Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak refused to step down or leave the country and instead said he would hand his powers to his vice president Thursday, remaining president and ensuring regime control over the reform process. Stunned protesters in central Cairo who demand his ouster waved their shoes in contempt and shouted, “Leave, leave, leave.”
The rapidly moving events raised the question of whether a rift had opened between Mubarak and the military command. Hours earlier, a council of the military’s top generals announced it had stepped in to secure the country, and a senior commander announced to protesters in Tahrir Square that all their demands would soon be met, raising cries of victory that Mubarak was on his way out.
After Mubarak’s speech, protest organizers called for the army to take action to oust him, and they vowed increased protests on Friday. Several hundred thousand had packed into Tahrir Square, ecstatic with expectation that Mubarak would announce his resignation in his nighttime address. Instead, they watched in shocked silence as he spoke, slapping their foreheads in anger and disbelief. Some broke into tears.
Around a 1,000 marched on the state television headquarters several blocks away, guarded by the military with barbed wire and tanks. “They are the liars,” the crowd shouted, pointing at the building, chanting, “We won’t leave, they will leave.” More…
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will step down Thursday night, two sources tell NBC News, and his vice president, Omar Suleiman, will take his place. After over two weeks of protests, the army chief of staff waded into the crowd and told protesters, “All your demands will be met tonight.” Asked if this meant Mubarak would be stepping down, he said “It ends tonight.” Mubarak is expected to speak at some point Thursday night. CIA Director Leon Panetta told Congress there’s a “strong likelihood” Mubarak will step down this evening.
On MSNBC [yesterday] evening, Chris Matthews hosted two representatives of the Tea Party to analyze its influence in Washington: FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe and Phillip Dennis of the Texas Tea Party. Matthews asked Dennis if he thought President Obama is a Muslim, and Dennis immediately launched into a diatribe that ranged from offensive to confusing, but was outlandishly dishonest throughout. He first replied that he “didn’t know” if Obama was a Muslim, but then criticized Obama’s attendance in the Christian church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Dennis then complained that Obama has a “soft spot in his heart” for Islam because he “changed our history saying that Islam has always played a major party in this country.” Dennis noted he had a “big problem with Islam” and concluded by saying Obama “might be Muslim”:
DENNIS: One thing is that President Obama certainly has a soft spot in his heart for Islam. You know, he’s gone back — his first speech was in Egypt, he’s reached out to the Muslims moreso than any other President in the history of the world. He’s even changed our history saying that Islam has always played a major part in this country, when everyone knows that’s not true. You didn’t see our Founding Fathers — weren’t Muslim, they weren’t breaking for prayers five times a day. But this is the type of thing that he’s done, is reaching out. Bowing to the leaders —
MATTHEWS: Where are you on Islam?
DENNIS: … Oh, I have a big problem with Islam. I think that it, uh, they call itself the religion of peace, when every day around the world it continues to show itself to be anything but. So I think those people have a right, certainly it’s understandable that they might have a problem that our President might be Muslim. Absolutely.
Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) announced early Wednesday evening that he will resign his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Buffalo-based station YNN relays a statement from Lee, who has signaled that he will vacate his post immediately:
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.
“The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately.”
News of Lee’s decision to step down comes just hours after it was reported that the married congressman sent shirtless photos of himself to a woman who he connected with on the “Women Seeking Men” section of Craigslist.
According to Gawker, the 46-year-old married Republican responded to a listing posted last month by a 34-year-old woman looking for “financially & emotionally secure” men who “don’t look like toads.”In an email, sent from an account admittedly registered to Lee, someone reportedly replied, claiming to be a 39-year-old, “6ft 190lbs blond/blue,” “divorced” “lobbyist.”
After a few flirty back-and-forths, the woman told Gawker that Lee sent her a picture of himself, sans shirt.
Asked for comment, Lee’s spokesman provided a denial and claimed that the congressman’s email account had been hacked.
“The Congressman is happily married,” the spokesman told Gawker. “The only time he or his wife posted something online was to sell old furniture when they changed the apartment they keep in DC.”
Politico’s headline actually read:Growing Pains: House GOP Stumbles.
I beg to differ with Politico, the really good political blog that tends to have more right leaning tendencies than left leaning traits.
The GOP is not having growing pains with their two legislative failures and a repeat of their GOP members in Congress who talk family values and do just the opposite. This is simply the norm for these people. They do not know how to govern. They are most effective at blocking legislation, not passing it.
It usually takes a lot longer for the party in charge to start with the finger-pointing, the failed votes and the backpedaling on campaign promises.
But the House Republican majority has already had two failed floor votes, is experiencing a backlash on the right over spending cuts and has bypassed the committee process it once praised for taking up major bills.
And that’s all just this week.
These initial flubs in the first month of the GOP majority are mainly public relations embarrassments — but Republicans may face much more substantial problems quelling an uprising over the debt limit and corralling conservative votes on the budget bill known as the continuing resolution, measures that are essential to keeping the government operating. The miscues indicate that House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders have a harder job than they bargained for managing an unwieldy, activist group of nearly 90 freshman lawmakers.
“The new majority has different leadership than the last time we actually were the majority. [They] have to make their own way, they have to make their own decisions, set their own policies,” said Florida Rep. Bill Young, a 38-year veteran of the House. “There’s a learning curve for leaders. There’s a learning curve for members.” Read more…
Recovering U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is making progress word by word and bite by bite.
Giffords, who was shot in the head during a Jan. 8 assassination attempt, recently has started speaking again. Among her first words was a Monday request for toast with her breakfast, her congressional staff said.
“She has rigorous therapy every day, including speech therapy,” said C.J. Karamargin, her spokesman. “Congresswoman Giffords is working very hard, and it is paying off.”
The latest developments are encouraging for Giffords but not necessarily that unusual, said Dr. Christina Kwasnica, director of the neurorehabilitation program at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.
“It’s always a very good sign once patients are able to eat and, definitely based on her injury, it’s a good sign that she’s able to talk,” said Kwasnica, who was speaking generally and does not have any specific insight into Giffords’ treatment. “Those are signs that she is moving forward. It’s a slow process, but these first types of changes usually occur within a month, six weeks, maybe up to eight weeks.”
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have an eclectic taste in music. What I neglected to mention is that it hasn’t always been that way.
During what I call my “coming of age” period, I listened to the Shirrells, Johnny Mathis, Anyone from Mowtown and every now and then Frankie Valle and his group as well as Elvis. Yep, I liked his movies better than his records though.
However, this is my point, my taste in music grew as my exposure to new sounds developed. I can honestly say that a lot of that exposure came from movies. For instance, I was never, ever a Beach Boys fan until I saw Never Been Kissed. Near the end of that movie the song Don’t Worry Baby caught my ear for the first time.
The same thing goes for tonight’s selection. A movie called Muriel’s Wedding had a scene in which Abba sang Dancing Queen. My sudden affinity for this genre of music was surprising but welcomed.