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Posted at 8:29 AM ET, 02/ 4/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Monthly jobs report on tap: It's expected to show a modest gain of 146,000 jobs, with unemployment at 9.5 percent, though some analysts are more optimistic.

* Obama administration in talks with Egypt on how to begin that "orderly transition": From White House spokesman Tommy Vietor:

"The President has said that now is the time to begin a peaceful, orderly and meaningful transition, with credible, inclusive negotiations. We have discussed with the Egyptians a variety of different ways to move that process forward, but all of those decisions must be made by the Egyptian people."

A senior administration official adds that reports claiming that there's one particular plan supported by the U.S. that's being discussed with the Egyptians is "simply wrong."

* How Obama views the Egypt crisis: David Ignatius has a very interesting and (gasp!) nuanced look at Obama's big-picture view of the changes underway, arguing that it was shaped by his boyhood experiences in an authoritarian country.

* Democrats start pointing fingers: This should get interesting: Dem Senators are starting to point fingers at the intelligence agencies, questioning whether Obama has been getting good information on Egypt and asking what he was told and when.

* Tea Party warrior-Senator rips GOP leadership for going squishy on spending: Rand Paul tells ABC News that the House GOP budget cut plan shows they "aren't maybe yet brave enough" to tackle the deficit in earnest. How GOP leaders manage this Tea Party disappointment and anger is a key storyline going forward.

* Paging the neocons: Rand Paul says aid to Israel is "welfare": Also in the above link: Paul, potentially exacerbating his rift with the neocons who already regarded him with suspicion, stands by his call for an end to aid to Israel as follows (emphasis mine):

"Should we be giving free money or welfare to a wealthy nation? I don't think so."

* Health care repeal misdirection of the day: Senator John Thune insists in four different ways that "the American people have said they want the law repealed." His evidence? A single Rasmussen poll.

This confirms yet again that for Republicans, there's no putting the "repeal" genie back in the bottle, meaning they'll have to continue to insist the American people overwhelmingly desire full repeal even though polling clearly shows it's a sentiment mostly driven by their base.

* Democrats are the ones talking up a government showdown: As Republicans have been at pains to point out, Dems have been "warning" of a government shutdown over spending and the debt ceiling far more than GOPers have.

Alex Bolton says this shows Dems are convinced they have the edge on an issue that bedeviled the Gingrich-led House GOP.

* Obama the most "polarizing" president in memory? Gallup finds that the gap in Obama approval between the two parties is the largest in recent history.

This will prompt a lot of talk about how "polarizing" Obama is. But it's worth noting that this is driven largely by the fact that the average 13 percent of Republicans who approve of Obama is lower than either party's view of the opposition's president in more than 30 years.

* Please define the "center." Thanks in advance. Paul Waldman, getting at one of my obsessions, notes that those who keep saying Obama is moving to the "center" have no idea what they actually mean by this.

* Today in comical head-spinning right-wing idiocy: Rush Limbaugh can't seem to decide whether he's happy or upset that journalists are being targeted in Egypt, though when he heard that some of them work for Fox it tipped him into the upset camp.

Digby's summary: "They don't know who to hate."

* And could Antonin Scalia save the individual mandate? Some legal observers think his opinion in Gonzales v. Raich, which offered a very broad interpretation of Congress's power to regulate commerce, will leave him with no other option, though others say he'll figure out some way to reconcile opposition to the mandate with his previous views.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | February 4, 2011; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House Dems, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, budget, debt ceiling  
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Next: Sorry: Scalia is not going to save the Affordable Care Act

Comments

Today Krauthammer, rather predictably, roots for authoritarian military control in Egypt because of...well, Muslims, Brotherhood of. And he really doesn't like ElBaradei either (but what neoconservative does after his crime of not finding those WOMD). What evidence/argument does Krauthammer wield to support his view the Egyptian citizens ought to bow to the replacement of the Mubarak dictatorship with a military dictatorship?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/03/AR2011020305173.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Now, compare with this piece from Israel's Ha'aretz...

http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/egypt-won-t-be-quick-to-give-muslim-brotherhood-a-chance-1.341210

Perhaps Fred Hiatt might invite Zvi Bar'el to contribute on the editorial page.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 4, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"Today in comical head-spinning right-wing idiocy: Rush Limbaugh can't seem to decide whether he's happy or upset that journalists are being targeted in Egypt"

You understand the first quote was satire, right? And the second was different?

There may be some head-spinning idiocy involved here . . . but those who live in spinning houses should not throw heads. All I'm sayin'.

"that those who keep saying Obama is moving to the "center" have no idea what they actually mean by this."

Of course they do! He's moving further to the right (or further away from the left) than he was previously, either in big leaps or by dribs and drabs.

And "the center" is a place close enough to my own opinions that I don't feel the person is flirting with extremism. We always know where the center is. What further definition is required?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"The Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, administration officials and Arab diplomats said Thursday."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/04/world/middleeast/04diplomacy.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=Suleiman&st=cse

"But Mr. Suleiman, a former general, is also the establishment’s candidate, not the public’s. His appointment, and his elevation, if it were to occur, would represent not the democratic change called for on the street, but most likely a continuation of the kind of military-backed, authoritarian leadership that Mr. Mubarak has led for nearly 30 years, experts said."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/world/middleeast/30suleiman.html?scp=1&sq=Suleiman&st=cse"

"A senior administration official adds that reports claiming that there's one particular plan supported by the U.S. that's being discussed with the Egyptians is "simply wrong.""

I truly hope the New York Times is "wrong" that the U.S is about to replace the dictator Mubarak with his Torture and Rendition Chief but I'll believe what I see. And if that happens, well ...

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"that those who keep saying Obama is moving to the "center" have no idea what they actually mean by this."

