Pundit Wire

A Half-Finished State of Our Union

Unknown-15When President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech on January 20, he addressed Republican House members holding the largest majority since Herbert Hoover was president.

A record number of Americans believe the legislative process in Washington is, for all intent and purposes, broken. Political discord rules the day. Cooperation is a sign of weakness.

Read More »
Also posted in National Security, Politics, U.S. | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The State of the Union is still very much alive

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 8.28.31 PM“Rumors of my death have been highly exaggerated,” Mark Twain is supposed to have said after one news story reporting it.

Actually, he didn’t. He wrote a brief, dull note telling someone they had confused him with a cousin. Someone else made it better.

Read More »
Also posted in Politics, U.S. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

DIPLOMACY: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU

John Kerry - Lassana BathilyThe planet gawps at the spectacle of US Secretary of State John Kerry descending on hapless French President Hollande (who has enough to worry about these days without weird foreigners embarrassing him in public) and hug-kissing him in no little profusion.

As if this were not enough, John Kerry brought with him to Paris James Taylor to play “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”. But this highest-profile gesture of American solidarité after the Paris terrorist attacks was bungled: the organisers made the rookie error of not checking and re-checking before the performance started that the practical sound arrangements were working. Watch the whole ghastly spectacle unfold here. Poor James Taylor is perched high on a stool but hunched awkwardly over a useless microphone so that you can’t see his face. John Kerry stands there in ill-suppressed tension. As diplomatic self-mutilations go, this is right up there.

Read More »
Also posted in International, U.S. | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Speechwriting for Leaders

Final_Cover_vivzyl Why, do leaders or generally important people have speechwriters at all? And why might foreign leaders engage experts not from their own country? Self-indulgence, or a good investment?

Read More »
Posted in Political Rhetoric | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Former Vice President Dick Cheney Speaks At Luncheon On Long Island…when Dick Cheney reappeared to defend the practice of torture, it was the worst specter of Christmas past.

Read More »
Also posted in Civil Rights, History, National Security, Politics, U.S. | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

President Putin Addresses the Nation

putinOn 4 December Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his ‘state of the nation’ address to the Federal Assembly and an audience of over 1000 people. So, how was it as a speech?

Read More »
Also posted in Business, Economy, International, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s a MAD, MAD, MAD World

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 3.36.22 PMWay back during the Cold War, the U.S. and Soviet Union were locked in a tense face-off for decades.  Both sides had huge arsenals of thermonuclear devices.  But there was a doctrine of military strategy called Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD, that kept the missiles in their silos.  It became a foundation in the national security policies of both great powers that the use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by either side would bring about immediate and total retaliation by the other side and cause the complete annihilation of both. 

Read More »
Also posted in Campaigns & Elections, Culture, Politics, U.S. | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

President Obama’s UN Speech: Negotiating with Terrorists

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 5.25.40 PMThe speech by President Obama at the UN General Assembly this year did not please everyone…

Read More »
Also posted in International, National Security, Politics, U.S. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment