Archive for Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Some proposals praised, others found lacking in scope

January 24, 2007


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What do you think of the President's State of the Union speech

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President Bush's remarks on the military and health care received some praise from Lawrence-area residents Tuesday night, but others wanted to hear more or other ideas on education and energy.

In his State of the Union address, Bush outlined a proposal that would increase the size of the active-duty military by 92,000 soldiers and Marines. He also re-emphasized his earlier proposal to send 20,000 troops to Iraq.

Tonganoxie Police Chief Kenny Carpenter, who recently retired from the U.S. Army Reserve and spent time in Iraq in 2004 guarding military prisons, said the troop increase was long overdue.

"Personally, I thought we needed more troops there when I was there," he said. "I think it's greatly needed. I think it was a mistake to downsize the military in the first place."

Carpenter said Bush was on the right track with his proposals regarding the Iraq war and the military in general. American troops will do what is needed in Iraq, and the only question is whether the Iraqis can do their part to secure the nation, he said.

During the foreign policy section of his address, Bush tried to connect terrorism and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with the Iraq war. The president is trying to buy more time for what has become a difficult situation, said Felix Moos, a Kansas University professor of anthropology and a longtime teacher of a class analyzing violence and terrorism.

"If we stay we are in trouble, and if we leave we are in maybe a little more trouble," Moos said.

Moos also said Americans are averse to wars that last longer than 18 months or two years, which has created a difficult political climate for Bush in trying to sell his war on terror more than five years after 9/11.

"I would like to have heard that we are in this maybe for a whole generation, and we must begin to recognize that because we are at war, we can't do business as usual," Moos said.

Health care

Domestically, Bush proposed a health care plan that included a standard tax deduction for individuals and families in the hopes of helping more people afford health insurance.

"I think that's probably the best way to go," said Nikki King, executive director of Lawrence's Health Care Access, a charitable medical clinic for the uninsured. "It's a real reasonable way to go. I don't think it's an overly ambitious angle."


The president's remarks on education issues, while receiving only limited time, invoked some of the harshest reactions.

Adela Solis, president of the Lawrence Education Association, questioned how the president could talk about giving the public a choice to leave public schools in the same breath as talking about improving public schools. Solis took issue, generally, with the No Child Left Behind Act. Its reauthorization was a major proposal of the president's address.

"Some tenets of No Child Left Behind are statistically impossible to achieve," Solis said. "Anyone involved in child development knows that children don't learn at a constant rate."

Solis wanted more specifics and fewer general statements out of the address. If the No Child Left Behind legislation is reauthorized, Solis hopes that more authority would be given to local school districts and educators.

Free State High School teacher Jason Pendleton echoed that sentiment.

"All teachers and administrators want kids to learn and meet goals," he said and added that No Child Left Behind is "a good idea, so long as there are changes that take more input from local school boards and professional educators."

Energy independence

Bill Wood, agriculture agent for K-State Research and Extension in Douglas County, said he was surprised at the brevity with which the president mentioned renewable energy and alternative fuels.

Wood also said Bush's call for technology to help broaden the sources of alternative fuels besides corn still seemed to be years away.

"To do that scientists are going to have to develop better ways to use those products," he said.

The issues

Proposals from President Bush's speech:EnergyReduce gasoline usage by up to 20 percent by 2017. Increase fuel economy for new cars.HealthMake employer-financed health care benefits taxable income after a deduction of $15,000 for families and $7,500 for individuals.EducationAllow poor children to transfer to private schools. Extend the No Child Left Behind program.War on terror/ Iraq/militaryLet troop surge in Iraq to be given a chance to work. Increase Army and Marines by 92,000 soldiers by 2012.Medicare, Medicaid, Social SecurityKeep these entitlements sound so Americans can avoid tax increases, huge deficits and cuts in benefits.ImmigrationApprove comprehensive reform that toughens border security and creates a temporary worker program.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 5 months ago

"Domestically, Bush proposed a health care plan that included a standard tax deduction for individuals and families in the hopes of helping more people afford health insurance."

The only result of this proposal will be a net tax increase for those with high-value insurance benefits. For those in the middle, it'll be a wash, and the vast majority of those who have no insurance don't have enough income to qualify for the tax deduction, so they'll continue to have no insurance.

