William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 9:08 P.M. ET:

EMBARRASSING – In an act of supreme tackiness, the Obama administration tried to bill France for airlift services we provided for the recent French operation in Mali, even though France was clearly advancing American interests in fighting Al Qaeda.  The French objected, publicly, and the U.S. has now backed down.  This is what happens when we have a national administration run from the mentality of a Chicago precinct.

NOT SHOCKING – A new Fox poll reveals the defiant attitude of Americans toward their guns.  Respondents were asked:   "If the government passed a law to take your guns, would you give up your guns or defy the law and keep your guns?"  Some 65% said they would defy the law, and that included 59% of liberals.  The results are not shocking.  In Canada a few years back, the government passed legislation forcing people to register their guns.  Most Canadians refused, and the law collapsed. 

BAD TIMING – The president said today that one of his priorities in his second term was to fight global warming.  This comes as the weather services are reporting that the coldest air of the season is blowing through the Midwest and will soon be in the Northeast.  I'm sure the citizenry will get all worked up over global warming.

MORE REACTION – As more reaction to the president's speech comes in, it's clear that it's decidedly negative, and that includes reaction from some supporters.  There is a widespread feeling that Obama was too ideological, too divisive, too brief on foreign policy, and sounding more like a campaigner than a president.  The general consensus:  a missed moment.  I'm afraid that's correct.  The speech made puddles, not waves.

January 21, 2013