"Of course they do! He's moving further to the right (or further away from the left) than he was previously, either in big leaps or by dribs and drabs."

Than you, Kevin. I really don't know why Greg persists in pretending that Obama hasn't moved to the Right. It is odd.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The "center" of the road is where you get run over.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

-- * Monthly jobs report on tap: It's expected to show a modest gain of 146,000 jobs, with unemployment at 9.5 percent, though some analysts are more optimistic.--

Actual numbers: 36,000 NFP jobs and a 9% unemployment rate.

Of course even the measly 36,000 jobs are part time and lower paying than the original. And the lower 9% rate is due only to people giving up even looking.

But not to worry, all is good and the recovery is on track; as long as you're a billionaire bankster or an employee of the Washington Post that is.

Welcome to the new normal folks. Welcome to the new American dream, which is keep your pie-hole shut and be glad you even have a job at all.

And the best news of all is the 36,000 only cost us a few hundred billion in added debt, compliments of Helicopter Ben and his buddies Timmeh and Obama...

Posted by: unymark | February 4, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

9.0% Unemployment rate announced!

Obama wins!

And I was thinking this morning. If the individual mandate is ruled unconstitutional does that mean the mandate of paying for public insurance, Medicare, suddenly become unconstitutional too?

Can you check with your legal scholars Greg?

I could be missing something on the Medicare thing as I haven't had my coffee yet though and if I'm making a blaring error just ignore me.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

kindness1, do you feel that the 13th Amendment should be optional?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin - re Limbaugh
"Lets round up some of them Irish and Jews and, oh I don't know, put them on a cattle car or something, I mean its free transport and they'll get to see the countryside (smirk, chortle)"

"The Midwest Gazette is reporting that a couple of Jewish families who belong to the Midwest Conservatives for Israel were car-jacked, beaten and thrown on a rail car earlier this morning before my broadcast. Now this isn't OK and everyone knows it isn't OK and of course I was obviously just using satire earlier..."

Really funny guy. Really has his satire refined and to the point where it works in a highly sophisticated manner to make the world a better place.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 4, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"U.S. officials say the Obama administration is in talks with Egyptian officials on a proposal for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately, and turn power over to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military."

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/US-in-Talks-With-Egypt-for-Mubarak-to-Resign-Immediately-115271139.html

Another "wrong" story, no doubt.

Suleiman. The dictator's intelligence head, one of the most ruthless men in the ME. For years he's led Egypt's oppression of dissidents. Then he was point man for the U.S. Torture & Rendition program. God help the Egyptian People because the United States certainly won't. We are so stupid.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

"Paging the neocons: Rand Paul says aid to Israel is "welfare":"

I expect there's a bit of consternation over at NRO. They've been running a poll for the last couple of days on how their audience thinks about Rand Paul's recent speech...

worrisome - 5%
unrealistic - 8%
churchillian - 18 % (my vote is in there)
refreshing - 69%

Posted by: bernielatham | February 4, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham, it's the same level of satire used by Bill Mahr, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, etc.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

For those who might be interested (and why wouldn't you be?), Bill Keller, Alan Rusbridger, Jack Goldsmith and Emilly Bell in a panel discussion on Wikileaks...

http://www.livestream.com/columbiajournalism

Posted by: bernielatham | February 4, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Gonzales v. Raich -- that's easy for Scalia. Raich was about drugs so it's clearly within the federal government's power to to regulate that. it's the DFH exception.

@Mike -- Medicare is a flat out tax. much simpler and "cleaner" way going about it.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 4, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

mike,

The payroll deduction to pay for Medicare is, specifically, a tax. Congress has the constitutional power to tax.

From reading elsewhere, it sounds like the court challenges underway over the individual mandate would not be happening if the legislation was written differently to call the penalty for not buying insurance "tax."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 4, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

In addition to the Bill Mahr examples regarding GWB that I've provided on previous threads:

http://gunnyg.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/hypocrite-bill-maher-and-rep-barney-frank-joke-about-assassination-attempt-on-cheney/

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"bernielatham, it's the same level of satire used by Bill Mahr, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, etc."

Is it? Who uses satire of some different "level"?

Give us some instances of where a person you've just named satirically celebrated and joked about journalists (or anyone doing an important civic task) being kidnapped, arrested and beaten and then turning around and insisting he'd only been using satire after a partisan ally received the treatment he just chortled about.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 4, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"bernielatham, it's the same level of satire used by Bill Mahr, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, etc"

Really? I have yet to see any of those guys make "jokes" about things related to or in relation to the Holocaust. Probably because they're all comedians and there's nothing funny about the Holocaust.

If it was the same level of satire perhaps Oxy would be funny too. But he isn't; he always comes off as just what he is: a hateful gasbag.

Which reminds me of a joke: what's the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenberg? One's a flaming Nazi gasbag, and the other was a dirigible.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "Give us some instances of where a person you've just named satirically celebrated and joked about journalists (or anyone doing an important civic task) being kidnapped, arrested and beaten and then turning around and insisting he'd only been using satire after a partisan ally received the treatment he just chortled about."

They're out there, Bernie. You should apply yourself and, if serious about wanting an answer to that question, spend a little time doing your own research.

:)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

JennOfArk and bernielatham, maybe it's because they are Jewish (or in Colbert's case employed by a Jew). I've provided plenty of their other "jokes" on these threads. Go do your own homework.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"The Muslim Brotherhood has said it would not field a presidential candidate or seek ministers in a new cabinet, ABC reports. Christine Amanpour, who interviewed Mubarak yesterday, is interpreting the move as calculated to soothe western fears of an Islamist government succeeding Mubarak."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/feb/04/egypt-protests-day-departure-live

h/t sullivan

Posted by: bernielatham | February 4, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

Do we know what the Egyptian people think of Suleiman? I don't know but I'm curious if they would see it as a temporary solution to restore order in preparation for true democratic elections. I agree he's not someone I would support but they've oppressed dissenting voices for so long, who else is there with a voice representing the majority of Egyptians?

