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02 February 2006

Misstate Of The Union

Think Progress has a look at some of the untruths George Bush told during the State of the Union address. Some snippets:

SOTU: Bush Pushes Two Hijacker Myth

Bush said: “We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al-Qaeda operatives overseas. But we did not know their plans until too late.”


But Cheney did not mention that the government had compiled significant information on the two suspects before the attacks and that bureaucratic problems — not a lack of information — were primary reasons for the security breakdown, according to congressional investigators and the Sept. 11 commission. Moreover, the administration had the power to eavesdrop on their calls and e-mails, as long as it sought permission from a secret court that oversees clandestine surveillance in the United States.

The bigger problem was that the FBI and other agencies did not know where the two suspects — Cheney’s office confirmed that he was referring to Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar — were living in the United States and had missed numerous opportunities to track them down in the 20 months before the attacks, according to the Sept. 11 commission and other sources.


SOTU: Bush Wanted Renewable Energy Cuts

Bush said: “The best way to break this addiction is through technology. 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.”

FACT — BUSH PUSHED FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY CUTS IN LATEST BUDGET: President Bush’s FY06 budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy efficiency and renewable energy programs envisioned “reductions totaling nearly $50 million - an overall cut of roughly four percent.” [Renewable Energy Access, 2/28/05]

FACT — BUSH REJECTED BIPARTISAN PLAN TO SET GOALS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY: Last year, President Bush “oppose[d] efforts to include a national renewable energy requirement for utilities in Congress’ broad energy legislation.” According to the Union of Concerned Scientists it “is a cost-effective, market-based policy that requires electric utilities to gradually increase their use of renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and bioenergy,” to between 10 and 20 percent by 2020. A 10 percent standard “would have virtually no impact on electricity prices and could save consumers as much as $13.2 billion.” [Reuters, 2/10/05; Union of Concerned Scientists; Union of Concerned Scientists]


SOTU: Dependence on Foreign Oil Has Increased Under Bush

Bush said: “Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.”

FACT — BUSH HAS INCREASED DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL: Sixty-six percent of oil consumed in the United States comes from foreign sources, up from 58 percent in 2000. Americans now spend $200,000 a minute on foreign oil and more than $25 billion annually goes to Persian Gulf states for oil imports. [Energy Information Administration, 1/06; American Progress, 2004]

FACT– BUSH ENERGY BILL WILL NOT REDUCE RELIANCE ON FOREIGN OIL: The energy bill signed and supported by President Bush “rejected a Senate provision that required reduction of oil consumption by one million barrels per day by 2015.” Under the bill, “our need for imported oil will continue to grow for as long as models are able to project.” [U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, 7/05]


SOTU: Tax Cuts Didn’t Help Economy

Bush said: “In the last five years, the tax relief you passed has left 880 billion dollars in the hands of American workers, investors, small businesses, and families – and they have used it to help produce more than four years of uninterrupted economic growth.”

FACT — DEFICITS CAUSED BY TAX CUTS NEGATE ANY POTENTIAL ECONOMIC BENEFITS: Studies by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JTC), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) all confirm that deficits undermine economic benefits of the cuts. In their analysis of the 2003 tax cuts, JTC found that any economic benefits of the tax cuts would “eventually likely to be outweighed by the reduction in national savings due to increasing Federal government deficits.” [American Progress, 1/26/05; CBO, October 2005]

Read the rest...

Comments on "Misstate Of The Union"


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (2/03/2006 09:16:00 AM) : 

Well done! Thanks for the effort.

Hopefully every US citizen will read this and we'll all realize we've been had!


Blogger Marcguyver said ... (2/04/2006 12:37:00 PM) : 

Good read...but I don't feel like I've 'been had' by any stretch of the imagination.

I think the 'government' dropped the ball Pre 9-11 because no one 'really' believed that the Terrorists were a threat; well, I should say that the mainstream media had everyone believing that Islam was peaceful...and are still try to do so today as well.

I wish we'd get away from oil, I personally think the technology has been there for many, many decades, but the Auto Industry has too many 'shady' things going on behind the scenes to allow this new stuff to be marketed. Somewhere, someone is going to lose too much money if we started running all our vehicles on electricity, solar power, etc.

So if we're not supposed to be dependent on foreign oil, why can't we do more drilling in our own turf? Every Democrat/Liberal that I hear is doing everything they can to keep us from supplying our own oil; I don't get it.

