Daily Archive: 01/29/2011

Jan 29 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 35 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Afghan suicide bomber kills Kandahar deputy governor

AFP

Sat Jan 29, 2:01 pm ET

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) – The deputy governor of Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, the spiritual home of the Taliban, was killed by a suicide bomber on Saturday, the provincial chief said.

“Deputy governor Abdul Latif Ashna had just left his home and was on his way to his office when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up near his vehicle,” said Kandahar governor Tooryalai Wesa.

One of his bodyguards and his driver were wounded, as were two passers-by, he added. A fifth person was slightly hurt and did not need hospital treatment.

Jan 29 2011

Reporting the Revolution: Protests in Egypt, Day 2, Up Date x 4

This is a Live Blog and will be updated as the news is available. You can follow the latest reports from AL Jazeera English and though Mishima’s live blog, our news editor.

A second day of protests have taken to the streets across Egypt and conditions have deteriorated considerably. Protests, dissatisfied with a reshuffling of the “deck chairs”, have intensified calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak has appointed a Vice President for the first time and a new Prime Minister, both government insiders who are close to Mubarak. Omar Suleiman, 71 years old, head of intelligence and former spy, has been named Vice President. Mubarak had promised to do this some years ago but never did to Suleiman’s disappointment. He, however remained loyal to Mubarak. The new Prime Minister is another military man, Ahmad Shafiq.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the opposion party that has no seats in the current parliament, has called for Mubarak to step down and a unity government formed without the ruling party, NDP. Al Jazeera is now reporting that the head of the Muslim Brotherhood have been detained by the Mubarak government.

In a statement this evening (Egyptain time), Mohamed Elbaradei has called once again for Mubarak to step down and the formation of a unity government that represents all the Egyptian people. The people will be satisfied with nothing less. (I will have the video with the simultaneous translation as soon as Al Jazeera makes it available on You Tube)(Up date #2: Video of Elbaradei’s statement with simultaneous translation by AL Jazeera)

The curfew, 6 PM to 7 AM local time, continues but is being ignored. There are reports of looting and vandalism of shops, the museums and hospitals. There are no signs of the security police from the Ministry of Interior. The army is unable to contain any of the protests and is calling for private citizens to protect themselves and their property. There are also reports that the “thugs” who are looting may be police from  police Egypt’s Central Security. Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin is reporting that thugs in one neighborhood were seized and found to have state security id and carrying state issued weapons.

7:38pm Ayman Mohyeldin reports that eyewitnesses have said “party thugs” associated with the Egyptian regime’s Central Security Services – in plainclothes but bearing government-issued weapons – have been looting in Cairo. Ayman says the reports started off as isolated accounts but are now growing in number.

Al-Masry Al-Youm has reported that protesters have been trying to organize to protect neighborhoods in the absence of the police.

Also a h/t to Siun at FDL for her fine reporting.

Up Date #1: Mubarak’s new Vice President, Omar Suleiman, ran the US secret rendition program in Egypt.

From Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War (pp113), Suleiman negotiated directly with top US officials and personally approved of the renditions. Edward S. Walker, former US Ambassador to Egypt, described Suleiman as “very bright, very realistic” and very aware of the  downside of the “negative things that Egyptians engaged in, torture and so on. But he was not squeamish, by the way.”

Egyptian Americans protested outside the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, DC this today

 

Jan 29 2011

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Sweet Potatoes: Nutrition Wrapped in Vivid Flavors

Photobucket

   

By sweet potatoes, I mean the orange-fleshed tubers with brownish skin that growers and supermarkets often mislabel as “yams.” The two varieties at my local farmers’ market are jewel yams and the darker-skinned garnet yams, both sweet and moist.

   In fact, actual yams have starchier, light yellow flesh and a rough, brown skin; they are native to Africa and Asia, and an important staple in the Caribbean and in parts of Africa. But they don’t have the impressive nutritional profile of real sweet potatoes.