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"Paging the neocons: Rand Paul says aid to Israel is 'welfare'"

Rand Paul is a libertarian? How shocking!

Who do these positions surprise? Anybody?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Ah, so now if a judge turns around and calls the penalty a tax then conservatives can turn around and say Obama broke a campaign promise by taxing people making under 250k.

It's a shame Obama got convinced the mandate was the way to go.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"Conservative" Democrat Joe Manchin (WV) voted with Harry Reid to preserve Pelosi-Care, proving his Republican challenger right in the 2010 Senate race who asserted (correctly) that Manchin's late-in-the-race conversion to being against Pelosi-Care was a lie and that his earlier support of Pelosi-Care represented who Manchin really is.

A Rasmussen poll of West Virginia likely voters in August, 2010 showed 69% of the state opposed to Obamacare, with 80% of those "strongly opposed" and almost twice as many supporting the state suing to block the law's health insurance mandate as opposing such a lawsuit.

&%^$! the people, says Manchin!

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I know of an example - Jon Stewart has showed that hilarious video of Rick Sanchez getting tasered over and over again!

Of course, Sanchez volunteered to be tasered, so it's not like he was set upon by a band of thugs acting at the direction of a dictator. Maybe that's what makes it funny when journalists get beaten up in Egypt - because it's been done at the behest of an authoritarian. I'm sure Oxy would have had the same reaction if Cheney had sent some brownshirts out to beat up journalists in the White House press room. I mean, you KNOW he would have applauded that.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I don't recall either of you being this outraged over Rep. Cohen's reprehensible remarks about Republicans and the Holocaust ON THE HOUSE FLOOR. Why is that?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Than you, Kevin. I really don't know why Greg persists in pretending that Obama hasn't moved to the Right. It is odd."

He's not alone. Almost every conservative pundit still remains convinced that Obama is totally the most leftwing president •evah!•

Which I do not get.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

claw - ummm, perhaps because Cohen never mentioned or referenced the Holocaust?

Wild guess there, but comparing Republicans' big lie strategy to a Nazi propaganda minister isn't a joke about people being loaded on to cattle cars and sent to their deaths.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow. check out on MSNBC those shots of Arlington, TX.

Ice and snow. wow. Global warming is over! Limbaugh was right!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

[mike crowed: "9.0% Unemployment rate announced! Obama wins!"]

Pelosi loses--> GOP wins--> Unemployment falls.

How is that a win for Barry?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"Do we know what the Egyptian people think of Suleiman?"

Ims, it seems they are divided. Al Jazeera has covered this is great detail over the last several days. There is not a great popular rush to him. A lot of it has to do with him not living in Egypt for the last 15 years. Some think he is playing an opportunity.

Another person who seems to be emerging is Amr Moussa, the current head of the Arab League. He is a former government minister, still lives in Egypt, and joined the demonstrators today. They say is generally respected by the population.

More about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amr_Moussa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 4, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Kevin - there's nothing to "get".

EVERY Democratic president (or presidential candidate) for the past 20 years has been the MOST LEFTWING EVAR!!!! to hear conservative pundits tell it.

Remember how John Kerry was the most liberal Senator when he ran for president...and Obama was the most liberal senator when he ran for president? Keep in mind that Ted Kennedy was still in the Senate when each of them ran for president.

It's just another rightwing pundit lie.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi loses--> GOP wins--> Unemployment falls-->Reid Maintains control-->Obama more popular than ever.

Unemployment falls!

Man are you slow. Keep up!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "Really funny guy."

Indeed, sometimes he is.

"Really has his satire refined and to the point where it works in a highly sophisticated manner to make the world a better place."

Why, Bernie. I think you're being sarcastic. Satiric, even. Saying something you don't mean in an ironic way.

Or should I assume that you're actually saying that you think Rush Limbaugh makes the world a better place, and assume any effort to deny that statement (that you clearly made) is hypocritical or disingenuous or nefarious is some way?

Not all satire is of particularly high quality, BTW. But a smart, rational person should be able to tell, given the context, when someone the do not like and strongly disagree with is being serious or tastelessly flippant. In my opinion.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"Wow. check out on MSNBC those shots of Arlington, TX.

Ice and snow. wow. Global warming is over! Limbaugh was right!

Posted by: mikefromArlington"

Heh, I'm at home because Jindal closed down our free clinic yesterday. I know it's raining outside, but I dare not go and check how cold it actually is.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 4, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Bernie (brought forward):

""These are not insignificant problems.""

I agree. But, as ever, our argument is not over whether this thing does exist or can be proven to exist, although I know you would like to make it that. It is over whether our claims assume that it exists. They do.

You assert that moral claims are nothing more than an expression of a personal "preference". That is simply not true. I have a guy who sits near me at work who has some very odd and irritating behavioral tics. I would very much prefer that he not behave in the way he does, but I would never describe the behavior as immoral. Condemning something as immoral indicates something quite different than a mere "preference" or even a very strong and passionate "preference". It indicates a violation of some code of behavior that is assumed to apply to all people, even those who think the code says otherwise. This is precisely the force that moral claims hold.

