William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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QUOTE OF THE DAY – AT 9:02 A.M. ET:  And again it comes from the editorial page of the Washington Post.The Post has the best liberal editorial page available.  The New York Times is so busy fawning over Obama that it has lost all credibility, at least here.

One of the lines from the president's inaugural address that's gotten heavy reaction, and we noted it yesterday, is the one in which Obama informed us that a decade of war is ending.  The Washington Post pretty much calls this delusional, in our quote of the day:

“A decade of war is now ending,” Mr. Obama pronounced. That would come as news to the Afghan soldiers still dying at Taliban hands; to the families of more than 60,000 people killed in Syria in the past two years; to French soldiers who have taken on, in Mali, al-Qaeda affiliates who are as much enemies of the United States as of France; to the families of American hostages just slain in a terrorist attack in Algeria. America’s adversaries are not in retreat; they will be watching Mr. Obama in his second term to see if the same can be said of the United States.

COMMENT:  Pretty strong stuff, but widely felt this morning.  Tom Cotton, the new, terrific Republican congressman from Arkansas noted on TV last night that wars don't end, they're either won or lost.  The president doesn't seem to understand this, nor even to care. 

In a way, Mr. Obama was even rebuked by his own secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, who will be leaving soon.  From The Hill:

The terrorist attack in Algeria that left three Americans and 34 other hostages dead shows that al Qaeda is “committed to creating terror" no matter where its members are located and that America has "got to fight back," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday.

“I’m glad we were able to get some rescued, but we did lose three Americans,” Panetta told a small group of reporters Monday as he left the inaugural lunch at the Capitol. “That just tells us al Qaeda is committed to creating terror wherever they are, and we’ve got to fight back.”

I heard nothing like that in the president's speech.  Quite the contrary.  It's interesting, I think, that the secretaries of state and defense are leaving, to be replaced by new appointees who are more to the left.  CIA Director David Petraeus was forced out over a romantic scandal that could have easily been handled.  He, too, will be replaced by someone more to Obama's liking.

This second term is not starting well.  We have legitimate reason for concern.

January 22,  2013