by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis
(Providence, Rhode Island) – It was one of those weeks where no single story dominated the world of politics. It was a jumble of unconnected events. So here is this week "grab bag" of political nuggets:
"Where's the Beef?" – Yes, North Korea is beginning to remind me of the old lady in the classic Wendy's commercial, who did not find much burger in her nearly empty bun. North Korea keeps threatening to launch a nuclear missile at South Korean, Japan or the United States, but never does. While it provides great fodder for late-night comedians, I'm worried. Leader Kim Jong Un is – like his father before him - an unstable kook. I worry that while we're all looking for missiles on the horizon, he'll just deliver a suitcase full of nukes at a U.S. shopping mall or mass transit station. The North has no viable rocket program, so it could look for an easier, more unconventional delivery system.
"The Iron Lady" – As one of the first women to lead a major world power, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher helped break the glass ceiling for many women around the globe, both in politics and other endeavors. To a lot of people she simply set the example that women can lead, too, and at the highest levels. Ideology aside, women who have held public office since Thatcher, including Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright, Diane Feinstein and Sarah Palin, owe her a debt of gratitude. CEOs including Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman also owe some of their success to Thatcher, who died this week, simply because she taught a broad swatch of society that strong, smart women can lead effectively, too.
"Gloomy Skies for the Blue Angels" – I've been watching weekly for real tangible signs of the $85 billion dollar budget sequester from Washington, DC. All of the gloom and doom that was predicted has still failed to materialize. This week, perhaps for the first time since White House tours were curtailed, there was another visible victim. The Blue Angels fight demonstration team has canceled the rest of its shows for 2013. Sure it's disappointing for people who were planning to see a show, including me. But, in the great scheme of federal spending and identifying items that are "needs versus wants," this is just not a crisis. Many of the job furloughs and deep program cuts that were predicted with sequester, have still not happened and most of the public simply marches on, unfazed.
"Bonehead of the Week" – A Florida police sergeant has been fired after brining paper targets of the late Trayvon Martin to a gun training range, and trying to sell them to fellow police officers. What was he thinking? The killing of Trayvon Martin at the hands of neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, still awaits trails. The racially charged case has already brought enough tension to central Florida, without such insensitive behavior. When one cop does something like this, it not only reflects poorly on him, but it unfairly brings harsh judgment on the rest of his profession. That's wrong.
"Best Looking Attorney General" – I had lots of comments last week regarding my analysis of President Obama publicly stating that California Attorney General Kamala Harris was, "by far the best-looking Attorney General in the country." One reader suggested that the President was being chided, merely because of his race. Can you imagine that there wouldn't have been a similar outcry had President George W. Bush made such a statement, and in particular President Bill Clinton? They would have been harshly criticized, too. Supporters of President Obama need to quit playing the race card, every time he is criticized or opposed. They did it on health care reform, the fiscal cliff, and now on the Kamala Harris controversy, just to mention a few. President Obama - to his credit - has repeatedly tried to dispel this racial mindset at every turn in his public life.
"Politicians – like Cats – Seemingly Have Nine Lives, Part III" – This is becoming a regular feature in my column, as we watch political figures who left in disgrace, simply rise from the dead like Lazarus. Former Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) has won a primary for a Congressional seat from his state, years after being caught in a sex scandal with a woman from Argentina, (who was not his wife, but is now his fiancé). Now, disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is thinking about running for Mayor of New York City, just years after he, too, resigned in disgrace over a Twitter sex scandal. These two men are redefining the concept of "failing upward." As I always say, you just can't make this stuff up.
Have a great week everyone! My surgery went well and I am back on my feet. Thanks for all the good wishes. As always, share your thoughts by clicking the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.
© 2013, Mark Curtis Media, LLC.