William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 9:31 P.M. ET:

A WEEK LATE – President Obama has finally gotten around to calling Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate him over his narrow election victory...which was a week ago.  That's pretty much par for the course in how this president treats allies.  Obama recently also intervened outrageously in the U.K.'s internal affairs by putting pressure on that country to remain in the European Union.  Must not be too British, must we?

DON'T TELL THE ONE – Gallup reports that President Obama ties for the lowest approval rating of any re-elected president in Gallup's history.  Obama's approval stands at only 52%.  That ties George W. Bush, who also stood at that figure in early 2005.  Clinton stood at 60% at the start of his second term, Reagan at 63%.  Eisenhower stood at a giant 73%, and even Harry Truman, after his bruising fight with Thomas E. Dewey in 1948, managed 69%.  Maybe we've just become more critical of our presidents, but Mr. 52% had better trim some of his grandiose plans.

SAD – It's sad to see what's become of Andrea Mitchell of NBC News.  She used to be a reasonable State Department correspondent, and has now become a virtual front woman for the Obama administration.  After Obama said to a New Republic interviewer that he went skeet shooting at Camp David, Mitchell rushed on the air to say that only the president's guests actually fired weapons.  But the New Republic, to its credit, corrected Mitchell, noting that the president was asked directly whether he shot, and answered in the affirmative.  The tape backs up the New Republic.  I have no idea what Mitchell had in mind.

THE HYPOCRISY FLOWS – Massachusetts loves to present itself as advanced, "progressive," brilliant, especially on issues like gun control.  But, uh, just a second.  The Boston Globe informs us that the state has, "for more than a decade failed to provide the FBI with mental health reports on people seeking to buy guns, the result of a state law prohibiting such sharing. Massachusetts has submitted just one mental health record to the federal database since 1999, a period in which the FBI has processed 1.6 million background checks of state residents who seek to buy guns from federally licensed dealers."   Massachusetts is carrying privacy rights to an extreme level, but we're sure the Harvard Anthropology Department approves. 

January 28,  2013