Tag Archives: protests

News Roundup: Egypt, Edward Snowden, Arizona firefighters

Protests in Egypt

I’m not sure what’s going on in Egypt, but there are big protests and rallies once again. It appears that the Egyptian population has grown tired of the Muslim brotherhood and President Mohammed Morsi. The military appears to be stepping in and demanding that the government meet the needs of the people. This is going to be interesting. I wonder how conservatives will spin this as somehow being Obama’s fault.

It appears that Edward Snowden is still in Russia. It also appears that he has applied for asylum in Russia. You cannot tell me that this guy is not somewhere between a rock and a hard place. I’m guessing that Edward Snowden had the original plan. It appears that plan has fallen apart. It appeared that at first he was worried about the NSA spying on Americans. Okay. That is probably a legitimate concern. Then, he decided to talk with China about the NSA spying on China, the European Union, and other countries. This I don’t understand. The fact that we spy on other countries isn’t a revelation. As a matter fact, the fact that other countries spy on us isn’t a revelation either. This is what national intelligence agencies do. At best Edward Snowden is misguided. At worst, he appears to be someone who thinks he is smarter than he really is. He is really in deep kimchi.

Yesterday, 19 firefighters were killed in Arizona. These firefighters were fighting a forest fire which suddenly changed course. This represents the largest loss of life in a single day in over 50 years. My prayers go out to the family and friends.

No Sign of Inflation

There is no hint of inflation. Remember, several years ago when conservatives were all up in arms over the multiple stimulation packages that injected money into the economy in order to try to save the economy? Conservatives yelled that we were going to have runaway inflation. Not only have we not seen anything that resembles runaway inflation, inflation has been stagnant. On one hand, this can be looked at as a good thing. Consumer prices are really not rising significantly. On the other hand, this is a very bad thing. Wages are also stagnant. With stagnant wages that means our buying power is also stagnant.

In Texas, there is a huge rally in support women’s rights. As you recall, Gov. Rick Perry has called another special session in order to try to curb a women’s right to choose.

This continues to be the most unpredictable Wimbledon in recent memory. Serena Williams, five-time Wimbledon champion, has been bounced out in the fourth round.

More on Benghazi (Update)

From Kevin Drum:

ABC News now has a complete set of drafts of the infamous “talking points” that were prepared a few days following the Benghazi attacks. The drafts don’t tell us much that we didn’t already know, but here’s a nickel summary:

  • From the very start, the talking points say that the attacks were “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo” and then “evolved” into the assaults on the two compounds in Benghazi.
  • The first draft included references to “Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida.” This was eventually sanded down to “extremists” after the State Department pointed out that they had been deliberately withholding this information because “we don’t want to prejudice the investigation.” This is the same thing that David Petraeus told Congress last November.
  • The third draft included an ass-covering paragraph from the CIA making sure everyone knew they had produced “numerous pieces” on possible threats to Benghazi in the previous few months, with the obvious implication that the State Department had ignored them. Unsurprisingly, the State Department’s spokesman, Victoria Nuland, objected to this gratuitous display of bureaucratic point scoring. It was removed in the final draft.

Editor’s Note: I’m sorry, I have looked and looked and there isn’t anything here. Benghazi is simply conservatives jumping up and down and holding their breath. Look, the fact that Americans died in Benghazi is tragic. Sometimes, when Americans die, it’s not the President’s fault. It is not the Secretary of State’s fault. We simply had Americans in a dangerous part of the world. Continue reading More on Benghazi (Update)

Benghazi explained

Kevin Drum from Mother Jones does a wonderful job laying out exactly what happened.

benghazi

The reporting on what we know about the Benghazi attacks on September 11 just gets more and more interesting. Let’s do a quick Q&A:
Why was President Obama initially unwilling to call it an act of terror?

He wasn’t. The day after the attack, on September 12, he gave a Rose Garden speechin which he said, in reference to the assault, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.” At campaign stops that day and the next, he again referred to the Benghazi assault as “an act of terror.” A McClatchy report sums up the evidence: “In the first 48 hours after the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya, senior Obama administration officials strongly alluded to a terrorist assault and repeatedly declined to link it to an anti-Muslim video that drew protests elsewhere in the region, transcripts of briefings show.”

A day after the attacks, the CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington that there were eyewitness reports that the attack was carried out by militants. Why didn’t Obama administration officials say so?

They did. Hillary Clinton, for one, referred to it as an attack “by a small and savage group.”

OK, but that McClatchy report quoted above also says that a few days after the attacks administration officials started putting more emphasis on the “Innocence of Muslims” video. Why? It had nothing to do with the Benghazi attacks.

That’s not what locals said. As David Kirkpatrick reports: “To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of local Islamist militants struck the United States Mission without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video….The fighters said at the time that they were moved to act because of the video, which had first gained attention across the region after a protest in Egypt that day.”

So the video might have played a role. But why did UN ambassador Susan Rice put the video front and center in her Sunday morning appearances a week after the attacks?

She didn’t, really. On Face the Nation, she said the “best information” at that moment suggested that Benghazi began “as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where […] there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video.” She then immediately added: “But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.” Continue reading Benghazi explained