The State of the Union in an Election Year

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White House speechwriters reportedly worked on 30 drafts before completing last night's State of the Union address. President Bush spoke in the aftermath of the bungled response to Katrina, the failure to reform Social Security and the mess in Iraq. By comparison to his past State of the Union addresses, this one contained modest proposals. His statement that "America is addicted to oil" got a lot of the headlines, but there was little detail about getting off the petroleum economy. After the worst year of his presidency, he and other Republicans are worried about holding on to the Congress in this year's elections. We get assessments from the Left and the Right, reaction from Europe and some historical perspective.
  • Making News: Report Faults Federal Government for Katrina Response
    The latest report on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina fingers a member of the President's cabinet for the first time. The Government Accountability Office, an independent arm of the Congress, singles out Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Bobby Block, who reports on homeland security for the Wall Street Journal, says the report is a scathing indictment of Bush Administration failings.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Furor in Europe over Cartoons, Protecting the Sacred
    Islamic tradition bans any depiction of the Prophet Mohammed. Throughout the Arab world and among millions of Muslims in Europe there have been widespread protests over published caricatures of the Prophet, which first appeared in Jyllands-Posten. Now, several papers in Europe have published them too, to show support for the Danish paper that's received death threats and provoked diplomatic sanctions. The Economist's Bruce Clark has more on the battle between religion and free speech.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) on preparedness, response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

2006 State of the Union

Democratic Response to State of the Union (Senator Harry Reid)

Pew Research Center on emerging priorities for energy, crime, environment


Economist article on religion and freedom of expression



Warren Olney