Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dumbest thing said yet about Muslim Brotherhood

Posted By Uncle Jimbo •

And it's by our Director of National Intelligence FFS.
During a House Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called Egypt's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement "largely secular." In response to questioning from Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) about the threat posed by the group, Clapper suggested that the Egyptian part of the Brotherhood is not particularly extreme and that the broader international movement is hard to generalize about.
"The term 'Muslim Brotherhood' an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam," Clapper said. "They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera.....In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally."
That is so incandescently stupid that he and everyone who vetted or helped prepare his remarks should be fired, preferably out of cannons and not the circus kind. How the Hell are we supposed to make any coherent policy when our DNI is so monumnetally ill-informed that he makes Biden look wise. Every single statement he has made about the Mo Bros is not just wrong, but completely ass-backwards. I weep for our complete lack of anything even vaguely resembling a competent intelligence apparatus.

Lady Gaga’s Twitpics

Lady Gaga shared this picture on Twitter when she tweeted about her hotly anticipated new single, Born This Way. To the delight of her little monsters, Lady Gaga announced that she will release the single early and even revealed the exact time. Listen for Born This Way to drop on Friday, February 11 on the radio at 6 a.m. EST.
“They used to call me rabbit teeth in school, and now I’m a real live VOGUE BEAUTY QUEEN!” Lady Gaga tweeted about her Vogue cover.

Breaking News: Hosni Mubarak Addresses Egypt, Will Not Step Down

After weeks of protests and civil unrest, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak addressed the nation today. Contrary to early reports, Mubarak is not stepping down from his current position. He confirmed he will not seek re-election in September.

He sympathized with the people and "laid down a clear vision of how to resolve the crisis", including a commitment to amend six articles of Egypt's Constitution. In regards to the recent violence, he said: "The blood of those killed in violence will not be wasted." He also noted, "I will not be the subject of foreign pressure... Priority now is to restore the confidence of all Egyptians."

As he spoke, thousands of angry demonstrators in Tahrir (also known as Liberation) Square chanted and waved their shoes in protest of Mubarak's refusal to step down.

For More on Egypt:

ALG Urges House Republicans to “Keep Their Pledge and Cut $100 Billion”, Launches

February 10th, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement urging House Republicans to amend and build upon a proposal to cut current spending levels by $35 billion as the organization launched the grassroots petition site,, to enable activists and concerned citizens to easily contact their members of Congress:

“A House Republican proposal to cut only $35 billion from current spending levels is very disappointing. The American people were promised $100 billion of initial cuts, and it was widely understood that proposal would be attached to an upcoming vote on the budget continuing resolution.

“House members should keep their pledge and cut $100 billion, as they promised to do when they were running for office. Then they said they would 'roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt.' Unfortunately, now only a third that amount is being proposed.

“In November, the American people sent House Republicans back into the majority on the premise that they would bring order to the nation's fiscal house. They need to keep the pledge and cut at least $100 billion. Representative Jordan has a solid, well conceived proposal that will meet and exceed that goal. The Jordan proposal must be incorporated into the Continuing Resolution.

“To the American people, a promise broken is rarely forgotten. Now, members must choose. Will they pretend they kept their pledge? Or will they amend this legislation to include the full $100 billion of they promised? The choice they make may well determine whether Republicans will sustain and build on their majority, or once again lose touch with the American people and lose the opportunity to bring the nation's fiscal house into order.”
Permalink here.

Halfway is Not Good Enough

Permalink here.

“Going Gingrich”

By Howard Rich

Have recent elections taught Republicans nothing?
Routed from power in 2006 and 2008 for their wholesale betrayal of the American taxpayers, the GOP was granted a new lease on life because Democrats chose to put Bush-era bailouts and deficit spending on steroids while forcing a socialized medicine monstrosity down the throats of the American people.

