alternative energy.

HIGH INFLATION? -- According to the FED(I hate those people), the inflation rate for 2007 is estimated to be 2.4%. The average for the past 50 years is 4.084%, so I don't think 2.4 is so high.--- YES, but inflation being that low, seems modest until you consider real wages haven't increased with it, therefore inflation now is much more detrimental than the last 50 years, when wages rose along with it, thus altering the effect...

LOWEST VALUE OF THE DOLLAR IN HISTORY? We print more currency with less gold to back it, it is depreciating rapidly... Kinda like the Confederates who printed greenbacks, that were worth nothing.

50,000,000 people in the richest country in the world without health, INCLUDING KIDS... it's not about the one's who are blessed, it's about helping those who are actually trying to provide for their families and get no benefits for it.. [myself excluded]

4,000 DEAD AMERICANS [for oil] -- technically, it's not quite 4,000, but close enough, it's still the lowest number of casualties we've had in a war (with the exception of the invasion of Grenada).--- And it's also the most technologically advanced war we've ever fought, so one death is too many Thom.

STOCK MARKET FRAUD -- The federal government dictates interest rates, interest rates cuts or increases send stocks tumbling or soaring... it is a co-existing relationship that the FED should not have control over...

HALIBURTON -- you've got me there, Dick should be ashamed. Of course he should just like Donald Rumsfield and the Neo Cons should for shaking Saddam's hand two years before I was born, and calling him an ally... The United States, doing business as usual turned a friendly nation into a staunch foe, and for what reason?

ENRON FRAUD -- This is a CORPORATION that caused blackouts in California and charged the citizens of that state quadruple the normal amount for energy... Why? Because they were selling stock at rates that were inflated and fake and the SEC didn't investigate until a "whistleblower" came forth.... Also "Since the start of Mr George W. Bush's career in politics, the largest donor to his electoral campaigns has been a man named Kenneth Lay. "Kenny Boy" is how Mr Bush often referred to his friend, indicating the warm and intimate relation between the two. Recently, though, Mr Bush does not return Kenny Boy's phone calls. In fact, he would rather not acknowledge that he knows Mr Lay. The reason? The company of which Mr Lay was president, Enron, has just crashed in the largest and most spectacular bankruptcy in American history."

VETERANS WITH NO CARE -- 20% of all veterans live on the streets of America, and the healthcare they get is Government regulated, but when you don't fund it, of course it's going to be horrible.

AMPUTEES HAVING TO GO BACK TO WAR ???

It's as simple as searching "amputees going back to war" you'd be amazed...

LOWEST ENLISTMENT EVER -- This is mainly due to the anti-war sentiment that is preached at most schools (because most teachers are liberal and don't endorse the military anyway)…EVER. ---Right, where in the South is there a liberal school? Few and far between...

ARTHUR ANDERSEN FRAUD -- "Enron's accounting firm, Arthur Anderson Inc., had difficulty explaining how it gave a clean bill of health to a company that later revealed it had all sorts of hidden losses. In a stunning development, it was revealed that after the civil investigation of the accounting process was announced, Anderson had shredded documents and erased computer files about the accounting at Enron."

"The Republican Party, which had the responsibility in the recent past of passing legislation that would ease Enron's path into the shady side of business, received $1.2 million in the 2000 election. The Democratic Party, which under President Clinton had supervised the laws and policies that Enron often wanted changed so that it could flourish, received $500,000. Mr Bush received $113,800 from Enron."

A PRESIDENT WHO WAS HANDED AN ELECTION BY THE COURTS, NOT THE PEOPLE -- The electoral college was useful when 75% of the population was in roughly 4 or 5 states, that is no longer the case, and it should be revised....

PROVEN VOTER FRAUD -- See New Hampshire primary where Ron Paul had "no" votes in certain hand-counted precincts and Clinton had significantly higher votes than the polls showed, in precincts that used the Diebold scanners. The election process definitely needs to be looked into.--- AGREED!

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO PROVE THE TWIN TOWERS COULDN'T HAVE FALLEN SO FAST, UNLESS OF COURSE THEY WERE "SET UP" TO DO SO. -- Watch "Loose Change"... and it's evident that the firefighters on the ground are documented as saying it sounded like explosions.. IF the government has nothing to hide, then why did they destroy or confiscate the evidence? Because without evidence no one could ever convict them....

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN VOTING AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE, BUT HAVING SEX WITH BOYS. -- Not ONE of these men ever tried to marry these boys. --- It still makes them hypocrites and liars... It's like saying you're for civil rights, but denying blacks the right to go to school...

THE WORST ANTI-AMERICAN FEELINGS ALL AROUND THE WORLD. --- Have you seen the protest in Europe? South America? and Asia? Yeah, it's not only Middle Eastern decendants... Oh and a few places in Africa, where the people are undergoing genecide, but the U.S. can't help b/c, again, it's much easier to destroy, rebuild, and arm a country than it is to truly save one.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 10:31 PM

How can we blame it all on one person, when congress has to approve evrything in the end. Appears to me that the actual power and condition of our country is in their hands.

