William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 9:23 P.M. ET:

RECORD SPEED – Joe Biden, who just formed a presidential panel on gun violence, says recommendations will be on President Obama's desk by next Tuesday.  Huh?  I thought this was a serious panel.  The ink isn't even dry on their stationery, and already the recommendations are coming out.  Once again we see how seriously the issue is taken.  A real, probing panel, looking for effective ways to safeguard children, would clearly have needed more time and taken more testimony.  Looks more like show business.

EPIDEMIC – A flu epidemic has been declared in a number of areas across the country.  It was declared in New York City today.  But many medical centers have run out of vaccine, and I know from personal conversation that some people are literally afraid to go to a hospital or doctor to gets shots, if they're available, because they're afraid there'll be other patients there with the flu.  Some medical authorities are actually suggesting that those visiting clinics and hospitals wear medical masks.  Seems reasonable to me.

DOUBTS – The controversy over a recent NOAA report claiming that 2012 was the hottest year on record in the U.S. is growing.  Doubters claim that NOAA, which is committed to the global-warming cause, has "adjusted" data often, resulting in recent years appearing warmer in the charts than they actually were.  What is clearly needed is a highly qualified presidential commission, similar to the commission that probed the Challenger disaster in 1986, that can get to the bottom of the global-warming debate and determine what we know and what we don't know.  Don't hold your breath on this.  The Obama administration has joined the Church of the Global Warming, and does not tolerate dissent on the issue.

THE MOUTH THAT REGULARLY ROARS – Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who does a great job and says what's on his mind, is claiming that victims of Hurricane Sandy are waiting seven times longer than victims of Hurricane Katrina for aid.  Gee, could that be so?  You think maybe someone should place part of the blame on President Obama, the way all the blame was placed on BUSH (!!!!) after Katrina?  So far, Dear Leader has come away unscathed.  And if things are being handled this badly, I say, "Bring back Brownie!"  In retrospect, the FEMA head at the time, who became the butt of jokes, didn't do that badly at all.  But don't tell the media.

January 10, 2013