Monday Open Thread

Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time.[2] Clapton ranked fourth in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”[3] and fourth in Gibson’s Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.[4]

In the mid sixties, Clapton left the Yardbirds to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. In his one-year stay with Mayall, Clapton gained the nickname “Slowhand”, and graffiti in London declared “Clapton is God.” Immediately after leaving Mayall, Clapton formed with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce the trio Cream, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop.”

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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54 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

  2. Ametia says:

    Clarence Thomas Appears to Have ‘Knowingly and Willfully’ Violated Rule of Law for Twenty Years

    Could face fines, jail time, though corporate media downplay criminality, even as evidence suggests special treatment for the U.S. Supreme Court Justice…

    The words “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW” are famously chiseled above the main portico of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. But is one of the Justices seated in that building, with a lifetime appointment, now receiving special treatment under the law instead?

    Evidence is mounting that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas violated federal law by failing to report his wife’s annual salary of more than $120,000 per year from conservative political organizations by checking “NONE” on the box for “Non-Investment Income” for his wife Virginia on judicial Financial Disclosure Reports for the last 20 years.

    According to the “self-initiated amendment” letters [PDF] signed by Thomas as dated Friday, January 21, 2011 and stamped as “RECEIVED” by the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Committee on Financial Disclosure on a Saturday, January 22, 2011, the Justice failed to reveal such sources of spousal income even on his original nomination disclosure forms during his contentious 1991 confirmation hearings.

    One of the amendments hastily filed last week by Thomas states that he “inadvertently omitted” spousal income from as far back as 1989 “due to a misunderstanding of filing instructions”. Though it has also been reported that he did report other spousal income on some disclosure reports up until 1996.

    Virginia Thomas’ income from The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, totaling $686,589 from 2003 to 2007 according to Common Cause, was omitted from the forms entirely, as was her Heritage Foundation employment from 1998 to 2003 and other sources of “non-investment income” from as early as 1989.

    When reached by phone for comment on Friday, two different officials at the Judicial Conference were particularly hostile in response to questions from The BRAD BLOG in regard to what appeared to be special treatment afforded the Supreme Court Justice, allowing him to deliver the amendment letters for twenty years of inaccurate financial disclosure forms on a Saturday when the federal government office is not usually open to the public. The swift processing of Thomas’ documents, carried out as the news of his false filings was about to break in the media, allowed subsequent news reports to downplay the issue as having already been handled, old news.

    Moreover, Thomas’ ‘inadvertent omissions’ appear to be in violation of U.S. federal law, in contradiction to suggestions from the Los Angeles Times’ original reporting on this matter last weekend. That report, breaking the story publicly, quoted a judicial ethics expert from Northwestern University School of Law as asserting that Thomas’ failure to report his wife’s income was “not a crime of any sort.”

    It would appear that the law professor was wrong.

    Closer examination of the original disclosure forms that Thomas filed and signed year after year, quite directly suggest crimes were committed, though none of the mainstream corporate media reports on this issue, to our knowledge, have bothered to focus on that point. According to the statute clearly printed on the disclosure reports filed by Thomas, just below his signature on each, the Supreme Court Justice could be held accountable for his omissions by penalties under the U.S. Code including as much as a $50,000 fine and up to one year imprisonment, or both, for each violation of the federal law. Even stricter penalties are also a possibility — at least if one believes that even U.S. Supreme Court Justices are subject to the Rule of Law…

    ‘Not a Crime of Any Sort’?

    Thomas has maintained that the omissions of his wife Virginia’s “non-investment income” salary — from the Heritage Foundation, the Liberty Coalition, a “Tea Party” political group she founded in 2009, and a number of Congressional Republicans for whom she work — were “inadvertent”. He quickly moved to file amendments to years of false disclosure reports as the governmental watchdog organization Common Cause sent a letter [PDF] to the Secretary of the Judicial Conference just over a week ago, seeking an investigation and possible referral to the Attorney General, and as the Los Angeles Times worked on breaking their story that weekend.

