| Thursday, February 02, 2006
| GEORGE BUSH STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH
|CHECKING THE FACTS
President Bush skipped over some complex realities in his State of the Union speech. Here's how it looks:
* 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.
* Bush has spoken of reducing reliance on 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.
Noting that the government must help provide health care for the poor and elderly, Bush said, "We are meeting that responsibility."
* It's true that a new prescription drug benefit for the elderly took effect this year, but the administration's top Medicare official acknowledged that tens of thousands of recipients probably did'nt get medicine because of confusion and computer glitches.
* An incomplete picture also emerges on health care for the poor. The number of uninsured has increased nearly 5 million since Bush took office, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
* Bush's upbeat account of progress in Iraq left unstated a variety of setbacks in turning control over to Iraqi forces, including Iraqi Army desertions.
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 declines to rebuild levees strong enough to sustain a Category 5 hurricane, and it recently rejected a $30 billion redevelopment plan for Louisiana that state officials condered key.
Bush urged American to back his domestic spy program, saying he was using his "authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute" and nothing that "appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed."
* Bush did not address the counterarguments that he failed to heed a separate 1978 law athat specifically calls for court approval to conduct the surveillance. Some lawmakers have also questioned why Bush did not brief more that eight members of Congress about the program, which has been in effect since 2001.
(Source: Associated Press)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 4:14 AM