William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 11:56 P.M. ET:

WHY, HOW SHOCKING – The critics of the Keystone Pipeline, which was delayed by Obama during the election campaign as a gift to his environmental supporters, are now demanding a further delay because "new" concerns about climate change.  The president is expected to make a final decision on the pipeline soon.  The Keystone Pipeline is a critical component of our energy future, and also benefits Canada enormously.  Oil will flow from Canadian sources to our Gulf Coast.  It has been well studied, and, while there are always some risks, the benefits vastly outweigh those risks.  It should be approved.  The environmental militants have not made a convincing argument.

REPORT DUE TOMORROW – We are told that the special commission set up by the State Department to investigate the Benghazi attack will deliver its report to the Department tomorrow.  We have no idea what it will say.  But with Hillary Clinton now pulling out of congressional testimony over the incident, and former CIA Director David Petraeus sacrificed, some say, because he wouldn't go along with the administration's line, and Susan Rice sidelined over the tall tales she told about Benghazi, the report takes on special significance.  A blunt assessment, or a whitewash?  That is the question.  Stand by.

PATRICK UP? – If Obama, as expected, appoints John Kerry as secretary of state, a Senate seat opens in Massachusetts.  It's reported, and with good logic, that Obama wants Governor Deval Patrick, an African American, to run for the seat.  If he wins it, Patrick would become a national figure, a candidate for the national ticket.  On the Republican side, it's widely expected that Scott Brown will make another attempt to repeat his 2010 victory for a Senate seat, a seat he just lost to Elizabeth Warren.  I'm not so sure.  Brown is reported also to be considering a run for the governorship in 2014.  I suspect he'd have a better chance at that.

December 16, 2012