You routinely condemn people like Bill Kristol, Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, etc. as either immoral or amoral. In doing so, I am quite sure you mean something totally different than if you condemned broccoli as they worst tasting food in the world. The latter is understood, and is meant to be understood, as nothing more than a personal preference which will have no relevance to the personal tastes of anyone else. But the former is most definitely understood, and more importantly is meant to be understood, as a judgment that not only has relevance to others, but indicates that others "should" come to the same judgement. This is precisely why some people (like 12Bar, as she explained last night) try to avoid passing moral judgments on others. Because such judgements are understood to indicate much, much more than a mere personal "taste" or "preference".

Again, the issue between us is not whether or not an objective, universal morality does exist. It is whether our use of moral notions and language is founded on the presumption that it does exist.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 4, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Snow just started here. We're predicted to only get a couple of inches this time, then more on Monday and again next Wednesday. Which obviously disproves global warming.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"[mike crowed: "9.0% Unemployment rate announced! Obama wins!"]

Pelosi loses--> GOP wins--> Unemployment falls.

How is that a win for Barry?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse"

The new GOP majority in the House has done nothing regarding jobs and you know it, spanky.

HUGE win for Obama. His reelection will be sweet.

Posted by: Observer691 | February 4, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"[mike crowed: "9.0% Unemployment rate announced! Obama wins!"]

Pelosi loses--> GOP wins--> Unemployment falls.

How is that a win for Barry?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse"

The new GOP majority in the House has done nothing regarding jobs and you know it, spanky.

HUGE win for Obama. His reelection will be sweet.

Posted by: Observer691 | February 4, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@clawrence: Steve Cohen says he never called anybody Nazis, or anything, and since he's of the correct political affiliation, he's allowed to walk his statements back unchallenged. ;)

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47903.html

Steve Cohen is my congressperson now. I voted against him, but, alas, as it is 99.999999% of the time, my vote was not crucial, and Cohen won with a huge majority. But Cohen can deliver the pork, so it's unlikely he's going to lose that seat anytime soon.

I voted for Charlotte Bergman.

http://www.charlottebergmann.com/biography.htm

Cohen completely [non-violent-metaphor-suggesting-tremendous-defeat-and-devestation-here] her in the general. Sigh.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk: "It's just another rightwing pundit lie."

[smacks head] Oh! That's the explanation. I should have known by the way they were twirling their waxed mustaches while chortling in a most malevolent manner. And those big black hats they were.

/snark

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Kevin - well, what would you call it, then?

According to rightwing punditry, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Barack Obama were ALL the "most LIBERAL" politicians ever seen on the American political scene.

They can't ALL be the MOST liberal, can they?

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@me: "And those big black hats they were."

They wear. Typo, you are my nemesis. One day, Typo. One day.

@Kadaffi: "Pelosi loses--> GOP wins--> Unemployment falls. How is that a win for Barry?"

Falling unemployment (admittedly, less than 9% and less than 1 cycle, but stipulating the trend continues to improve . . .) always benefits the incumbent administration. A robust economy benefits the incumbent administration. Rightly or wrongly . . .

And current unemployment numbers would have nothing do with the recently elected GOP, as none of their policies are in place, just yet.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"[smacks head] Oh! That's the explanation. I should have known by the way they were twirling their waxed mustaches while chortling in a most malevolent manner. And those big black hats they were."

I am waiting for the day a Conservative doesn't tell a joke that takes this form. I figured when Republicans started making those Darth Cheney dolls, that all Republicans would start making jokes about how evil they are. But I was holding out hope that it wouldn't happen. But of course, as soon as those dolls came out, Conservative all Independently Came Up With that joke.

I'm not a glass half-full guy, but I'll make an exception and be glad that KW is invoking a Reagan era movie villain instead of using Darth Vader jokes.

High five, dude!!

Posted by: DDAWD | February 4, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3 (brought forward)

You are mistaken about 12BarBlues trying to avoid judgment. She does it all of the time, but is simply more subtle about it. On the prior abortion thread, she told me:

"I've walked the walk which is more than you have"

Not only full of righteous judgment on her part, but also with a healthy dose of condemnation for good measure.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@DDAWD: "I am waiting for the day a Conservative doesn't tell a joke that takes this form."

I'm waiting for the day when differences of opinion and policy aren't always explained by conservatives being evil and stupid.

I suspect we'll both be waiting a long time.

"I'm not a glass half-full guy, but I'll make an exception and be glad that KW is invoking a Reagan era movie villain instead of using Darth Vader jokes."

Well, come on. I like you guys and all, but you can't expect me to break out the good china every time you come over.

"High five, dude!!"

Fist-bumps, please. This isn't 1977.

:P

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Here is part of a statement from the youth protesting the regime in Egypt. I would like to congratulate them on both their articulateness and non-violent means of protest. Whatever happens, they deserve our respect. They are trying to set the record straight I think in advance of today's protest where I believe they will be on the move.

""First, we are a group of young people from Egypt – Muslims and Christians; the overwhelming majority of us do not belong to political parties nor have we been involved in political activities before. Our movement includes old people and children, peasants, laborers and professionals, students and workers and pensioners. Our movement cannot be characterized as driven or moved by a minority given the millions who responded to the call for bringing down the regime. They joined this call last Tuesday in Cairo and in the governorates, in an event in which not one single incident of violence was witnessed nor any attack on property or harassment of anyone by anyone.

Second, our movement is accused of being funded from outside, with support provided by the United States. It is also said that the movement has been instigated by Hamas, and that it is under the leadership and organization of the president of the National Society for Change, Mohammed Elbaradei. Finally, and not finally, it is said that the movement is directed by the Muslim Brotherhood. The listing of these multiple accusations in this way in and of itself shows how false they are. The protestors are all Egyptians. Their goals are patriotic, clear and specific. The protestors have neither foreign weapons nor equipment as the instigators claim. The broad response of the people to the movement reveals that the movement’s goals are the same goals of the Egyptian masses in general, and not the goals of particular faction or foreign entity.