    The Times article included a quote from Northwestern University School of Law professor, Steven Lubet, downplaying the seriousness of the apparent violations of law, by stating his belief that they were “not a crime of any sort”:

    Steven Lubet, an expert on judicial ethics at Northwestern University School of Law, said such an infraction was unlikely to result in a penalty. Although unfamiliar with the complaint about Thomas’ forms, Lubet said failure to disclose spousal income “is not a crime of any sort, but there is a potential civil penalty” for failing to follow the rules.
    However, the disclosure forms (here is the one he filed for 2009 [PDF], for example, as submitted in 2010) as signed by Thomas in the final “Certification” section, attests that the information provided on the report, “including information pertaining to my spouse”, was “accurate, true, and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief”.

    The penalties for falsifying those documents are noted in ALL CAPS on the Financial Disclosure Report itself, just below the Justice’s own signature as follows:

    The statute referenced there, 5 U.S.C. app. § 104, defines the “civil and criminal sanctions” for “knowingly and willfully falsif[ying]” the report, including a fine “not to exceed $50,000” and “imprison[ment] for not more than 1 year, or both” for each instance [emphasis added]:

    (1) The Attorney General may bring a civil action in any appropriate United States district court against any individual who knowingly and willfully falsifies or who knowingly and willfully fails to file or report any information that such individual is required to report pursuant to section 102. The court in which such action is brought may assess against such individual a civil penalty in any amount, not to exceed $50,000.
    (A) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly and willfully
    (i) falsify any information that such person is required to report under section 102; and
    (ii) fail to file or report any information that such person is required to report under section 102.
    (B) Any person who
    (i) violates subparagraph (A)(i) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both; and
    (ii) violates subparagraph (A)(ii) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code.
    The penalties spelled out above reference title 18 of the United States Code as well. Both Roger Shuler at Legal Schnauzer and “AlaskaDave” at Daily Kos have detailed what is referenced by that statute, and how it pertains to the Ethics in Government Act (EGA) as instituted following Watergate.

    Both writers cite an article posted at the Mississippi Criminal Defense Blog the week prior to the news about Thomas breaking, as written by Mississippi attorney Clarence Guthrie in reference to an FBI agent in the state who was indicted that same week “for making false official statements to a federal official”. Here’s Guthrie:

    Under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, it is a crime to:

    1. knowingly and willfully;
    2. make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation;
    3. in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States.

    This was the charge that Martha Stewart served time for. It is a crime to tell a lie to the federal government. Even if your lie is oral and not under oath, and even if you have received no Miranda warnings of any kind. You must know that your statement is false at the time you make it, but you do not have to know that lying to the government is a crime. Any person convicted under this statute faces statutory penalties of a possible fine, and up to 5-8 years in prison.

    So you may add the possibility of 5 to 8 years in prison, to the 1 year mentioned in the specific statute printed on the form below Thomas’ signature, for each of his apparent violations, if he was to be charged and found guilty.

    As “AlaskaDave” points out:

    While 5 USC app 104 makes this conduct a misdemeanor punishable for up to a year in prison, 18 USC 1001 is, on its face still applicable. Take a look at the indictment against Don Young’s former aide, who is awaiting trial for a violation of 18 USC 1001 for failing to report his World Series Trip if you have doubts.

    While there is no doubt an argument to be made that this conduct is just a misdemeanor, take a look at UNITED STATES v. WOODWARD, 469 U.S. 105 (1985) where a person checking the “no” box on a custom form was punished both for the false statement (18 USC 1001) violation and the charge of failing to report the currency itself — all as a result of checking the “no” box.

    Personally I don’t like the law, and for that matter neither does Martha Stewart who was convicted for a violation of 18 USC 1001, but it is the law and if a US Supreme Court Justice can’t seem to figure it out year after year, perhaps he should suffer the consequences as so many others have.

    The Financial Disclosure Reports submitted by Thomas are quite simple and straight forward, including Section III B for “Spouse’s Non-Investment Income” where Thomas checked “NONE (No reportable non-investment income.)”.

    As noted by NYU School of Law professor Stephen Gillers in the LA Times’ report, “It wasn’t a miscalculation; he simply omitted his wife’s source of income for six years, which is a rather dramatic omission.” He added, “It could not have been an oversight.”

