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Archive for January, 2011

It was high time for a break from CNN and the media spin that has been generated all over the planet so… I gotta say, flipping the channel to OPB was a real, Oh Yeah, kind of moment…transported to a time of artistic expression and the freedom to do so.

it was the entire performance of the 1991 Rolling Stones “At the Max” concert. I feel better now.,,G:

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Egypt’s New Government Announced On State TV

The Huffington Post/AP MAGGIE MICHAEL and HAMZA HENDAWI  First Posted: 01/31/11 07:57 AM Updated: 01/31/11 09:30 AM

CAIRO — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak swore in a new Cabinet on Monday, replacing one dissolved as a concession to unprecedented anti-government protests.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR LATEST UPDATES)

In the most significant change, the interior minister – who heads internal security forces – was replaced. A retired police general, Mahmoud Wagdi, was named to replace Habib el-Adly, who is widely despised by protesters for brutality shown by security forces.

Still, the new Cabinet is unlikely to satisfy the tens of thousands of protesters who have taken to the streets in cities across Egypt the past week demanding nothing short of the ouster of Mubarak and his entire regime. As news of the appointments broke, thousands massed in the protest’s epicenter, Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, broke into chants of “we want the fall of the regime.”

“We dont recognize any decisions Mubarak has taken since Jan. 25,” Mostafa el-Naggar, a supporter of prominent reform advocate Mohamed ElBaradei, referring to the first day of the protests. “This is a failed attempt – he is done with.”

Mubarak announced the dissolving of the previous government late Friday, naming his intelligence chief and close aide Omar Suleiman as vice president and former Air Force general Ahmed Shafiq as prime minister. But protesters immediately rejected the move as an attempt by Mubarak, Egypt’s authoritarian ruler of nearly 30 years, to cling to power.

The new line-up of Cabinet ministers announced on state television included stalwarts of Mubarak’s regime but purged several of the prominent businessmen who held economic posts and have engineered the country’s economic liberalization policies the past decades. Many Egyptians resented to influence of millionaire politician-moguls, who were close allies of Mubarak’s son, Gamal, long thought to be the heir apparent for the presidency.

In the new Cabinet, Mubarak retained his long-serving defense minister, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi – and gave him an additional title of deputy prime minister – and also kept Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

But for some posts, Mubarak brought in new blood by naming figures who hold widespread respect in their fields. For example, Gaber Asfour, a prominent literary figure, was named culture minister. He replaced the longest-serving Cabinet member, Farouq Hosni, who had held the post for more than 25 years. Also, Egypt’s most famous archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, was named state minister for antiquities, a new post.

State newspapers on Monday published a sternly worded letter from Mubarak to his new prime minister, Shafiq, ordering him to move swiftly to introduce political, legislative and constitutional reforms.

He also appeared to distance himself from the economic policies directed by his son Gamal, widely blamed for causing a wide gap between the rich and poor, for whom economic hardships have deepened. In the letter, Mubarak urged “new economic policies that give maximum care to an economic performance which pays heed to the suffering of the citizens, and lightening their burden.”

MORE HERE

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Herald Tribune

U.S. tests its influence with Egypt’s military

By ELISABETH BUMILLER The New York Times

Herald Tribune

Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 10:34 p.m.

WASHINGTON – The officer corps of Egypt’s powerful military has been educated at defense colleges in the United States for 30 years. The Egyptian armed forces have about 1,000 American M1A1 Abrams tanks, which the United States allows to be built on Egyptian soil. Egypt permits the American military to stage major operations from its bases, and has always guaranteed the Americans passage through the Suez Canal.

The relationship between the Egyptian and American militaries is, in fact, so close that it was no surprise Friday to find two dozen senior Egyptian military officials at the Pentagon, halfway through an annual week of meetings, lunches and dinners with their American counterparts.

By the afternoon, the Egyptians had cut short the talks to return to Cairo, but not before a U.S. Defense Department official urged them to exercise “restraint,” the Pentagon said.

It remained unclear Saturday, as the Egyptian Army was deployed on the streets of Cairo for the first time in decades, to what degree the military would remain loyal to the embattled president, Hosni Mubarak.

