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Egypt’s new history lesson

Yesterday, Egypt’s “President” Hosni Mubarak gave some rambling speech, ending with “I’m not stepping down.” (I paraphrased a little bit.) This in spite of the fact that highly placed sources stated that the President was going to vacate the office. To say that this was a let down would be the understatement of the decade. This led to more protests today. Finally, after 18 days of demonstrations, the president got out of Dodge. He abdicated. He left the building (with billions of dollars, not millions, but billions!!!).

I know that many progressives are doing the “happy dance” for the Egyptian people. I would like to wait. I would like to see what comes next. Currently, Egypt is under military rule. What kind of interim government will the military set up? What kind changes will be made to the Egyptian Constitution? Will the people be involved in any of these decisions? When will real elections be held? In my mind, there’s too much uncertainty for me to give a big thumbs up for a dictator who just left the office. I am happy for the Egyptian people but there is much work to do.

History tells us that democracy is hard. If democracy was easy, everyone would have one. Can the Egyptians make the difficult decisions and continue their progress towards freedom and liberty for all? This young Google executive, Wael Ghonim… can he step up to the plate and be the leader they Egypt needs him to be? What role did the US play in Mubarak leaving? Any or nothing? What role will the Obama administration play to support democracy?

From Aol’s HuffPost:

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday, bowing down after a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. “The people ousted the president,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.

Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square exploded into joy, waving Egyptian flags, and car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soldiers stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. (more…)

Why aren’t some bankers in jail? (Update)

If I sell you a disk that I tell you has Windows 7 on it and you get that disk home and find out that it only has the Windows 7 logo, that’s a problem. Bankers sold the American public mortgages that they knew would blow up in a couple of years. Why isn’t that fraud?


The Great Recession showed the world that the crimes that create the most victims are not committed by terrorists, gangbangers or drug traffickers, but by well-heeled crooks in Wall Street’s executive suites. Tens of millions of people have seen their jobs disappear and their pension funds fleeced, and had their homes taken out from under their feet as a result of the crash of Wall Street’s Great Casino. Yet so far, the culprits have been given little more than a slap on the wrist.

Failing to prosecute Wall Street’s high-flying crooks doesn’t only represent a great miscarriage of justice. Powerful voices within the economic establishment are now making the case that holding the bankers criminally culpable is necessary if we ever hope to stop our national economy from moving from one speculation-driven bubble to the next.

Nobel-prize winner Joe Stiglitz recently told AOL’s Daily Finance that major damage resulting from the financial disaster “has not really been taken on board, and that is confidence in our legal system, in our rule of law, in our system of justice.” His prescription? “I think we ought to go do what we did” in the wake of similar financial crises in the past, and “actually put many of these guys in prison.”

By |2013-10-27T20:13:35-04:00November 17th, 2010|Economy|17 Comments

Going Broke (Update)

This is great. Is there such a thing as too much Palin?

From Media Matters:

Sarah Palin’s memoir Going Rogue: An American Life has garnered attention in part because of the number of copies sold before publication. But the book has been offered at below-cost prices from major online retailers, and Newsmax has used the book as a loss leader to promote its magazine, potentially inflating the book’s sales. dropped price from list price of $28.99 to $10, then to $9 and below as other retailers matched it. On October 15, began offering preorders of Going Rogue, along with nine other new book releases, for $10. After reportedly matched the price, “struck back, slashing its prices to $9” [AOL Daily Finance, 10/16/09]. Amazon also dropped its price to $9 [, 10/19/09]. joined in the price war, prompting to drop its price further [The New Yorker11/9/09]. By November 5, was selling the book for $8.98, was selling it for $8.99, and Amazon was selling it for $9. The respective retailers were still selling the book at those prices as of November 16. All three retailers give the book’s list price as $28.99. Screen shots of the November 5 prices are below:

Update: At least something good is coming from the former governor’s book. Media Matters and the Progressive Book Club have teamed up to combat misinformation.

Today Progressive Book Club and Media Matters for America announces the launch of Right-Wing Book Watch ( – a new joint project that will monitor the release of conservative books and provide detailed fact checks, research and thematic rebuttals from progressive experts.

First in the project’s sights is former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s memoir Going Rogue: An American Life, which hits bookshelves across the country today.

Despite enormous advances in technology, books continue to serve as the primary means to legitimize political and policy ideas. Under the guise of “non-fiction,” conservatives use books to force misinformation into the media and the public discourse.

These books can be devastating to good policy and decent political discourse – as illustrated by such notorious examples as The Bell Curve, which misused data to resuscitate racialist ideas about intelligence, and Unfit for Command, the “Swift Boat” fraud that smeared Senator John Kerry.

By |2009-11-17T01:18:28-04:00November 17th, 2009|Party Politics|Comments Off on Going Broke (Update)
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