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This from Salon this morning: A great piece by David Sirota:

clipped from www.salon.com

The states’ legislative sadists

Mad scientists of lawmaking are looking to go medieval on America. Here are six examples

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said that states are the “laboratories of

Louis Brandeis Associate Justice c1916
Justice Brandeis

democracy.” Oft repeated over time, the aphorism has helped impart legitimacy to the rough and tumble of state lawmaking. We’ve heard “laboratory” and we’ve imagined staid scientists in white coats rigorously testing forward-thinking theories of societal advancement.

It’s certainly a reassuring picture — but there is a darker side of the metaphor. States are indeed laboratories. The problem is that today, those laboratories are increasingly run by mad scientists.

We’re not talking about the usual Dr. Frankensteins trying to bring alive new corporate giveaways through harebrained cuts to social services (though there are those, too). We’re talking about true legislative sadists looking to go medieval on America. Behold just six of the most telling examples:
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Just keyed in the light booth and I’m ready for opening night of “Claudie Hukill”…

This is a good play and I understand we’ve got a good sized house tonite (for Full Circle Theater .. around 40 people…that makes our audience seem full.) Dimmers all seem to be working OK and I’ve got my cues laid out. Maddie‘s here on sound and our curtain is in about 55 minutes.

The Doctor said I didn’t have a stroke on Sunday night… apparently I had a seizure. Now they have to find out if I’m developing epilepsy. Joe Jurand thinks it’s because my blood sugar had a drop, and he’s probably right. I’m going into the Robinwood Center to have an eight hour EEG test sometime next week… That sounds outrageously boring. Oh, and I’m not supposed to drive for a few months, but if I don’t I have no way of getting to shows to run lights or getting to WSHC to do radio with John Case on Friday mornings.

Anyway, here we are on the Friday of the Martyrs… Mubarak is out and Egypt could set an interesting example for the rest of the Middle East (especially Saudi Arabia and Iran). Lots of stuff to watch this week!

Mubarak steps down while Bill at Doctor…

I was at the Neurologist when Mubarak stepped down and I didn’t hear about it until after I got home.

This from HuffPo

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.

So the military is in control. This from the BBC:

“Around Cairo, drivers are honking their horns in celebration and guns are being fired into the air. The huge crowds are rejoicing. However, the army takeover looks very much like a coup. The constitution has been breached. Officially, the speaker of parliament should be taking over. Instead it is the army leadership. Egypt moves into a very uncertain future.”

It took 18 days of protest…but there it is.

This from Marc Lynch in Foreign Policy…

Tomorrow is going to be nasty:
clipped from lynch.foreignpolicy.com
It’s hard to exaggerate how bad Hosni Mubarak‘s speech today was for Egypt.   In the extended runup to his remarks, every sign indicated

SHARM EL SHEIKH/EGYPT, 18MAY08 - Muhammad Hosn...

that he planned to announce his resignation: the military’s announcement that it had taken control, the shift in state television coverage, a steady stream of leaks about the speech.   With the whole world watching, Mubarak instea

 

d offered a meandering, confused speech promising vague Constitutional changes and defiance of foreign pressure.   He offered a vaguely worded delegation of power to Vice President Omar Suleiman, long after everyone in Egypt had stopped listening.  It is virtually impossible to conceive of a more poorly conceived  or executed speech.

Omar Suleiman’s televised address which followed made things even worse, if that’s possible, telling the people to go home and blaming al-Jazeera for the problems.
Things could get ugly tonight — and if things don’t explode now, then the crowds tomorrow will be absolutely massive.
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Egypt can’t seem to really get rid of Mubarak…

This just in from HuffPo… Mubarak is giving some power over to his VP, but he is NOT LEAVING!

 

Here’s a piece:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
 

CAIRO – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced he is handing his powers over to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, and ordered constitutional amendments. But the move means he retains his title of president and ensures regime control over the reform process, falling short of protester demands.
Protesters in Cairo‘s central Tahrir Square, hoping he would announce his resignation outright, watched in stunned silence to his speech, slapping their hands to their foreheads in anger, some crying or waving their shoes in the air in a sign of contempt. After he finished, they resumed their chants of “Leave! Leave! Leave!”
“I have seen that it is required to delegate the powers and authorties of the president to the vice president as dictated in the constitution,” Mubarak said near the end of a 15-minute address on state TV.
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Quote of the Day – From one Dictator, a Comment on Another…

Mubarak‘s fate is sealed, not even the support of the United States will be able to save his government. The people of Egypt are an intelligent people with a glorious history who left their mark on civilization. ‘From the top of these pyramids, 40 centuries of history are looking down upon us,’ Bonaparte once said in a moment of exaltation when the revolution brought him to this extraordinary crossroads of civilizations.”

– Fidel Castro

That was from Castro’s blog… the 84-year-old Former Cuban Dictator now plays the blogosphere with the rest of us.

Quote of the Day – Oh, sure.

“In all sincerity, regardless of the current circumstances, I never intended to be a candidate for another term.”

– Hosni Mubarak

And it begins again… this time in the Senate

 

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

Mark Twain

As I settled in this afternoon awaiting a coming ice storm (the first of these just missed us last night) and curious about what’s going on in Egypt where around 2 million people were demonstrating today for Hosni Mubarak‘s resignation (in a speech this afternoon he said he would not run for reelection and would be out of office by the Fall… as you might guess, this does not seem good enough for the demonstrators who want him out now) I wondered what was happening on C-Span 2.

I thought I’d watch the Senate debate the FAA Funding Bill and what do you think happened? Senate Republicans have attempted to repeal last year’s sweeping health care law via an amendment to a FAA funding, proposed by the beloved Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Not since the Earth’s creation some 6000+ years ago, when men and dinosaurs peaceably shared the world, have I heard such idiocy.

So, instead of solving the major problem of supporting and improving Airline regulations, we are listening to Republicans tell us that most Americans are opposed to the Health Care law (although recent polls indicate that an average of 80% of those Americans DON”T WANT IT REPEALED!) They are adamant that 50 million people who became covered due to parts of the Affordable Care Act should be dropped from coverage… and at the same time they will continue to waste our time and money with this kind of folderol. I thought Harry Reid was going to keep this crap off the floor.

I guess this is going to be Mitch’s strategy… no matter what bill is proposed, Mitch will see to it that an amendment to repeal Health Care will be included. And we will look on in disbelief. Maybe we need 2 million Americans to stand outside of Congress until Mitch and his pals decide to take an early vacation.

 

Following Egypt…

DemNowLogo

The protests are still going on. I’ve been looking at the Tweets coming in to Democracy Now and other places from people who are in Cairo.

It looks like there are no significant leaders in the protesters… nobody that they can build any kind of revolution on. Plus, the protestors are breaking down into two major factions: The Muslim Brotherhood and everyone else.

This from Twitter frpm an hour ago:

@sharifkouddous: Muslim Brotherhood chanting Allah Akbar. Crowd stopped them chanting louder: Muslim, Christian, we’re all Egyptian

Perhaps someone will rise out of the second group… I don’t know, but I’ll keep looking.