Same Story. Different Year.

We are still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers are dying on an almost daily basis, oil prices are at it's highest, the dollar is at it's all-time lowest, the economy is either in or very near a recession, consumer spending is stalling, wages are increasing very small compared to the steep rise in goods and services, foreclosure rates are at it's highest in many years, health insurance costs are skyrocketing, our government is spying on us ILLEGALLY, corporations are supplying the ILLEGAL spying with phone records ILLEGALLY, more and more employees are being laid off, our borders are as unsecured as five years ago, our veterans are receiving less health care, the Iraqis are still not meeting almost all benchmarks, al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are resurrecting along Pakistani-Afghan border, the Gulf Coast Region is still in shambles after Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. is hindering any progress towards Global Warming legislation and multi-national deals, etc. But Bush claims progress in all those categories.

The State of the Union speech Monday night was a total waste of two hours of Network Television coverage. A re-run of 'The Apprentice' might have been more interesting to watch. 'Cop Rock' may have been more enjoyable. I call Bush's speech: State of the Union Redux. It was a regurgitation of Union speeches of the past. All the way down to accusing a country of enriching uranium (he just replaced the "q" with a "n").

Bush invoked putting terrorist "on the run" in Iraq, just as he said they were "on the run" almost every year since we've been in Iraq. He touted saving Los Angeles from a terrorist attack at an airport (the claim has been widely viewed by experts as hogwash: when Bush made this claim years ago he never informed the Los Angeles mayor's office before telling the public which resulted in a panic and he named the wrong airport). He also said, thanks to his work, his admin prevented an airliner hijacking over the Atlantic Ocean (though most reports say those prospective hijackers never even had passports or the proper paperwork to even get on the plane). But those and more like it are the "real" truth to Bush's SOTU addresses, they are full of bullshit. Here are more of Bush's "truths" in this year's SOTU address.

Bush: “Over the past 7 years, we have increased funding for veterans by more than 95 percent. As we increase funding, we must also reform our veterans system to meet the needs of a new war and a new generation.”
Truth: 1.8 million Veterans lack health insurance and cannot get care in veterans' facilities (New York Times - 11/9/07). The Number of uninsured veterans increased between 2000 and 2004 (Harvard Science - 10/30/07). Almost 20% of soldiers returning home from Iraq have some form of mild traumatic bran injuries (USA Today - 1/18/08).

Bush (discussing Africa): “And our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is treating 1.4 million people. We can bring healing and hope to many more. So I ask you to maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program a success.”
Truth: two-thirds of the money that goes to Africa for 'treating' AIDS goes to policies that ONLY TEACH ABSTINENCE ONLY!!!!(American Prospect - 7/10/07) Bush's policy is to make condoms a LAST RESORT!!!! Quoting a UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa said, “There is no doubt in my mind that the condom crisis in Uganda is being driven by [US policies]. To impose a dogma-driven policy that is fundamentally flawed is doing damage to Africa.” (The Guardian - 8/30/05)

Bush: "We have also changed the way we deliver aid by launching the Millennium Challenge Account. This program strengthens democracy, transparency, and the rule of law in developing nations, and I ask you to fully fund this important initiative.”
Truth: The Millennium Challenge will soon be bankrupt. Leaving poor countries in the gutter after making major changes to be accepted for funding (Wall Street Journal - 1/22/08) During his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, Bush did not meet with one dissident or political activist (Newsweek - 1/14/08).

Bush: ” 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.”
Truth: Immunity forgives the Telecommunication Companies for VIOLATING THE LAW. This will wipe out a mountain of lawsuits regarding privacy rights being tossed aside to give Big Brother your telephone calls and email traffic (Washington Post - 1/24/08).

Bush: “American troops are shifting from leading operations, to partnering with Iraqi forces, and, eventually, to a protective overwatch mission.”
Truth: The Iraqi Defense Minister came to America recently to say that they need us to at least 2012, and they cannot defend themselves until 2018 (New York Times - 1/15/08). General James Dubik says "...Iraq’s security forces will probably require U.S. military support for as long as a decade.”(Washington Post - 1/18/08)

Bush: “When we met last year, our troop levels in Iraq were on the rise. Today, because of the progress just described, we are implementing a policy of ‘return on success,’ and the surge forces we sent to Iraq are beginning to come home.”
Truth: The Surge has weakened the military. Army Chief of Staff General George Casey says, "the current demand for our forces exceeds the sustainable supply” and “the surge has sucked all the flexibility out of the system.”(Wall Street Journal - 1/17/08) He also said, “It’s going to take us three or four years and a substantial amount of resources to put ourselves back in balance. … The question is, when does the conflict end?,”(10/9/07)

Bush: “While the enemy is still dangerous and more work remains, the American and Iraqi surges have achieved results few of us could have imagined just 1 year ago.”
Truth: Violence is down, but troops are still dying. In fact, just before the speech it was reported 5 U.S. troops died by a roadside bomb. That took the U.S. death toll to 36 this month, up from 23 in December (Reuters - 1/28/08) The Iraqi Government has only met 3 of 18 Benchmarks Bush required (Center of American Progress - 1/24/08) And, as I talked about earlier in a previous post, “Influential members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s movement have urged the anti-U.S. Shiite cleric not to extend a cease-fire when it expires next month, officials said Monday, a move that could jeopardize recent security gains.”(AP - 1/28/08)

Bush: talking about Afghanistan:“Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaida is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school, new roads and hospitals are being built, and people are looking to the future with new hope.”
Truth: In Pakistan “regenerating al-Qaida is posing fresh threats.” “There is growing recognition that the United States risks further setbacks, if not deepening conflict or even defeat, in Afghanistan, and that success in that country hinges on stopping Pakistan from descending into disorder.” (AP - 1/28/08)

Bush: “Tonight the armies of compassion continue the march to a new day in the Gulf Coast. America honors the strength and resilience of the people of this region. We reaffirm our pledge to help them build stronger and better than before. And tonight I am pleased to announce that in April we will host this year’s North American Summit of Canada, Mexico, and the United States in the great city of New Orleans.”
Truth: “Almost 40% of the people displaced from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina” lived “below the poverty line last year,” according to a Census Bureau survey. The survey also found that “nearly a third of those who fled the hurricane could not find jobs last year, and thousands more weren’t trying.” (USA Today - 10/8/07) The cost of rebuilding K-12 education and higher learning estimated at $6.1 Billion; the Bush Administration only has given $1.2 Billion. (Southern Education Foundation - 8/29/06)
In the 2007 State of the Union Address, 'Hurricane Katrina' or the Gulf Coast reconstruction effort was NOT MENTIONED ONCE (SOTU - 1/23/07)

Bush: “And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride.”
Truth: Bush blocks any progress toward curbing Global Warming. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation to refuse to sign the Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. recently rejected a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions which derailed the progress.

Bush: “Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future.”
Truth: During the 2000 campaign, the Bush campaign received more than $2.8 million from energy interests, including $442,739 from electric utilities and $107,821 from the coal mining industry. “Over the last six years, coal companies have donated $9 million to federal political candidates and party organizations, and 90 percent has gone to Republicans.” Massey Energy, one of the largest American producers of coal, boasts one director who alone has contributed over $89,000 to Republicans over the last eight years. (Earth Justice) (NYT - 8/9/04) (OpenSecrets.org)

These are just some of the lies Bush told the American public Monday night.

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