William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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

ON SECOND THOUGHT – After demonizing the NRA's proposal for more armed guards in schools, President Obama essentially embraced it today, bowing to its popularity and common sense.  He added a few touches, immediately gaining the enthusiastic support of the NEA, the nation's largest teachers' union, which had previously rejected the NRA proposal.  Of course, the NEA, which depends heavily on the largesse of Democratic mayors and city governments, would have approved Rambo in the schools had Obama suggested it.  The hypocrisy flows.

DREAMLINER A BAD DREAM? – The FAA has grounded the Boeing Dreamliner, a day after Japanese airlines did the same.  The issue is battery fires.  It's the first time the FAA has grounded an American-made airliner in 34 years.  I'm taking the FAA's action at face value, and assume it is based on legitimate concerns for safety.  At the same time, I'm a bit uneasy.  There seems to be an inordinate amount of attention being paid to the growing pains of the Dreamliner.  Do you recall, a few years ago, when the Obama administration got into a bitter fight with Boeing over the company's plan to open a Dreamliner production center in South Carolina, a right-to-work state?  The pro-union Obamans tried to stop it, but eventually failed.  I do hope there's no retaliation against Boeing in the FAA's action.  I have no evidence that there is, but one wonders when the Obamans are involved.

SCHIEFFER'S WEIRDNESS – Bob Schieffer has had a long and generally distinguished career with CBS News, but in recent years he's become increasingly biased toward the left, and increasingly weird in his remarks.  Today, in reaction to Obama's speech on gun control, he went way over the top, comparing Obama's campaign to the majestic push for civil rights laws in the early 1960s.  He also compared Obama's quest to both the hunt for bin Laden and defeating the Nazis.  It was strange.  You know, there's a time to get off the stage.  Those who don't recognize the time become objects of pity.

EGYPT DESCENDS EVEN MORE – We are getting a more complete picture of what the new Egyptian government, helped into power by Barack Obama, actually stands for.  An Egyptian court has sentenced a woman and her seven children to 15 years in prison for converting to Christianity.  Human rights activists say the sentence is a sign of things to come for Christians in the country.  Welcome to the Arab spring.

January 16, 2013