The State of the Union: Is there reason to watch any more?

The State of the Union Address is always a carefully rehearsed, researched, and focus grouped speech. Full of spin and promises that the president will “try” to accomplish. I was going to breakdown and forego my normal SotUA apathy and watch this year. The one thing I want to hear is what Bush knows about Iraq that the administration is not telling us. People (including me) would be able to, hopefully, better understand why many in DC are so gung-ho about getting Hussein the hell out of power. Other than the fact that he is a dangerous raving nutjob, of course. Evidence could be shown supporting what everybody assumes he is hiding and doing. That’s not happening tonight.

Maybe Powell will tell us next week. Maybe the UN will get some balls and say something in a month or so. If Cheney and Rumsfeld had their way all the time, the public wouldn’t know shit about what is happening. It seems they have been getting their way a lot lately. Meanwhile. he is not going to give us any sort of timetable nor any firm deadline for Iraq to straighten up or be riddled with bombs. The economy is floundering and Bush seems to be content with going to war “sometime”. All the uncertainty is making everyone anxious, we edge back towards a recession, and support for the eventual war is waning.

I hate to use a tired cliche for something of such great import, but I am beginning to wish the administration would simply piss or get off the pot.

Pushing a new plank in his “faith-based initiative,” Bush is asking Congress to direct drug treatment dollars to religious organizations. His plan would give addicts treatment vouchers that would allow them to seek help at any center, including those with religious approaches, two senior White House officials said.

The plan is sure to be controversial because many religious drug treatment programs do not employ medical approaches and do not use staff that have been licensed for this work. It would cost $200 million in the next fiscal year.

Is this not dangerously close to violating the seperation of church and state? I am not sure I would have a problem with it as church is as good a place as any to serve as a meeting place for drug treatment. Not being required to use medical approaches or have a licensed professional on hand is loony. So the churches get money for drug programs and then the director of the handbell program runs it? Me no likey that idea.

As the party’s leaders joined for a pre-emptive assault on Bush’s address, Daschle and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Bush of creating a “credibility gap” on a raft of issues

I wish Daschle would shut the fuck up. I consider myself an independent and I know party leaders have to play at partisan politics, but Daschle spews too much nonsensical, baseless B.S. I am sort of sorry he decided not to run for president. Just think of all the idiotic rhetoric we are going to miss out on.

It’s off topic…

I can’t wait till Bush and his Republican croonies are fucking out of office. This is like a bad nightmare. Their cutting or want to cut most of the social services that serve the poor. The President’s so called financial plan caters to the Rich. Most Americans are against the war with Iraq, but yet it looks like were still going in. The President loves to mix religion and politics. The abortion issue is going to be resurfaced this year, and from what I’ve been reading the Roe vs Wade might decission might be overturned, because we have a Republican House/Senate and President.

And it looks like were going to have to endure another 4 years of Bush’s bullshit, because who’s going to beat him in the upcoming Presidential race? No one! I wish someone like Ross Purue (sp?) would run again, then he could steal some votes from Bush. I believe the reason that Clinton beat Bush Sr. was because Ross stole Bush Sr’s votes.

Just like Nader took votes from Gore in the last election…bastard.

–Dave

Great, another Stupidity Roadshow for ignorant slobs to flaunt their antique cliches for the bovine-grinned approbation of their anti-war appraisers.

Sorry, but do you anti-war guys have anything to bring to the table this time that actually counters the fact-citing arguments people have made time and time again on this board for the necessity of removing Saddam from power? Or is it still going to be another “Better to be a baby-raping monster with the will and imminent capability to plunge the entire world into a Snake-Pliskin-like recession than be a hypocrite like Bush” thread?

AIM, I’m looking directly in your direction.

The one thing I want to hear is what Bush knows about Iraq that the administration is not telling us. People (including me) would be able to, hopefully, better understand why many in DC are so gung-ho about getting Hussein the hell out of power. Other than the fact that he is a dangerous raving nutjob, of course. Evidence could be shown supporting what everybody assumes he is hiding and doing. That’s not happening tonight.

How much more evidence do you need presented? Eleven years ago, Iraq was told to disarm by the UN. Two weeks ago, numerous chemical and biological warheads in pristine condition were discovered in the country. The head weapons inspector has said: “Iraq has not disarmed.” That right there is enough by the terms of the UN resolutions to remove Saddam from power. Yet I still hear people insisting that there is “no evidence”.

But furthermore, that information has already been presented. It is all over the place, but it is too complicated to be summed up in a pithy one-liner in the middle of a CNN piece. You need to draw it together. It is in UK and US dossiers. It is in official UN reports. And, like I mentioned above, it is in the news.

