• David Bender of the Progressive Voices channel on TuneIn Radio joins us at 10am ET / 7am PT to preview tonight’s State of the Union address

Pierce2Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about Ted Nugent at the State of the Union, and about Pope Benedicts legacy

North Korea said it successfully detonated a miniaturized nuclear device at a northeastern test site Tuesday, defying U.N. Security Council orders to shut down atomic activity or face more sanctions and international isolation.

• President Barack Obama is promising to focus his State of the Union address tonight primarily on the state of the economy – but victims of gun violence are taking advantage of the high-profile event to try to shine a spotlight on their cause.

The Senate Armed Service Committee vote for Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary is set for today. Top Republicans on the committee are threatening a walk out, but Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) isn’t one of them.

• Vice President Joe Biden, speaking hours after a fatal shooting at a courthouse in his home state of Delaware, said on Monday there was an unprecedented sense of urgency among police and officials to enact gun control laws.

Today is Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and rainy forecasts are threatening to wash out the celebrations there.