Thursday, January 22, 2004
I hate politics. And the worst time for a person who hates politics is an election year and all its nuttiness. But a good speech is a good speech. Here are some excerpts that stand out to me from the transcript of President Bush's State Of The Union Addess, 01/20/2004:
- Because of American leadership and resolve, the world is changing for the better. Last month, the leader of Libya voluntarily pledged to disclose and dismantle all of his regime's weapons of mass destruction programs, including a uranium enrichment project for nuclear weapons. Colonel Qadhafi correctly judged that his country would be better off, and far more secure, without weapons of mass murder. Nine months of intense negotiations involving the United States and Great Britain succeeded with Libya, while 12 years of diplomacy with Iraq did not. And one reason is clear: For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible -- and no one can now doubt the word of America.
- There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.
- Unless you act, the death tax will eventually come back to life.
- Younger workers should have the opportunity to build a nest egg by saving part of their Social Security taxes in a personal retirement account. We should make the Social Security system a source of ownership for the American people. [Rick's Note: The response to this one was that the government should not "gamble" with Social Security, that it should be guaranteed. So lame.]
- I signed this measure proudly, and any attempt to limit the choices of our seniors, or to take away their prescription drug coverage under Medicare, will meet my veto. [Rick's Note: Should have been followed with, "Say hello to my little friend!"]
- This year, some 600,000 inmates will be released from prison back into society. We know from long experience that if they can't find work, or a home, or help, they are much more likely to commit more crimes and return to prison. So tonight, I propose a four-year, 300 million dollar Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative to expand job training and placement services, to provide transitional housing, and to help newly released prisoners get mentoring, including from faith-based groups. America is the land of the second chance -- and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.