Chili-Bathed Sweet Potatoes

Maple Pecan Sweet Potatoes

Soba Noodles in Broth With Sweet Potato, Cabbage and Spinach

Spicy Braised Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato, Carrot and Dried Fruit Casserole

Jan 29 2011

Egypt Explodes, US Video Media Gape

For the past five days, Egyptians have been in the streets protesting, calling for President Mubarak, who has served for thirty years, to step down.  It is a very big story.  Print media, understandably have trouble keeping up with it because so much is happening so quickly in so many places.  Putting up a written story takes time, time to write, time to edit, time to post.  Even if you’re lightning fast, print media (and the part of them that is on the Internet) aren’t built for this kind of speed.  But what about television?

Jan 29 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Robert Naiman: Mohamed ElBaradei: ‘If Not Now, When?’

If Western leaders, who have backed the dictator Mubarak for 30 years, cannot stand before the Egyptian people today and say unequivocally, “we support your right of national self-determination,” when can they do it?

That’s the question that Egyptian democracy leader and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei has put before Western leaders today.

Speaking to the Guardian in Cairo, before the planned protests today, ElBaradei stepped up his calls for Western leaders to explicitly condemn Mubarak, who, as the Guardian noted, has been a close ally of the US.

Dana Milbank: Glenn Beck vs. the rabbis

After MSNBC let go Keith Olbermann last week, Glenn Beck couldn’t resist celebrating. “Keith Olbermann is the biggest pain in the ass in the world,” he judged.

But Olbermann’s departure really should give Beck pause: With political speech coming under new scrutiny, how much longer can Beck’s brutal routine continue at Fox News?

The latest omen of Beck’s end times came on Thursday — Holocaust Remembrance Day — when 400 rabbis representing all four branches of American Judaism took out an ad demanding that Beck be sanctioned for “monstrous” and “beyond repugnant” use of “anti-Semitic imagery” in going after Holocaust survivor George Soros.

A Fox News spokesman brushed off the complaint in the usual fashion, attributing it to a “Soros-backed left-wing political organization.” But that’s not going to fly: The statement’s signatories included the chief executive of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and his predecessor, the dean of the conservative Jewish Theological Seminary rabbinical school, and a number of orthodox rabbis.

John Nichols: Biden Stakes a Place on the Wrong Side of History: Vice President Denies Mubarak Is a Dictator

This has not been a good week for the Obama administration, at least when it comes to responses to the popular revolt that has swept Egypt

First, President Obama failed to make mention the mass street demonstrations in Cairo and other Egyptian Tuesday in his State of the Union Address. No one expected the president to declare his solidarity with the Egyptian people. . . . .

At least Obama’s silence allowed him to avoid saying something he would soon regret.

That’s not the case with Vice President Joe Biden.

Asked about developments in Egypt during a PBS NewsHour interview this week, Biden said Mubarak should retain his grip on power.

The vice president also rejected the use of the term “dictator” to describe the Egyptian strongman who has held power for three decades, banned political parties, jailed opponents, censored the press, groomed his son for dynastic succession and unilaterally dissolved and appointed governments.

Jan 29 2011

NASCAR Welfare

Something Very Serious People never talk about is how most of the complexity of the Tax Code is there specifically to provide monetary entitlements to the Extremely Wealthy and our Corporate Citizens.

This post by masaccio about Turn Left Racing caught my eye and is well worth reading in full even if it is a little technical and wonky at points.

Let’s Go Racing for Loopholes – Motorsports Tax Scam Wins a Grafty

By: masaccio, Firedog Lake

Friday January 28, 2011 2:28 pm

There is a special rule for Motorsports Entertainment Complexes, allowing their buildings, grandstands, parking lots and other improvements to be written off over 7 years. IRC § 168(e)(3)(c)(ii). To write the limitation so that it mainly affected auto race tracks, as opposed to dog tracks, took 213 words in IRC § 168(i)(15). The provision was set to expire December 31, 2009, but it was extended to 2011 by § 738 of the Obama Tax Capitulation Act of 2010, more politely known as Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

One of the fun parts of tax issues is to see who benefits from a loophole. The obvious answer is International Speedway Corporation, the publicly held company that owns a bunch of NASCAR tracks, including Daytona, Talladega, Michigan International, Darlington and Watkins Glen.