The crisis has left the Obama administration to try to navigate a peaceful outcome and remain close to an important ally, and the military relationship could be crucial in that effort. One fear is the possibility that, despite the army’s seemingly passive stance Saturday, the Egyptian armed forces would begin firing on the protesters — an action that would probably be seen as leading to an end to the army’s legitimacy.

“If they shoot on the crowd, they could win tomorrow, and then there will be a revolt that will sweep them away,” said Bruce O. Riedel, an expert on the Middle East and Asia at the Brookings Institution, who predicts that in any event, Mubarak will step down.

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Davos: Two Worlds, Ready or Not

Huffington Post
Simon Johnson
MIT Professor and co-author of 13 Bankers

Posted: January 29, 2011 09:50 AM

On the fringes of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this week, there was plenty of substantive discussion — including about the dangers posed by our “too big to fail”/”too big to save” banks, the consequences of widening inequality (reinforced by persistent unemployment in some countries), and why the jobs picture in the U.S. looks so bad.

But in the core keynote events and more generally around any kind of CEO-related interaction, such themes completely failed to resonate. There is, of course, variation in views across CEOs and the people work intellectual agendas on their behalf, but still the mood among this group was uniformly positive — it was hard to detect any note of serious concern.

Many of the people who control the world’s largest corporations are quite comfortable with the status quo post-financial crisis. This makes sense for them — and poses a major problem for the rest of us.The thinking here is fairly obvious. The CEOs who provide the bedrock of financial support for Davos have mostly done well in the past few years. For the nonfinancial sector, there was a major scare in 2008-09; the disruption of credit was a big shock and dire consequences were feared. And for leaders of the financial sector this was more than an awkward moment — they stood accused, including by fellow CEOs at Davos in previous years, of incompetence, greed, and excessively capturing the state.

But all of this, from a CEO perspective, is now behind them. Profits are good — this is the best bounce back on average in the post-war period; given that so many small companies are struggling, it is reasonable to infer that the big companies have done disproportionately well (perhaps because their smaller would-be competitors are still having more trouble accessing credit). Executive compensation at the largest firms will no doubt reflect this in the months and years ahead.

In terms of public policy, the big players in the financial sector have prevailed — no responsible European, for example, can imagine a major bank being allowed to fail (in the sense of defaulting on any debt). And this government support for banks has translated into easier credit conditions for the major global corporations represented at Davos.

MORE HERE

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Well, My signifigant other bought me a copy of Going Rogue,so I guess I’d better do a critique.

She found it in the Goodwill bins for a buck. I checked on Abebooks, and there were some on there for a buck, but it was three bucks to ship. I noticed that Goodwill was listing quite a few on Abe’s also.

Anyways, on with the review, and we’ll start with the cover so we can see what she is talking about, er, I should mention Lynn Vincent here because she was the actual writer of the book. Yep, a ghost writer of sorts, kinda like George Duhbya Bush did on his book, A Charge to Keep. I guess Sarah is not much smarter than Duhbya, maybe not even as smart. Duhbya fired Mickey Herkowitz for telling too much truth and hired Karen Hugh’s, who later joined his cabinet.

click to enlarge print

The book, was co-published by HarperCollins imprint Harper and HarperCollins-owned Zondervan. It doesn’t actually mention the authors name on the cover pages, but does mention that it is copyrighted by Sarah Palin and that it is “An imprint of Harper Collins Publisher”. It is also marked as a first edition. Also, not mentioned, is that the book was printed in China . I’m not sure, but I would guess that Caribou Barbie could probably see China from her doorstep.

In 1991, there are changes in the shareholding of the company – the family sells their interest to Rupert Murdoch. In 1989, the company is acquired by News International, bringing together Collins, Harper & Row, Gower Publishing, Times Books, Bartholomew and Angus & Robertson.

Anyways, back to the review, I’ll go to the end of the book. I usually read the end first to see if it looks like an interesting read.

