William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 9:43 P.M. ET:

INCREDIBLE – Officials in St. Lucie County, Florida, failed to meet a legally established deadline to recount votes in a congressional race pitting incumbent Republican Allen West against challenger Patrick Murphy.  Under the rules, Murphy will presumably be declared the winner, as he had more votes before the recount began.  In other words, the results of the recount will be meaningless, and possibly never even revealed.  West's only recourse is to seek an emergency exemption from the vote-count deadline.  We expect that he will try.

MIDEAST – The U.S. and Britain are putting pressure on Israel not to launch a ground operation into Gaza, this as truce talks have apparently broken down.  This was a heavy day of fighting in the region.  The Washington Post is reporting that Egypt, which is now militantly anti-Israel, under Muslim Brotherhood leadership, still has no stomach for an expanded war.  American Congressional leaders are warning that Egypt must do more to work for a truce, or risk a cutoff of American aid.  The usual pattern in these things is that Israel gets a few days to retaliate against rocket attacks, and then the Western leftist establishment, led by news organizations like the BBC and The New York Times, turns heavily against it.  We are starting to see that already.

WE MAY BE SAVED – Reports of the demise of beloved Hostess Brands, the Twinkie people, may be premature.  It is reported that a large Mexican baking entity may buy the bankrupt American company and keep its products on the shelves, where they will again be major targets for nanny staters everywhere.  The Mexican company, whose name is – I'm serious – Grupo Bimbo, has stakes in other American bakers as well.  I will sleep better knowing that Twinkies are safe and well.   

November 18,  2012