Month: January 2011

Sarah Palin Standing Tall On ‘Don’t Retreat, Reload,’ Says Aide

Hmmm…”Caribou Barbie” is going to make sure that there will be no “Sarah moratorium” for the month of February, I see…

Huffington Post

Sarah Palin’s camp is pushing back against recent reports that the former vice-presidential candidate dropped her “don’t retreat, reload” slogan during her keynote speech at a gun-rights convention in Reno, Nev. over the weekend.

“The governor actually did use the phrase ‘Don’t retreat, reload,'” Palin aide Rebecca Mansour told Politico in an email. “She also said, ‘Don’t retreat, stand tall.'”

According to some reports, which the Washington Post writes stemmed from reporters listening at the door of the closed-press event, Palin used the phrase “don’t retreat, stand tall.” Some saw it as a sign that she was toning down her gun-themed rhetoric following criticism in the wake of the tragic shooting in Tucson that took the lives of six and wounded 12 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

How long Egypt’s Mubarak has been in power, described in computer history terms

I love reading facts like these.  I’m hoping there are a few of you out there who also like the following.  Enjoy…

ZDNet Government

By David Gewirtz

Mubarak has been in office since the days of CP/M. He’s been in office since before MS-DOS 1.0 was released.

Psychologists talk about imprint memories, like how some of our older citizens remembered exactly where they were when President Kennedy was shot. I’ve been thinking about this whole Egypt thing and suddenly remembered where I was when Egypt’s then President Sadat was assassinated.

I was a news junky even back then. I was in college, my junior year. On that day, I was in the Salisbury Laboratories of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and I remember seeing the reports on a TV. By the way, back in the first decade of the 20th century, this was also the building where rocket pioneer Robert Goddard would fire off test rockets in the basement, often sending professors and staff running for fire extinguishers! Fun place.

Anyway, Sadat was assassinated and Mubarak became President. The year before, I had been turning in my assignments on punch cards. Back then, we still used them in Fortran class. The Apple II was available for use in the Math Lab, and I was building a CP/M machine in my dorm room based on a relatively new Altair 8800.

Mubarak has been in office since the days of CP/M. He’s been in office since before MS-DOS 1.0 was released.

Mubarak had been in office for three years when the original Macintosh came out, when Apple declared that 1984 wouldn’t be like 1984.

Mubarak had been in office for four years when the original version of Windows was released in 1985.

Mubarak had been in office for seven years when Steve Jobs founded NeXT in 1988, his somewhat misguided attempt to sell computers to college students for the base price of $6,500.

Mubarak had been in office for eight years when the Intel 486 processor was released in 1989. If he were an American president, that’s when he would have retired and gone on to a happy life of board memberships and speaking tours.

Mubarak had been in office for nine years when Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented HTML, the concept of the URL, and the HTTP protocol in 1990.

More…

EGYPT: A Complete Guide To The 2011 Revolution

Huffington Post makes it easy to follow the ever changing events in Egypt as they unfold…

Huffington Post

THE BASICS

What’s Going On In Egypt?: Protests started on Tuesday, January 25, when — inspired by the successful revolution in Tunisia — thousands began taking to the streets to protest poverty, rampant unemployment, government corruption and autocratic governance of President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for 30 years. These were the first protests on such a large scale in Egypt since the 1970s. Read more here.

Why Egypt Matters: Why is the story gaining traction? There are a number of factors that make Egypt’s unrest important, in both that country, the Middle East, and the world. Click here to see the top reasons why Egypt should matter to you.

Quick Facts About Egypt: Established in 3100 B.C., Egypt today has a population of approximately 79 million. Its people speak Arabic and 99% are Egyptian. The country staged its first modern revolution in 1919 and established independence in 1922. Continued instability due to remaining British influence led to a second revolution in 1952 and the creation of the Egyptian Republic in 1953.

TIMELINE OF KEY DEVELOPMENTS

Tuesday, 1/25: Protests Begin, ‘Day Of Rage’

Wednesday, 1/26: Second Day Of Protests

Thursday, 1/27: Egypt Shuts Down The Internet

Friday, 1/28: Mubarak Speaks, Says He’ll Form A New Government

Saturday, 1/29: Anonymous Internet Users Help Egypt Communicate

Sunday, 1/30: Al Jazeera In Cairo Being Shut Down

Sunday, 1/30: U.S. Embassy In Cairo Urges Americans To Leave

Sunday, 1/30: Hillary Clinton

There is much more to read and see.  There are videos, bios of key players, more context and best reporting around the web.

Sam Donaldson To Al-Jazeera: “Thank You For What You’re Doing”

Aljazeera has always come under fire in the United States because of it’s frank broadcasting of what was really going on in Iraq and Afghanistan during both the Bush and Obama administrations.   This was viewed as a threat to our troops as well as Aljazerra being accused of aiding and abetting the al-Qaeda.

