Wednesday, January 25, 2012

THE STATE OF THE UNION 2012: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA


Last night, President Obama delivered a powerful message to the American people calling on them to join the fight to reinforce the middle class and move America forward.

Mr. Obama focused largely on domestic policy in a speech that sets the stage for November’s presidential election. And the only sign of bipartisanship was in the legislation on transportation, which both parties see eye to eye on.

“So much of America needs to be rebuilt,” the president said. “We’ve got crumbling roads and bridges,” citing the Golden Gate Bridge, and Hoover Dam as Depression-era examples of a nation that invested in its infrastructure during hard times.  He also said that massive repairs are needed on the vast interstate highway, built after World War II.

He again promised an executive order to cut red tape that encumbers the start of public construction projects, a direct swipe at the GOP.
“But you need to fund these projects,” Obama said. “There’s never been a better time to build, especially since the construction industry was one of the hardest-hit when the housing bubble burst.”
Obama briefly discussed the uprisings that have swept the Arab world in the past year but provided no new news.

“How this incredible transformation will end remains uncertain. But we have a huge stake in the outcome. And while it is ultimately up to the people of the region to decide their fate, we will advocate for those values that have served our own country so well. We will stand against violence and intimidation. We will stand for the rights and dignity of all human beings – men and women; Christians, Muslims, and Jews,” Obama said.
Obama took credit for uniting the international community in opposition to the Iranian nuclear program.

President Obama said he would take no options off the table to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons but added that a peaceful resolution of the crisis was still possible.

“The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent.

“Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal. But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations.”

Mr. Obama only briefly mentioned Israel in his address and did not talk about the Palestinians.

“Our iron-clad commitment, and I mean iron clad, to Israel’s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history,” he said.

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