Third, the regime and its media cast false blame upon us for the tensions and instability that you have seen in the streets of Egypt in the previous days and, thus, blame the young people who are demonstrating for the damages inflected upon our interests, the interests of our nation, and the security of us all. It is not the peaceful protestors who let the criminals out of prison to create a situation of thievery and looting in the streets of Egypt. It is not the protestors who imposed a curfew that starts at 3:00PM, stopping work at banks, bakeries and fuel stations. When the protestors organized their demonstrations of millions they came out in the best form, it was well organized, and the demonstrations ended peacefully. The protestors are not the ones who killed 300 people, some of them with live bullets.""

http://firedoglake.com/2011/02/04/egypts-day-of-departure-a-statement-from-the-youth-protesting-in-midan-al-tahrir/

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"* Monthly jobs report on tap: It's expected to show a modest gain of 146,000 jobs, with unemployment at 9.5 percent, though some analysts are more optimistic."

Instead:

"Employers added only 36,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday, far fewer than the 145,000 economists had forecast and the weakest month of job creation since September. The surprisingly weak result appears to be due to snow and other winter weather last month that kept people from looking for work. "

However due to people dropping out of the labor market, the rate does fall to 9%.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/04/AR2011020401290.html?hpid=topnews

"* And could Antonin Scalia save the individual mandate? Some legal observers think his opinion in Gonzales v. Raich, which offered a very broad interpretation of Congress's power to regulate commerce, will leave him with no other option, though others say he'll figure out some way to reconcile opposition to the mandate with his previous views."

The other alternative is that he doesn't care and won't even bother to try and square this. I think that Gonzales v. Raich will be the outlier.

http://www.slate.com/id/2283415

Posted by: jnc4p | February 4, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Just watched the Adm. Mullen interview from the Daily Show last night.

I never realized how close our military and theirs is. We trained them in our colleges and housed them and their families when they were here in the U.S. Knowing that gives me hope that whomever wins a Democratic election, that stability will prevail over there.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

JennOfArk, you are mistaken about Cohen:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/01/abc-news-jonathan-karl-reports-the-newfound-civility-didnt-last-long-political-rhetoric-in-congress-doesnt-get-much.html

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"I'm waiting for the day when differences of opinion and policy aren't always explained by conservatives being evil and stupid."

Sorry, but invoking death panels is evil and claiming that the Bush tax cuts have "0.00%" effect on the deficit is stupid.

Feel free to differ if you want, but you'll be wrong.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 4, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"The other alternative is that he doesn't care and won't even bother to try and square this. I think that Gonzales v. Raich will be the outlier."

If you read the HuffPost article that case is made that his out will be that Raich address activity, while PPACA address inactivity.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 4, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

[Observer691: "The new GOP majority in the House has done nothing regarding jobs and you know it."]

"nothing"? Defeating Pelosi and her merry spenders in a landslide-- and the GOP landslide compelled Obama to extend the Bush tax cuts-- both were good news for employers and investors.

HUGE win for the GOP. The Obamateur's defeat will be equally sweet.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Kaddafi is also a big fan of the gnome underpants theory.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

from claw's link:

“They say it's a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels," Cohen said. "You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That's the same kind of thing." And Congressman Cohen didn’t stop there.

“The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it--believed it and you have the Holocaust. We heard on this floor, government takeover of health care. Politifact said the biggest lie of 2010 was a government takeover of health care because there is no government takeover," Cohen said.

I concede that I was wrong that Cohen made no reference to the Holocaust. He was pointing to the damaging societal effects of big lies. And he was correct in his assessment of the Republican claim about "government takeover of health care" being a big lie, and also correct in pointing out that Republicans have repeated it over and over and over again.

He did not link Republicans and the Holocaust however. He was making a point that Republicans had employed a big lie strategy and that big lie strategies can have really bad results. Nor did he make a joke about the Holocaust.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"who else is there with a voice representing the majority of Egyptians"

There has to be someone better than Suelman. I've been listening to Al-Jazeera English: as far as they are concerned, Suelman IS Mubarak. ElBaradei is the obvious choice for transition leader; he even said he wouldn't stand for election. The MB supports him and so do other protestors. Unfortunately, the United States doesn't like ElBaradei because he is too "independent." We want the Torturer instead. Makes me want to puke.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Using Kaddafi's superior logic, the job gains in Reagan's second half of his first term and going forward were due to Democrats gaining a large majority in the House, or something.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Jenn, I agree that there is a similarity between Hitler's big lie and the Republicans, but there are a lot of similarities. Hitler wasn't the first person to employ this strategy and invoking him is over the top.

Just use Bush and WMD instead. I think that would be a lot more poignant than using Hitler and Jews. You simply cannot invoke Hitler without the shock value and that undermines the point he was trying to make.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 4, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Two years ago, when The Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) porkulous package was unveiled, the Obamateur's economists predicted the unemployment rate would be 7 percent today.

It took a landslide GOP victory to repudiate Obamanomics. Now, with the Bush tax cuts extended, Obama pretends to be a born-again Reaganomics disciple.

Do progressives like mike have any hair left to pull out?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Kaddafi's logic:

GOP wins House

??????????

Unemployment Rate Drops!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

[mike drooled: "the job gains in Reagan's second half of his first term and going forward were due to Democrats gaining a large majority in the House"]

If Reagan had surrendered his JFK-inspired economic policy to Tip O'Neil, then mikey might have a point. In fact, the opposite occurred-- and the economy boomed.