Whatever one thinks of Aljazeera, the fact remains that it’s reporting of the events in Egypt is vital.  Sam Donaldson agrees…

Mediaite

While Christiane Amanpour was away reporting in Egypt, former This Week host Jake Tapper got to play back home with the roundtable. During an informative discussion about the situation in Egypt and the various potential consequences with ABC’s Sam Donaldson and Abderrahim Foukara, the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera International, Donaldson expressed his gratitude for all Al Jazeera has done.

Earlier Foukara stressed that Al Jazeera helped bring about the story of the Egyptian revolts to 300 million people in the Arab world and beyond. Donaldson commented:

“Talk about propaganda for Al-Jazeera. Thank you for what you’re doing. People say Al Jazeera fanned the flames here by bringing the fact that democracy is in existence and that people are being suppressed. That’s what we need. We need more communication in the world. It’s not Al Jazeera’s fault that Mubarak is under siege now.”

ABC’s George Will expressed doubt about Al Jazeera’s influence, suggesting, “we in the media tend to think the media drives the world, and I have a feeling this would be going on across this region regardless of the media.” Yet Donaldson continued, “the world drives the world, to the extent the world knows about what’s happening everywhere else. That’s what media does.”

Given that the controversial Al Jazeera network is not widely available in the U.S. and has been criticized in the past for demonstrating an anti-American bias in its coverage, Donaldson’s praise might raise an eyebrow. However, it’s hard for anyone to argue with the simple idea that the free flow of information and an exposure to as many ideas as possible is itself a democratizing force that is beneficial to a society.

Watch the clip from ABC below:


 

2012 Republican presidential candidates all have flaws

No surprise here…

The Washington Post Politics – Chris Cillizza

Mitt Romney can’t win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

As governor of Massachusetts, he signed health-care legislation that has considerable similarities to the proposal President Obama championed – the one Republicans have fought tooth and nail.

That’s an emerging bit of conventional wisdom about the slow-forming GOP race. And it’s right – except that it omits one very important fact: All – that’s A-L-L – of the Republicans considering runs for the nomination carry at least one major flaw that could keep them from victory.

“So far, the Republican field looks conventional and flawed,” said Mark McKinnon, who was an adviser to President George W. Bush. “To beat Obama, the GOP is going to have to come up with a ticket that is fresh, exciting, unconventional and free of major flaws.”

Let’s take a look at the Achilles’ heel of some of the best-known candidates:

[…]

 John Thune: The senator from South Dakota – like many of his Republican Senate colleagues – voted for the Troubled Assets Relief Program in late 2008. Many conservatives view the vote as a sort of scarlet letter, a massive government bailout that is anathema to their limited-government philosophy.

 Newt Gingrich: The former House speaker’s appeals to social conservatives in places such as Iowa and South Carolina could be complicated by his very public personal life: He has been married three times.

 Sarah Palin: The former Alaska governor has done next to nothing to build a national political organization or demonstate the ability – or willingness – to grow beyond her committed social conservative base.

 Jon Huntsman: His serving in the Obama administration – albeit as the ambassador to China – won’t go down well with many Republican primary voters who detest the current occupant of the White House. And Huntsman’s public endorsement of cap-and-trade legislation puts him out of step with most in his party.

 Tim Pawlenty: The former Minnesota governor’s biggest problem is a lack of pizazz. Can a candidate who is relatively unknown outside his home state of Minnesota and whose best trait is his “niceness” rise to the top of such a crowded field?

 Mike Huckabee: Huckabee’s record as governor of Arkansas – particularly his decision to commute the sentence of Maurice Clemmons, who went on to murder four police offers in Washington state – is ripe for a deep opposition-research dive. And Huckabee’s record on taxes as governor isn’t likely to look much better in the eyes of many Republicans.   

More…

Fox’s Chris Wallace To Speaker Boehner: Why Do You Cry And Smoke?

Mediaite

In addition to getting serious about budget deficits and the debt ceiling, the conversation between Speaker of the House Boehner and Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday also expanded to include talking about two of Boehner’s most well-known characteristics: crying and smoking. Wallace asked bluntly, “why do you cry so often,” to which, Boehner almost cried again, right on cue.

Boehner stressed that he came to Washington “to do something on behalf of the American people” and despite Wallace warning him that some of his supporters think the crying makes him look “strange” or “weird,” Boehner confidently stated “I’m not going to apologize for being emotionally attached to the things I feel most strongly about in this town.”

The conversation became more humorous when the topic turned towards smoking, to which Boehner admitted “listen it’s a bad habit, but I have it. It’s a legal product, I choose to smoke, leave me alone.”

There, can the crying issue, and the questions about it, be put to rest now?

Watch the clip from Fox News below:

China Blocks ‘Egypt’ On Twitter-Like Microblog Sina

Huffington Post

China has blocked the word “Egypt” from appearing in searches on its country’s popular Twitter-like service, Sina.

A search for “Egypt” on the microblogging site brings up a message saying, “According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, the search results are not shown.”

PCWorld reports that only the Chinese version of ‘Egypt’ is blocked though, and the English version returns results.