I have to say that ultimately, I will probably alwasy believe in tax cuts. I think it's a travesty that the government takes and takes and takes so much stinking money from the average citizen. We don't need bigger government; we need smaller government. It's the only reason I wish the South had won the war; I think the State Governments would have ended up being significantly stronger and the Feds a lot weaker.


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (2/04/2006 12:59:00 PM) : 

Marc, three things:

1. "the mainstream media had everyone believing that Islam was peaceful..."

And they did this, how? By a coordinated effort to spend time and resources and precious media time on story after story about how good Islam is? If so, could you please cite the pre-9/11 flood of stories the MSM printed that so confused us befuddled US citizens? Or, if you can't back up your statement, please don't make such an silly assertion to begin with. Thanks.

2. "Every Liberal that I hear is doing everything they can to keep us from supplying our own oil; I don't get it..."

What you don't get is that more oil is not the solution. We have an unsustainable economy that depends upon unsustainable amounts of a finite product for its energy. We have to begin to reduce our need for oil, not replace it with oil from another source that will run out in the next 10 -100 years.

Improved technology may help some but ultimately, we'll have to reduce our dependence upon energy. We'll either do so wisely and willingly or be forced to after the market has crashed.

3. "I think it's a travesty that the government takes and takes and takes so much stinking money from the average citizen."

And yet, Republicans have overseen the greatest expenditures in recent administrations, with the acquiesence of the Dems. You can't advocate a half a t-t-trillion (+) dollar annual expenditure on military and simultaneously say you're for a smaller gov't.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2/04/2006 09:55:00 PM) : 

"the mainstream media had everyone believing that Islam was peaceful...and are still try to do so today as well."

And who says it's not? Guess it depends on your definitino of peaceful. If you mean terrorists, I would have to say it is not a religion of terrorists -- and I live in an Arabic speaking Muslim country. I am not a Muslim, but have felt completely welcome in the country where I live. Are there a few who are bad news, sure there are occasional wackos -- but would you want abortion-clinic bombers representing all of those in your religion?

I could say that I consider Islam violent in that many of it's adherents believe in things like passionately defending attacks against it's people & stronger punishments (like the death penalty) than the West is accustomed to (both governmental issues & having nothing to do with killing "innocent civilians") ... but then again doesn't the Evangelical Christian Right adhere to there as well?

Wasp, I'm currently working on my first cup of coffee, sorry if this comment doesn't make a lot of sense. -- Frankie


Blogger dufflehead said ... (2/05/2006 02:42:00 AM) : 

i couldn't take much more than 3 or 4 minutes of the "state of my union" ("state of disunion"? "state of delusion"?) address. thanks for the link! it was awesome to see congress give the finger to mr bush.

i would rather see a smarter government that was beholden to the needs of the many than the needs of the few.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (2/05/2006 01:50:00 PM) : 


While I will agree that the mainstream U.S. media is pretty pathetic in the job that it does, I don't think they are trying to convince anyone that Islam is either peaceful or non-peaceful. As others have pointed out, some Muslims are peaceful, and some aren't. It's a bit disingenuous to suggest that all Muslims (or even a majority of them) aren't peaceful or that they hate the West, or Christians, or whatever. I imagine that Islam is a lot like Christianity, in that different Muslims interpret their scriptures and the words of their prophet in a variety of ways. It's a bit silly to be a Christian and know how much variety of belief there is within our religion, but to think that Islam (or any other religion for that matter) would somehow be different.

As for oil, I agree with Dan. I don't think we should be in the Middle East after their oil, and I don't think we should be drilling here either. I think we ought to be figuring out a way to use sustainable energy, given the rapid rate that we're running out of oil and gas, and given that China, India, and other countries are going to need a lot more oil and gas in the near future.

Regarding tax cuts and smaller government, I think Dan hit it on the head. You can't be for small government and simultaneously have the military that the U.S. does. Likewise, from a Christian perspective, it's pretty clear from scripture that we are supposed to manage our money wisely, to not be in debt, etc. We operate in this country on a deficit every year. And we are $8 trillion in debt. Cutting taxes is not a fiscally responsible thing to do. Likewise, how are we supposed to pay for a war in Iraq (and possibly in Iran) if we cut taxes?


Blogger dufflehead said ... (2/05/2006 02:29:00 PM) : 

maybe they should privatize the defense budget?


