William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 11:23 P.M. ET:

WHO WAS THAT WHO DIED? – President Obama was in customary form as he delivered a eulogy yesterday for Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who had held the Medal of Honor.  Obama, according to the Weekly Standard, "used the word 'my' 21 times, 'me' 12 times, and 'I' 30 times.  However, he did get Inouye's name right as he claimed that Inouye had somehow interested him in politics.  Typical of Obama.  When he speaks at a funeral, the deceased needs a name tag.

OUR GREAT ALLY – A Saudi website editor faces a possible death sentence after being convicted of apostasy.  Saudi Arabia, which has a big chunk of the world's petroleum supply, has thus far resisted the Arab spring.  It is still living under strict Sharia law.  It also has a substantial lobby in the United States which spends tens of millions a year to be sure we continue to speak kindly of the kingdom.  It supplies funding for professorships at American universities.  Notice the deep concern of Western "human rights" groups.  I wonder how many checks have been written to buy that silence.

HUMDRUM – Retailers thus far are not seeing a weekend-before-Christmas surge in sales, and many are worried.  By this time, most people who are buying gifts online have already bought, so they could be guaranteed delivery by Tuesday.  Observers say that disappointing discounts and concerns about possible rises in taxes are deterring shoppers.    We'll see tomorrow.

December 22,  2012