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Sunday News Round-Up

February 6, 2011

Tahrir Square, Cairo

Some links to go with your coffee. Or beer, depending on how your day is going.

~Hey, today is the Super Bowl! Who ‘ya rootin’ for? I was born in Philadelphia so I will root for the Steelers.

~Ginny Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has a new job- Lobbyist! No conflicts of interest there!

~Leaders in Egypt’s ruling party stepped down yesterday but here’s the problem- Mubarak is still President.

~Now the U.S. is saying Mubarak needs to stay in power to help “get a national consensus around the pre-conditions for the next step forward…” Not sure what that means.

~What is the point of the Mideast Quartet? They seem to issue a lot of statements but no real directives.

~Nick Kristoff has a great opinion piece today about how the West is far too focused on accentuating the negative aspects of Egyptian democracy and ignoring the protesters calls for moderation and inclusion.

~The GOP denounced the Obama administrations’ lack of transparency during the health reform debate so what does John Boehner do when C-Span offers to provide more coverage of House legislative sessions? He says no.

~Are you sitting down? If not, please do. The U.S. Treasury Dept. issued a long-awaited report to Congress about China’s [alleged] currency manipulation and guess what? They cleared China of any wrongdoing even though everyone in the world knows they manipulate their currency to gain an unfair advantage! Hahahahahahah! No, this isn’t a joke. Change You Can Believe In! The good news is that Congress may ignore the losers [Tim Geithner] in the Treasury Dept. and pass legislation dealing with the problem.

~The Pope’s organs are too holy to donate so he no longer has an organ donor card as he did when he was a mere Cardinal. Inquiring minds want to know.

~There have been significant and troubling demographic changes in New Orleans 10 years after Hurricane Katrina.

~Israel still isn’t happy about the whole Egyptian democracy thing.

~While may Republicans have been appropriately supportive of the administration’s handling of the revolution in Egypt, Laura Rozen reports that behind-the-scenes, some GOP strategists are trying to plan a political assault on Obama, comparing him to Jimmy Carter and basically triangulating by hyping fears of the Muslim Brotherhood and alienating key allies etc. It’s interesting to watch some of the most ardent supporters of democracy promotion during the Bush years suddenly start to walk back on that, for no other reason than that this particular democracy movement is made up of Arabs. Double standard much?

~Bad news- fighting has erupted in Southern Sudan.

~A great video where MJ Rosenberg is interviewed discussing the media double standard regarding their coverage of Egypt and democracy movements in general.

~This is classic- at the Munich Security Conference yesterday, despite rampant government corruption, Afghan President Karzai said he opposes any economic aid structures that bypass his government. Of course he does. Remember the WikiLeaks cable detailing how the US allowed the Afghan VP Ahmed Zia Massoud to enter Dubai with 52 million dollars in cash? It’s funny how the Obama administration never seems to want to talk about how our tax dollars seem to be ending up in the Swiss and Cayman bank accounts of Afghan officials and Karzai family members. But hey, lets cut Social Security- we can’t afford it!

~Regulators may try to force Wall Street executives to defer some bonuses for at least three years. Good luck with that.

~George W. Bush won’t be traveling to Switzerland to speak at an event hosted by the United Israel Appeal due to fears that there would be massive anti-torture protests or even an attempted arrest of Bush due to a complaint that may have been filed by human rights groups as soon as he set foot in the country.

~10 things you won’t hear conservatives talk about with respect to Reagan’s time in office.

~An Iowa “pro-family” group compares homosexuality to get this…second hand smoke!

~Iran begins the espionage trial against the three American hikers who were detained there.

~This is the best David Broder can do regarding commentary on Egypt?

~I’ve read Sarah Palin’s comments on Egypt about 5 times now and it’s the same word salad it was when I read it the first time.

The End.

[cross-posted at Taylor Marsh]

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2011 9:42 am

    Yet another great news roundup! And adorable picture – that child looks like a little doll.

    Very funny about the Pope’s organs. Is it just me, or does the Vatican seem disconnected from reality?:) And did you hear about Chris Matthews saying he’s “ashamed” as an American of Obama’s handling of Egypt, that Mubarak is our “strong” friend and the “George Washington” of the area! Mubarak – George Washington? That is rich.