Kenneth Pollack’s book keeps on being recommended here for a reason: it is a well-written, accessible and incredibly readable account of all of the evidence against Iraq. People who aren’t willing to read up on a subject - just because you mortar up your sense organs with a mucus instinctually secreted every time someone says something you disagree with, that doesn’t mean that evidence hasn’t been presented.

I don’t quite understand why Bush doesn’t sum up the evidence against Saddam, either, but I know that it is accessible to anyone who actually wants to hear it.

Meanwhile. he is not going to give us any sort of timetable nor any firm deadline for Iraq to straighten up or be riddled with bombs.

That’s a good idea: give Saddam Hussein an exact date when we are going to invade. Also, re: firm deadline. You mean a firmer deadline than the “disarm immediately” resolutions passed by the UN for the last 11 years?

I don’t mean to sound so fiery, but you guys are going to have to come up with some more compelling reason why we shouldn’t invade Iraq than “war is bad” and “violence never solves anything”. Because it is pretty clear that violence against the Republican Guard at the very least is going to solve the problem of hundreds of gang-raped Iraqi children with their eyes gouged out every year.

If you can’t support war on that, you might want to ask yourself why pacifism, inaction and cowardice are able to perfectly cohabitate your heart.

Tyjenks, that was actually a pre-emptive strike based more on destroying the apologetic peace-nik infrastructure of the QT3 forums before they could deploy than making you my target. Sorry if you got caught in the crossfire - I didn’t see the Red Crescent at all.

did i miss something here? you are in Dublin? sorry, but that earns you a ‘STFU’ until your taxes are going to pay the $100 billion large that this little police action part deux is going to cost. not to mention i am doubting there won’t be many IRA loyalists doing any fighting in this war.

if the U.S. is so worries about ‘nuculear’ disarmament, then why the hell isn’t anyone focusing on that other “evil doer” - North Korea? they seem to be much farther along and a much more viable threat than old Saddam. of course, we really wouldn’t know, since we aren’t really given any evidence as to what Saddam has done. at least i, as a voting and tax paying citizen in the U.S. haven’t seen any. just rethoric and hyperbole.

ps - i am Irish American, 3rd generation…does that earn me the right to come over and run your country’s politics? not.

Dr. Crypt is an American living in Ireland presumably for the easy sheep access. At any rate, it’s nice to have a pro-war voice coming from that direction.

Bub - pro-Iraq War Part 2, but dismayed at how Bush is blundering the International diplomacy part.

I’ll skip the Iraq stuff, since it’s been covered already at great length in other threads (for the record, imagine me as DrCrypt but without the flying spittle). I think the drug rehab idea is interesting, though, and I’m interested in what people think of the whole church and state issue.

On the one hand, the country has traditionally been totally against any mixing of church and state. In the last few years, though, we’ve seen somehwat of a loosening, at least to the point that the state is no longer ANTI-church (such as allowing groups to meet in a school, but specifically banning religious groups. That used to be pretty much the norm, but isn’t legal anymore). I’m generally for that. I’m an atheist myself and I am strongly opposed to government sponsorship of religion. But I’m also opposed to the government discriminating against a particular religion or even religion in general.

Does this voucher proposal cross the line? I think it would be fine if everyone has to meet the same standards. For example, if non-religious organizations need to have a licensed counselor on hand, churches should too. As long as that’s the case, I think it’s a good idea. I don’t care if people find it easier to straighten out their lives if they find Jesus first.

It sounds like the voucher program probably has no standards, though (if they’ve even gotten that detailed). Again, I assume that applies to everyone–the church handbell director can run the drug program, but so could I. I wonder how they’re going to decide who gets the money? That’s where things can get tricky…the government passes a facially neutral aid program, but then starts turning down voucher redemptions from me but accepts them from the church.

As Bubba pointed out between sheep-fucking jokes (“And how!”), I’m a dual-citizen of both Ireland and America. I was born and raised in America. I spell words like “recognize” without an s. And I am paying American taxes. So yes, I am helping to pay the bill. Thanks for playing.

ps - i am Irish American, 3rd generation…does that earn me the right to come over and run your country’s politics? not.

Yes, it does - if you are a dual-citizen. Like me.

if the U.S. is so worries about ‘nuculear’ disarmament, then why the hell isn’t anyone focusing on that other “evil doer” - North Korea?

Just repeating myself and everyone else here, but because, with the aid of nuclear weapons, Iraq could a) establish himself as a hegemon over the world’s oil supply and cause worldwide recession, b) nuke the oil fields if we decide to remove him from power in the future, and cause a worldwide recession, c) nuke Israel for whatever reason and usher in the destruction of the Middle East. And there are compelling reasons to believe he’d do something like one or all of these.

