William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 7:39 P.M. ET: 

IRON JOHN – John Kerry is facing his first crisis since taking over from Hillary Clinton – the North Korean nuclear test.  First thing Iron John did was to contact the major foreign ministers around the world.   All but one picked up the phone.  The one exception?  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.  Wow!  We must really have clout in Moscow!  That reset with the Russians clearly clicked.  Our State Department says there's nothing to see here, nothing to see, that Iron John looks forward to talking with Lavrov when the Russian minister has the time.

THINKING AMERICANS – The president is making gun control a major priority of his second term, and he discusses it in emotional terms.  Now, who doesn't want to reduce gun violence and the irresponsible use of guns?  But Americans also can think for themselves.  A Rasmussen poll shows that only 32% believe we need new gun laws.  Some 57% believe that the emphasis should be on enforcing existing laws.  Well, maybe some new legislation in specific areas would be helpful, but enforcing the laws we already have, dealing with mental-health issues, and trying to change the culture in our inner cities would have much greater effect.  But those things don't make for great political theater.

RUBIO STILL RISING – As expected, Marco Rubio's fine response to President Obama's State of the Union message has been viciously attacked by the Obaman media.  Some of the comments are absurd.  There was one award moment when Rubio had to go slightly off camera to get some water.  Critics pounced.  Outrageous ineptness!  Scandalous!  Going off-camera for water?  Worse than the Civil War!  One commentator actually asked – I kid you not – whether the water incident was a career ender.  No, I don't think so.

JUST LIKE THE SIXTIES – They were out in force at the White House today...all 48 of them, protesting the Keystone Pipeline.  And they were arrested.  The culprits included one-time important people Daryl Hannah, who used to play a mermaid; Julian Bond, who used to have some influence in the civil rights movement; and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was born with a famous name.  Maybe these characters can do community service, attending counseling sessions on maturity.  By the way, there are stories circulating that Obama might approve the pipeline in exchange for a carbon tax, which is a kind of extortion.

February 13, 2013