William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 9:04 P.M. ET:

THE DISGRACE, THE OUTRAGE – The world of journalism sits in shock tonight at the news that The New York Times has shut down its "green desk."   This is described in the press as a standalone pod staffed by editors and writers devoted to the environment and climate.  The Times assures its readers, many of them as nutty as the people who run the paper, that this does not signal any diminishing of The Times's zeal for the latest trendy story on green issues.  But The Times's public editor expresses shock and dismay.  I don't know how the First Amendment will survive this.

READING THE POLLS – The White House must be reading the polls again.  Breitbart is reporting that the Obamans are muling the idea of expanding federal funds for cops to patrol schools.  When the NRA suggested that armed guards in schools made sense, the organization got only snickers from the left.  But now poll after poll, the latest in Virginia, shows that the majority of Americans, especially parents, think the idea is sound.  Even ultra-lib Senator Barbara Boxer of California has come out in favor.  The Dems are reassured by the fact that the cops-in-schools program was actually started under Bill Clinton.  The school superintendent in Newtown, Connecticut, where the recent mass shooting took place, also favors cops in schools.

TELL IT TO THE MARINES – President Obama, in another of those pseduo-intellectual statements that must inspire and men and women of our armed forces, said today that the United States has "fallen short" in its mission in Afghanistan.  "So, you know, I think that, have we achieved everything that some might have imagined us achieving in the best of scenarios? Probably not. You know, there's a human enterprise, and you know, you fall short of the ideal," he said.  Compare please to Churchill's "Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few."  Obama was once billed as a great orator.  Great orators inspire.

DON'T CALL US, WE'LL CALL YOU – Mel Brooks once said that Hollywood kills you with nice.  It's true.  They know how to smile and smooth things over, even when caught red-handed at one of their many sins.  So now we have entertainment-industry trade groups issuing a statement saying that they "look forward to doing our part to seek meaningful solutions" to gun violence.  When people in Hollywood use a word like "meaningful," it indicates that they took freshman psychology in college.  It doesn't mean anything else.  The statement went on:   "This industry has a longstanding commitment to provide parents the tools necessary to make the right viewing decisions for their families."
Can you feel the sincerity?

January 11, 2012