Blogger Daedalus said ... (2/05/2006 07:54:00 PM) : 

it's noocular. NOOCULAR.

seahawks score. ick.


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (2/05/2006 09:42:00 PM) : 

"maybe they should privatize the defense budget?"

NOW you're on to something! We all know from Bush and his supporters that the best way to do things is the private sector. If we can't trust the gov't to do our healthcare because of its inefficiency, then we SURE can't trust our national defense to the gov't!


Blogger Marcguyver said ... (2/07/2006 03:24:00 PM) : 

Wasp, you've got to check out this video, or just go to my post, "Mindset of Terrorism".

While I do agree with your explanation of 'denominations' it would seem that this level of hatred is far greater than just some believing and others not. Especially when school children are singing in public schools, "Arabs are beloved and Jews are dogs."

Dan, to blame the current budget on just this administration is a bit much. We didn't reach these epic proportions in just the last three years. I'm not a "Bush and the Republicans are always right" guy. But I definitely see that this whole 'budget' monster isn't one man's doing!
Additionally, I don't have a problem with a strong military, especially at this time in history.

I'd only be kidding myself if I thought I had all the 'answers' but I still think that the technology is already there, but someone, or some individuals collectively, are keeping us from 'seeing' it and using it.
Probably has something to do with someone's bottom line.


Blogger Marcguyver said ... (2/07/2006 03:25:00 PM) : 

Oh, and Frankie, what country do you presently live in that is so nice to 'Non-Muslims'?


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (2/07/2006 03:45:00 PM) : 

As to your question about what muslim country is friendly to non-muslims, I've friends who work in Morocco, a decidedly Muslim country.

She is a Christian pastor in fact. And, while she needs to be sure not to proselytize, she is loved and appreciated by her Muslim friends.

Does she have the freedom we have here? No. But is it a hostile country towards her as a Christian or US citizen? Not especially (although hatred of Bush policy is pretty strong there).

And I don't blame the budget on Bush or Republicans alone, I'm just pointing out that they're the ones doing the most to grow the budget and increase the deficit (see Bush's 2006 budget). But, to be fair, they do it with the cooperation of the Dems.



Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (2/07/2006 06:43:00 PM) : 

I wasn't talking about denominations so much as I'm talking about point of view. Take you and I, Marc. At the end of the day, we see the world in fundamentally different ways. You can label or quantify it however you want (conservative and liberal is what a lot of people would say, although that's both an oversimplification and probably not entirely accurate in either of our cases) but I think it's safe to say that it's not that the two of us have opposing viewpoints on a lot of issues. We just don't view the world the same way. A lot of Christians see the world the way you see it. A lot of Christians see the world the way I see it. And a lot of Christians probably think that we're both full of it. :) And we're just a couple of Christian guys from the United States. To say that the overall Muslim mindset is one of hatred towards Jews/Christians/Westerners/etc. is to vastly oversimplify the world in which we live. If you and I see the world so differently, you can bet there are plenty of Muslim factions that view the world through different lenses as well.


Anonymous Frankie said ... (2/07/2006 07:58:00 PM) : 


Hold on to your hat ... Yemen. Guess you can't just believe everything you read about all those people that hate Americans over here. --Frankie


Blogger dufflehead said ... (2/08/2006 12:39:00 AM) : 

you meant 5 years, right, not 3? mr. bush has been in the white house for 5 years now.


Blogger Marcguyver said ... (2/08/2006 07:56:00 PM) : 

I'm not so sure I'd feel free to be a Christian in the streets of Yemen or Morocco.

Open Doors is an agency based Santa Ana, CA, which monitors the persecution of Christians across the world. They issue a "Hall of Shame" every six months. Their mid-2000 report lists:
"Yemen, North Korea, Maldives, Iran and Morocco complete the top ten countries in the Hall of Shame."

Morocco: June 1999 – Five American citizens were detained and deported after being accused of distributing Christian literature on a train from Rabat to Tangier.

