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Beyond The Blue Fingers

Reported by Deborah - February 2, 2005

Looking beyond the blue ink stained fingers waving in solidarity there were some disturbing declarations; glaring omissions and frank distortions in the SOTU tonight.2/2/05

The announcement that 150 programs would be cut or reduced was disturbing considering the massive cuts of so many social programs in the last four years. What programs will be axed now. After school programs and Head Start have already been eliminated or crippled and services across the social spectrum in this country have struggled for funding.Fiscal responsibility was named as the motivating force for these cuts but the tax cuts for the wealthy are set in stone.

Dana Reeves sat in the audience, obviously a leading advocate of stem cell research, as Bush made a vague and misleading statement about research and the "culture of life" vowing not to destroy a life to save a life mentioning embryos and body parts. This is a real distortion of the reality of stem cell research which uses the discarded frozen embryos from fertility clinics.Most would argue that these frozen embryos are not viable since they are fertilized ovum in their initial stage of development and would be discarded anyway. The mention of "body parts" indicating a fully developed baby is a distortion. Although, Bush's statement was confusing, it seemed clear that Dana Reeves did not get the news she wanted tonight.However, there was a rousing standing ovation from the conservative base.

Then of course there is the never mentioned enviornment which should be a priority considering the number of new studies concerning the quickly advancing global warming trend. The Kyota agreement will be ratified on February 16 and we are the only country not involved. Christie Todd Whitman stated, in her new book, that our selfish disregard of the world's needs in this area created a poor foundation for international unity in Iraq. Tonight we only heard a brief mention of alternative fuel development and a misrepresentaion of the Clear Skies Initiative which does not prmote clear skies at all but instead loosens regulations for polluters.

Most important of course was the Social Security "reform" mentioned. Everyone under 55 will be affected by Bush's plan to enrich his wall street supporters.The small shortfall in Social Security could easily be fixed with some minor adjustments but tonight we were told that SS was definitely going bankrupt.Another concern is what might happen to the millions who depend on the SS disability payments The children in my school will have no future without those benefits.

Fortunatly the Democratic rebuttal from Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi indicated that the Democrats have started crafting a more disciplined and effective message which could allow us to regain some ground.

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