In addition to extending the Bush tax cuts, The Obamateur just had Pelosi-Care (with its onerous taxes and regulations) declared unconstitutional. He's on the ropes, you dopes.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"As I described in my book “The Dark Side,” since 1993 Suleiman has headed the feared Egyptian general intelligence service. In that capacity, he was the C.I.A.’s point man in Egypt for renditions—the covert program in which the C.I.A. snatched terror suspects from around the world and returned them to Egypt and elsewhere for interrogation, often under brutal circumstances.

As laid out in greater detail by Stephen Grey, in his book “Ghost Plane,” beginning in the nineteen-nineties, Suleiman negotiated directly with top Agency officials. Every rendition was greenlighted at the highest levels of both the U.S. and Egyptian intelligence agencies. Edward S. Walker, Jr., a former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, described Suleiman as “very bright, very realistic,” adding that he was cognizant that there was a downside to “some of the negative things that the Egyptians engaged in, of torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way.”

Technically, U.S. law required the C.I.A. to seek “assurances” from Egypt that rendered suspects wouldn’t face torture. But under Suleiman’s reign at the intelligence service, such assurances were considered close to worthless. As Michael Scheuer, a former C.I.A. officer who helped set up the practice of rendition, later testified before Congress, even if such “assurances” were written in indelible ink, “they weren’t worth a bucket of warm spit.”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/01/who-is-omar-suleiman.html#ixzz1D0MiuENV

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Last month was one of the lowest job gain months in a long while. This is the same month all tax cuts were extended and further payroll tax cuts were implemented.

By Kaddafi's logic, job gains should have been better than last month, but instead they pulled back.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD - the only problem there is that they won't concede the Bush administration lied about WMD, either. But I agree - bringing up the Holocaust is almost always over-the-top. But here's the thing: Cohen is correct, at least with regards to the history and to the danger of big lies. If it's wrong to even use the word "Holocaust" accurately to score a political point, then how much worse is it to make a joke about rounding up your opponents and putting them on cattle cars ala the Holocaust? Only someone who can't make the distinction would be wondering why someone complained about Oxy's "joke" without also exhibiting equal butthurt over Cohen's remarks.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"In the midst of Egypt's protests, Omar Suleiman went on television Monday to say that President Mubarak had ordered him to launch reforms and begin talking to opposition parties. But for the U.S., the CIA, Israel, and Egypt's Islamist opposition, 74-year-old Suleiman, who has been the head of Egyptian intelligence since 1993, represents a continuation of the policies of the old regime.

"Mubarak and Suleiman are the same person," said Emile Nakhleh, a former top Middle East analyst for the CIA. "They are not two different people in terms of ideology and reform."

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/egypt-crisis-omar-suleiman-cia-rendition/story?id=12812445

We want to replace a despot with the despot's torturer-in-chief. And then we wonder why we are hated. If this happens, Obama will have zero credibility in the ME and the Muslim World. Doesn't anyone in the WH have a f-ing brain? I know none of them have any guts.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

President Reagan lifted remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls on January 28, 1981 and lowered the oil windfall profits tax in August 1981, ending the 1970s energy crisis.

The GOP needs to call The Obamateur on his SOTU pledge to use "all of the above" on energy-- and throw his progressive Globaloney base under the bus.

His administration's ban on oil drilling has been held in contempt by a Federal judge. It's time to put our domestic driller back to work again.

Now that would be sweet.

*drill*baby*drill*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@Lmsinca: "Here is part of a statement from the youth protesting the regime in Egypt."

Tangential, but I saw that and wondered if it was translated int English or it came across the transom written in English for Western consumption. Which is not to dismiss the noble import of the statement, just makes me think more about how we, in the west, cover the news.

I was listening to the most recent Ricochet podcast (and name me another conservative podcast that would devote so much time to an interview with Harry Shearer, hmm?) and they touch on how frequently the news media focuses on whoever can speak English when foreign news is breaking, and how that creates a very distorted narrative. Essentially, whoever speaks English has a tremendous effect on how the English-speaking news media tackles and covers the story. Harry Shearer also talks about how much of the news coverage of Katrina was dictated by what part of New Orleans was easily accessible off I-10.

If you can stand listening to conservatives being conservatives for a while, I thought it was a great interview with Harry Shearer.

http://podcast.ricochet.com/ricochet-podcast-episode-55.mp3

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"In the midst of Egypt's protests, Omar Suleiman went on television Monday to say that President Mubarak had ordered him to launch reforms and begin talking to opposition parties. But for the U.S., the CIA, Israel, and Egypt's Islamist opposition, 74-year-old Suleiman, who has been the head of Egyptian intelligence since 1993, represents a continuation of the policies of the old regime.

"Mubarak and Suleiman are the same person," said Emile Nakhleh, a former top Middle East analyst for the CIA. "They are not two different people in terms of ideology and reform."

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/egypt-crisis-omar-suleiman-cia-rendition/story?id=12812445

We want to replace a despot with the despot's torturer-in-chief. And then we wonder why we are hated. If this happens, Obama will have zero credibility in the ME and the Muslim World. Doesn't anyone in the WH have a f-ing brain? I know none of them have any guts.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Kevin

I checked the link and they posted both the original and translated version side by side.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

All, Adam Serwer argues convincingly that there's no chance Antonin Scalia will rule the individual mandate constitutional:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/scalia_is_not_going_to_save_th.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 4, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Kevin: "Tangential, but I saw that and wondered if it was translated int English or it came across the transom written in English for Western consumption. Which is not to dismiss the noble import of the statement, just makes me think more about how we, in the west, cover the news."

Bingo!

The western coverage of Mubarak's speech the other night was a perfect example. The translation of what he was saying could easily give a western observer the impression that he was attempting to some conciliatory moves...till you hear from Arabic speakers that his posture and tone was defiant.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 4, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"lowered the oil windfall profits tax in August 1981"

You mean the tax implemented in April of 1980? That wasn't eliminated until like 1988.