Yet scarcely a month after being handed control of the U.S. House, Republicans are already losing sight of why they were given another chance. In retreating from their commitment to cut $100 billion from the budget (which let’s face it — will barely make a dent in our $14 trillion debt) the GOP is demonstrating a fundamental but all too familiar lack of courage. Republicans are also refusing to address the entitlement behemoths of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — ticking time bombs that pose even graver dangers to our nation’s long-term solvency.

Such squeamishness is not surprising given the party’s recent pattern of backing down in the face of an ideologically inferior foe. In fact, I refer to this flight reflex as “going Gingrich.”

Riding a similar wave of limited government fervor in 1994, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s “Republican Revolution” promised taxpayers balanced budgets, less government and term limits — but quickly caved on all fronts. As a result the “era of big government” that Democratic President Bill Clinton promised was “over” ended up coming to pass — under GOP rule.
Get full story here.

Unions’ Anti-Trade Agenda

Unions’ Anti-Trade Agenda

Part III
By Rebekah Rast

It is no surprise that the AFL-CIO and the United Steelworkers, among other union groups, are opposed to the U.S.-South Korea free trade deal.
There aren’t many, if any, free trade deals they aren’t opposed to.

Their argument for this particular deal is “that it will drain U.S. manufacturing jobs and does not include worker and other protections unions had hoped President Obama would demand.

In fact, a statement given by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka stated, “We’ve seen U.S. multinational companies take advantage of the investment and other corporate protections in past trade deals to shift production offshore, while maintaining access to the U.S. consumer market and undermining the jobs, wages and bargaining power of American workers… So long as these agreements fall short of protecting the broad interests of American workers and their counterparts around the world in these uncertain economic times, we will oppose them.”

If it is jobs that the unions are worried about then what about the fact that “South Korea, Colombia and Panama are together worth almost $13 billion of new sales for our U.S. goods and services?” This is according to Rep. Kevin Brady, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade.

Because of all the new sales, Rep. Brady went on to say, “We are going to create a lot of jobs and find new customers that will help us get out of this economic recession, if we can open those markets.”

Is it really American jobs the unions are worried about preserving or it is union jobs that concern them?
After all, the United Auto Workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers support the trade agreement with South Korea. The United Food and Commercial Workers union support it for lowering agricultural tariffs, which will likely boost sales of U.S. meat and other foods. The United Auto Workers support the deal because it would reduce tariffs and other trade restrictions on American auto exports and continue American tariffs on Korean cars and trucks for an extended period.

Although unions argue that trade agreements negatively impact America’s job market, their argument doesn’t hold up when looking at the value of U.S. exports in connection with U.S. jobs.
Get full story here.

Jerry Sloan Set To Resign As Utah Jazz Coach

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan calls out a play during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Salt Lake City, Friday Dec. 3, 2010. The Mavericks defeated the Jazz 93-81. (AP Photo/Colin E Braley)
More photos » Colin E Braley - AP

2 months ago: Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan calls out a play during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Salt Lake City, Friday Dec. 3, 2010. The Mavericks defeated the Jazz 93-81. (AP Photo/Colin E Braley)

Former Evansville Purple Ace Jerry Sloan is reportedly stepping down as coach of the Utah Jazz in the midst of his 23rd season with the Jazz.

I don't ever expect to hear it from Sloan, but obviously something happened with management between the time he signed a one-year contract extension on Monday and the extended emergency meeting immediately after the Jazz lost to the Chicago Bulls last night. I'm assuming there was more involved than frustration over former Jazz players Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson helping the Bulls beat the Jazz, but I'm sure that didn't help.

Tyrone Corbin seems like the logical choice to take over the top seat on the Jazz bench, although I assume that depends on what is going on behind the scenes. If there are serious problems that brought about the abrupt departure of the legendary coach, Corbin may want no part of it.

Corbin is considered a worthy head-coaching candidate in the NBA and is surely somewhere on the Pacers list of possible coaching candidates to consider this summer. At this point, Frank Vogel is also on that list as are several others considering all of the issues facing the Pacers this summer.

by Tom Lewis

Married Congressman Chris Lee Resigned After Gawker’s Revelation

Post image for Married GOP Congressman In Craigslist Hookup Scandal Resigns

Just hours after Gawker reported that married GOP Congressman Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY) had been trolling the “women seeking men” section of Craigslist looking to hookup, Congressman Chris Lee resigned. Rick Klein of ABC News tweeted,  “maybe fastest scandal ever.”