North Korea has none of these world-destabilizing threats attached to it. And North Korea is being dealt with, but we aren’t at the end of an 11 year showdown with them over their weapons and, despite the seeming simplicity of the “has nukes / has not nukes” prioritization process you are recommending, what’s most important is not who has nukes but what they can do with them if they get them. In that regard, North Korea is way down the list of potential threats to America when compared to Iraq. Even if North Korea has nukes, they aren’t in too much of a bargaining position. If Iraq GETS nukes, they will be in an unassailable bargaining position, led by a man who is a genocidal monster with unlimited ambition.

Yeah, the State of the Union matters but more for economic reasons than the war. The American people, largely unconvinced that war is necessary, is also resigned to it happening. The populous at large doesn’t care enough to stop it, and doesn’t care enough to force a vote on it. I’ve been unemployed for six months now (land of opportunity my ass ;) ) and both my neighbor’s sons were laid off in the space of two weeks.

In his new book, David Frum says that the Bush presidency was out of ideas by mid-2001 and that it was only saved from meaninglessness by 9/11. That’s a little harsh, but it’s coming from a friend of the administration. More tax cuts? We’ll save health care with tort reform? Our energy policy is more drilling? What happened to the call for some form of national service in the last SotU? Color me unenthused.

The Prez will get a brief boost out the speech and use it as a stick to beat Iraq with. I’m an agnostic on the war - it’s probably the right war for the wrong reason at the wrong time - and moreso since it approaches Iraq as if it is an island in a sea of calm, peaceful and supportive sand. But I want to hear a new and bold plan to support the collapsing state governments.

Troy

On what, the royalties to your memoirs?

Sinner: my American income.

I am definitely not anti-war. I realize Saddam has been in constant violation of a number of UN resolutions since the Gulf War. Any one violation is grounds enough for us to pick up where we left off and finish the job of his removal. The above suggestion(of yours) is exactly what I want him to do. Not for me, as I know what is going on. Inspections can go on from now until doomsday and they will never find the damn “smoking gun” the nay-sayers want. Hussein shuffles, buries, delays his way out of everything. I want the president to say just that, “There will be no smoking gun and we need to take action now!! The more America delays, the worse it will be for our nation’s and the world’s economy and safety.”

Unfortunately, the majority of Americans need to be spoon fed this evidence in a quicky, easy dose via the State of the Union, IMO. I do think it needs to be said by the president in just this manner. The administration continues to hint it knows more. I wish they would simply tell the folks a bit of it. I think a little would go a long way. CNN/MSNBC and the rest could easily gather and sum up all the evidence and violations and present it to the viewing public in a nice palatable 3 min. news story, but they seem to not have any interest in that.

I do not want an exact date. But if we know he has not disarmed and is simply hiding the goods(which any semi-intelligent monkey could guess) and that this is the grounds for the U.S. going to war, we should have already had our troops in position and be at war already, IMO. I think we are still delaying to get folks on board and it is pointless. We know we will win and once we begin the war, all of these countries that are against it for economic reasons (Russia, Germany, et.al.) will be eager to get behind it as they will have had an epiphany and seen the light that the U.S. is acting in the world’s best interests.

If you can’t support war on that, you might want to ask yourself why pacifism, inaction and cowardice are able to perfectly cohabitate your heart.

Just to sum up. Tyler: not anti-war, but does want a clear speech from the president stating:

-Iraq has been in constant UN resolution violation for 11 years
-Saddam is blowing smoke up our collective ass and is hiding his weapons from inspectors
-Iraqi “minders” follow the inspectors around and steer them away from sites and scientists that are not ready to be seen
-Iraqi troops and leaders are likely to surrender, as they did in Desert Storm, or even overthrow Saddam at the first sign of military action by coalition forces. (Personally, I think Saddam is on even shakier ground with his military than he was during the Gulf War)
-It is in the US and world’s best interest to do this thing as Iraq will never come in line with the resolutions and is scamming the world for the sake of money and power for Saddam Hussein.
-He can also throw in, “Saddam is on murdering, bastard Mother Fucker!!” People would sit in stunned silence for a minute or so, but then all of Congress would erupt in a tumult the likes of which we have never heard or seen. That would be a welcome change from all of the stupid up/down clap on/clap off crap that we are usually treated to.

I see I was not to clear as to where I fall on the war issue in my initial post and some of your vitriol (is that right? I like new words) was not AIMed at me. I simply want to hear some plain truth tonight and not political speak and vague references as to what Saddam and the US are actually doing.