Slav 11 years, 5 months ago

Same old Iraq plans? Screw the middle class health insurance recipient? Chicken sh*t energy independence proposal? And a silent "screw you" to New Orleans? Talk about a slap in the face. Thanks, Mr. President, thanks a lot.

feeble 11 years, 5 months ago

Eh, what about the Bush Administration's take legal matters?

"Responding to questions from Sen. Arlen Specter at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 18, Gonzales argued that the Constitution doesn't explicitly bestow habeas corpus rights; it merely says when the so-called Great Writ can be suspended.

"There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there's a prohibition against taking it away," Gonzales said.

Gonzales's remark left Specter, the committee's ranking Republican, stammering.

"Wait a minute," Specter interjected. "The Constitution says you can't take it away except in case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there's a rebellion or invasion?"

Gonzales continued, "The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn't say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended" except in cases of rebellion or invasion."

"You may be treading on your interdiction of violating common sense," Specter said. "

Chris Tackett 11 years, 5 months ago

this isn't a very well-worded poll. the speech contained both good and bad ideas. they always do. it's the follow-through that's important.

Kontum1972 11 years, 5 months ago

so what about----->"MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

basically what he has told LTG Petraeus is that he wants this war over in 2 years....duh!...people u cant defeat an Insurgency in two years..Remember Vietnam? Anything the Shrub regurges is just plain Bunk...just like the term above....

.....and Gonzales is just plain Spooky!

ps... didnt "FrankenCheney" look radiant?

WilburM 11 years, 5 months ago

Same Old, same old. And pathetic when compared to Sen. Webb, who actually has ideas and experience. In a parliamentary system, Bush would have lost a no-confidence vote in 2005, and we would hav eembraced a sensible, comprehensive anti-terrorism set of policies, without the casulties and the waste of our dollars.

prioress 11 years, 5 months ago

BUSHCO is scared; impeachment is not needed. The history he so lovingly craves will drive him crazy for the rest of his life...............

Richard Heckler 11 years, 5 months ago

Health Care from Rep. Kucinich

"The President is off the mark with his health care reform plan, proposing a new tax deduction for purchasing health insurance. The President should not be looking to the tax code to fix the lack of affordable health care. Both employers and labor unions oppose the President's health care plan. "This proposal would impose a new tax on the middle class and turn the employment-based health insurance system into chaos. It will not help the uninsured buy health insurance: the people who don't buy health insurance usually cannot afford to do so and they therefore won't benefit from a deduction. "This week, along with Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), I plan to introduce a real plan for health care for all Americans. This bill was envisioned by America's doctors and nurses on the front lines of our nation's health care crisis-not by business interests or politicians. My proposal will provide health care coverage for every American. It would provide coverage for all medically necessary procedures including dental care, mental health care, long-term care and prescription drug coverage. There would be no co-pays, no premiums and no deductibles.

Mkh 11 years, 5 months ago

I thought the biggest laugh of the night was "W"'s goal to balance the budget in 5 years without raising taxes! Hilarious!

In 5 years we'll still be paying tens of billions of dollars to be lost in Iraq, not balancing the budget.

james bush 11 years, 5 months ago

I take heart from President Bush and his inability to communicate when compared to people like: Jimmy Carter who begged for the country's help when he was capitulating to Iranians while he was supposed to be our leader and now shoots off his mouth as though he were J C Himself, condemning jews and sucking up to palestinians;

Bill Clinton and his "I feel your pain" and " I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski" ...........he and his conspiring wife, now attempting to "lead" the "downtrodder poor masses" in the USA to greater heights in victimhood and votes for democrats ; ....there are also T Kennedy, Dick Durbin, Harry Reid and so many more like them who want Americans to see themselves as victims and deserving of government handouts!

Heaven help the USA! We do need a leader that can inspire the best and not appeal the "child" in us!

KS 11 years, 5 months ago

If you want "free" heatlhcare, you did not like the speech last night. If you hope to see some competition and changes in US heatlhcare insurance, you would have seen some merit in studying the proposal. Can't wait to buy my health insurance online from! :) Instead of dealing with a few thousand companies to sell healthcare insurance to, the insurance companies will have millions of people to compete over. Competition is good and should drive the price DOWN. Why should you be forced to accept a plan that your company thinks is good for you?

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