    [Note: Since the LA Times’ initial report, additional disclosures reveal that Thomas withheld such information not for just six years, but for as many as twenty, even while he was deciding cases such as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which had a very direct impact on the fund-raising ability of organizations such as The Heritage Foundation and his wife’s Liberty Coalition. In short, they stand to make hundreds of thousands, even millions, as based on the decision in the case, in which Thomas supported the majority decision.]

    Common Cause President Bob Edgar characterized Thomas’ claims that there was a “misunderstanding of the filing instructions”, as stated on his “self-initiated amendments”, as “difficult to believe” and “implausible.”

    “Justice Thomas sits on the highest court of the land, is called upon daily to understand and interpret the most complicated legal issues of our day and makes decisions that affect millions,” he said in a Commom Cause statement issued last week. “It is hard to see how he could have misunderstood the simple directions of a federal disclosure form. We find his excuse is implausible.”

    Thomas’ claims become even more “implausible” when considering, as AP reported, that he did succeed in including his wife’s employment on many of those very same disclosure reports filed prior to 1996.

    Moreover, as noted in a Press Release issued last week by calling on Thomas to step down and for charges to be brought against him, the Justice’s presumed expertise in law, according to prosecutorial guidelines in the Dept. of Justice’s Handbook on Prosecution, means that he is presumed to have acted “knowingly and willfully”, as per the statute noted on the disclosure report, when he signed and submitted the forms failing to list the organizations paying hundreds of thousands of dollars of salary to his wife.

    A defendant’s signature on such documents in criminal prosecutions, says the DoJ, can also be used to “help to establish willfulness”.

    [DISCLOSURE: is a campaign run by, an organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG.]

    The statement notes a number of other recent cases where defendants were given stiff penalties in a court of law for having falsified financial documents.

    Their attorney, Kevin Zeese, says “Justice Thomas admitted that he made false statements on 20 years of disclosure forms, but that it was just a simple misunderstanding. How many criminal defendants have said the same thing but were not offered the same opportunity to correct or amend their statements before being prosecuted?”

    “How many cases has Justice Thomas sat in judgment of where people were charged with similar conduct? How many lawyers would have asked for Justice Thomas’s recusal had the disclosure forms been accurate?,” he continued.

    Zeese observes: “Supreme Court Justices are supposed to know the law. Yet, Justice Thomas wants to be treated differently than others who committed similar conduct. His ‘misunderstanding’ excuse should be argued before a federal jury rather than to a committee that has no authority to grant him immunity from prosecution.”

    On the heels of the initial Los Angeles Time’ report, downplaying the seriousness of these violations by the inclusion of Northwestern University law professor Lubet’s comment that Thomas’ transgressions were “not a crime of any sort,” much of the mainstream media seemed to yawn at the news.

    We shared much of the information above, twice, including the details on the actual criminal statutes, via email with Lubet to see if he’d like to modify his assessment in light of it. We also left voice messages a number of times, but we’ve yet to hear back from him. We will update this item appropriately when and if we do.

    But that was not the only reason, it seems, that the corporate media may have spent very little time looking into 20 years of false filings by a U.S. Supreme Court Justice…

    Special Treatment For Thomas by the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee?

    After reviewing copies of Thomas’ amendments [PDF], hastily sent to the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on Financial Disclosure, as obtained via public records request, we noticed a couple of interesting issues.

    First, Thomas’ “self-initiated amendments” included not only the omitted details from the Financial Disclosure Reports on his wife’s income from the The Heritage Foundation and Liberty Coalition from 2004 through 2009, but also on forms going back as far as 1990, his “Nomination Financial Disclosure Reports” during his famously contentious nomination hearings in 1991.

    Secondly, all seven amendment letters included in response to the records request, are dated January 21, 2011, the same date as the original Common Cause letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Judicial Conference seeking a finding and possible referral to the AG on this matter. The Los Angeles Times story was published in their January 22, edition.

    Clearly, Thomas scrambled to amend 20 years of false reports as Common Cause and the Times, who almost certainly contacted him for comment, prepared their reports. That quick work paid off, as most of the subsequent reports on the matter by corporate mainstream outlets were able to downplay the matter since, after all, Thomas had quickly amended the filings (once he got caught.) Problem solved!