Hmm, that does it for me. I’ve been through a few sessions with the Jehova Witnesses, and that is what this looks like.
You know, where the Lion lays down with the lamb and all that…sheesh

I feel that I know there is a God too, but She, he, or whatever; is the God of the universe, not the God of Alaska.

maybe I will continue on another day…G%

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Egypt Protests: LIVE Updates As Opposition Fills The Streets

AP/The Huffington Post First Posted: 01/28/11 08:13 AM Updated: 01/28/11 04:50 PM

CAIRO (AP) – The Egyptian capital Cairo was the scene of violent chaos Friday, when tens of thousands of anti-government protesters stoned and confronted police, who fired back with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons. It was a major escalation in what was already the biggest challenge to authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30 year-rule.

Internet and cell-phone services were disrupted across Egypt starting overnight and throughout the day as authorities used extreme measures to hamper protesters from organizing the mass rallies called after Friday prayers.

Police also fired water cannons at one of the country’s leading pro-democracy advocates, Mohamed ElBaradei, and his supporters as they joined the latest wave of protests after noon prayers. Police used batons to beat some of ElBaradei’s supporters, who surrounded him to protect him.

A soaking wet ElBaradei was trapped inside a mosque while hundreds of riot police laid siege to it, firing tear gas in the streets around so no one could leave. The tear gas canisters set several cars ablaze outside the mosque and several people fainted and suffered burns.

Large groups of protesters, in the thousands, were gathered at at least six venues in Cairo, a city of about 18 million people, and many of them were on the move marching toward major squares and across Nile bridges.

They are demanding Mubarak’s ouster and venting their rage at years of government neglect of rampant poverty, unemployment and rising food prices.

More details here.

You can follow the latest updates here

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Gun Rights Battle Heads To Bars, Churches, Doctors’ Offices And Day Care

TPM Muckraker

Ryan J. Reilly and Melissa Jeltsen | January 28, 2011, 9:40AM

After ignoring the issue of gun control for his entire presidency to date, aides to President Barack Obama said Wednesday he’d take up the issue within the next few weeks. Even former Vice President Dick Cheney has said he’d be okay with banning high-capacity clips in the wake of the mass shooting that nearly killed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and left six others dead.

But there’s a whole other lot of Second Amendment supporters who, instead of discussing middle-of-the-road measures to curb gun violence, are advocating to rescind or roll back even current restrictions.

In state legislatures around the country, conservatives lawmakers are introducing some of the most enthusiastic right-to-bear-arms bills to date. Here’s TPM’s round up.

Florida

Physicians often ask patients about risky behaviors, like drinking, smoking and even if they dutifully wear a seat belt. But asking about gun ownership? That topic should be off-limits, says freshman state Rep. Jason Brodeur (R) who wants to make it a felony for physicians to ask patients or their families if they own or store guns at home.

Brodeur says he’s worried that doctors might report gun ownership information to a patient’s insurance company. “What we don’t want to do is have law-abiding firearm owners worried that the information is going to be recorded and then sent to their insurance company,” Brodeur said, as reported by the News-Press. “If the overreaching federal government actually takes over health care, they’re worried that Washington, D.C., is going to know whether or not they own a gun and so this is really just a privacy protection.”

Doctors who fail to obey the proposed law could face up to $5 million in fines — or prison time.

Michigan

State Sen. Mike Green (R-Mayville) doesn’t believe there should be anywhere in Michigan where you can’t carry your gun. On Tuesday, he introduced legislation to repeal the state’s no-carry zones — places where concealed weapons are banned. Under the new proposal, which has been sent to the state Senate’s judiciary committee, it would be legal to carry concealed weapons into day care centers, stadiums, schools, churches, bars and hospitals.

Green told The Detroit News he introduced the bill to prove “there are no places that should be gun-free.”

According to his website, Green was one of the authors of Michigan’s 2000 “shall issue” concealed pistol license law, which drastically changed the state’s gun regulation. State and local authorities in states with “shall issue” laws must issue gun licenses to people as long as they meet specific criteria set by the state. This differs from “may-issue” states, where individuals need to show a compelling need to carry a concealed weapon and the ultimate decision is left up to the granting authority.

MORE HERE

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