William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 8:42 P.M. ET:

PASSING – Patti Page, the "singin' rage" of the 1950s, has died at 85.  One of the great American popular singers of the post-war era, she made famous "The Tennessee Waltz," which ultimately became one of the official state songs of Tennessee.  The song originally was considered a throwaway by a recording company, which made it "Side B" of a record that featured another song the company thought would become a hit.  No one remembers the other song (although I'm sure readers will remind me), but "Tennessee Waltz," as sung by Patti Page, became immortal.  Patti Page had a soft, sweet voice and a friendly, warm manner.  She also made hits of "(How Much is That) Doggie in the Window" and "Old Cape Cod."  You could not turn on a radio in the 1950s without hearing that voice, which never lost its quality over the decades.

WE MUST STOP THIS COMMON SENSE! – Scott Rasmussen reports:  " Fifty-four percent (54%) of American adults would feel safer if their child's school had an armed security guard. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 26% would feel safer if their child attended a school where no adults were allowed to have guns. Another 20% are undecided.  Among parents of school-aged children, support for armed guards is even higher. Sixty-two percent (62%) of such parents would feel safer with an armed security guard at the school, while 22% would feel safer if their child attended a gun-free school. "  As usual, parents have more common sense than the "enlightened" members of the chattering classes who clog up the media.  In fact, a third of schools already have armed guards, and it's common for children to see armed police officers around schools at various times of the day.

TV REVOLUTION COMING? – Well, maybe.  Intel, whose chips find their way into a huge number of computers, is reportedly planning a set-top TV box and a service that will allow viewers to pick and choose all the channels they wish to receive, eliminating the "bundle" approach now used by cable companies.  The signal would be drawn from the internet.  It's a great idea, but I wonder how the "content providers" will feel about it.  They like the bundle approach because they can sell larger packages to cable companies.  The economics are complicated, but I'll be following Intel's effort, if it actually is launched.

MASSACHUSETTS MUDDLE – Scott Brown is dropping hints that he may enter the race to fill the Senate seat being vacated by John Kerry, who will now be handling Obama's foreign policy as secretary of state.  (Just the thought of those two together makes me want to dig a shelter.)  But what really is scaring Democrats in Massachusetts is the possibility that Brown may skip the Senate race and run for governor in 2014.  Massachusetts has had Republican governors.  Indeed, Mitt Romney was one, as was William Weld.  There are scandals surrounding the incumbent, Obama favorite Deval Patrick.  I'd rather see Brown shoot for the state house.  Better chance of winning.  Better chance of getting things done.

January 2,  2013