Here, this document will help you to keep your story straight.

http://www.taxhistory.org/thp/readings.nsf/ArtWeb/B9E4D38FED6CBF7F8525745900099A55?OpenDocument

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@DAWDD: "Feel free to differ if you want, but you'll be wrong."

Well, wrong in the sense that your strawmen versions of conservatives say awfully stupid things. They're definitely wrong! Although if "death panels" is evil, that so is "Bush wants to privatize social security". But, of course, that's •different•. It's always •different•.

Depending on who does it, and how much I agree with them, it's •different•.

In then end, right wingers will just have to console themselves with massive midterms victories that also saw them take control of a record number of state legislatures and governorships.

But, sure. The "you're stupid and/or evil" argument will be a winner in the long run. I •feel• it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@kevin

"You understand the first quote was satire, right?"

Not really until you just mentioned it. However I take your point...Rush is simply guilty of puerile, jaded, hateful, satire.

"But a smart, rational person should be able to tell, given the context, when someone the do not like and strongly disagree with is being serious or tastelessly flippant. In my opinion."

OMG Kevin you've busted me!!! Now you're going to have clawrence jump on the bandwagon and say..see I told you ruk was not a "smart rational person". :-)
While I take your point about satire I do not wish to be too obstreperous here, but might I at least satirically suggest that virtually none of the oxypig's listeners are exactly "smart rational people"
Snark aside...most people go to these hate fests, guised under the cloak of "satire" to simply have their own hate confirmed.
Oxypig does reach a lot of loons..literally..and they are far from able to understand even the concept of "satire" much less realize that Oxypig is just "joking".

@Mike in A...sorry dude..if Kevin's busting me as not smart and rational I'm going to have to bust you for the most egregious oxymoron of the day...
"By Kaddafi's logic"

@clawrence...an honest snark free question. I think I know the answer from some of your previous post but I do not wish to place words in YOUR posts.

Did you find Paul Krugman's article after the Tuscon tragedy to be a heinous slander, and morally reprehensible? If those words are too strong...or not strong enough feel free to change them to words that reflect how you really felt about Krugman's article.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 4, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

[mikey fussed: "You mean the tax implemented in April of 1980? That wasn't eliminated until like 1988."]

I wrote LOWERED. Don't be an historical revisionist your whole life, mikey.

[mikey whined: "Last month was one of the lowest job gain months in a long while"]

Yep, it's still a mixed bag with Pelosi-Care unresolved, Egypt collapsing and oil prices spking. So is it still a big "win" for The Obamateur? Make up your mind.

*lame*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

I believe the culmination of the leadership crisis in Egypt will eventually be settled by the people of Egypt. I don't believe they will fold or succumb to our "suggestions" unless they are convinced it is in their interest as well. I agree this Suleiman guy seems like a continuation of Mubarak to us, but I still don't know what the people will do. It's more interesting to me following their story, not ours.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"But, sure. The "you're stupid and/or evil" argument will be a winner in the long run. I •feel• it."

No, the disastrous consequences of their policies is what will "win" in the end, if everyone being worse off can be described as a win. People who don't know stupid when they hear it or when it's pointed out can still recognize when it produces bad results. Like they did in 2008.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Over 30 thousand violent members of the Muslim Brotherhood held in Egyptian prisons will be executed before Mubarak and his staff depart for Tel Aviv. He will be setting up a government in exile hoping to return in less than 90 days.

Posted by: morristhewise | February 4, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@kevin, lmsinca, and sue....

Re language and how events are covered...those are all excellent points.

That is one of the main reasons I love watching Richard Engel's coverage...

". He speaks and reads Arabic fluently and is also fluent in Italian and Spanish"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Engel

I think Engel is easily the top U.S. foreign correspondent currently working.

Having said that I also have a generous amount of respect for Christiane Amanpour, especially concerning M.E. issues...and since she is Iranian by birth and speaks Farsi...I would probably watch her over Engel when it comes to Iranian issues...but in Egypt..Amanpour has some great sources but I still prefer Engel. It's actually quite exciting to hear chanting in the streets or see signs and have Engel be able to immediately translate them for you.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 4, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@ruk: "Not really until you just mentioned it. However I take your point...Rush is simply guilty of puerile, jaded, hateful, satire."

That's entirely fair. I don't care if you don't like bananas, just don't tell me it's a kumquat. ;)

"might I at least satirically suggest that virtually none of the oxypig's listeners are exactly 'smart rational people'"

Ruk: you're getting your Limbaugh on. I think Rush says the same thing about the folks who vote Democrat. ;)

Now, if you could only make $40 million a year, you would be as popular as Rush is with hot blondes who are half his age.

Lots of the folks who listen to Rush are smart and rational in the abstract sense, and might only appear irrational (even to you) when they started talking politics. Just sayin'.

"Oxypig does reach a lot of loons..literally..and they are far from able to understand even the concept of "satire" much less realize that Oxypig is just 'joking'."

Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think most of them do. Not all of them, no, but most of them--yeah.

"@Mike in A...sorry dude..if Kevin's busting me as not smart and rational I'm going to have to bust you for the most egregious oxymoron of the day...
'By Kaddafi's logic'"

Mike is correct, though: logic does not imply correctness or truth, just a consistent structure. Thus, by the logic of 2+2 = 5, you'd just as easily say 5+5 = 12. Neither of those statements are correct but they are logically consistent. See?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | February 4, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"I wrote LOWERED."

So lowering a tax implemented in April of 1980 eliminated the 70's energy crisis that took place before the tax was put into place.

