Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Morning Twitter Messages -- july 9

Egypt has been de facto a military dictatorship since WWII and was a British colonial territory prior to that. A few elections do not mean it's a democracy any more than membership in a spa makes someone a fashion model. Slavery was legal in America for a century and the aftereffects are still apparent a century after it was supposedly abolished. All this chattering about whether the Egyptian military staged a coup d'etat is only that -- chattering.  

Am I the only one who finds big parts of this disturbing? 

If you haven't seen it already you will sooner or later. This CNN edited snip will be quicker than watching the whole dreary You Tube version.

Informative interview. Gold is at its lowest point in several years. "Investment demand" and "retail demand" are the two main variables.

Uh, before opponents start getting orgasmic, read this...
The struggles with technology and administrative complexity have not come as a recent surprise to administration officials; they've been negotiating them for months already. By eliminating non-essential tasks, they may be violating the letter of the health reform law, with its rigorous timetables and multiple requirements, but they may be more likely to get the core functions right.
And whatever the bad politics of the recent announcements, a failure of crucial systems next year would be much worse for the president and Democrats running in 2014. "I continue to see the federal government focusing on mission critical issues, and moving forward on them, and jettisoning to the extent they have to the things that aren't mission critical," says Joel Ario, a Managing Director at Mannatt Health Solutions, a consultancy, and the administration's former top exchange official. "I have not heard anything that suggests to me that we will not move forward with the main exchange functions in time."
Those of us who have referred to ACA as a less-than-ideal piece of political sausage-making are not surprised. Disappointed, perhaps, but certainly not shocked.  Something is better than nothing, and even with all its flaws this legislation remains the most important and progressive health care legislation since the passage of Medicare. And it's a helluvan improvement over previous insurance regulations and COBRA, which were vile jokes.


Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and US citizen whose family resides in Beirut and Nazareth. He is the Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, as well as a columnist at the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper.

He is an internationally syndicated political columnist and book author, and a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Dubai School of Government. He has been a visiting scholar at Stanford, Syracuse, Tufts, Mt. Holyoke and Northeastern universities, and in November 2006 he was the co-recipient of the Pax Christi International Peace Award for his efforts to bring peace and reconciliation to the Middle East.

He was a Nieman journalism fellow at Harvard University in 2001-02, and recently served for four years on the international advisory board of the International Committee of the Red Cross. He has a BA in political science and MSc in journalism from Syracuse University

And if he sez something is worth reading, you can be sure it is.
The upheaval in Egypt inevitably produced a torrent of American commentary, a great deal of which was clichéd, glib, or simply banal. But four articles stand out as particularly instructive examples of how not to write or think about change in Egypt and the broader Arab world.
Go to the link to see which four he means.

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