Now the Very Serious People will tell you these Tax Breaks are stimulative, that they create economic demand and jobs and by the Miracle of the discredited Trickle Down Voodoo Supply Side Economics of the last 30 years they somehow benefit you.

This is a bald faced LIE!

I refuse to believe that the availability of this deduction made the slightest difference in the budgeting decisions of International Speedway Corporation. This budget was set with full knowledge that the loophole would expire at the end of 2009, and projects were going forward without the exemption. The loophole did not create a single job. The extension is a pure gift to the company.

I call it a Miracle because it’s supernatural.  There’s not one shred of evidence that supports it, it’s just one of those things you take on faith like any true believing Jihadi Fundamentalist.  No more scientific than burnt offerings to Mammon.

I also liked the editor’s note-

(A)nother post in Firedoglake’s semi-regular series exposing and exploring ways in which the federal government spends vast sums or forsakes vital revenue in a perpetual, profligate and pathetic quest to assure corporate America that the elected representatives of we the people are really, truly, madly, deeply “business friendly.” With each story, we hope to highlight another government giveaway, tax break, or loophole handcrafted by lawmakers and lobbyists to keep the powerful powerful and make the rich richer. If the reverse Robin Hoodism rises to special heights, we will present it with the FDL Wealthy Welfare Award-or, as we have taken to calling it back here, The Grafty.

Jan 29 2011

On This Day in History January 29

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 29 is the 29th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 336 days remaining until the end of the year (337 in leap years).

On this day in 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem “The Raven,” beginning “Once upon a midnight dreary,” is published on this day in the New York Evening Mirror.

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in January 1845. It is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow descent into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word “Nevermore”. The poem makes use of a number of folk and classical references.

Poe claimed to have written the poem very logically and methodically, intending to create a poem that would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, as he explained in his 1846 follow-up essay “The Philosophy of Composition”. The poem was inspired in part by a talking raven in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty by Charles Dickens. Poe borrows the complex rhythm and meter of Elizabeth Barrett‘s poem “Lady Geraldine’s Courtship”, and makes use of internal rhyme as well as alliteration throughout.

Jan 29 2011

Six In The Morning

A people defies its dictator, and a nation’s future is in the balance  

A brutal regime is fighting, bloodily, for its life. Robert Fisk reports from the streets of Cairo



It might be the end. It is certainly the beginning of the end. Across Egypt, tens of thousands of Arabs braved tear gas, water cannons, stun grenades and live fire yesterday to demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak after more than 30 years of dictatorship.

And as Cairo lay drenched under clouds of tear gas from thousands of canisters fired into dense crowds by riot police, it looked as if his rule was nearing its finish. None of us on the streets of Cairo yesterday even knew where Mubarak – who would later appear on television to dismiss his cabinet – was. And I didn’t find anyone who cared.

Jan 29 2011

Popular Culture 20110128: Left and Right TeeVee Adverts

This piece was partially inspired by a conversation that I had with Kossack smileycreek in the comments after my most recent Pique the Geek installment.  That commentor’s sig line included words to the effect that all that the Republicans have is fear.

To a point I agree with that, but I would also add greed to it.  Greed has a component of fear in it, since greedy people always have the fear that they will not get enough of whatever their particular greed includes, but is enough of a distinct desire as to be included separately.

On Wednesday past, I logged all of the adverts on two TeeVee shows, Glenn Beck from the FOX “News” Channel, and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC.  I believe that most would agree that one is pretty right wing, and the other pretty left wing.

Jan 29 2011

Prime Time

Meh.  If you can get out a good night for a date.

You are too old and fat to be jumping horses.

You’re gonna endanger us, you’re gonna endanger our client – the nice lady, who paid us in advance, before she became a dog…

Not necessarily. There’s definitely a *very slim* chance we’ll survive.

I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! LET’S DO IT!

Later-

An American without ice in his drink is unthinkable, if not unconstitutional!



Yours was gin and ginger ale, right?

Mine was NEVER gin and ginger ale. Montrochet ’69, right next to the beer.

Dave in repeats from 1/13.

And at the end, everybody sued me. Claiming I whipped they ass. I’m 5ft 10in, I weigh 180lbs. I cannot whip a disco’s ass by myself.

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