William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 11:27 A.M. ET:

ZIP – Thus far there is no ceasefire in the Mideast, despite expectations today that, as Neville Chamberlain said, we would soon have peace in our time.  Apparently the parties to the dispute don't operate in lockstep with CNN bulletin requirements.  The situation is still extremely tense, with rockets pouring into Israel, and Israel firing back.  Hillary Clinton has arrived, to one hand clapping.  You can just feel the fading American influence in the region.  Only the American voter, living in certain states, seems to take the Obama administration seriously.

A LESS-THAN-HAPPY THANKSGIVING – More Americans will buy their Thanksgiving dinner with food stamps this year than ever before.  Use of food stamps has gone up by about 70% since 2007.  We are a nation in serious trouble, but you would never know it listening to the administration or its camp followers in the press.  The food-stamp numbers exclude those who are living in poverty but who receive food from local charities. 

MAYBE, BETTER NOT – Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, has openly expressed his desire to run for president in 2016.  He is, of course, the son of the highly controversial Ron Paul, who is retiring from the House and has run for president since George Washington held the office.  I wish Rand Paul would wait.  The Pauls are lightning rods, Rand Paul can easily be painted as an extremist (which he isn't), and will be linked with his father, who is.  Our side doesn't need the distraction or the manufactured controversy.  The press will have a field day.  Let Paul show that he is a responsible senator for at least one full term, and possibly two.

A BIT OF BOTHER – The Dems are always painting the Republican Party as purely a regional grouping of old white men flying Confederate flags from broken radio antennas.  It now turns out that 30% of the Democratic House delegation comes from either New York or California, two states on the brink of fiscal disaster.  It also turns out that there are no more House Republican members from New England.  And, of course, we have seen those ballot tallies from precinct after precinct in Philadelphia and Chicago, showing not a single vote for Mitt Romney.  Talk about regionalism.

November 20, 2012