Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Snippets from the State of the Empire *erm* Union Address

To make our economy stronger and more productive, we must make health care more affordable, and give families greater access to good coverage, and more control over their health decisions. I ask Congress to move forward on a comprehensive health care agenda — with tax credits to help low-income workers buy insurance, a community health center in every poor county, improved information technology to prevent medical errors and needless costs, association health plans for small businesses and their employees, expanded health savings accounts, and medical liability reform that will reduce health care costs, and make sure patients have the doctors and care they need
He'll be doing that by enacting tort reform which protects insurance companies (not consumers) & encouraging the outsourcing of jobs so people will be unemployed and financially distressed to the point they're eligible for Medicaid?
Our second great responsibility to our children and grandchildren is to honor and to pass along the values that sustain a free society. So many of my generation, after a long journey, have come home to family and faith, and are determined to bring up responsible, moral children. Government is not the source of these values, but government should never undermine them.
[. . . and yet, in his next statement, he's going to advocate doing just that:]
Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges. For the good of families, children, and society, I support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage.
This helps families, children and society HOW???? By making sure homos and their families don't have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to everyone else, that's how. Unless both partners in a gay relationship have decent health insurance through their own jobs, one partner (and possibly their children) won't be afforded the same right to be covered under their partner's policy b/c they can't get married (and few employers provide domestic partner benefits). I guess in his thinking, they'll realize they can overcome being gay when they realize if they were "normal, moral" people they could get married and have these benefits (or maybe, if they still insist on being gay they won't have kids since they may not be able to cover medical costs)? I see lots of straight people who do a pretty good job of screwing up marriages - we don't make it illegal for some of those yahoos to get married (heck, Britney got married twice in the same calendar year)!
Because a society is measured by how it treats the weak and vulnerable, we must strive to build a culture of life. Medical research can help us reach that goal, by developing treatments and cures that save lives and help people overcome disabilities — and I thank Congress for doubling the funding of the National Institutes of Health. To build a culture of life, we must also ensure that scientific advances always serve human dignity, not take advantage of some lives for the benefit of others. We should all be able to agree on some clear standards. I will work with Congress to ensure that human embryos are not created for experimentation or grown for body parts, and that human life is never bought or sold as a commodity. America will continue to lead the world in medical research that is ambitious, aggressive, and always ethical.
Our society under BushCo and the religious right would then be judged quite harshly by the standards of civilised societies. Brother Jeb has not only (unconstitutionally) created a law to prolong Terri Schiavo's death but he also felt the best way to intervene when it was discovered a severely mentally retarded 22 year old rape victim was pregnant was to appoint a legal guardian for the fetus to ensure the pregnancy went to term; a guardian selected to say that going to term was what "was best for the mother [rape victim]". In additon to cerebral palsy and autism, the woman was also prone to seizures that increased her already high risks of pregnancy/labor & delivery; sure that's what's best for this woman with the cognitive capacity of a 1 year old. I guess Quality of Life, suffering, etc. have no negative impact on human dignity only ensuring birth occurs and duration of life when one is terminal is what matters for the Bush family.
Because courts must always deliver impartial justice, judges have a duty to faithfully interpret the law, not legislate from the bench. As President, I have a constitutional responsibility to nominate men and women who understand the role of courts in our democracy, and are well qualified to serve on the bench — and I have done so. The Constitution also gives the Senate a responsibility: Every judicial nominee deserves an up-or-down vote.
apparently, if your interpretation of a law is different than Bush's you're an activist judge legislating from the bench but if you have a completely different interpretation that essentially re-writes the law to limit civil rights, you're not an activist.

*sigh* and ending by quoting FDR , lots of idea but no plan to address the fiscal issues - hey, what's more debt as long as the rich have tax cuts and big business has tax holidays, right?

Statement by John Kerry on State of the Union Address

“President Bush said tonight that the state of our union is strong and confident, but millions of Americans know it can and must be stronger. The best way we can instill real confidence in their future is if we follow the true mandate of the last election -- a mandate for unity and true bipartisanship. The political campaigns are over and now we must get down to work. For the 11 million children in this country without health care, we must make our union stronger. For our brave soldiers in Iraq and their families, we must act now in the wake of the Iraqi elections to give them reasons to be as confident about their future as they are courageous under fire.

“The best way to begin genuine bipartisanship to make America stronger is to work together on the real crises facing our country, not to manufacture an artificial crisis to serve a special interest agenda out of touch with the needs of Americans.

“Our country faces a real crisis in health care, a real challenge of record budget deficits, and every American deserves a real plan to improve retirement security -- not weaken it. The problems of health care can be solved if we stop giving tax cuts to those who have the most, and start making health care affordable for those working harder and harder for too little. I was disappointed the President did not spend more time addressing this problem that keeps millions of Americans up at night worrying about their children's future.

The problems facing Social Security 50 years down the road can be fixed tomorrow if Washington ends the borrow-and-spend policies that are running up a record debt and dumping it on the backs of our children. The challenge of retirement security can be solved if we sit down in the true spirit of bipartisanship and make it possible for young people to save and invest while still guaranteeing that Social Security remains insurance against poverty and disability that can never be wiped away. “Watching Iraqis go to the polls for the first time was an inspiring beginning this week, but we can't stop there. It wouldn't have been possible without the bravery of American troops. I am glad the White House will at long last act to provide a $250,000 benefit for the families of troops who've made the ultimate sacrifice. We must do more for those who give of themselves for God and country. But the greatest tribute to the memory of the fallen is an exit strategy called success. Elections were an important milestone, but to go the distance the President must now bring other countries to the side of the Iraqis to rapidly train a security force capable of providing stability. Even more critical is bringing Iraqis together and making clear to millions of Sunnis who stayed home that they have a stake in a secure nation. “We must succeed in Iraq, but we must also wage and win a more effective War on Terror. We must never take our eye off the ball in the greater struggle against extremism. I was disappointed that the President didn't mention Osama bin Laden's name once tonight. Wherever that terrorist who has murdered Americans is hiding tonight, he should know America will never rest until we've destroyed him and his terrorist network.

The state of our union -- our faith, our families, our values -- is strong, but we must challenge ourselves and challenge Washington to make the country we love as strong as the freedom that makes it special.


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