Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dubya's 2008 State of the Union address: Nothing new to see here

If you want to do something productive with your evening, we suggest not watching the State of the Union address tonight, because Dubya isn't going to say anything new, and unless you're a fervent wingnut, you'll just be irritated and annoyed by his (mostly) Orwellian language.

This is my favorite part of the speech - where he calls for telecom immunity:
The Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. We have had ample time for debate. The time to act is now.
Wrong. Now is the time to say hell no to your un-American attempt to excuse corporate lawbreaking and violation of civil liberties. How fitting it is that the Senate voted to block the Bush/McConnell telecom immunity bill earlier this afternoon.

Bush also urged Congress to buy into his "Pell Grants for Kids" program. If you're wondering what the catch is to that, here's your answer:
SOTU: Bush’s ‘Pell Grants for Kids’ Plan Is Vouchers In Disguise
Bush said: “To open the doors of these schools to more children, I ask you to support a new $300 million program called Pell Grants for Kids. We have seen how Pell Grants help low-income college students realize their full potential. Together, we have expanded the size and reach of these grants. Now let’s apply that same spirit to help liberate poor children trapped in failing public schools.”

FACT — PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS PERFORM THE SAME IF NOT BETTER THAN PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS IN MATH: In a comparative analysis, “the average for public schools was significantly higher than the average for private schools for grade 4 mathematics and not significantly different for reading. At grade 8, the average for private schools was significantly higher than the average for public schools in reading but not significantly different for mathematics.” [NCES, 2006]

FACT — PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS PERFORM THE SAME IF NOT BETTER THAN RELIGIOUS SCHOOL STUDENTS: In a 2006 comparative analysis, the average adjusted school mean for Conservative Christian schools “in reading was not significantly different from that of public schools. In mathematics, the average adjusted school mean for Conservative Christian schools was significantly lower than that of public schools.” [NCES, 2006]

FACT — MAJORITY OF AMERICANS OPPOSE RATHER THAN SUPPORT SCHOOL VOUCHERS: Asked in 2006 if they “favor or oppose allowing students and parents to choose a private school to attend at public expense,” 60 percent of Americans opposed vouchers while only 36 percent were in favor. “The average response from the 1998 peak to today has been 57 percent opposed and 40 percent in favor.” [Center for American Progress, 9/15/2006]

FACT — VOUCHERS DO NOT LEAD TO SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT GAINS: A 2002 study, “which examined privately funded voucher programs, found no significant achievement gains for students using vouchers versus students in public schools.” [GAO, 2002]

FACT — VOUCHERS DRAIN MONEY FROM PUBLIC SCHOOLS: In 2002-2003, “nearly half: the cost of the voucher program in Milwaukee “came as a reduction in funding to the Milwaukee Public Schools.” “In 2001-2002, up to 238 Wisconsin school districts were forced to raise property taxes to make up for funding lost to the vouchers program.” [American Federation of Teachers]
If you visit the main page of ThinkProgress, you can see more fact checks for Bush's speech, posted in real time as Bush promotes the right wing agenda.

This quote from Bush's appearance on Fox Noise earlier today sums up his presidency and his pathetic speech tonight:
BUSH: ...there’s just a certain freedom of movement that you don’t have and so I tell people, "yeah, there’s a bubble but life’s pretty comfortable inside the bubble."
Precisely. Another beautiful Bushism.


Blogger Emily Carlson said...

It was a modest speech filled with modest proposals.
Last night, President Bush gave his final State of the Union address, an address much different than his past seven.
Gone were the references to Iran as the "axis of evil" and our social security system as "headed towards bancruptcy." Instead of strong words, Bush put forward modest proposals.
The already approved $150 billion economic stimulus plan, $300 million in education funding for poor students, and continued support of the war in Iraq topped Bush's agenda.
Modest clapping and standing ovations scattered his 53 minute speech, but alas... Bush was not the center of attention at his own State of the Union speech.
With only a year left in his presidency, the nation has already turned to a new generation of politicans who are running for his seat.
CNN seemed to be more interested in which senator was snubbing another senator than talking about President Bush's speech.
A picture of Senator Barak Obama turning his back on Senator Hillary Clinton shaking Senator Ted Kennedy's hand was blown up and shown again and again. 'Was he doing this on purpose? Is he mad at Hillary?' seemed to be more important than anything the President was saying.
Senator McCain wasn't even in attendance last night, instead choosing to squeeze in some last minute campaigning before Florida's primary today.
With Americans already swept up in the excitement of Super Tuesday and the race to see who the Democrat and Republican front runner will be, President Bush is pushed in the background. His State of the Union was more of a snapshot of his past seven years as President while he struggles to shape what his legacy will be. Meanwhile, the rest of the politicans in the House chambers, and well as the rest of the nation wonders... who the next leader of the free world will be.

More info on the State of the Union:'s+All+Things+Political

January 30, 2008 4:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home