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Egypt On the Verge, Biden Praises Mubarak, Protests Spread To Yemen

News
  • How many awful, corrupt U.S. client states in the Middle East will collapse under the weight of immense daily protests? The anti-government movement in Egypt makes its biggest show today, with massive numbers of people filling the streets of nearly every big town. Hosni Mubarak's government has responded in a slow, plodding way but is finally turning to large-scale violence and the usual authoritarian stunts that seem to just make people angrier -- today, Egypt's leadership has turned off every Internet access point and cell phone tower it can figure out how to shut down. Meanwhile, in Washington, Vice President Joe Biden praised Cairo's 82-year-old dictator like this: “Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with, with Israel .... I would not refer to him as a dictator.” Of course Hosni's not a dictator! He listens to his masters in Washington! Meanwhile, the protests are heating up in Yemen, a desperately poor country that has been one of America's punching bags for years whenever it needs to act "tough on terrorism" by having a billion-dollar robot death plane drop a few "smart bombs" on a goat farmer. [NYT/Guardian/ABC News/CSM]
  • The U.S. economy grew a little tiny woody in the last quarter of last year, to 3.2% annual growth. This was less than expected but still a little more than America has seen in four years. [Reuters/New York Times]
  • Meanwhile, in our dull little land of charmless charade, Rep. Mike Pence has decided not to run for the Republican presidential nomination or whatever. [Indy Star]
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I was in D.C. last week for the first time since Donald Trump proved that our electoral process is silly. It feels like Vegas now with all the images of Trump around. Then I remembered he has the same job as the guy in the Jefferson Memorial. I tried to rationalize it in my head: Jefferson had unprotected sex with enslaved women. Trump reportedly has unprotected sex with adult film stars who can more or less come and go as they please. I suppose that's an improvement.

But how did we get here? How did our institutions fail us? It's not so much that Trump is an unqualified, racist radish head. He's also ridiculously corrupt.

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How can people be THIS BAD at their jobs?!?!? Did the State Department's social media team really schedule a live discussion of "traveling with kids" while the media is showing babies snatched at the border and imprisoned in cages?

OH. MY. GOD.

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