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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 11:54:12 AM EST
Gingrich rails at courts, suggests ignoring rulings | McClatchy

WASHINGTON -- Picking up where he left off in last Thursday's Republican presidential debate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Saturday continued to rail against the federal judicial system, accusing it of overstepping its constitutional role and arguing that the president and Congress can ignore court decisions.

In a conference call with reporters that sounded alternately like a campaign pitch and a law school lecture, Gingrich said, "The courts are too aggressive, and the courts have been trying to impose an elitist value system on a country that's inherently not elitist."

"The founding fathers were very distrustful of judges," Gingrich went on. "Saw them as an elite instrument of government designed to oppress the people. And, as a result, (they) consciously made the judicial branch the third branch and the weakest branch."

In order to restore balance between Congress, the White House, and the courts, Gingrich recommended ignoring rulings, impeaching judges, subpoenaing justices to have them explain their rulings and, as a last resort, abolishing the courts altogether.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:13:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So we can ignore Citizens' United?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 06:53:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And we thought Cheney's notion that the VP was in whatever branch of government might be convenient to avoid accountability was nuts...  I must have skipped school the day they covered the judiciary being the weakest branch of government.
Speaking of Cheney, Gingrich does have a bit of the same odor about him, but without the warm fuzzy appeal.
by Andhakari on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 02:49:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but republicans are at least consistent. They hate government and want to destroy it, unless they're in charge at which point they want omnipotence.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 03:31:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Violence continues on Cairo streets - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Egyptian soldiers have clashed with hundreds of protesters for a third straight day, pelting each other with stones in the heart of the capital, Cairo.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Cairo on Sunday, described the scene at Tahrir Square, where fighting raged the day before, as "pretty calm", but said clashes continued to erupt near the parliament building.

"What the military have essentially done is created a concrete barrier to block the enterance into that street to stop the protesters coming from Tahrir Square and continuing with their sit in," she said. 

"The protesters, of course, not happy with the situation. They're telling us they have a right to peacefully demonstrate in front of a government building.

"The skirmishes are taking place...across that concrete wall between the military and the protesters."

The violence began on Friday when one



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:21:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egyptian Soldiers Chase and Beat Unarmed Civilians in Cairo - NYTimes.com

CAIRO -- Egypt's military rulers escalated a bloody crackdown on street protesters on Saturday, chasing down and beating unarmed civilians, even while the prime minister was denying in a televised news conference that security forces were using any force.

In one of the most incendiary developments, video cameras captured soldiers stripping the clothes off women they were beating on the pavement of Tahrir Square.

The contradiction in the military-led government's statements and actions appeared to represent a shift in strategy by the military council. After trying for months to preserve some credibility and collaboration with the Egyptian political elite, the ruling generals on Saturday scarcely acknowledged the demands made by their newly appointed civilian advisory council the night before that the military cease its violence and apologize to demonstrators.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hillary...calling hillary! who's funding the mew military in egypt? gonna miss this bus too?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 07:39:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As U.S. departs Iraq, it leaves behind allies who won't talk | McClatchy

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- More than five years have passed since Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah last received Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al Maliki. The Saudi monarch views Maliki as untrustworthy and, even worse, "an Iranian agent."

Saudi Arabia doesn't allow direct flights between its capital, Riyadh, and Baghdad, and it doesn't permit direct trade between the two countries. The kingdom is building a fence along the closed 500-mile border.

This, too, is a legacy of the U.S. invasion of Iraq as U.S. troops complete their withdrawal: a bitter enmity between two close U.S. allies, with an underlay of sectarian animosity, that the United States cannot seem to ameliorate.

It is an irony, because the U.S. first sent troops to the region in part to protect Saudi Arabia in the wake of Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Thirteen years later, however, when the U.S. invaded Iraq to topple Saddam, Saudi rulers were highly critical. And they have remained opposed to or offended by almost everything that has happened since.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:22:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Saudis have always hated Iran, even more than Israel.

They realised, far better than the US, that the result of toppling a minority Sunni govt in Iraq which was hostile to Iran would result in a Shi'ia govt sympathetic to Iran. To the Saudis, Saddam, constrained as he was, was they devil they knew and understood.

They don't like Shi'ia, whom they believe are apostate scum. Iraq is now closed to Saudi.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 03:37:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel to free 550 Palestinian prisoners - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Israel has prepared to release 550 Palestinian prisoners in the second and final phase of a swap with the Hamas organization that brought home an Israeli soldier after five years in captivity.

Sunday's release will complete an Egyptian-brokered deal to exchange a total of 1,027 prisoners for Gilad Schalit, who was captured by Gaza fighters in June 2006. Schalit returned home in October when Israel freed the first batch of 477 prisoners.

