Mohamed Morsi Must Deliver For Average Citizen In Egypt


It has been fascinating to watch the events unfold over the past weeks in Egypt.  The miliary has made matters far worse of course, but the people are energized and ready to move their nation forward.  The thrill of electing a new president is most remarkable. 

I have great hopes that progress in Egypt can take a similar path to that of Turkey which was able to construct a nation that is western looking while rooted in traditional ways. The people of Egypt desperately want a better life.  I hope this is the start of that path for them.

Islamist politician Mohamed Morsi will be sworn-in Saturday as Egypt’s president – the result of a democratic election after their popular uprising in 2011.  Let us all hope that he will be able to lead, and that the military will allow him the space to perform for his country.

Adel Iskander is with the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University:

“To a large extent, political Islam is playing an instrumental part because it’s filling a void, void of pan-era politics or nationalist politics,” said Iskander. “They are incredibly successful across the board and extremely organized.”

And he says the U.S. is taking notice.

“It seems like the U.S. government has begun making public overtures, that whatever democracies will bring is going to be acceptable to the U.S. so long as mutual interests and mutual sovereignty are respected. I think it’s a major shift for America foreign policy in the region as well,” he said.

Another big change – what’s expected of the region’s newest leaders.

Whether it’s in Tunisia with Ennahda or Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or similar factions in Libya and elsewhere, unless they are able to deliver on what is functionally important for the average citizen, they are not going to be contenders for very long,” said Iskander.

More Unplanned Pregnancies Coming To A Family Near You If Supreme Court Strikes Down Health Care Law

Conservatives hate abortion, right?

So conservatives should then try to promote cost-effective alternatives to getting pregnant, right?

(All right–all right–stop your laughing….)

Those few Americans who like having sex just for the pleasure of it (wherever you are) will be in for a surprise if Antonin Scalia and his buddies ax the Affordable Care Act. There was a recent firestorm of controversy over the ACA’s mandate that insurance plans provide free birth control, but Obama offered up a compromise shifting the burden away from religiously affiliated employers. The end result was that starting Aug. 1 the pill will be free to all American women who are insured.
 Without the law, many women—including those without a huge amount of disposable income—would be forced to pay for birth control out-of-pocket. Organizations like Planned Parenthood argue this would lead to far less consistent use of the pill—and more unplanned pregnancies.

What Will 20-Somethings Do If Conservatives Kill Health Care Law?

20-somehtings have a large stake in the outcome of the Supreme Court decisison tomorrow regarding the health care law.

By design, many provisions of the Affordable Care Act were not set to trigger until years after the law’s passage in March 2010. But one of the law’s biggest changes went into effect in late September of that year: all Americans could stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turned 26. If the law is overturned, it will be up to insurance companies whether to allow this continue, and they will be under no legal obligation to do so. Many could revert to their old practice of kicking kids off their parents’ insurance plans once they turn 19. The result, particularly for young adults with expensive health conditions, could be financially ruinous.

Mitt Romney’s Words About Cutting Firefighters—And The Colorado Inferno

Words should always be chosen carefully when seeking the White House.  More importantly, policy options should be carefully considered.

The latest blunder that is sending up embers of reminders of how short-sighted candidates talk comes from ‘n0-guiding compass’ Mitt Romney. 

Earlier this month came the following statement from the man searching for his own planet after death.

“He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers,” Romney said at a press conference. “He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

This morning those of us grounded in reality on planet earth was shocked to hear the news from Colorado.

Fueled by gusting winds and tinder-dry conditions, an explosive wildfire doubled in size and roared down foothills, razing residential areas of Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Wednesday.

Firefighters were again out in force battling the blaze, but the weather, again, was an enemy.

The Waldo Canyon Fire had engulfed 15,324 acres, with only 5% contained, by Wednesday and had forced 32,000 people to flee their homes, said Rich Harvey, the incident commander.

Cleary the need exists for more firefighters, given the growing problems with global warming.  The history of these types of wildfires over the years is proof for the policy goal of increasing firefighting personnel.  Yet, Mitt Romney would rather preach to the conservatives the words they want to hear, rather than create policy choices that work for America.

“Cronkite” by Douglas Brinkley Seems A Must Read

Walter Cronkite was my kind of journalist, reporter, thinker, American. 

I can not wait for Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley to land in my mail box.

Brinkley’s treatment is generally sympathetic but at the same time demythologizing. His Cronkite is rendered, in human scale, as a figure of enormous ability and core integrity (with a few lapses) but also colossal ambition and decided political opinions.

DB: There were very many similarities between Ronald Reagan and Walter Cronkite as personalities. Both were from the Midwest, both had alcoholic fathers, both had to make up sports coverage [as offsite radio broadcasters, riffing off wire-service accounts of the games], both had to disarm people with charm. Both wore well with people, and both are beloved in America.

PS: Did he deserve the “most trusted man in America” moniker?

DB: What a TV network decides to run as news—by nature it has some form of bias. Cronkite pushed for civil rights, the environment, women’s rights. He made a decision that Watergate was a real big story. I ended up believing that he was a journalist to trust, but he was also part and parcel of his times.

PS: What about his role as a cheerleader for NASA and the space program?

DB: On NASA boosterism, he is either praised or guilty as charged. He was seeing it as a big special-event story. So the question is whether he is right to be focusing on space and pushing that story narrative. I feel [the answer is] yes.

PS: You also note in the book that, in 1968, Cronkite privately urged Robert F. Kennedy, a dove on Vietnam, to get into the presidential race to take on LBJ, who in the end decided not to run for another term as president.

DB: I call foul on that. He should have come clean and let the public know that. Vietnam tore everyone’s compass apart. Cronkite was no exception.

PS: Notwithstanding Cronkite’s roots in wire-service reporting, he also, as you write in the book, “opened the floodgate for the line between commentary and news to be blurred.” The groundbreaking example is that special report, on Feb. 27, 1968, dissenting from LBJ on Vietnam. (Cronkite concluded, on air, that “We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and in Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds.”)

DB: I would see February, 27, 1968 as the beginning of what you now see as the news anchor on cable, editorializing nonstop, and when breaking news happens, they come on to be the fact-finder. The brand of the TV personality is now what carries weight. People are tuning in for the personality, not the news itself. That is part of Cronkite’s legacy, for better or for worse.