William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 8:20 P.M. ET:

CONGRATULATIONS, CHICAGO – On a great milestone.  Why, Chicago ended the year with, unofficially, 506 homicides.  You know, when you strive, you really achieve.  Meanwhile, local morons like the Rev. Jesse Jackson, appear on television to attribute the development to everyone but those pulling the trigger.  And yet, find one real journalistic report on the social pathologies, the corruption, the failed local leadership, and the alliance with white radicals, that lie at the heart of the curses that afflict inner-city America. 

HOUSE WILL VOTE – The House will vote on the Senate bill passed last night that will avert going over the fiscal cliff.  The House decision to vote came after a decision not to try to tack on amendments, even though Republican members were stunned to find that the Senate bill not only contains no budget cuts, but actually will increase spending.  This wasn't realized right after the Senate voted on the legislation. 

DISMAY – There continues to be a general sense of dismay, even among some Democrats, at the awful behavior of President Obama during the fiscal cliff talks.  There is some praise for Vice President Biden, who at least tried to act like an adult.  Obama's campaign-style press conference yesterday stunned many, who expect more dignified leadership from any American president.  Charles Krauthammer properly called the president's behavior "arrogant."  The already bad blood in Washington is getting worse.  It is clear that this president, who interprets his narrow victory in November as a landslide, intends to run an ideological, divisive second term.  Even British commentators are expressing shock at his performance.

January 1, 2013