EDIT: Crypt Keeper, I just read your addendum as writing any long, thoughtful post at work takes me approx. an hour :) . Which probably explains why most of my posts are throw away one-liners.

Thanks. I still felt I needed to clarify where I stood, so I was glad to have your post to sound off of.

Tyjenks, that’s all reasonable and I agree with it. I don’t want to seem like some sort of fanatical Bush supporter - the guy creeps me out. I do like many of the men he has surrounded himself with, but I fear that their intellect and common sense is being muted internally. Also, whoever said that Bush has fubared international relations: completely agreed. I loathed Clinton, but God, I wish this Iraq intiative had gotten way under his administration, because he would have been able to sell it with the sleazy-grin the arm-pit sniffers in Europe love so much. Bush has just fubared it.

I think I was over-reacting to just another thread being put up about this. All of a sudden, I felt myself sucked into the Dead Zone of QT3 anti-war threads: "No evidence… North Korea… Hypocritical… Empty warheads…". So sorry for the over-reaction. But Anonymous Guest (the non-Jello-molded one) basically proved my point: anytime these threads come up, the same ignorant objections come up, the same circular pacifist logic. I mean, within two posts, he was already pointing out that there was “no evidence”, when in my first post, I summed up recent, highly publicized evidence against Iraq. I hope if Bush ever goes full fascist and grows a Stalin-style soup strainer that people like that are the first to be tossed into the gulag.

So sorry about that. Peace out. :)

It would cost $200 million in the next fiscal year…Is this not dangerously close to violating the seperation of church and state?

It’s kind of a drop in the bucket - both in terms of actual dollars and slipperiness of the slippery slope - when compared to the huuuuge subsidy the U.S. government gives to religious organizations by permitting them to operate tax-exempt.

So the churches get money for drug programs and then the director of the handbell program runs it? Me no likey that idea.

The article doesn’t give any details about these treatment programs, so it’s hard to judge them. Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t administered by medical personnel and, though it’s non-denominational, it’s clearly not a rigorously secular organization - 6 of the 12 steps refer specifically to God. But it’s also the most effective treatment program for alcoholics ever devised.

I agree Erik. I am just tired of government subsidized programs popping up all over the place, I guess. At what point do we start relying on ourselves, our communities, and, yes, our churches to help drug addicted, homeless, poor, etc. I think a lot of us already do that. More tax dollars thrown at drug treatment ain’t gonna solve the drug problem. Troops on the Mexican border, however…well, that’s another thread for another time.

Does AA get government money? I seriously do not know. If it does not, then it would not need the government regulation of requiring a licensed professional that I would like to see for the faith based treatment programs. AA has guidlines that have been shown to work and been in practice for decades with people who, I assume, have been trained in AA procedures. If we are going to start a brand new tax payer subsidized treatmant program at a church, I would like to have someone other than the old lady who passes out gum and peppermints helping guide it along. That’s all.

It won’t?

Has there ever been any program less successful at accomplishing it’s intended goal than “troops on the Mexican border” solution? Oh right, that’s how we stopped illegal immigration into this country. Very successful, that.

i am reading the front page of the WSJ today and it appears that Hans Blix has found ZERO nuclear threats in Iraq. they have found a lot of chemical & biological weapons and they have encountered a lot of resistence to allowing them to conduct their investigation in the fullest.

from the WSJ article:

Mr. Blix was silent on the question of how much more time the inspections should be allowed to continue. However, the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, did ask for a few more months, saying, “They could help us avoid a war.” Mr. ElBaradei’s report was far more positive: He said that his teams had inspected every site in Iraq where suspected nuclear work might be going on and had uncovered no evidence that Baghdad had revived its past nuclear program.

i would still like to seem some proof of why we need to begin military action without NATO support.

as for your assertion…

i just don’t see the facts to back up the idea that Iraq has a viable nuclear program. can you direct me to your sources for such?

Leave my Mom out of this.

The question of hiring standards could also gut any attempt to bring faith-based charities into the government budget. I’m sure that Falwell’s church does some really good work somewhere, but do we want tax dollars supporting a hiring policy that may not be friendly to qualified homosexuals or Muslims?

In Ontario a few years back, the provincial government used church charities as an excuse to gut social funding, neglecting to notice that the charities were not all spread where the need was greatest. This could also be an issue if the US Congress passes funding. The government’s record on solving social problems with money is pretty awful so I’m not sure I trust them to spend the money wisely. Considering Byrd’s skill for pork, I wouldn’t be surprised if West Virginia gets two-thirds of the money.

Troy