Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Live Blogging the State of the Union

  • The President begins the address graciously, congratulating Speaker Pelosi and newly elected Democrats.

  • Balancing the budget is popular among members of Congress. The President has a lot to say about excessive spending, and I like what he has to say about earmarks. He doesn't mention that he has been largely responsible for recent over-spending.

  • I'm still not sold on "No Child Left Behind," but a thoughtful critique of the policy will require it's own post some other time.

  • The President is talking about healthcare: Good. He says, "The government has an obligation to the elderly, the disabled, and poor children." Poor adults are out of luck. In the President's defense, he is proposing 1) changing the tax code to benefit uninsured people and 2) authorizing grants for states that want to provide private healthcare for all of their citizens. Both proposals have pros and cons. I'm glad that he's trying.

  • I'm a fan of the President's guest worker program. I'm glad he's sticking to it. He also proposes dealing with persons who have entered the country illegally "without animosity and without amnesty." I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds centrist.

  • Hooray for solar and wind energy! Hooray for hybrids and diesel vehicles and bio-diesel fuels and ethanol. I'm still a little wary of "clean, safe nuclear energy," but I'm listening. If I heard correctly, the President wants to cut gasoline usage in half in 20 years. All good. "Doubling the strategic oil reserves" makes me nervous.

  • Whoa! Bush just mentioned the "serious challenge of global climate change" in the context of being good stewards of the environment.

  • Good rundown of foiled terrorist plots.

  • Bush is working hard to connect 9/11 to the current conflict in Iraq.

  • I really don't think the Bush administration should take credit for democratic reform in Lebanon. These reforms were largely a reaction to Syria's involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Kate's crying. Gotta go.


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