William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 8:25 P.M. ET:

ABSURD – A number of news organizations are reporting that President Obama will indeed nominate Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense, despite widespread opposition to Hagel.  Pundits say that Hagel is to the left even of Obama on defense policy, but I suspect that Obama shares Hagel's fringe leftist views.  The appointment, if made, is an insult to our armed forces.  Hagel has made it clear that he can't wait to take the axe to the defense budget, and has also made clear a strange sympathy for America's enemies.  We're seeing the real Obama here.

IT'S SPREADING – A Connecticut lawmaker is introducing state legislation that would require the names of gun-permit holders to be made public.  This follows publication by a New York newspaper of the names and addresses of permit holders in its area.  These people have done nothing wrong, of course, and, by obtaining lawful permits, are demonstrating their sense of citizenship and responsibility.  Still, their reputations are now a target.  Please show me how this differs from what is commonly known as "McCarthyism."  I don't see a difference.

TIM SCOTT'S BATTLE – Time Scott has been sworn in as the new senator from South Carolina, replacing Jim DeMint, who resigned.  Scott is an African-American Republican, the only black member of the Senate.  He is already under relentless, disgraceful attack for being...a black Republican.  The frauds at MSNBC have regularly referred to him as a token, and he was even attacked today by the head of the NAACP, once a civil-rights organization.  The civil-rights establishment today is simply an adjunct of the Democratic Party.  It has no independence, and almost no effectiveness in advancing civil rights.  It despises Scott just as it despised Clarence Thomas.  Both men are bigger than the entire civil-rights establishment, and they prove it every day.

DROPPING – President Obama, riding high after his re-election, seems to be dropping in the polls once again.  He's back at 50% approval in the Gallup poll, with 43% disapproving.  That's not where he wanted to be two weeks before being sworn in again.  My own sense is that he learned politics from the Japanese kamikaze.  He seems incredibly vindictive and self-destructive, starting his second term on a theme of divisiveness, not unity.  He is proving himself to be, once again, a small-time Chicago politician playing in a league where he really doesn't belong.

January 4, 2013