    USA Today’s first report was that “Clarence Thomas fixes reports to include wife’s pay”. The Wall Street Journal was able to tell readers that “Justice Thomas Revises Disclosures After Criticism”. And Washington Post/AP reported only that “Thomas adds wife’s employment to disclosure report”.

    None of the reports offered detailed information on the possible violations of the law as we’ve spelled out above.

    We found it interesting that Thomas’ amendment letters, dated Friday the 21st, were stamped as “RECEIVED” on Saturday, January 22nd and wondered if, perhaps, he had received special treatment in processing his letters quickly on a Saturday, prior to the LA Times’ initial report, when federal offices are normally not open for business.

    We made several calls last week to officials at the Judicial Conference to find out if receiving such materials on Saturday is normal or if special accommodations were made just for Thomas. A receptionist confirmed that the Financial Disclosure office, like most federal offices, is not generally open for public business on Saturday.

    In seeking more details, we were transferred to George Reynolds, Staff Counsel for the Judicial Conference Committee on Financial Disclosure. The discussion was terse, as Reynolds would not directly answer whether the Supreme Court Justice had received any sort of special treatment for his filings.

    “We try to accommodate all filers at different times,” Reynolds told us sharply. “If someone needs our help and we can provide it, why not? Isn’t the idea to get the forms and to make them available?”

    He claimed that it was “not unusual” to process such information on a weekend, as long as personnel is in the office already and available to do so. “We aren’t routinely here on a Saturday,” he explained, before adding that he “had someone who was working here on Saturday, so that made it easy” to handle Thomas’ amendments quickly.

    “We got the request that they wanted to file the amendment. If they know ahead of time, we try again to accommodate everybody. Why not help them?,” he said.

    When we asked for further details about when the request came, and whether or not someone came in expressly to receive Thomas’ documents, he refused to answer any more questions and referred us to the Committee’s Public Affairs Director, David Sellers.

    Sellers was even shorter with us than Reynolds, and ended up hanging up the phone after just a minute or two of our trying to clarify the situation.

    “I think you’re trying to make something out of nothing here,” he said in response to rather polite questions about whether or not someone made a special effort to receive Thomas’ document on a weekend. “I don’t have anything to say,” the Public Affairs official repeated at least twice.

    “I don’t know if there were people who were there or not, there are people who work here on weekends.”

    In trying to learn if any member of the general public, or even another member of the judiciary, would be able to walk in on a Saturday and receive service at the agency, we were abruptly cut off before we were able to even finish the question.

    “I think I see where you’re going with this and you have an agenda,” Sellers snapped accusingly. “That’s clear from every question you ask, and so I think I’m gonna end this conversation. We’re available to assist filers and that’s our job, so we do it any way that we can. So, thank you.”

    And then Sellers hung up the phone on us. The call with the Public Affairs Director lasted, in total, no more than three minutes.

    • rikyrah says:

      hell no


      hellll no

    • Ametia says:

      And this muthafucka’s going to sit on the bench and decide whether our HCR bill is unconstitutional, a bill that has already been passed by our elected officials.

      See a pattern here with Citizens, Ginny & Clarence thomas’ shenaningans, and Scalia’s fratenizing with the Tea Party here.

  3. Israel Expresses Support for Egypt

    Netanyahu says his country’s ties with Egypt must be preserved, as Israel asks European and U.S. leaders to support Mubarak’s regime.

  4. Ametia says:

    Federal judge says key parts of health care reform unconstitutional
    January 31st, 2011
    03:01 PM ET

    A federal judge in Florida has struck down as unconstitutional key parts of the sweeping health care reform bill championed by President Barack Obama. Officials in Florida and 25 other states are challenging sections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the “individual mandate” requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance in four years or face stiff penalties.

  5. Ametia says:

    Take our advice to make NBC great again

    Don’t overdo it: Too much of a niche sitcom like Parks and Recreation, starring Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, doesn’t help things.

    By Mitch Haddad, NBC

    THIS: Go wide.

