William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 10:31 P.M. ET:

HAGEL IS IN – Chuck Hagel was confirmed as secretary of defense, but 41 senators, all Republicans, voted against him, an unprecedented number in a confirmation vote for defense secretary.  To their disgrace, the Democrats lined up solidly for Hagel.  This included the so-called "moderates," who are moderate only when they run for re-election in their swing states. 

IS THIS TRIP NECESSARY? – An Australian billionaire is planning to build a replica of the Titanic, and send it on a voyage across the Atlantic, duplicating the original Titanic's ill-fated maiden sailing.  The ship will have the same cabin layout as the original, and passengers will wear costumes from 1912.  Al Gore will probably assure us that the voyage will be safe, as there are no more icebergs, no more ice, no more ice creams, and hardly any cold drinks.

ADVENTURES IN VOTER FRAUD – Florida law enforcement has reportedly foiled a plot that would have had thousands of fraudulent applications for absentee ballots submitted for three 2012 primaries.  But the crooked geeks are still at large, and there are fears they could modify their tactics and strike again.  One problem we have in dealing with voter fraud is that the Democrats essentially deny that it's a problem...in large measure because they're the usual beneficiaries.  Experts believe that more sophisticated technology in the future will make voter fraud more likely. 

JUST A HELPING HAND – ABC News is defending its decision to edit out an error by Michelle Obama in an interview the first lady gave to Robin Roberts.  In the interview, Ms. Obama said that a girl recently murdered in the Obama neighborhood in Chicago had been killed with an "automatic" weapon.  She actually was killed with a pistol, probably semi-automatic.  Functioning automatic weapons have been barred from private ownership since the 1930s.  The full Obama quote was carried on the network's website, but edited for broadcast.  ABC says it was just saving time.  I doubt if ABC would "save time" by protecting a Republican that way.

February 26, 2013