Posts Tagged ‘State of the Union Address’

Provocative Acts: North Korea and Ted Nugent

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment
(Rocker Ted Nugent and   North Korean Military)

(Rocker Ted Nugent and North Korean Military)

I’m not exactly sure which is more provocative- Texas Republican Congressman Steve Stockman’s invitation to Ted Nugent to attend the State of the Union address or North Korea conducting a nuclear test to go along with a recent successful missile launch.

I’m going with the nukes.

This new North Korean dear leader, Kim Jong Eun, seems, regrettably, to be much more competent than his father or his grandfather. The North Koreans put a satellite up in space just a few months ago and despite initial reports that the polar orbit of the device was slightly off, it seems like they actually had a successful rocket launch and deployement. You can keep track of that North Korean satellite here (click on KWANGMYONGSONG 3).

This nuclear test which was ominously detected as a 4.9 earthquake in North Korea around 10pm, ET last night- was conducted in a horizontally carved out tunnel in a remote North Korean mountainside. There is no way to verify claims by the North Koreans that it was a lighter, smaller, miniaturized type of nuke that could be used as a warhead on a missile. This is not good news any way you look at it.

Last week, the North Koreans released a bizarre video complete with Michael Jackson’s “We are the World” in the background, that ended with shots of a destroyed New York City that were actually edited in from a scene in the video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. At the time of its release it seemed funny and the film a pathetic statement about the state of North Korea’s propaganda machine. But that was before they proved capable of setting off a nuclear blast as strong as a 4.9 earthquake.

I’m not sure how you further isolate a country like North Korea that is already the most isolated, poverty-stricken nation on the planet. But between successful missile launches, crazy videos and real nuclear explosions, they appear to be, officially, a regional menace. The Chinese did not want the North Koreans to conduct this nuclear test, so one would hope the Kim Jong Eun’s largest sponsor will try to do something to keep these guys in check.

As for Congressman Steve Stockman, who has threatened to file articles of impeachment against President Obama for proposing new gun control laws- his invitation to rocker/crazy-pro-gun-guy, Ted Nugent has been accepted.

After the State of the Union speech is completed, reporters all flock to Statuary Hall to get the reactions to the big speech and, apparently, Mr. Nugent will be holding court there along with lawmakers. He should be quite interesting. Among Nugent’s spicier quotes (some of which led to interviews with real Secret Service agents):

If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.

Our president, attorney general, our vice president, Hillary Clinton — they’re criminals, they’re criminals…we need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.

Obama, he’s a piece of sh*t. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary [Clinton], you might want to ride one of these [brandishing two automatic rifles] into the sunset, you worthless b*tch.

Ted Nugent at the State of the Union speech- another great chapter in the moderation of our public political discourse.

State of the Union and the Response: Two Speeches- Both Worked

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Ah- the race that could have been; President Obama and Mitch Daniels

The audience was tired, looking at their blackberries and I-phones, some seemingly sleeping- and the President’s speech was not particularly inspiring- but it suited its purpose- a tactical address that framed the choices Americans will be making at the polls in November.

Using the military as an example of how Americans can work together to get things done was pretty smart, in my view.  For one thing, it enabled President Obama to bring up the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden at both the beginning and end of his speech.  There are reports of focus groups with Republicans and independents last night that show the President has a very strong hand to play on his foreign policy and anti-terrorism successes.   

As if to underscore the point, the President was surely aware at the time he was giving his speech to the nation that U.S. Navy SEALS were pulling off yet another daring rescue mission, this time saving two hostages (one of them American) from the clutches of pirates in northern Somalia.

Meantime, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, in the Republican response, delivered what I think was the best of these that I have ever heard.  It was an intelligent, well-written speech complete with grace notes offering a tip of the hat to the President’s foreign policy successes (bin Laden again) and even kudos to the Obama family for being a positive role model.  

Daniels even had words of criticism for his own party for having contributed to a divisive political atmosphere.   But he was tough in criticizing the President for “dividing” the country along class-lines.  Mostly, he articulated core conservative principles without any of the overblown hyperbole you hear from the likes of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich about Obama as a socialist destroyer of all that is good about America.

On MSNBC last night, Chris Matthews also liked Daniels’ speech and said he now gets why so many Republican party leaders wanted him to run for the White House.  He seems level-headed, gracious, intelligent and it looks like he understands it’s possible to vehemently disagree with President Obama’s policies without getting personal, without questioning his love of country or having to paint him as the evil, threatening “Other.”

A Daniels- Obama race would have been, I think, less dirt and more light.  It would have offered an important, honest debate about the kinds of choices we need to consider in regard to the nation’s future.

And while there is new polling that finds some 33% of Republicans would be in favor of a late entry into the GOP race- Daniels has definitively ruled himself out so it looks like we’re all going to have to endure what the poor voters of Florida are going through this week ahead of Tuesday’s primary there; Super-Pac, money-fueled, wall-to-wall mud fights and character attacks instead of honest policy debates.    

Absent the unlikely entrance of a class act like Daniels,  it would appear we’re heading for a nasty fall campaign filled with much of the same as we are seeing in the Sunshine State right now.