    Look at the phenomenal numbers BET pulled in with its revival of CW’s The Game. Look at the growing success of the Spanish-language networks. Doesn’t that tell you that there are at least two underserved markets just waiting for some Big Four network to wise up and tap into them?

    And who better to do so than NBC, the network of I Spy, Chico and the Man and The Cosby Show? Not only does NBC have the tradition, it has the ratings proof that such a program, when done well, can attract a mass audience that extends far beyond any racial or cultural targets. The talent and the viewers are out there. What’s lacking is the network will.

    That will do, for now, for NBC advice. But here’s one for the network’s new owners at Comcast:

  6. Egypt: U.S. Marine Team Dispatched To Embassy

    The State Department is serious about wanting US citizens out of Egypt—so it’s planning enough chartered flights to evacuate all of them. Charters are flying from Cairo and will likely land in Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, but spotty Internet connections are making it difficult for Americans to get information about their options, the AP reports. Passengers will have to pay for their own flights, the first of which were expected to arrive in Cyprus today, as well as their travel out of Europe.

    There are 52,000 Americans registered at the Cairo embassy, but not everyone registers or deregisters, and some may not leave regardless of the warning. It will likely take a few days to get everyone out. Meanwhile, the Cairo airport saw chaos today as thousands tried to flee to their home countries. Shouting matches and even a fistfight erupted amidst the confusion, the AP reports. The Danish, German, Chinese, British, and Canadian governments also sent planes to evacuate their citizens.

  7. Ametia says:

    January 31, 2011 08:00 AM

    112th Congress: 28 Bills to Repeal Patient Protection Act in 11 Days, But Nothing to Create Jobs
    By Karoli

    See our elected representatives are hard at work, representing their constituencies. Not that those constituencies even vaguely represent voters, you understand. No, they would like to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 28 times. In 11 days, no less. What busy little beavers they are!

    Here’s a list as of today, divided by House and Senate.

    H.R. 105 Dan Burton, GOP – Indiana : To repeal the Patient Protection Act & enact in its place incentives for people to buy health insurance.
    H.R. 118 John Fleming, GOP – Louisiana : To permit a state to elect not to have an American Health Care Exchange.
    H.R. 119 John Fleming, GOP – Louisiana : To prohibit hiring of irs agent to implement or enforce health insurance reform.
    H.R. 127 John Graves, GOP – Georgia : To de-authorize funding of Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 141 Steve King, GOP – Iowa : To repeal the Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 145 Connie Mack, GOP – Florida : To repeal the Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 154 Ted Poe, GOP Texas : To prohibit any federal funds to be used to enforce Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 171 Cliff Stearns, GOP – Florida :
    H.R. 2 Eric Cantor, GOP – Virginia : Repeal of Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 38 John Fleming, GOP – Louisiana : Rescind funds authorized for Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 9 David Drier, GOP – California : Requires Committees to look into Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 26 David Drier, GOP – California : Repeal Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 215 Don Young, GOP – Alaksa : Repeal Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 19 John Carter, GOP – Texas : Disapprove rules on MLR in Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 299 John Carter, GOP – Texas : Repeal Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 358 Joe Pitts, GOP – Penn : Remove abortion funding from Patient Protection Act (there is none)
    H.R. 360 Michael Burgess – Texas : Amend Patient Protection Act to include President in Health Care Exchanges.
    H.R. 364 Tom Latham, GOP – Iowa : To Repeal Patient Protection Act
    H.R. 371 Marsha Blackburn, GOP – Tennessee : Repeal Title I of Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 5 Phil Gingrey, GOP – Georgia : Repeal Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 397 Wally Herger, GOP – California :Repeal Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 429 Darrell Issa, GOP, California – Repeal Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 452 Phil Roe, GOP, Tennessee – A bill to repeal Patient Protection Act.
    H.R. 450 Dave Reichert, GOP, Washington – A bill to repeal Patient Protection Act.


    S. 19 Orrin Hatch, GOP – Repeal Health Mandate & therefore repeal patient protections.
    S. 17 Orrin Hatch, GOP – Repeal Tax on Medical Devices
    S. 16 David Vitter, GOP – Repeal Patient Protection Act
    S. 196 Chuck Grassley, GOP, Iowa – A bill to to provide congressional staff gets to participate in Exchange.
    S. 192 Jim DeMint, GOP, South Carolina – A bill to repeal health care.

