William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 6:39 P.M. ET:

HAGEL – Republicans seem to be caving on Chuck Hagel.  John McCain said today that the GOP will soon remove barriers to a confirmation vote, and that Hagel, who McCain said was the wrong man for the job, will be confirmed.  At the same time, ace reporter Bob Woodward reports that panicked Democratic senators have been calling the White House asking when Hagel would withdraw.  Clearly, if they are moderate Dems, they don't want to face the voters next year having voted for this goofball.  I think the Republicans are caving too soon.

THREAT TO THE NATION – An Islamist-oriented court in Egypt has shut down a TV channel devoted to belly dancing, a traditional Egyptian art form.  The court also gravely charged the channel with broadcasting provocative sexual ads.  Well, at least we know that civilization is safe.  May the mummies rest in peace.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING – The environmental religionists were out in modest force today in Washington, demanding that President Obama take on global warming.  They claimed that 35,000 people marched, although such estimates are routinely exaggerated.   Their timing wasn't the best.  The president was out of town in sunny Florida, and, in Washington, it was the coldest day of the year. 

February 17,  2013