Robert Gibbs answers the same question, rephrased, over and over again. His answer: It's not up to the U.S. to decide who's going to lead Egypt.
Monday, January 31, 2011
There are a lot of people siding with the Egyptian people without even knowing the Egyptian people or what they want in their leaders. There are a lot of people who say the U.S. should call for Mubarak's resignation. In other words, there is a lot of noise out there, a lot of people with opinions that have no knowledge of Egypt or the Egyptian people. It's amateur hour. Our media seems to have been blindsided by the protests as well.
Saw this tweet by Marc Ambinder, which seems fitting: "Iraqify" = to impose a Western version of liberty on another country w/ little regard to the circumstances of the country.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Obama and his staff discussing Egypt
From the White House:
The President has made a number of calls to foreign leaders to discuss the ongoing situation in Egypt. On Saturday, January 29th, the President spoke to Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Today, he spoke to Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom. During his calls, the President reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech; and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people. The President asked each of the leaders that he spoke to for their assessment of the situation, and agreed to stay in close contact going forward.Hillary Clinton speaks about Egypt on This Week: "People are not going to stand by any longer and not be given the opportunity to fulfill their own god-given potential." Watch
.....That is why the President has asked Jeffrey Zients, our nation’s first Chief Performance Officer (CPO), to lead our reorganization effort. Our first focus will be looking at trade and exports to see how we can better reform these functions to give American companies a leg up in the global economy.
For the past two years as CPO and Deputy Director for Management of OMB, Jeff has led our Accountable Government Initiative (AGI), the President’s initiative to make government more efficient and effective, open and responsive. On his watch, we have cut government waste, bringing down the amount of improper payments on our way of reducing them by $50 billion by 2012; starting to get rid of unused federal buildings and property; overhauled how IT is purchased and used, saving billions; and deployed the latest technologies to make it easier of people to get the information and services they need from their government.
Jeff’s years of private sector experience means that he brings a unique perspective to his job as CPO and to this new assignment. Having been a CEO, management consultant, and entrepreneur, Jeff has a deep understanding of business strategy, process reengineering and operational management. In fact, Jeff spent the majority of his career leading two companies that help corporations around the world improve their performance by adopting best management practices. Read more at the White House
Broadcaster Al Jazeera has been banned in Cairo. David Gregory asks the same question in different ways: What are you going to do about it? and Do you still want Mubarak in power? At about the 8 minute mark, Hillary Clinton gets politely impatient with David. Mitch McConnell, perhaps for the first time ever, agreed with Hillary's remarks. The fact that McConnell doesn't take the opportunity to get political, means the problem in Egypt is serious. If a radical regime takes over in Egypt, then Egypt's peace with Israel is over.
For all the Egyptians that are protesting it looks like there are as many who are working against them by looting:
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Obama administration is walking a fine line:
Dozens of people on Saturday surrounded the Egyptian Museum in Cairo - which is home to the death mask of King Tutankhamun - where army tanks had been stationed, as anti-government protests swept the country for the fifth day running.
Egypt's opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, which has thrown its weight behind the protests, said it had recruited members to form Neighborhood Watch committees around Cairo to protect public and private establishments. "We have selected members to form [the] committees, and they will be stationed around the capital trying to protect property," Salah Abdelraouf said. Herald Sun
Friday, January 28, 2011
Obama calls on the Egyptian government to refrain from violence. Obama spoke to Egyptian President Mubarak this evening:
Meanwhile, Mubarak calls for dialogue:
The Egyptian government has cut Internet access to its citizens. Egypt is part of Africa, but culturally, it's Middle Eastern. (Read the State Department's background on Egypt). Egyptians want President Hosni Mubarak and his authoritarian government gone. During Obama's youtube interview yesterday, he said Egypt is an ally and is at peace with Israel, but it needs to move forward with political reform. Obama spoke to students at Cairo University June, 2009. Another Nobel Peace laureate is arrested:
Tens of thousands of Egyptians were in "open revolt" against the government Friday amid violent clashes in Cairo and reports they were in control of central areas of two major cities.The revolt is limited:
The government announced a military curfew due to begin at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) and sent troops onto the capital's streets.
Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei was put under house arrest in Cairo, Egyptian security officials said, just a day after the former U.N. nuclear watchdog had returned to the country to take part in pro-democracy protests. msnbc
So far, despite everything, normal life is continuing in most parts of the country.
The vast majority of Egyptians are too busy scratching a living to join the protests. There is widespread anger and disillusionment with the government, but there are probably not more than a few thousand people actively expressing their anger. That will give some reassurance to the government. BBC
Al Jazeera is the news outlet to watch:
Thursday, January 27, 2011
David Kato, a gay rights activist, was killed in Uganda for being gay. Apparently, the Ugandan government is considering executing gay people. Sadly, U.S. evangelical Christians groups in Uganda have made the situation worse for gay people. But not all evangelicals. Evangelical pastor Rick Warren has spoken out against the abhorrent and un-Christ-like treatment of gay people there. Obama:
I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.
At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate. In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.
LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.
The financial crisis commission conclusions have been published in book form, which is available at Amazon. The media is focused on the commission's dissenting opinions over who's to blame. I've always contended that if people refrained from buying homes they couldn't afford, the recession wouldn't have happened. Once people took the bait of teaser rates, adjustable rates, yadda, yaddda, it created a cycle of greed. For a long, long time, Americans have been really busy keeping up with the Joneses.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee and Deputy National Security advisor Denis McDonough answered questions today:
A bunch of Obama staffers answered questions today, including Goolsbee:
President Obama has chosen Jay Carney to serve as his new press secretary, replacing longtime loyalist Robert Gibbs who is leaving his post in mid February, according to a senior Administration official.
The White House will also name Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle and current White House director of scheduling and Advance Alyssa Mastromonaco as deputy chiefs of staff.
Carney, who is currently communications director for Vice President Joe Biden, came to the White House in 2009 after a long career in journalism in which he served -- among other posts -- as Washington bureau chief of Time magazine. Read more at The Fix
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! That was the sound heard around the nation following Obama's State of the Union speech. Everyone found something to nitpick. Harry Reid is clinging to his earmarks:
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I've added times when Obama's cabinet members and staffers answer questions.
All times are eastern:
Obama and Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.
Obama and Biden meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Obama meets with his national security team for his monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan; Biden, Secretary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder will be among the attendees.
Open for Questions: the State of the Union and the Economy with Austan Goolsbee. Watch
Obama and Biden meet for lunch.
Open for Questions: the State of the Union and Foreign Policy with Denis McDonough. Watch
Obama participates in a YouTube interview with Steve Grove. Watch
Open for Questions: the State of the Union and Education with Secretary Arne Duncan. Watch
Open for Questions: the State of the Union and Health Care with Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Watch
Biden attends a reception for the Democratic National Committee.
UPDATE Feb. 24: Molly didn't move on.
UPDATE Feb. 20: Molly, who was in room 4, is still in it. A photo of Molly in the Rolling Stone.
UPDATE Feb. 17: Apparently, Molly made it through even though she wasn't on the show last night. Look for her tonight.
Well, I know who I'm rooting for:
Molly singing at Harvard: