William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 10:33 P.M. ET:

HEAT –  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that 2012 was the warmest year on record for the 48 contiguous states.  Well, I don't know.  I'm a skeptic.  How far back to those records go?  How accurate were the instruments of the past?  Where were the sensors placed to determine national temperatures?  NOAA is known for its advocacy of the global-warming regime, but I'd like to see some confirmation of its numbers.  A recent report from Britain said there hasn't been global warming in 16 years.  I'd like to see that confirmed as well.

OPPONENTS TO MEET – The National Rifle Association will meet with Vice President Joe Biden, who's heading a task force on gun violence.  There is a major attempt to demonize the NRA, and at times the organization does seem to ask for it with its rigid positions.  However, demonization is also a standard technique of the left, as advocated in "Rules for Radicals," by Saul Alinsky.  Note, for example, how critics of Chuck Hagel are being demonized, even having their patriotism questioned, McCarthy style.  No one says a word.  We'll look forward to see if Biden and the NRA can find some common ground.  I think the NRA realizes it must come up with some creative ideas to deal with improper use of guns.

GORE GORED – Staff members at Al Gore's Current TV, which Gore and his associates have now sold to Al Jazeera, are expressing deep anger and revulsion toward Gore.  Many of these souls, judging by their comments, have now concluded that Gore is a fraud, having stressed his commitment to green energy, and then sold his network to a TV operation owned by one of the world's biggest oil producers.  It think this is the last straw for many people, who have seen Gore profit handsomely from his global-warming industry.  He is probably finished in public life, unless he wants to become a carnival barker.

BETRAYAL – One of the most dishonorable moments in recent American history occurred in the early 70s, when we pulled the plug on material aid to the South Vietnamese, leaving these allies to their fate.  Now, according to the Washington Post, there are elements within the Obama administration who want to do it again.  They're proposing we leave only 2,500 troops in Afghanistan when we leave in 2014, far fewer than would be necessary to keep our promise to train Afghan security forces.  I wonder how American allies around the world would see this, whether they'd think they could trust the United States.  I don't think Obama cares.  He's much more concerned about what the Muslim Brotherhood thinks of us.  I suspect Afghanistan will fall apart, and, as after Vietnam, America will just forget.  Our secretary of state will be John Kerry, who's an expert at this sort of thing.

January 8, 2012