Tuesday, January 23, 2007

President Bush will deliver his State of the Union address tonight, beginning in about 45 minutes. C-span will be streaming the speech.

UPDATE: Wow. Let me add some quick takes - I'm skipping over education and national security.

Economy is going strong; let's keep it that way: not with more government, but with private enterprise. Right on. Proposes to introduce a plan to eliminate the Federal Deficit in 5 years. Yikes. Without raising taxes. Sounds difficult.

With all the talk of budget-cutting, Bush plays the federal spending card a surprising number of times during the speech, asking congress to approve funding for health care, education, alternative energy, immigration reform, and, of course, national security. Going to be tough to tie these two ends together.

Health Care:
By and large, health care remains privatized. Tax reforms are proposed to enable lower income households to afford insurance.

Double the border patrol, and increase funding in order to improve the infrastructure. Create a temporary worker's program to take the pressure off and allow the patrol to concentrate on "the drug smugglers and criminals." This is key. Things on the line have got to loosen up.

Deal with resident illegals, but handle them carefully: "without animosity, and without amnesty." Good. Maintain America's legacy as a "melting pot." This is important: there is altogether too much prejudice and snobbery, racial and otherwise, in the country today.

Decrease gasoline consumption by 20% within 10 years. This would allow us to cut our dependence on Middle Eastern oil by 75%. Bush acknowledged global warming, and expressed specific interest in Ethanol, hybrid vehicles, and new electricity-generation strategies.

Toward the end, Bush spent some time congratulating the American character. Some of it may have been a bit overdone, but his commendation of Wesley Autrey was thoroughly appropriate and rather moving.

It disturbs me
that the President currently commands so little respect. Let's debate the issues - absolutely - while not forgetting our duty to honor. It will be disappointing if all that Americans think about for the next two years is who the next executive will be.

UPDATE: Wikipedia summary, and video/transcript.

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