    I thought it might be interesting to see what Democrats did in their first 11 days after assuming control of the House in 2006. Well, lookee there. All sorts of interesting bills in those first days. Everything from gun show loophole closures (David Dreier’s baby) to First Amendment protections, to small business assistance to alternative energy.

    But for Republicans and their keepers, this Congress is all about sticking it to Obama. Nothing more, nothing less.

  8. Ametia says:

    WH Pressing for Huntsman’s Resignation?
    posted at 9:30 am on January 31, 2011
    by Ed Morrissey

    regular view The White House has begun leaking to the press that they expect their ambassador to China, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, to resign in the next few weeks or months in order to enter the Republican primaries for the presidential nomination. Both Jake Tapper at ABC and Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns at Politico have reports this morning on the chatter. Neither report has any date in mind for Huntsman’s departure, but both carry plenty of snark aimed at Huntsman by his current bosses.
    From Tapper:
    White House officials tell ABC News that the Obama administration expects the US Ambassador to China, former GOP Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, to step down from his post in the coming months to explore a possible 2012 run for president. …
    At the Gridiron dinner Saturday night, White House Chief of Staff William Daley joked that President Obama “has no hard feelings,” a White House source noted. “He just did an interview with the Tea Party Express about how integral he has been to the success of the Obama administration.”

  9. Ametia says:

    Well Happy 90th Birthday Carol Channing!

    According to Channing’s memoirs, when she left home to attend Bennington College in Vermont, her mother informed her that her father, a journalist who Carol had believed was born in Rhode Island, had in fact been born in Augusta, Georgia, to a German-American father and an African-American mother. According to Channing’s account, her mother reportedly did not want [Channing] to be surprised “if she had a black baby”.[2][3] Channing kept this a secret to avoid any problems on Broadway and in Hollywood, ultimately revealing it only in her autobiography, Just Lucky I Guess, published in 2002 when she was 81 years old. Channing’s autobiography, containing a photograph of her mother, does not have any photos of her father or son.[4] Her book also states that her father’s birth certificate was destroyed in a fire. (The November 4, 2002 issue of Jet magazine reported, based on her autobiography, that Carol Channing’s father was African-American.)

  10. Ametia says:

  11. Ametia says:

    Video- Tim Pawlenty: President Obama “chicken” on entitlement reform
    Posted on Monday, January 31, 2011 by Paddy



  12. Ametia says:

  13. Ametia says:

    US Will Fly Every American Out of Egypt
    …or, at least, every American who wants to go, by way of chartered flight

    By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
    Posted Jan 31, 2011 7:43 AM CST

    Newser) – The State Department is serious about wanting US citizens out of Egypt—so it’s planning enough chartered flights to evacuate all of them. Charters are flying from Cairo and will likely land in Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, but spotty Internet connections are making it difficult for Americans to get information about their options, the AP reports. Passengers will have to pay for their own flights, the first of which were expected to arrive in Cyprus today, as well as their travel out of Europe.

    There are 52,000 Americans registered at the Cairo embassy, but not everyone registers or deregisters, and some may not leave regardless of the warning. It will likely take a few days to get everyone out. Meanwhile, the Cairo airport saw chaos today as thousands tried to flee to their home countries. Shouting matches and even a fistfight erupted amidst the confusion, the AP reports. The Danish, German, Chinese, British, and Canadian governments also sent planes to evacuate their citizens.

    Again, the Ameircans are getting the HELL outta Egypt!

  14. Ametia says:

    Duncan calls on black men to go into teaching
    Source: Associated Press

    ATLANTA — Education Secretary Arne Duncan and filmmaker Spike Lee are teaming up to encourage black men to go into teaching.

    The duo is scheduled to appear with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and Rep. John Lewis at Morehouse College on Monday for a town hall meeting with students at the country’s only all-male historically black college. They will promote the federal TEACH campaign launched last fall to persuade more minorities – particularly males – to go into education.

