William Katz:  Urgent Agenda







THE CLIFF – A fiscal deal to avert major tax increases tomorrow appears to be within reach, but no one outside the negotiations is absolutely clear on the details.  There still appear to be substantial roadblocks centering on where, or if, spending will be cut.  Looming over the talks is sequestration, the pompously named process whereby some government agencies, especially the Pentagon, will be subjected to automatic spending cuts unless new action is taken.  The secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, has described the potential cuts to American defense as catastrophic. 

BIZARRE – The president held a "news conference" today, using "ordinary Americans" as his backdrop, and put on a performance worthy of the head of a junior-high-school student government.  It was a campaign appearance, not an act of governing.  He boasted how he had gotten Republicans to make concessions – this while talks are at a delicate stage and wiser men would want to avoid gloating.  It is clear that this president, not a wise man at all, has decided to go radical during his second term, and get as much of his left-wing agenda passed, no matter how much damage is done.  Even observers sympathetic to him have started to express dismay over his adolescent, petty and arrogant behavior.

HILLARY – She has a blood clot in the head, but doctors assert that she's being successfully treated and should be released as soon as they decide on exactly what her medication should be.  Look, barring any other information, we have to take this at face value, but I wouldn't be shocked if the story changed as time went on.  It is impossible to say whether she'll actually give her much-anticipated testimony before Congress on Benghazi before she leaves office and is replaced by Mr. Excitement, John Kerry.

December 31,  2012