• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on President Biden’s Excell…
    Seagrl on President Biden’s Excell…
    William on President Biden’s Excell…
    Seagrl on Satellite Distraction
    eurobrat on Satellite Distraction
    Beata on Satellite Distraction
    William on Satellite Distraction
    eurobrat on Satellite Distraction
    William on Satellite Distraction
    Beata on Satellite Distraction
    Beata on Satellite Distraction
    William on Satellite Distraction
    Beata on Satellite Distraction
    William on Satellite Distraction
    Propertius on Satellite Distraction
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    February 2011
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Lean Into The Good
      We spend a lot of time here dealing with everything that’s going wrong in the world. Rather a lot. The goal isn’t to be pessimistic, nor is it to be optimistic, the goals is to be realistic. But in some eras realism can be fairly depressing. So I think it’s important to remember that there’s still a lot of good in life. Love, food, beauty, excitement and mor […]
  • Top Posts

Hillary vs Obama on Egypt: Will the left ever get it??

Hillary calls unrest a "perfect storm"

So, apparently, Obama has backtracked on urging Mubarek to leave.

At the same Munich meeting on Saturday, Frank G. Wisner, the former ambassadorPresident Obama sent to Cairo to negotiate with Mr. Mubarak, suggested that the United States should not rush to push Mr. Mubarak out the door. He said Mr. Mubarak had a “critical” role to play through the end of his presidential term in September.

“You need to get a national consensus around the preconditions of the next step forward, and the president must stay in office in order to steer those changes through,” Mr. Wisner said of Mr. Mubarak. “I therefore believe that President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical — it’s his opportunity to write his own legacy.”

A senior administration official quickly sought to distance the White House from Mr. Wisner’s comments. American officials have said that they are seeking privately to nudge Mr. Mubarak out of his executive role ahead of September elections, though they have also said that they do not view his departure as an essential first step toward a transition to a new democratic system in the country.

Why am I not surprised?

So, the Egyptians are disrupting their country and economy and destabilizing the region because they really REALLY don’t like the Supreme Dictator and (apparently) President for Life and his brutally, repressive goons and they are willing to die and risk torture to get rid of him and what does Obama do?  He says Mubarek should stay.  Is that how I’m supposed to interpret this?  Or should I conclude that there is disagreement in the administration over how to handle Egypt and it is sending mixed messages to the world and to the Egyptians themselves, who it may be leaving high and dry?

This is stupid.

It’s not only stupid but it’s not very strategic.  Yes, we can expect some instability if Mubarek leaves but the alternative is probably worse.  If he stays, that will only energize the more radical elements in Egyptian society meaning that the next time the Egyptians try to revolt, they may very well have a charismatic religious figure to lead them and voile!  Son of Iran.   Short term thinking is at work here and Obama is nothing if not an exceptional short term thinker.

Contrast with Hillary Clinton, who is busy in Munich trying to convince Angela Merkel that helping Egypt make a swift transition is the best option for stabilizing the country and improving its economic condition, which is in part driving the explosion of unrest in the middle east.

“The region is being battered by a perfect storm of powerful trends,” Clinton said.

“This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and cities throughout the region.”

Clinton said that Washington was backing Egypt’s drive to craft orderly reforms to allow democratic elections.

“It is important to support the transition process announced by the Egyptian government actually headed by now-vice president Omar Suleiman,” she said.

“The principles are very clear, the operational details are very challenging.”

The secretary of state urged leaders across the Middle East to embrace democratic reforms in response to the growing unrest in the region, despite the risk of short-term instability in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.

She said change is a “strategic necessity” that will make Arab nations stronger and their people more prosperous and less susceptible to extremist ideologies.

Addressing events in Egypt, Merkel said: “Early elections at the beginning of the democratisation process is probably the wrong approach.”

However, Cameron said a delay would produce an unstable country that the West would not welcome.

“There is no stability in Egypt. We need change, reform and transition to get stability,” he said at the conference

For completeness, it’s important that we read the transcript of Hillary’s remarks but this seems very consistent with what she has said before all hell broke loose in Tunisia.  It also seems to be the interpretation of several other news orgs like the Indian Times and Euronews.

Once again, it looks like Hillary is doing the heavy lifting, lobbying for a principled democratization of Egypt and other countries in the middle east while Barry can’t make up his mind.  (That blockquote is from an Al Jazeera link of all places.  Go figure.  Check out the picture of Merkel and Clinton.  I’m guessing they’re using the same stylist.)

This is yet another of the many reasons why you star struck lefties should have gone with the girl.

He’s not the messiah.  He doesn’t know how to play chess, let alone the 11 dimensional kind and he’s not going to become the boyfriend you hoped he would be when you jumped into bed with him.

It’s not too late to dump the dude for 2012.


Saturday: Leave Cheese Alone!!

Warning: This tartiflette could kill you. Extreme caution advised

The FDA is considering new rules for cheese. The 60 day aging rule was simply not enough to completely remove all subtlety and flavor from cheese.  No, it’s not enough that buying raw milk cheese in this country is like trying to score good thai stick these days (not that I would know anything about that.  I’ve just heard rumors.).

Who is running this country??  Is it the insurance companies and class action lawyers?  For millenium, the French have been able to eat lovely, tart and grainy cheeses aged in caves with all of the microbes that attend the maturation process and no one says boo over there to a little extra flavor.  But tracking down a smelly and delicious Reblochon cheese in this country is like trying to find the Ivory Bill Woodpecker.  You hear about such things but when you actually go to buy it, you find that it’s really a Reblochon made for the American market where the sucker has been pasteurized and aged within an inch of its life.  In fact, it’s NOT alive.  It lacks the dirty toe smell, the “Oooo, *that* smells interesting” aroma.  Melting a “processed for YOUR protection” Reblochon on a tartiflette, well, you might as well have bought a cheap wheel of brie.

Look, I’m all for safety.  And so are the French.  So, if they can enjoy cheese in its natural state, why can’t we?  Why not package it up like a box of cigarettes with a ton of warning labels for pregnant women and children under the age of 2 and anyone with a weakened immune system?  Don’t reduce the entire American cheese market to stuff that tastes like Velveeta and CrackerBarrel.  In fact, it’s really unfair that you can buy cigarettes and smoke yourself silly into a nice case of small cell carcinoma, a well known, provable effect of smoking tobacco, but you can’t buy a raw milk cheese that Europeans gulp down on a daily basis without ill effects because *someone*, *somewhere* might get a case of e coli, which many of us get all of the time from various sources.  E coli was found in a crop of scallions several years ago, but did we ban all green onions?

What’s really behind the move to protect us from enjoying even the simplest pleasures of life?  Are there really so many mothers out there who can’t read a label on a package of raw milk cheeses that we have to prevent the entire 300 million of us from enjoying them?  If that’s the case, we need to improve our literacy skills.  Or are we just beholden to the insurance industry who is interested in keeping lawsuits to a minimum?  Lets get the profit motive out of the insurance industry and class action lawsuit business so we can enjoy  extremely dangerous things again like cheese, playground equipment and antibiotics.  Find out what French safety standards are, copy them religiously, label the damn things and let us eat at our own risk.

This is one rule the FDA should be relaxing, not tightening up.