William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 8:16 P.M. ET:

HE PASSES – Given a clear opportunity to endorse Hillary Clinton for 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed today.  “It’s a long way away," he said.  Cuomo himself has been mentioned as a possible 2016 contender, and didn't rule himself out.  A poll in New York showed that most New Yorkers think Hillary should run and that Andy shouldn't.  Cuomo, though, remains popular as governor of New York, which historically has been seen as a steppingstone to the presidency.

RIDICULOUS – A new report just out shows how absurd the salaries of college presidents have become, at a time when the colleges are whining that they don't have enough money.  Examples:  Bob Kerrey, in his last year as head of the New School in New York, is taking home three million bucks.  The head of Georgetown earns peanuts compared with Kerrey.  The Catholic university pays him only about a million.  Many of America's universities are charging students $52,000 a year and rising, and demanding federal aid.  They plead poverty, but pay their presidents corporate-sized salaries.  "Three dozen presidents of nearly 500 private colleges with budgets greater than $50 million each brought home more than $1 million in total pay," according to the Washington Post.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS – They were marching in Norway today.  The leftists, in particular, were out in force.  And why?  To protest the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.  The Peace Prize, unlike other Nobels, is given in Norway, rather than Sweden, and is often given to goofballs like Jimmy Carter and Al Gore.  It was given to Obama during the first week of his presidential term, which pretty much finished off the Prize as a truly significant award.  But it's taken seriously in the gingerbread kingdom of Norway, and there is deep upset over the "unworthiness" of the European Union.  The EU got the award anyway.  At least they avoided Al Sharpton.

BRAVE NEW WORLD – Arab nations, now joined by Russia and China, are proposing measures at the UN that could lead to international censorship of the internet.  The Arabs, in particular, want freedom of the internet scaled down considerably.  If imposed, censorship of the internet could be one of the greatest setbacks to freedom in modern history.  The U.S. is opposing the Arab measure, but watch this carefully.  Remember that, throughout American academia, students are being taught, through the imposition of stringent "speech codes" and "sensitivity" programs, that it's perfectly okay to restrict forms of speech that "offend" others.  I'm afraid American resistance to censorship of the internet will weaken over time, especially in the face of Arab and Muslim pressure.  Succumbing to that pressure is considered the intellectual thing to do in Europe and in parts of America.

December 10, 2012