A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My Least Favorite Parts

From SOTU:

We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy - even though this economy could not function without them. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction - toward a stagnant and second-rate economy.
That's a subtle reminder of his guest-worker program---which basically grants amnesty to illegal aliens. No thanks. I'm not buying. The economy does not need illegal aliens to keep it going.

Keeping America competitive requires an immigration system that upholds our laws, reflects our values, and serves the interests of our economy. Our Nation needs orderly and secure borders. To meet this goal, we must have stronger immigration enforcement and border protection. And we must have a rational, humane guest worker program that rejects amnesty ... allows temporary jobs for people who seek them legally ... and reduces smuggling and crime at the border.
And here's more. I'm all for enforcing our immigration laws and protecting our borders. But, the two truly are not compatible with guest worker programs, which are amnesty. If we want to have strong borders, protect ourselves, and enforce our laws, we cannot allow lawbreakers to benefit.

People who have illegally invaded our country cannot legally seek jobs. That's just not possible.

We can reduce smuggling and crime at the borders by enforcing the laws we have, putting our military at the borders, kicking out illegal aliens (all of them, not just the newbies), and shooting invaders. We have these rights, as a sovereign nation. We need to use them, not reward the people who thwart them.

Keeping America competitive requires affordable health care. Our government has a responsibility to help provide health care for the poor and the elderly, and we are meeting that responsibility. For all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of care ... strengthen the doctor-patient relationship ... and help people afford the insurance coverage they need. We will make wider use of electronic records and other health information technology, to help control costs and reduce dangerous medical errors.
Where in the Constitution does it require the federal government to help people with health care? The phrase "promote the general welfare" doesn't mean make sure everyone is healthy and can buy medicine. Those things belong to each individual and each family. Last I checked, the government wasn't an individual and wasn't part of my family.

Since 2001, we have spent nearly 10 billion dollars to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources - and we are on the threshold of incredible advances. So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative - a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants; revolutionary solar and wind technologies; and clean, safe nuclear energy.

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips, stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment ... move beyond a petroleum-based economy ... and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.
All well and good, but what are we going to do now? What are we going to do that can really make a difference and is reliable? What about ANWR????

First: I propose to double the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next ten years. This funding will support the work of America's most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources.
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Third: We need to encourage children to take more math and science, and make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We have made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers, to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science ... bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms ... and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs. If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.
Again, not the government's job. Do we really need to pump more, more, more money into a failing public school bureaucracy? What about School Vouchers? Come on, George! Less government. More personal choice and responsibility!

A hopeful society comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency - and stays at it until they are back on their feet. So far the Federal government has committed 85 billion dollars to the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. We are removing debris, repairing highways, and building stronger levees. We are providing business loans and housing assistance. Yet as we meet these immediate needs, we must also address deeper challenges that existed before the storm arrived. In New Orleans and in other places, many of our fellow citizens have felt excluded from the promise of our country. The answer is not only temporary relief, but schools that teach every child ... and job skills that bring upward mobility ... and more opportunities to own a home and start a business. As we recover from a disaster, let us also work for the day when all Americans are protected by justice, equal in hope, and rich in opportunity.

A hopeful society acts boldly to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS, which can be prevented, and treated, and defeated. More than a million Americans live with HIV, and half of all AIDS cases occur among African-Americans. I ask Congress to reform and reauthorize the Ryan White Act ... and provide new funding to states, so we end the waiting lists for AIDS medicine in America. We will also lead a nationwide effort, working closely with African-American churches and faith-based groups, to deliver rapid HIV tests to millions, end the stigma of AIDS, and come closer to the day when there are no new infections in America.
Again: less government spending on things the government has no business interfering in. We have spent an absolute ton of money on the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and more than enough on AIDS. People need to be responsible for themselves. Private industry should take the lead on these things. We would all benefit from that.

There were a number of areas where the President ought to have pushed harder, spoken longer about. What about defending the Sacred Institution of Marriage? He had one sentence, but that's not enough. He needed more on the Patriot Act.

And, really, how about a bit more Conservatism?