Rep. Lee sent out this announcement:
“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.”

So much for “family values.” Gawker had written, “Yesterday, we reached out to Rep. Lee, whose support for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and vote to reject federal abortion funding suggests a certain comfort with publicly scrutinizing others’ sex lives.”

They include a string of emails and various photos, Facebook screenshots, etc.

New New York Governor Cuomo and the Secretary of State will need to set a special election, as members of the House of Representatives must be elected, not appointed. Given how the Republican was forced to leave office, is this a chance for a Democrat to take over?

I have to add, while we have yet another Republican hypocrisy issue, I’m impressed he resigned so quickly.

by David Badash

Egypt crisis: Doubts rise over Omar Suleiman's handling of situation

Egyptians now feel the Mubarak regime has lost the initiative as momentum shifts back to the streets
Ian Black, Middle East editor, Wednesday 9 February 2011

"Omar Suleiman may be starting to deserve the adjective "embattled" that has often been attached to his boss, Hosni Mubarak, since Egypt's uprising began.

Appointed vice-president as a safe and loyal pair of hands, Mubarak's former intelligence chief has been mandated to run "an inclusive and serious national dialogue with participants from the whole political spectrum to deliver an orderly transition to democracy by September".

But doubts about the regime's real intentions, present from the start of the crisis, are growing fast.

The first talks on Sunday were inconclusive. The impression is strengthening, say analysts in Egypt and abroad, that Suleiman is not serious about a constitutional review, a timetable for change, protecting freedom of expression, allowing peaceful protest, and ending the state of emergency. His remarks on Tuesday, rejecting an immediate departure by Mubarak or any "end to the regime", did not sit well with his wish to resolve the crisis through dialogue. His warning of a possible "coup" sounded like a threat of more overt military intervention than has been seen so far......"

Cairo - Military Says Mubarak Will Meet Protesters Demands

Egyptian medical workers demonstrate in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. Egypt's foreign minister warns of a military coup if protesters continue mass demonstrations and don't follow a government-run framework for enacting gradual reform. The comments by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit were the second veiled threat this week from the regime of a direct military takeover if protests persist. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

Egyptian medical workers demonstrate in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. Egypt's foreign minister warns of a military coup if protesters continue mass demonstrations and don't follow a government-run framework for enacting gradual reform. The comments by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit were the second veiled threat this week from the regime of a direct military takeover if protests persist. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

Cairo - President Hosni Mubarak will meet the demands of protesters, military and ruling party officials said Thursday in the strongest indication yet that Egypt’s longtime president may be about to give up power and that the armed forces were seizing control.
Gen. Hassan al-Roueini, military commander for the Cairo area, told thousands of protesters in central Tahrir Square, “All your demands will be met today.” Some in the crowd held up their hands in V-for-victory signs, shouting “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” a victory cry used by secular and religious people alike.

The military’s supreme council was meeting Thursday, without the commander in chief Mubarak, and announced on state TV its “support of the legitimate demands of the people.” A spokesman read a statement that the council was in permanent session “to explore “what measures and arrangements could be made to safeguard the nation, its achievements and the ambitions of its great people.”

The statement was labelled “communique number 1,” a phrasing that suggests a military coup.

Footage on state TV showed Defense Minster Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi chairing the meeting of two dozen top stern-faced army officers, seated around a table. At Tantawi’s right was military chief of staff Gen. Sami Anan. Not present was Mubarak, the commander in chief and a former air force chief, or his vice president, Omar Suleiman, a former army general and intelligence chief named to his post after the protests erupted Jan. 25.

The head of the ruling party, Hossam Badrawi, told The Associated Press that he expects that Mubarak will “address the people tonight to respond to protesters demands.”