This week's presidential address was all about the UN and G20 meetings that just took place. You gotta hand it to the president. He immediately said that in those meetings the world took "tangible steps to meet the world's challenges". He the spent the better part of the next four minutes being as vague as ever. He said that the world agreed to a series of reforms to make sure that boom and bust economies wouldn't occur anymore. What those reforms were though he didn't say? He touted a non enforceable resolution in which the Security Council agreed to destroy all loose nuclear material in four years. He also touted the meeting between Abu Mazen and Bibi Netanyahu in which the two agreed that they should keep speaking and not much else.
The president also said the world was "united" in making sure that Iran would not get a nuclear weapon. This followed the revelation that Iran has a second nuclear reactor that appears to only have a military purpose. The world seems to always be "united", in words that is, about the fact that Iran can't get a nuclear weapon. Yet, the world doesn't seem to do too much with that unity and that frankly goes back to the Bush administration and before that. The only tangible thing that President Obama said was an agreement to cut $300 billion in world wide subsidies for fossil fuels. Beyond that, the entire address was full of nice sounding but nebulous words like "reform", "unity", and "global agreement", and frankly none of them meant anything of substance. If there was a tangible step made toward world peace I missed it in this address because all I heard was vague soaring rhetoric.
Johnny Isakson, senator from Georgia, delivered the Republicans' response. His address focused on health care and we heard the exact same talking points we've heard from the Republicans throughout this debate. He slammed the Democrats plan as costing too much, being a government takeover, and being a burden on the states. He repeated the reforms the Republicans are for portability, allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, and tort reform.
Isakson slammed the Baucus proposal as essentially more of the same. He said the Baucus bill paid "lip service" to tort reform while it was yet another expansion of government. He also slammed the Democrats for demonizing the town hall attendees and for trying to put a gag order on Humana. There was nothing new here but since the Republicans are winning the debate there really didn't need to be.