  2. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    February 6, 2011 10:30 am

    Chris Matthews is an idiot, but not as nig an idiot as Sarah Palin. I had the same reaction to her statement about Egypt as you did, stacy. Parce this: “no body yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and …not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt (…) now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And we do not have all that
    information yet.”
    Uh, what?
    Here’s one translation:

    “President Obama’s flirtation with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is antithetical to American interests in the Middle East, and amounts to appeasement of Islamist extremists,” said Benyamin Korn, founder and director of Jewish
    Americans for Sarah Palin.

    • February 6, 2011 1:14 pm

      She doesn’t even make sense. And while I get that she doesn’t like Obama, it’s like it would kill her to stand behind the President in order to project a consistent message to the world. Would it kill her to renounce violence against the protesters and to stand up for democracy and the freedoms she supposedly touts?

      Also, after reading that one long, rambling loose association am I supposed to believe that she would handle the situation well? As far as I can tell she doesn’t know anything about what’s going on over there. She clearly trying to remember what her neocon advisers have spoon-fed her over the past few days in preparation for the interview. I love the irony though- she tries to make everything about freedom and the Constitution but those Arabs sure don’t deserve freedom or democracy! At least not until Sarah figures it all out.

      I’ll be the first one to say when I don’t agree with Obama, but the idea that this woman thinks she could step up to the plate with that rambling nonsense and deal with a major world crisis tells me she’s delusional. Every time she opens her mouth she sounds more uninformed than the last time.

      • Zion permalink
        February 6, 2011 1:21 pm

        Stupid hypocritical liberals. She’s smarter than you are Staceyx and at least she cares about the Jewish state which you DONT.

  3. Thain permalink
    February 6, 2011 1:33 pm

    Great round-up!

    I’m a little confused as to why anyone trusts Sulieman to oversee any transition to democracy. The guy has been a key player in the regime for almost as long as Mubarak has been. Would it be cynical of me to be concerned that the U.S. is trying to ensure a pro-Western, pro-Israel outcome or is that too tinfoil hat? I honestly don’t know what to think.

    Fareed Zakaria made a good point this morning. He said rather than worrying about some big Islamist take-over we should be worried that what will happen is another military dictatorship under the guise of a transition to democracy. He has a point. It’s all well and good Egyptians like the military but aren’t they supposedly super corrupt and aren’t they part of what kept the dictatorship going for years and years, even before Mubarak came to power? I read that they have Swiss bank accounts too and nepotism and corruption are rampant. Why would they want to lose their gravy train? Can you have a true democracy if the military controls everything?

    I think the Muslim Brotherhood is sort of being used as a boogey man.

    Btw, Chris Mathews is on right now and he’s an idiot. No matter how many terrorism experts he has on his show tell him that the Brotherhood renounced violence and is not in any way connected to Al Qaeda he is insistent on pushing the idea that Egypt will end up like Iran and we should all be very, very afraid of the Islamists. He thinks that democracy is good except if they elect someone other than a pro-Israel, pro-US puppet.

    • February 6, 2011 6:20 pm

      I don’t know what to think of Sulieman heading the transition. I guess so long as it’s ok with a majority of the demonstrators but given the guys history is horrendous. It’s hard to believe he’s just going to change into this tolerant, human-rights respecting, pro-democracy, transparent public figure over night.

  4. Thain permalink
    February 6, 2011 1:33 pm

    Hey, important question I forgot to ask in my last comment- photo bomb today?

  5. February 6, 2011 6:35 pm

    One of the things I am reading over and over again at this point is that the Egyptian people are getting frustrated with the US/European media coverage of what is going on. I have heard it said that they think we are focusing too much on the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood, too much on how this impacts the West and Israel etc. They see a double standard. Some say that it actually feeds into some people’s belief that the U.S. and Israel may step in to try to control events. Mubarak apparently used propaganda and conspiracy theories to keep the masses focused on external causes of some of their problems and the way the media is making this all about the US and Israel could actually backfire big time.

    This is why I’ve been so tough on the MSM over the last couple of days. I also think Israel hasn’t been playing this very smart, perhaps to their own detriment. I think it’s really important politically for Israel to basically try to get on the good side of the Egyptian people and make it clear that Israel supports their desire for change and democracy. I understand why Israel is nervous but when Bibi comes out and says the West should “demand” any future Egyptian govt do this or that, I can’t help but think that could actually spread anti-Israel sentiment and it’s totally unnecessary because the people in the streets are not protesting the US or Israel so I don’t understand why some US commentators are trying to make it about us.

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