Monday, January 28, 2008

Liveblog: State of the Union address and Democratic Response

President George W. Bush delivers the State of the Union address for the last time in his presidency on Capitol Hill before both houses of Congress.

State of the Union 2008

9:06 PM- President Bush enters the Chamber, makes his way down to the front for the last time in this presidency

9:09 PM- Gives copies of speech to Vice President Cheney, Speaker Pelosi

9:11 PM- Pelosi presents the President of the United States

9:12- Introduction- it's been a challenging seven years- vigorous debate- “amid our differences we acted with purpose”- Republicans and Democrats compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time

9:13- Work remains ahead- trust in the ability of “free people to make wise decisions” > people are capable of making their own decisions about their moneys

9:14- jobs are growing, wages are up-- so is the cost of living – long term confidence in economy is still warranted but short-term concern is valid- plugs spending bill- don't add pork, delay is unacceptable

9:15- Congress must pass stimulus bill as fast as possible- work remains to do on taxes- Congress should renew tax relief- IRS joke about people who say they'd be ok paying higher taxes “I'm pleased to announce that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders”

9:17- Will veto any bill about raising taxes- need to trust Americans with their own money- budget will keep America on track to have a surplus in 2012- federal gov't must balance budget

9:18- Discusses problem of earmarks- will veto any appropriations bill that doesn't cut the cost of earmarks in half- issuing executive order to ignore any policy passed by Congress that includes earmarks

9:19- Housing- must trust and empower Americans- mentions HomeNow Alliance- Congress should pass legislation to help homeowners

9:20- Health care- must trust and empower doctors and patients- all should work together to cap costs- Obama looks less than thrilled when Bush mentions leaving things in the hands of patients

9:21- Listing stuff off about healthcare

9:22- Education- mentions NCLB- “no one can deny its results” ...... yeah sure. Need to provide extra help through strengthening NCLB

9:23- DC inner city education opportunities- need to support Pell Grants for Kids

9:24- New markets overseas- selling all over the world, open barriers to trade all over the world > free trade agreements > Peru agreement > asks for Columbia, Panama, and South Korea agreements – need to get rid of

9:26- Strategic interest agreements with Columbia- pro-democracy country

9:27- Need to address displaced worker problems

9:28- Need to keep working to reduce dependence on oil > conversions to coal, renewable resources- complete international agreement to “slow, stop, and eventually reverse” greenhouse gas emissions- commitments to keep in check every major economy

9:29- America needs to develop cleaner energy sources- keep competitive by empowering scientists through funding

9:30- Medical researchers- new treatments within moral boundaries- breakthrough with skin cells acting like stem cells- ensure all life is treated with dignity- legislation to ban unethical patents on cloning human life

9:32- Advocates strict constructionist judicial philosophy and urges confirmation of nominees

9:33- Moves on to military matters- military in Persian Gulf- hosting US, Canada, and Mexico conference in New Orleans

9:34- Entitlement spending- Soc. Sec. - Growing too fast- need reform- come up with bipartisan compromise to reform programs

9:35- Immigration- cites improvements- urges action, sensible and humane way to deal with those already here- uphold laws AND ideals

9:36- Foreign Policy- trust in people's desires to be free- cites examples in countries all over the world- Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Ukraine

9:37- Negative examples of violence- Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, London, Madrid. Aaand back to 9/11. Terrorists despise America and freedom. “We've taken the fight” to them. US is fighting for justice- engaged in “defining ideological struggle”

9:39- People, given a choice, will reject terror in favor of freedom- America is spreading the hope of freedom

9:40- Seeing success-- and adding 2300 Marines to Afghanistan forces to keep 'ensuring success'

9:41- Iraqi terrorists and extremists are fighting to plunge Iraq into chaos- cites surge strategy- change in the country- cites success of surge

9:43- Iraqi people responded with grassroots surge- people and government stepped up- enemy still dangerous and there's still work

9:44- Death toll down from last year, more insurgents in custody- Al-Qaeda being driven from country

9:45- “Among the terrorists there is no doubt- Al-Qaeda is on the run in Iraq”

9:46- Implementing a policy of “Return on success”- speaks to soldiers on the front lines- thanks them for their courage, accomplishments, and service- promises them all they need to protect the country

9:47- Asks Congress to fully fund the troops- “sustain and build on” 2007 gains and transition to next strategy of support – bringing some troops home and not replacing them – more than 20,000 troops are coming home – further draw-down to be based on conditions on the ground

9:49- Congress should not draw down too fast at the risk of worsening conditions on the ground- more progress must be made at the government level

9:51- After decades of dictatorship and sectarian violence the Iraqi people are reconciling- difficult mission- a free Iraq is beneficial all around- the enemy must be defeated no matter how difficult- difficult work now so history will look back and say that we rose to the challenge

9:52- New cause for hope in the Holy Land- cites new Palestinian president, leadership in Israel for democratic Palestine- working for peace agreement by the end of this year- 2 democratic nations

9:53- Iran oppression, working against advances of freedom in Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, etc. Developing nuclear technology. No quarrel with people of Iran. Message to leaders: suspend and clarify nuclear efforts, stop supporting terror- America will support those who threaten troops, stand with allies, defend interests in Persian Gulf

9:55- Lawful and effective measures to protect the homeland- cites success in stopping attacks over past several years- commends homeland security workers- need to give workers means to monitor terrorist communications- Congress must pass liability protection by Friday before bill expires and workers lose ability to monitor

9:57- Working for freer, more compassionate, hopeful world- “America opposes genocide in Sudan.” Support freedom fighters all over the world. Cites humanitarian assistance efforts. Fight against global poverty, hunger, disease- additional $30 billion over next 10 years toward efforts

9:58- Increasing funding for veterans- need for reform for veterans' assistance, provisions for military families

10:00- Greatness lies with the American people- cites the founders- “We the people”- America has grown because of trust in people- the “State of the Union will remain strong”

10:01- “Let us set forth to do [the people's] business.” Shakes hands with Cheney, Pelosi, exits chamber

Democratic Response: Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS)

10:18- Tonight it doesn't matter what party you identify yourself with, but that you're an American

10:19- American people are not as divided as their politicians or media who obsess over reactions- offering an “American response” instead- a “wakeup call to Washington”

10:20- Struggling economy requires immediate action and sustained attention- losing jobs, homes- temporary fix only the first step toward solving problems- 357 days to get REAL results in this presidency

10:21- Democratic majority in Congress has been making encouraging progress but there's still more to be done- asks president to join with them to do the works- plugs high quality health-care, competitive industry, education-- especially health care

10:22- Discusses recovery in Greensberg, Kansas since tornadoes

10:23- Environmental movement- need to adjust energy system- asks president to join them in the work- moves on to military- impact at home of the war being waged- willing to join forces with peace-loving nations

10:24- Need to restore America's role in the world

10:25- Knows the government can work for the people- “greatest generations are still to come”

10:26- No more patience with divisive politics- “uncertainty on the horizon”- new majority rising focused on the common good

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