    Federal officials estimate more than 1 million teachers will retire in the coming decade, and federal officials are hoping to fill some of those vacancies with a more diverse workforce.

    The meeting comes a week after President Barack Obama’s call during his State of the Union address for more people to become teachers.

    Read more:

  15. Ametia says:

  16. Ametia says:

    White House quietly prepares for a post-Mubarak era in Egypt
    By Peter Nicholas
    Washington Bureau
    January 30, 2011, 12:56 p.m.

    The White House stance has been even-handed as officials have suggested President Hosni Mubarak might stay in power if freedoms, competitive elections are allowed. But an insider says the U.S. is not ready to keep Mubarak in power at all costs.

    Reporting from Washington — A tight-lipped White House is taking an even-handed approach to the crisis in Egypt, suggesting that President Mubarak might be able to hold onto power if he allows competitive elections and restores individual freedoms. But inside the Obama administration, there are signs that officials are preparing for a post-Mubarak era after three decades.

    One former senior administration advisor said he had spoken to his old colleagues inside the Obama administration in recent days about the unrest in Egypt. As early as last Wednesday, the Obama administration recognized that they would not be able to prop up the Mubarak regime and keep it in power at all costs, the former official said.

    “They don’t want to push Mubarak over the cliff, but they understand that the Mubarak era is over and that the only way Mubarak could be saved now is by a ruthless suppression of the population, which would probably set the stage for a much more radical revolution down the road.”

    Get dispatches from Times correspondents around the globe delivered to your inbox with our daily World newsletter. Sign up »

    Obama gave a much-publicized speech in Cairo in 2009 warning that governments cannot suppress people’s rights. With protesters massing in the street demanding Mubarak’s ouster, Obama would be hard-pressed to side with a repressive leader.

    Obama administration officials “recognized that change was coming and they needed to be on the right side of history and not try to keep Mubarak in power against all odds,” the former official said. “It’s a very difficult balance to be struck. Mubarak is, after all, a friend of the United States for the last 30 years. A lot of our allies in the region — the Saudis, Jordanians and Kuwaitis — will be particularly nervous if it looks like the U.S. is doing in one of their friends.,0,6627312.story?om_rid=DRaeQf&om_mid=_BNRrlfB8X6sFNi


  17. Ametia says:

    Losses at Afghan Bank Could Be $900 Million

    KABUL, Afghanistan — Fraud and mismanagement at Afghanistan’s largest bank have resulted in potential losses of as much as $900 million — three times previous estimates — heightening concerns that the bank could collapse and trigger a broad financial panic in Afghanistan, according to American, European and Afghan officials.

    It appears America’s financial institutions aren’t the only BANK ROBBERS in teh world.

  18. President Obama Speech to Muslim World in Cairo June 2009

    • Ametia says:

      Ha! I remember it now. He literally threw down the gauntlet for Mubarak to get his act together and do the right thing by the Egyptian people. but true to form, Mubarak’s a DICTATOR, and dictators will go down with the ship or DIE with power, before they make any REAL REFORM.

  19. dannie22 says:

    Good morning all!!

  20. Ametia says:

    ‘A Rosa Parks moment for education’

    By Kevin Huffman
    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Last week, 40-year-old Ohio mother Kelley Williams-Bolar was released after serving nine days in jail on a felony conviction for tampering with records. Williams-Bolar’s offense? Lying about her address so her two daughters, zoned to the lousy Akron city schools, could attend better schools in the neighboring Copley-Fairlawn district.

    Williams-Bolar has become a cause célèbre in a case that crosses traditional ideological bounds. African American activists are outraged, asking: Would a white mother face the same punishment for trying to get her kids a better education? (Answer: No.)

    Meanwhile, conservatives view the case as evidence of the need for broader school choice. What does it say when parents’ options are so limited that they commit felonies to avoid terrible schools? Commentator Kyle Olson and others across the political spectrum have called this “a Rosa Parks moment for education.”

  21. Ametia says:

    I’m totally diggin’ this version of “Layla.” Thanks, SG2!

  22. Ametia says:

    Happy MUN-dane, Everybody! :-)

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