Daily Archives: February 14, 2011

Iran Protests: Tens Of Thousands March, Security Fires Tear Gas

This was inevitable…

Huffington Post

Clashes between Iranian police and tens of thousands of protesters wracked central Tehran on Monday as security forces beat and fired tear gas at opposition supporters hoping to evoke Egypt’s recent popular uprising.

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The opposition called for a demonstration Monday in solidarity with Egypt’s popular revolt that a few days earlier forced the president there to resign after nearly 30 years in office. The rally is the first major show of strength for Iran’s cowed opposition in more than a year.

Police used tear gas against the protesters in central Tehran’s Enghelab, or Revolution, square and in Imam Hossein square, as well as in other nearby main streets. Demonstrators responded by setting garbage bins on fire to protect themselves from the stinging white clouds.

Eyewitnesses said at least three protesters injured by bullets were taken to a hospital in central Tehran while dozens of others were hospitalized because of severe wounds as a result of being beaten.

“An Iranian dies but doesn’t accept humiliation,” demonstrators chanted. “Death to the dictator,” they said, in a chant directed at hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Security forces on motorcycles could also be seen chasing protesters through the streets, according to eyewitnesses.

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The semiofficial Fars news agency called protesters “hypocrites, monarchists, ruffians and seditionists,” and ridiculed them for not chanting any slogans about Egypt as they had originally promised.

Fars, which is linked to the Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s most powerful military force, said an unspecified number of protesters were arrested and handed over to police and security officials. It didn’t elaborate.       More…

 

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Filed under Iranian Protest Demonstrations, Iranian Unrest

Comic Relief: Sarah Palin on Egypt

Caribou Barbie never ceases to amaze me with her sharp intelligence and clear understanding of today’s political issues…(snark).

Robert Dreyfuss – The Nation

Sarah Palin, in her first comments on Egypt, managed to make no sense at all. None. I especially liked her “not, not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done [in DC].” Here’s the full quote, which sounds like it was written by Miss South Carolina, speaking for all “US Americans”:

“And nobody yet has, nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and no, not, not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from DC in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And, in these areas that are so volatile right now, because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And, we do not have all that information yet.”

 

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Filed under Sara Palinisms, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin Foreign Policy

Obama Budget Cuts Target Poor, Students and Middle Class

Ok, somebody tell me, is this what Americans who voted for Barack Obama expected from him?  In the words of John Boehner, HELL NO!

Huffington Post

President Barack Obama, less than two months after signing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans into law, is proposing a budget to congress that attacks programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes, expand access to graduate-level education and undermine that type of community-based organizations that gave the president his start in Chicago.

Obama’s new budget puts forward a plan to achieve $1.1 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade, according to an administration official who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in advance of the formal release of the budget.

Those reductions — averaging just over $100 billion each year — are achieved mainly by squeezing social programs. A deal struck to extend the Bush tax cuts for just two years, meanwhile, increased the deficit by $858 billion dollars. More than $500 billion of that bargain constituted tax cuts, with billions more funding business tax breaks and a reduction in the estate tax. Roughly $56 billion went to reauthorize emergency unemployment benefits.

The president’s budget was expected to mostly target “non-defense discretionary spending,” which makes up less than one-quarter of the overall budget, making balancing the budget with such cuts mathematically impossible.

Indeed, the driver of the deficit is tax cuts. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that as a result of the tax cut deal, the projected deficit in Obama’s budget will reach a “record” level of $1.6 trillion this year, though that figure, relative to the size of the American economy, is far lower than many other governments around the world, according to data compiled by the Central Intelligence Agency. And the relative deficit is well below the levels of the 1940s, a time of economic prosperity. “President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget proposal projects this year’s deficit will reach $1.6 trillion, the largest on record, as December’s tax-cut deal begins to reduce federal revenues, a senior Democrat said Sunday,” the Journal reported Sunday evening. (The deficit is only a record if it is neither adjusted for inflation nor considered relative to the size of GDP.)

A closer look at surveys suggests that when people say they are concerned about the deficit, they are actually worried about the economy.

Updates…

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Filed under President Barack Obama

Gabrielle Giffords mouthing song lyrics

This is excellent news about the Arizona Representative, Gabrielle Giffords…

Politico

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continues to progress in her miraculous recovery from a gunshot wound to the head, lip-syncing to songs and speaking by phone to her brother-in-law, who is orbiting Earth in the space shuttle.

The Arizona Democrat has been mouthing the words to songs including “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and the jazz-era standard “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby,” The New York Times reported late Sunday.

Giffords is not speaking as she once did, but she is improving by the day.

“It’s not like she’s speaking the way she spoke, but she is vocalizing and making progress every day,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords’s chief of staff. “Don’t get the idea she’s speaking in paragraphs, but she definitely understands what we’re saying and she’s verbalizing.”

On Sunday afternoon, Giffords was given a telephone to speak with her brother-in-law Scott Kelly, who is aboard the International Space Station. “She said, ‘Hi, I’m good,’” Carusone said.      Read more…

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Filed under Gabrielle Giffords' Progress