William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 10:46 P.M. ET:

MITT APPOINTS – Mitt Romney clearly wants to project an image of inevitability, and so he's behaving like a general-election candidate.  That may well be a good strategy.  Today he appointed a star-studded list of heavyweights to be foreign- and national-security advisers.  The list, found here, reflects a generally conservative view of the world, Reaganesque we might say.  The most imaginative name:  Nile Gardiner, Director of the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom and a former researcher for Thatcher.  Romney is clearly signaling that he will restore the special relationship that Obama has worked hard to weaken.

VULGAR – We don't expect much taste from MSNBC, home of TV's whining liberals, but the basement was probably reached in a signoff by Martin Bashir, a new MSNBC host, who exploited the death of Steve Jobs to take a stab at Sarah Palin, who'd just announced that she would not be running for president.  Said this alleged journalist:  “Although the death of Steve Jobs coincided with Sarah Palin’s announcement, it has been a helpful accident of fate,” adding “because it allows us to realize and commemorate the greatness of one’s individual’s contribution, and the utter futility of the other.”  Real class, Marty, real class.  We're sure the pseudo-intellectuals at MSNBC have sent their congratulations.

ADVICE FROM JIMMY – Jimmy Carter, to whom Obama is increasingly compared, is in Oslo this week, and is using his visit to Norway, which has one of the goofiest governments in Europe, to lecture President Obama, saying that Obama must live up to his Nobel Peace Prize.  Maybe the way Arafat did.  Carter is a vile man and constant self-promoter.  There is a tradition that advice is given to the president privately, especially advice tendered by former presidents.  We're certainly not fans of Obama here, but his office deserves more respect from a former holder of that office, even though the former holder diminished it considerably.  Public lectures to the president by Jimmy ("I'm the best former president ever") Carter are way out of line.  But Carter considers himself too good for our traditions.

NEW MEDICAL CONDITION! – A new medical condition known as "text neck" has been discovered.  It comes from being hunched over a mobile phone or tablet.  It can result in headaches and pain.  And, of course, there are treatments available, in exchange for mucho dollars.  Yeah, I know text neck.  I've known it since I took my first exam in junior high.  Strange, they didn't have a name for it then.  The cure was getting through the exam quickly and straightening up, even looking at things like a pretty girl at the next desk.  And to think, I discovered this and they didn't give me the Nobel Prize.  I'll sue.

October 6, 2011