The October 18 return of Schalit, who appeared pale and thin but otherwise healthy, was the first public sighting of him since his capture, and the plight of the young man had captured Israel's attention for years.

The prisoners that Israel freed in the first round included dozens of militants serving life sentences for involvement in deadly attacks. Their releases set off ecstatic celebration in the Palestinian territories, particularly Hamas' Gaza stronghold.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:23:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pakistan Islamists rally in support of army - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

ens of thousands of Pakistani Islamists have staged protests in which they expressed support for the military and condemned the United States following a cross-border NATO attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

About 30,000 demonstrators in Sunday's protest in Lahore said they backed the military, which has reasserted itself after the November 26 attack and in the wake of a controversial memo that has weakened the civilian government, the Reuters news agency reported.

Similar protests took place in the western city of Peshawar, where leaders of the Jammat-e-Islami criticised the Pakistani government for its handling of the country's affairs and NATO interventions in Pakistan.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder in Peshawar quoted organisers of the rally as saying: "This wave of humanity should be able to convince the president [who is recovering in hospital in Dubai] that the people are unstoppable."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:23:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha !! The enemy of my enemy is my friend

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 03:38:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migrants feared drowned off Indonesia - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

A boat believed to be carrying more than 250 migrants, many of them from the Middle East, has sunk off Indonesia's main island of Java, rescuers say.

The vessel, which survivors said was headed for Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, went down in bad weather and heavy seas about 40 nautical miles off the coast of Java on Saturday.

Police blamed the accident on overloading, telling the country's official news agency Antara that the vessel appeared to have been carrying more than twice its capacity.

"The passengers were very tightly packed, and therefore had nowhere to go ... That made the boat even more unstable and eventually it sank"

- Esmat Adine, Afghan migrant

So far only 33 people have been rescued, Sahrul Arifin, the head of emergency and logistics at the East Java Disaster Mitigation Centre, said.

Bad weather and waves of up to five metres hampered rescue efforts on Sunday, with 300 rescuers including navy and police officers deployed to comb the sea for bodies.

The survivors are being kept at a community hall near Prigi beach, 640km southeast of Indonesia's capital Jakarta.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:24:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kim Jong-il, North Korean Leader, Dies  NYT

69-Year-Old Was Ill Since Reported Stroke in 2008

SEOUL, South Korea -- Kim Jong-il, the reclusive North Korean leader who has been battling ill health following a reported stroke in 2008, has died, the North's official news media reported on Monday.

....

Mr. Kim was 69 years old. Since he reportedly suffered a stroke in 2008, he has been grooming his third son, Kim Jong-un, believed to be in his late 20s, to be his successor, as his country struggled to fight widespread food shortages and international sanctions imposed for its nuclear weapons development.

Called the "Dear Leader" by his people, Mr. Kim, the son of North Korea's founder, remained an unknowable figure. Yet he fostered perhaps the last personality cult in the Communist world. He had been grooming his third son, Kim Jong-un, to be his successor.

....

Mr. Kim was a source of fascination inside the Central Intelligence Agency, which interviewed his mistresses, tried to track his whereabouts and psychoanalyzed his motives. And he was an object of parody in American culture.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 11:58:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This Youtube footage from the North Korean state media shows masses grieving dramatically.

What to say?

Onion.com is quick with the headline
Kim Jong-Un [the son] Privately Doubting He's Crazy Enough To Run North Korea

For a crazy incorrect association, I throw in this recent Onion headline:
Nation Would Rather Think About 9/11 Than Anything From Subsequent 10 Years
Well, if North Korea would come as the last country finally joining the [collapsing] free world soon, crying might be appropriate enough.

by das monde on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 05:09:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering Merkozy and the horrors of the Cleggeron - never mind China's Glorious Capitalism™ - N. Korea might be better off running away from the free world  for a bit longer.

At this rate NK will have the world's most robust economy a few years from now.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 05:18:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
seen people saying that Havel, Hitchens and Kim arriving in a notional place will be interesting, but if these things happen in 3's does hitchens fit, or should we still be waiting for the Thatcher jackpot?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 05:35:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just pointing out that NK hardly has a monopoly on Teh Utter Crazee.

It's obvious to us that Kim Jong Thing was a loon, but perhaps not so obvious that Merkel, Bernanke, etc are hardly much saner.

Of course, they are infinitely more serious.

As for Thatcher - well, huh, dyathink?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 06:01:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NK hardly has a monopoly on Teh Utter Crazee.

It was my sense of just how profoundly this applies to the USA and Europe that prevented me from further commenting on North Korea.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 06:57:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They certainly know how to cure obesity.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 08:17:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. The ultimate goal of FOX ... the world after Rupert dies.

  2. People who know they're being watched and consider this a job interview.

  3. Guys trying to get laid, ladies checking out the guys ... same old shit.


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 at 08:48:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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