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2011 State of the Union Address: A Humble Summary

In POLITICS TODAY on January 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Maurice E. Duhon, Jr.

Tuesday, 1/25/11

President Barack Obama walked into the House chamber and traded “happy” handshakes with the many attendees of our nation’s State of the Union address.  After recognizing the House’s newly recognized Speaker John Boehner, President Obama then recognized the seat that remained empty in the House chamber.  He was of course referencing the Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (Arizona), who suffered a near fatal gunshot wound to the head earlier this month and is now undergoing medical rehabilitation in Houston, TX. 

With Vice-President Joe Biden looking over his right shoulder and Speaker John Boehner over his left, two political polar-opposites, President Obama would begin the 2011 State of the Union Address speaking of America’s need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. President Obama referenced the Soviet’s Sputnik entering into outer space before the United States could make such possible.  He spoke of how that event sparked the government’s interest in realizing our children’s education would be a catalyst for our nation’s success.  Obama stated that the time we find ourselves in now is similar to the “Sputnik” times. 

The President stated we need to invest in clean energy systems and then confessed that he is willing to cut federal subsidies to oil companies, Speaker Boehner did not seem amused.  Obama moved into detail describing the solutions for our education system, including adding 100,000 new teachers, rewarding excellent teachers, not making excuses for under-performing teachers, and as for children winning science fairs and succeeding in school; we should cheer louder for their accomplishments than we cheer for the accomplishments of our favorite sports teams. 

The President’s attention then shifted to declaring that the issue of immigration should be discussed and debated with a sound solution to follow.  Quick jump to infra-structure, including our nation’s infra-structure’s “D-grade”, given to us by our own Civil Engineers.  Within 25 years, American should all have access to high speed rail lines, said Obama.  Obama described the parade of Washington lobbyists that influence an unfair American tax code.  Obama then stated he supports a simplified American tax code. 

President Obama then recognized that some have found the New Health care Act as unsatisfactory.  Obama then described the good and fair contents of the Health Care law and declared if Congress doesn’t like it then “fix it”, but do not destroy it.  Obama then says he supports a federal 5 year discretionary spending freeze…  The small applause that followed was feeble and awkward. 

The President’s next words included, reigning in our debt to allow investment for the future. “We can’t win the future with a government of the past”, said Obama.  The president spoke of the archaic make-up of our federal agencies whose structures needed remediation.  He stated that salmon in our country’s fresh water is handled by one federal agency, salmon in salt water is handled by another agency, and Obama then noted it gets really complicated once the salmon get smoked.  This well placed and crafted joke even forced Speaker Boehner into a semi-chuckle. 

Moving on, the president reassured America that Latinos, Hispanics, and Muslims are also American citizens and that our citizens in the Armed Forces need to be home, but we still have fighting to do.  Obama would then shift to foreign policy, including the continuation of the START Treaty, our integrity as seen from the eyes of our foreign allies, and even gave the United States credit for influencing the first diplomatic election to ever be held in Sudan, Africa. 

Reforming our schools, managing our deficit, and introducing new energy solutions will not be easy and of course we will fight about it, the President said, but we must work together for a solution.  A little bit of; “You can do it America.”  A dash of; “You are the best country on earth,” and there you have it, your 2011 State of the Union address.


Putin challenges Obama for title of “Coolest President” while performing Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill”

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2010 at 11:57 pm

By Maurice E. Duhon, Jr.

ShooBe DooBe DooSki

Monday 12/13/10

Over the weekend the audience of a St. Petersburg, Russia children’s charity dinner enjoyed a live musical performance by Russia’s former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.  This artistic gesture differs from the Prime Minister’s usual photo-ops including shirtless horseback riding, tiger stalking, Formula One race car driving, and judo fighting (he holds a black belt).

After a few words of encouragement from the event’s emcee, requesting Putin’s participation in the evening’s musical offerings, Putin stated, “Like an overwhelming majority of people, I can neither sing nor play but I very much like doing it,” according to Reuters.

Putin then approached the grand piano located on the stage.  The audience, including American delegates Sharon Stone, Kevin Costner, Goldie Hawn, and Kurt Russell, watched as Putin played a gentle, beginner’s level, instrumental version of Fats Domino’s massively popular song “Blue Berry Hill”.  Once his rendition of the immortal song was concluded, the former President rose from the piano’s chair and with the swagger of a semi-confident “everyday Joe”, Putin walked towards a lone-standing microphone located at the stage’s center.

The band struck a tune and launched into a melodic version of the song with Prime Minister Putin providing the lead vocals.  From a review of the video footage, one is forced to conclude that Vladimir Putin is no Frank Sinatra or even a Sanjaya Malakar, but the artistic effort and risk of self-esteem involved proves sincere and appreciable when recognizing this event’s purpose was conducted for a children’s charity.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said Putin learned the lyrics to the song in his English class and takes music lessons when he has time.

I can honestly say I’d donate some serious coin to view President Obama’s musical performance of Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “After the Love is Gone” (footage offered below).  To be entirely honest, I believe every incoming President should be, by law, required to participate in at least one publicly performed musical number during their term.  By doing this, the people are able to determine their leaders amount of “cool” i.e. Bill Clinton’s well-received saxophone recital on the hugely popular and former television forum “The Arsenio Hall Show” (R.I.P. 1989 -1994).

Politics aside, it was a nice gesture and Putin’s performance required a certain amount of gumption, in which he has tons, I stress the term “politics aside”.

Russia’s Got Talent

Earth, Wind, & Fire “After the Love is Gone”