The news comes in light of recent developments in Egypt, which have included a fresh wave of protests, Egyptian Internet being shut down, and growing looting.

Launched in Aug. 2009, Sina has more than 80 million users and is said to be growing rapidly — adding as many as 10 million users per month.

Due to the success of Twitter, China also launched a state-run microblog in December, which has earned the nickname “Red Twitter.”

Related Articles

Al Jazeera In Cairo Being Shut Down, Press Credentials Revoked: Egypt State TV

This just in about 15 minutes ago (4:05 am.)  I’m posting this at 4:20 am…

Huffington Post

Egyptian state TV reported Sunday morning that the Al Jazeera office in Cairo is being shut down and Al Jazeera reporters are losing their press credentials in Egypt.

Al Jazeera correspondent Dan Nolan tweeted the news at about 11 a.m. local time, adding that Al Jazeera’s licenses were revoked, per state media.

Nolan quickly added, “Don’t worry we’ll still report what’s happening in #Egypt no matter what new restrictions they put on us.”

Another Al Jazeera employee Evan Hill put the news this way: “State TV announces Al Jazeera’s broadcasting license and press cards are being revoked. Our bureau is packing up.”

Follow the latest developments in Egypt by watching the Al Jazeera English livestream here and following our live blog here.

Thousands protest in Jordan

It appears that discontent in the Middle East has manifested a “domino effect”.  Now it’s Jordan…

Aljazeera

Protesters gather across the country, demanding the prime minister step down.

Thousands of people in Jordan have taken to the streets in protests, demanding the country’s prime minister step down, and the government curb rising prices, inflation and unemployment.

In the third consecutive Friday of protests, about 3,500 opposition activists from Jordan’s main Islamist opposition group, trade unions and leftist organisations gathered in the capital, waving colourful banners reading: “Send the corrupt guys to court”.

The crowd denounced Samir Rifai’s, the prime minister, and his unpopular policies.

Many shouted: “Rifai go away, prices are on fire and so are the Jordanians.”

Another 2,500 people also took to the streets in six other cities across the country after the noon prayers. Those protests also called for Rifai’s ouster.

Members of the Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jordan’s largest opposition party, swelled the ranks of the demonstrators, massing outside the al-Husseini mosque in Amman and filling the downtown streets with their prayer lines.

King Abdullah has promised some reforms, particularly on a controversial election law. But many believe it is unlikely he will bow to demands for the election of the prime minister and Cabinet officials, traditionally appointed by the king.

Rifai also announced a $550 million package of new subsidies in the last two weeks for fuel and staple products like rice, sugar, livestock and liquefied gas used for heating and cooking. It also includes a raise for civil servants and security personnel.

Record deficit

However, Jordan’s economy continues to struggle, weighed down by a record deficit of $2bn this year.

Inflation has also risen by 1.5 per cent to 6.1 per cent just last month, unemployment and poverty are rampant – estimated at 12 and 25 per cent respectively.

Ibrahim Alloush, a university professor, told the Associated Press that it was not a question of changing faces or replacing one prime minister with another.

“We’re demanding changes on how the country is now run,” he said.

He also accused the government of impoverishing the working class with regressive tax codes which forced the poor to pay a higher proportion of their income as tax.

He also accused parliament as serving as a “rubber stamp” to the executive branch.

“This is what has led people to protest in the streets because they don’t have venues for venting how they feel through legal means,” Alloush said.
 

Obama Ridicules Conservative Disinformation On Health Reform: ‘Granny Is Safe!’

Barack Obama at the University of Nevada, Las ...

Image via Wikipedia

The GOP and their lies about health care reform should be ridiculed at every turn…

Think Progress

The conservative campaign against President Obama’s health care reform law has been built around baseless distortions and fabrications about the policy, such as its mythical “death panels” that would “pull the plug on grandma,” the false claim that the law is “job killing,” and the equally false claim that the law will “explode the deficit.” President Obama has largely avoided taking on this disinformation directly, but in a speech today sponsored by the pro-reform Families USA, the president lambasted these conservative falsehoods, saying the fear mongering “just doesn’t match up to reality.” And noting that conservatives tried to claim the law is “granny-threatening,” Obama joked, “I can report that granny is safe!”:

OBAMA: Now as important as what is happening right now, is what isn’t happening right now. You may have heard once or twice that this is a job-crushing, granny-threatening, budget-busting monstrosity. That’s how it’s been portrayed by opponents. But that just doesn’t match up toreality. […]

And I can report that granny is safe! In fact, grandma’s Medicare is stronger than ever. And if she was one of the millions who fell into the donut hole last year, she’ll received a $250 check, or soon will, to help her afford her medicine, and a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs, as part of the affordable care act.

Watch it:

Conservatives are forced to resort to deception on health care because Americans overwhelming don’t want the Affordable Care Act repealed and favor most of its components. Meanwhile, Republicans have no clear plan to address health care on their own, should their doomed repeal bid actually succeed.