Got it now. Thanks!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"I believe the culmination of the leadership crisis in Egypt will eventually be settled by the people of Egypt. I don't believe they will fold or succumb to our "suggestions" unless they are convinced it is in their interest as well. I agree this Suleiman guy seems like a continuation of Mubarak to us, but I still don't know what the people will do. It's more interesting to me following their story, not ours."

I don't think the stories are separable.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

I agree they're not separable, but I don't think the WH has as much influence over the outcome as we might believe. I just heard that an informal coalition is forming in Egypt to steer the country toward a transitional government. I'm pretty sure the WH will have only a small voice if any in how that shakes out. I think our ties to the military are quite strong in terms of keeping peace but other than that the people will decide what is acceptable. We may or may not like the final result, which is also interesting and not discernible yet.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Gotta run for a little exercise...it's my only antidote to some of the posts I read here. :-)

@lmsinca Thanks for that excellent link.
It was very inspirational. The young Egyptians make a wonderfully valid point...one side says the protestors are controlled by the U.S...another side says they are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, while yet another claims they are controlled by Hamas. It would be comical if it wasn't so sad.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 4, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

If anyone is interested there was a very moving and informational diary from a young Egyptian graduate student, also a teacher, who made her way into the square yesterday to bring medical supplies over at the continuing coverage at Huffington Post. It is stories like hers and the students holding the square that inspire me, not the politics going on behind the scenes. It reaffirms to me that in terms of humanity we're not very far removed from average citizens around the globe and maybe there's hope for us yet. Our differences in most cases are minor compared to our similarities.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Unemployment down, but fewer jobs created than expected.

Drill down though. The broader index, the underemployment number, dropped from 16.7% to 16.1%.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 4, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think the WH has as much influence over the outcome as we might believe. I just heard that an informal coalition is forming in Egypt to steer the country toward a transitional government. I'm pretty sure the WH will have only a small voice if any in how that shakes out. I think our ties to the military are quite strong in terms of keeping peace but other than that the people will decide what is acceptable. We may or may not like the final result, which is also interesting and not discernible yet."

Ims:

The United States is involved in what happens in Egypt. We are attempting to orchestrate Suelman into power. This isn't Iran. Mubarak is our guy. We fund the Egyptian military. We can pull our aid. We can declare Mubarak finished. We are hardly innocent bystanders and we are putting our thumb on the wrong end of the scale.

My prediction is that the Mubarak Regime will continue b/c the U.S. wants the status quo maintained (god knows why). My guess is that if the U.S. wanted ElBaradei to lead the transitional government it would have already happened. And we will pay the price for it around the world. I certainly may be wrong but I have correctly called this every step of the way so far. So there's that.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh talking about Texas-Mexico electricity mess.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree we're putting our thumb on the wrong end of the scale, I just don't think we'll be as successful as you think. We'll see I guess.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

[mike sputtered: "So lowering a tax implemented in April of 1980 eliminated the 70's energy crisis that took place before the tax was put into place."]

Once again, mikey's reading comprehension skills fail. I wrote "ended", meaning the crisis had a beginning. Your obfuscation is boring.

Grade: F

/dismissed

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, here's something from David Dayen:

"The Administration wants Mubarak to go and a caretaker government put in place with Vice President Omar Suleiman in power. Top members of the military would join Suleiman in the government and they would “immediately begin a process of constitutional reform.” Opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, would be involved in that process. The White House made it pretty clear they want Suleiman to be the transitional figure."

• Mubarak hasn’t agreed to this.

• Suleiman hasn’t agreed to this.

• The Egyptian military hasn’t agreed to this.

• “‘What they’re asking cannot be done,’ one senior Egyptian official said, citing clauses in the Egyptian Constitution that bar the vice president from assuming power.” He added that the US should mind their own business.

• Mubarak doesn’t believe that leaving would satisfy the protesters.

• Mubarak would not meet with Frank Wisner, the former US Ambassador, a second time, because he was “angry at Mr. Obama’s toughly worded speech on Tuesday night.”

So to sum up, the US has a plan, nobody in the Egyptian leadership agrees with it, they doubt it would work, they doubt it’s even possible, and they won’t meet with US envoys anymore.

http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/02/04/nyt-story-on-obama-administration-negotiations-with-egypt-painfully-thin/

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"I agree we're putting our thumb on the wrong end of the scale"

Why are we doing this? This is a great opportunity to change the dynamic in the ME for the better and we appear to be lining up behind the status quo. It is idiocy.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I agree it's idiocy and we'll probably end up making things worse by pushing it, as to why??????????????????

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I have some work to get to, later.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I saw that Dayen article. We are blowing the best chance for ME peace we've ever had. And if the Egyptian revolution fails the U.S. will (rightly or wrongly) get the blame so we will be even worse off in the ME. We are backing the status quo. It is absolutely incredible.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Ims. Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 4, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh talking about Texas-Mexico electricity mess.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Scariest. Jobs. Chart. Evah.
http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-percent-job-losses-in-post-wwii-recessions-2011-2#ixzz1D0XiSm00

Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) Economy

Grade: F- (Massive Fail)

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 4, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I apologize for the double post. As far as I know, Rush Limbaugh was not talking about Texas-Mexico electricity mess for a whole hour. It's Open-Line Friday.

JennOfArk, thanks for conceding (I would still argue that he linked the Holocaust to what Republicans are doing today. Ethan2010 has done the same on prior threads).

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 4, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It's an alternate reality that any Republican with presidential aspirations, as Thune is generally perceived to have, has to perpetuate. There's no other way to appeal to the "messianism and passionate intensity" of the Teahadist base.


It's an alternate reality that they have been able to force into the mainstream, by virtue of taking over the Republican party and gaining control of one House of Congress, partly because too few in the corporate media have been willing to point out that the Republican party has been taken over by people who are batsh^t insane.


.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 5, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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