Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Randi Rhodes: Mubarak Cooked

Developing: al-Arabiya TV is reporting that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will say in a speech tonight that he will step down at the next election in September, but will stay in office until then. President Obama is also urging Mubarak not to run again.

Meanwhile, President Mubarak is on shifting sand today as millions of people take to the street to demand his immediate resignation. Egyptian TV has been asking people to stay home. If they want people to stay home, they should put something better on TV than announcers asking people to stay home. At Cairo’s Tahrir Square, soldiers are checking the crowd entering for weapons. That’s futile—the people who are protesting ARE the weapons.

We send some $2 billion per year to Egypt in military and economic aid. Obviously, from the events of the past week, that money comes with no guarantees. You can’t buy a friendly autocratic government, you can only rent one. And you never know when the lease is suddenly going to expire. In terms of economic aid, we give Egypt hundreds of millions of dollars to import US goods. I’m no economist, but I don’t think that paying people to shop from you is a viable long-term business strategy. Well, if we’re paying the Egyptians to buy American goods, it’s working, at least judging from the brand of tear gas they’re using.

Incidentally, income inequality in America is actually worse than income inequality in Egypt. And we achieved that level of unfairness in only 235 years. Egypt had a 4,000-year head start. And they were starting from a point where one guy had a solid gold coffin and everybody else was out in the desert piling up giant stones to build him a tomb.

To help maintain our level of wealth inequality, a federal judge has ruled the healthcare reform law unconstitutional. That immediately brings up the question—what kind of healthcare do federal judges get? My guess is that Judge Roger Vinson has a healthcare package that looks a lot like the one he just ruled that the rest of us can’t have. This ruling couldn’t have been more activist if it had been written on a Tea Party protest sign with a picture of Obama as The Joker. The only difference between this judge and the Tea Party people is his grasp on spelling and grammar. The good news is that this is not the final word. The bad news is that the Supreme Court has the final word. In other words, if you’re going to get sick, do it now.

Today’s Homework | Discuss

Barbara Bush just pulled a Meghan McCain by coming out for marriage equality despite her dad’s, President G.W. Bush, fervent opposition to it…

No comments: