WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush's State of the Union address.
"She was asked to cover it up. She did not," said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman, adding that Sheehan was arrested for unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, Schneider said.
Schneider said shortly after the State of the Union speech that Sheehan was still being held but should be "out sometime tonight."
An early report from a senior House official indicated that Sheehan was arrested for unfurling an anti-war banner, but that was later found not to be the case. Schneider said she didn't know what Sheehan's T-shirt said.
Sheehan, who became a vocal war opponent after her son was killed in Iraq, was an invited guest of Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-California, who has called for a withdrawal of troops in Iraq and supports legislation for the creation of a Department of Peace.This made the following statement from his SOTU address very ironic indeed: "We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it."
Yes sir, we'll keep fighting all right...
Some of the best moments of the night came for me when the President started in on his defending his illegal domestic wiretapping (NSA doing warrantless monitoring of calls from U. S. citizens which go overseas):
"It is said that prior to the attacks of September 11th, our government failed to connect the dots of the conspiracy. We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al-Qaida operatives overseas. But we did not know about their plans until it was too late. So to prevent another attack based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al-Qaida operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have and Federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate Members of Congress have been kept informed."
You should have seen the look on Senator Hillary Clinton's face! She shook her head and had a wide smile as if "I can't believe this!" That was worth 1000 words.
Then when the President said:
"Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security,"
The Democrats gave a standing ovation!!!! I broke into a huge smile.
As was pointed out by the commentators, the partisan divide is huge. And frankly, the Republicans are to blame for their "my way or the highway" tactics. The President went on to talk about health care (savings accounts again), which of course does nothing to help those who are too poor to save (as Senator Obama pointed out).
To the President's credit I thought that the following was ok:
"The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly 10 billion dollars to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources and we are on the threshold of incredible advances. So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants; revolutionary solar and wind technologies; and clean, safe nuclear energy. We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips, stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment , move beyond a petroleum-based economy , and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past. "
And I certainly approve of the following:
"First: I propose to double the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next ten years. This funding will support the work of America's most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources. Second: I propose to make permanent the research and development tax credit, to encourage bolder private-sector investment in technology. With more research in both the public and private sectors, we will improve our quality of life and ensure that America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come. Third: We need to encourage children to take more math and science, and make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We have made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers, to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs. If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world. "
And I welcomed his ideas about how reducing global poverty and increasing global health helps all of us.