-- Posted by Bill H on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 6:14 PM

Because for the first six years he inherited a majority in Congress, so everything they passd, he signed... It wasn't until a Democratic turnover, which turned into a majority that the president signed his first veto. Why blame it all on the president? When a corporation collapses, say Enron, you don't blame it on the employees who work long hours, day in and day out, you blame it on the multi billionaires who take compensation for destroying a company... The same would happen with a president. If everything was peachy, like it was in the 90's you would typically praise the president.

The fact is, this administration answers to absolutely NOBODY!!! That's why you can blame it on them. Everytime they are questions both on the record and off, the administration uses 'executive privilege'... Bush didn't "listen to the commanders on the ground" in Iraq, because they confronted him with a realistic picture, and demanded more troops... What was his response, FIRE THEM, and replace them with people who would listen to him... Lastly, high gas prices, highest inflation in 17 years, war that is going horribly, despicable image around the world [we preach democracy but don't even give some Americans basic civil rights]...

You can blame plenty of things on this president, if not totally because, but partly because he said "I am the decider".. Mr. President, that means accepting responsibility for when you fail, and when you succeed.

Lastly, we borrow $3,000,000,000/day from China and Japan [thats billions]... we print money out of thin air, it is backed by absolutely NOTHING, except having faith that it's worth something. Our dollar, before the Federal Reserve was worth just that, it is now worth a horrible .04.

REAL LEADERS AREN'T REACTIVE, THEY ARE PROACTIVE, Bush waits until we are attacked, waits til the housing market crashes, waits til Wal Street bottoms out, wait til families have no life savings left, waits until Social Security is bankrupt, waits unitl a recession is inevitable to finally act.

REAL LEADERS see it coming, and do everything in their power to stop it. This president, will go down as a complete failure. I still have a very hard time conjuring up ONE good thing to say about him. This comes from someone who stood behind his message of "freedom and democracy" until I realized, you can't bomb the world to PEACE, you can only bomb it to PIECES.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 10:26 PM

How can we blame it all on one person, when congress has to approve evrything in the end. Appears to me that the actual power and condition of our country is in their hands.

-- Posted by Bill H on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 6:14 PM

David I noticed you used several key phrases that kind of let everyone how you feel. "Business minded", "what he thinks is his legacy", "can't trust an administration which thinks secrecy", "much of the world hates us". We get it.

I'm not a Bush apologist, heck I'm the first to admit he's used dubious judgement at times. But I'm objective enough not to lay all this at his feet either.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 5:16 PM

I agree with everything, and it ain't a thing we can do about it; "THE DAMAGE IS ALREADY BEEN DONE". All of this did not come about until Bush was elected president. Sept 11, the war with Iraq, higher gas prices, lots of businesses shutting down. A Larger number of busines Industries going over seas for lesser pay workers, Business industries that stay continue to lay-off, down-size, or majority/or half of its employees are working "FOR YEARS" through a temporary service with little pay and NO benefits which puts their families on Tenn-care Medicaid.

A larger amount of illegal imigrants, a vast number of refugees, more recalls on toxic and dangers toys and food, major losses of jobs and insurance benefits, Sky-high records on Tenn-care medicaid and welfare, Bankruptcies and Foreclosures threw the ROOf.

I'll even say more VIOLENCE ERRUPTIONS, and CRIME - not only in the streets, but in GOVT. offices as well.

So much is happening so fast, it is Scarry, it's hard to plan a future because you don't know what is coming next. There are no more Good Job Securities, around any more when theirs a possibility of businesses shutting down, laying off, not providing any INS. benefits, Banks closing down, not enough JOBS to go around for the number of people in a city. Having to work 2 jobs to make ends meet and no one raising their children, everyone - everywhere suffers in the long run.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 10:09 AM

Comments or questions on your bullet points:

Iraq: We pulled our support from the Afghanistan movement and supposedly created our current terrorists. What would you have us do in Iraq?

What is the answer to teaching people they can not keep borrowing? I agree that we are bailing people out who should have known better, but how do you tell the "I want it now" generation?

Secrecy: This is not anything new to this last administration. How do you 'snare' innocents. I understand the concern that it is a slippery slope when allowing wiretapping, but if they are innocents, what do they fear?

The businesses using ILLEGAL immigrants should be stopped. Shut off the magnet and it will stop collecting the illegals. I capitalize illegal to differentiate from legal.

Cutting health care costs can be accomplished if we could reduce the courts insane judgments. That might calm the insurance companies to some degree. Pharmaceutical companies need profits to develop the next best cure but many people do not realize just how much it costs to bring a drug to market.

Prices rise for many reasons. Very few can, or should the government actually control. Talk about slippery slopes. If the government tells me what I can charge for my services, it might be time to pack it up and become a survivalist.

If the jobs leave the country on their own, that is one thing. But when the government HELPS those jobs leave, that is crazy. I regret that the Republicans and Democrats share the blame.

Human nature seems to like to see the 'top dog' taken down. They need someone to hate. We are at the top but I would dare say there are people who 'hate' the Chinese, the Russians, or whoever they perceive to be on top in their world.

If we don't know, we should know that we are the most benevolent 'power' in the world. How many countries like China and Russia have you seen rebuild the economy of the defeated opponent. What is their budget for helping human disasters and all around aid.

I somewhat agree that some of the world hates us, but as stated, they need someone to blame. I also agree, and this time in more harmony with your last comment about the power brokers in Washington. How much can one President affect their actions.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 9:56 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.