July 15, 1998--A Moroccan appeals court upheld a lower court's sentence against four Western Christians that was passed on June 5, 1998. The court reportedly charged Graham Hutt (British), Serge Dechoz (French), Kelly Viinikka (Canadian), and Antero Ylikangas (Canadian) with "intent to introduce merchandise into the country without a customs declaration." The men were fined $42,000, given a suspended two-month prison term, and Hutt's yacht and motorcycle were confiscated (valued at $253,000). The merchandise in question involved 1200 New Testaments and 500 Bibles and would have required a $65 customs charge had they been declared. All the men except Graham Hutt have been allowed to leave the country with no punishment. It was found that a multi-page confession that was written in Arabic and signed by the men contained other charges. The confession was signed by the men after they had been questioned for fourteen hours, been denied food and water, and were promised they would be released if they signed it, which they weren't.

Yemen: A single Yemeni gunman entered the Baptist hospital compound in Jibla, Yemen, on Dec. 20, 2002, and shot four American hospital workers, killing three and injuring the fourth.

Aden’s Tawahi Court ruled on Wednesday that a Somali refugee, Mohammed Omer Haji, 27, must return to Islam within seven days or face execution under Yemen’s apostasy laws. According to Haji’s lawyer his situation is “serious and very dangerous”. He faces a final hearing on July 12 during which he must either declare three times before the judge that he is returning to Islam or face execution. The Yemeni legal system allows for two final appeals before the verdict can be carried out.


Blogger Marcguyver said ... (2/08/2006 07:59:00 PM) : 

Wasp, I'm not arguing on the multifacted 'heads' of Islam and numerous factions; but did you read or see what these Islamic men had said about what they learned in school? Or what they learned right here in America?

They are the ones saying that most (90%) of the Arab world is taught and trained to be Anti-Israel and Anti-America, not me.

Oh and Duffle, I meant the last three years we've been at War, increasing the budget with our 'overspending on the military'.


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (2/08/2006 09:37:00 PM) : 

Marc, as I said, Morocco (and other Muslim countries) don't necessarily have the same rights as we do here and you can't just proselytize. But you can live there in a friendly way if you obey their rules. Just like folk have to obey our rules when they come here.

Would I wish for Muslim countries to be more open to freedom of speech? Yes. Are they monsters which we are incapable of living side by side with? No.


Anonymous Frankie said ... (2/09/2006 12:15:00 AM) : 


First, I agree 100% with what Dan said. Secondly would you be surprised to know that the man who murdered the Westerners was sentenced to death -- and is still considered a shame on this country by the overwhelming majority of people here? While I don't know them, I have heard many people say wonderful things about that little hospital and how wonderful the people who volunteer their lives there are for the Yemeni people. Third, as I said before, I live here and feel welcome and safe. The laws here are very clear about converting from the religion of Islam to another religion -- this is punishable by death (which the overwhelming majority of folks here agree with -- democracy anyone?) While I don't agree with this policy, that is not what we're talking about. What we are talking about is the Western view of Muslims as terrorists that hate anyone who is not a Muslim and it simply ain't true!

Again, I am not a Muslim, most people here know I'm not, but they are wonderful people who welcome me into their homes and sit and visit with me for hours.

Again, if you think Islam is violent, you should go back and review the Old Testament -- which seems to be where most Evangelical Fundamentalist "Christians" in the West go for their views on foreign and domestic policies, such as welfare, justice, separation of church and state, war, the Palestianian - Israeli conflict, etc, etc, rather than interpreting them in light of the many New Testament passages that clarify the intent of the Law -- like oh, I don't know, The Sermon on the Mount ... but that is another discussion. No offense intended here, this is just how I see it from the other side of the world. --Frankie


Blogger dufflehead said ... (2/09/2006 03:34:00 PM) : 

some of you may find this as entertaining as i did


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (2/09/2006 07:15:00 PM) : 

Brought to you by the same folks responsible for Fuck the New York Times, Fuck Christmas, and my personal favorite, Fuck the South. Touché.


Blogger Marcguyver said ... (2/12/2006 07:34:00 PM) : 

Wow, those are some terrific titles for I'm sure some terrific posts!

I should start naming my sermons like that,

"Jesus F@#$ing loves you too!"


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (2/13/2006 01:24:00 PM) : 

Marc, you're a preacher? I didn't know that!


Blogger dufflehead said ... (2/13/2006 02:25:00 PM) : 

are you going to read the posts, or judge them on their titles?


Blogger Marcguyver said ... (2/16/2006 08:27:00 PM) : 

Are you kidding me Duffle, I read 'em all and thought I was back in the Corps getting a brief on my next op from my Platoon Commander......good content, but extremely poorly delivered!


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