Friday, April 26, 2013

Morning Twitter Messages -- April 26

Coptic Christians are on the defensive without the protection of Hosni Mubarak. Making matters worse, the Brothers haven't enough political heft to risk losing the support of Muslim extremists, even if they wanted to protect Christians as well.
I haven't time to leave comments for all these Tweets. From here, you're on your own. 
Thanks for checking in...

Deja-moo alert ---
Gotta break my own rule for this next one and make an editorial comment. 
Reinhart and Rogoff are trying to stuff poop back into the elephant here but it's too late. It's already in the street. (Connection between elephant and GOP was accidental, but the metaphor turned out to be doubly apt.) 
[...]   The academic literature on debt and growth has for some time been focused on identifying causality. Does high debt merely reflect weaker tax revenues and slower growth? Or does high debt undermine growth?
Our view has always been that causality runs in both directions, and that there is no rule that applies across all times and places.
Sorry. I lost the Tweet with the link. 
But here is the NY Times op-ed response.
Debt, Growth and the Austerity DebateBy CARMEN M. REINHART and KENNETH S. ROGOFF
Egypt Independent 2009-2013 RIP
Very sad loss. This important English language newspaper is having to stop publishing. 
Follow the links to read the details. This, their final statement, had to be disseminated by Twitter because the final issue was not allowed to be printed. 
Four years after the birth of Egypt Independent, the management of Al-Masry Media Corporation has informed our editorial team that our print and online news operation is being shut down.
Because we owe it to our readers, we decided to put together a closing edition, which would have been available on 25 April, to explain the conditions under which a strong voice of independent and progressive journalism in Egypt is being terminated.
The management, however, withheld the printing of this edition. While the print house received the final proofs on 23 April, management ordered a last-minute stoppage after scrutinizing the issue’s content.

In keeping with our practice of critical journalism, we use our final issue to reflect on the political and economic challenges facing Egyptian media, including in our own institution.
Today, we share this final issue with our readers in digital form.
The issue can be reached through this link. Inquiries can be directed to
No time to explain this next one.
It's like something funny but "you had to be there."
This link to one of my Chirpstories from last night may help...

While I'm at it here are a couple of hot links from last night...


Moving right along... 

Nobody takes down anybody better than Jonathan Chait.
I just LOVE Rachel Maddow! 
The modern Senate has earned its unflattering reputation. As abuses became more common and norms were abandoned, the once-venerated institution became a lumbering, dysfunctional, and inefficient mess. But when it really wants to, the Senate can move with lightning speed. 
The Senate moved quickly Thursday evening to help ease the Federal Aviation Administration's ability to handle automatic spending cuts set forth in the sequester. 
Senators unanimously approved the "Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013" -- a patch to fix the deep cuts that have furloughed air traffic controllers and delayed flights across the country. 
The bill gives the FAA authority to spend up to $253 million of money already in the FAA's budget -- but not allocated to pay for other things -- to keep employees on the job and make sure more flights are on time. 
The measure didn't even face a Republican filibuster -- it just passed by unanimous consent. It will now move to the House, where it's scheduled to be brought to the floor today. It will be considered on something called the "suspension calendar," which means it'll need a two-thirds majority to pass, but proponents appear optimistic. 
To clarify an important detail, the "Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013" does not allocate funds to replace the budget cuts and end the furloughs, but rather, gives the FAA the authority to move around other funds within its existing budget to make up the difference. In this sense, it's a win for Republicans -- Democrats have argued that when it comes to ending the sequestration fiasco, Congress should either turn it off or replace it with a balanced compromise. The GOP line, meanwhile, has been to put the onus on the Obama administration to make the cuts work. It's a relatively tiny slice of the pie, but the FAA fix is in line with the Republican approach. 
So why did Democrats go along? Because they were just looking to solve this problem quickly, and this was the path of least resistance. 
Procedural considerations notwithstanding, we're still left with an unnerving examination of Washington's often twisted priorities. When the sequester started kicking children out of pre-K, Congress did nothing. When this stupid policy denied low-income seniors the benefits of Meals on Wheels, Congress barely noticed. When sequestration cuts put new burdens on cancer patients and cut housing aid to struggling families, most of Congress shrugged its shoulders. 
But when business travelers ran into flight delays on Monday, a unanimous Senate approved a fix without breaking a sweat on Thursday. 
I have no special fondness for FAA furloughs or disrupted air travel, but when Republicans pushed for sequestration, the goal was to create a policy that would hurt the country on purpose. What's more, it's proven to be quite effective -- millions of Americans have been affected and continue to feel the pinch. 
But it appears that lawmakers are also mindful of which Americans are affected and what kind of inconveniences the political world is prepared to tolerate. Children being thrown out of Head Start centers is a shame, but wealthier air travelers waiting on the tarmac for a couple of hours is a travesty in need of swift congressional intervention.

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