William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 7:21 P.M. ET:

WELL, THAT DECIDES IT – Colin Powell has strongly endorsed Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.  Doesn't that make you feel better?  Powell also chided the Republican Party for having a dark, racist side.  Powell might contemplate the dark, racist history of the Democratic Party, which held folks like him back for generations.  The civil rights laws of 1964 were passed because of Republican votes.  Powell still considers himself a Republican, just as Hagel considers himself a Republican.  With friends like these...

MORE HAGEL – As we've said about Hagel, one of his problems is the Washington "drip-drip-drip" syndrome.  A little bit comes out each day, and none of it is positive.  Today Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee expressed his concern over what he described as comments by former Hagel staff members, complaining of Hagel's temperament, his ability to manage people.  Add that to the drip list.  As soon as you hear "staff members," you have to start thinking about women.  Will women come forward to say that Hagel, as a boss, was abusive toward them?  That is pure speculation on my part, but I think it's logical speculation.   

HEAT ON KERRY? – With all the attention paid to Chuck Hagel, attention has been taken away from Obama's nomination of decidedly leftist John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton.  But there is some stirring on the right, and demands for at least token resistance to Kerry's nomination.  Dick Morris, for example, is asserting that Kerry aide Fulton Armstrong, who may play a key role in the State Department, has a history of overt sympathy for the Castro regime, and opposition to pro-freedom elements within Cuba.  Morris wants Kerry prevented from putting Armstrong in charge of Cuban relations at State.  We could yet see some fireworks in the Kerry confirmation hearings, but he will be approved.  He made friends in the Senate.

January 13, 2013