Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fast Blast: News 2.10.11

From fashion and art to dictators, school boys and whales, it's a helluva day around the world.

Mubarak hangs on: Egyptian president Mubarak gave a speech this evening in front of a packed Tahrir square, surprising his constituents and the world by proclaiming that he wasn't going to step down. The crowds had already been cheering and celebrating all day in preparation for the official word. Needless to say, they were disappointed and angry. Mubarak announced that he will be handing over certain powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman. This didn't do much to quench the anger in the masses. Suleiman is a military man, head of intelligence gathering and widely regarded as a heartless extension of Mubarak.Major opposition leader, Mohamed ElBardei warned that things will rapidly turn violent if Mubarak does not step down. "Egypt will explode," he tweeted. After Mubarak's speech, crowds chanted "Get out, Get out!" The latest development reports masses of more than 1,000 encircling the presidential palace where heavy security guards the building and others nearby. This will be a long night.

The soldier's side: Reports show that for the second year in a row, the US military has lost more soldiers to suicide than in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year, over 468 troops committed suicide. If everyone bitches so much about supporting the troops, shouldn't we support them enough to bring them home and pay for adequate physical and mental healthcare...? Nah, that's not as fun as moving little green men around on a board.

A billion pounds of flesh: House Appropriations Committe Chairman Hal Rogers announced today that he intends to cut $100bn from Obama's budget this year. "Our intent is to make deep but manageable cuts in nearly every area of government, leaving no stone unturned and allowing no agency or program to be held sacred," Some Democrats feel, like Rep. Schumer, that the Republicans are "blindly swinging a meat ax to the budget when they should be using a smart, sharp scalpel." He said that they need to pay special attention to what areas of government spending will benefit job growth and the economy and what areas won't, as opposed to just throwing a blanket over the whole thing and slicing $100bn. However, it seems that even some of Rogers' co-workers are unsure of exactly what's being cut: "We will make $100 billion in discretionary cuts while making common sense exceptions for our troops and veterans. " House Appropriations Committee Communications Director Hing said (that by the way, is the most made up job ever). Ummmm...oh right, that's a bullshit patriotic way of saying you won't cut military funding, but everything else, from schools to health care to jobs and public works will be bent over the House podium and royally raped - while you have that image in your head, imagine Obama's speech to corporate America the other day where he vowed to try and slash corporate taxes to make free trade easier. You're welcome America.

Saving the whales: Thanks to less pollution and international bans on whaling, whales have returned to the waters of New York Harbor, just beyond the Verrazano-Narrows bridge which connects Staten Island to Brooklyn. An estimated 50 fin whales now live in the area. Guess that campaign really did the whales!

School boy bomber: A man dressed in a school boy uniform blew himself up, along with Pakistani troops at an army training camp in Northwest Pakistan this morning. There seems to be some discrepency as to the age and identity of the suicide bomber: army and police claim it was a teenager in a school uniform, the Pakistani taliban said it was a soldier on the base who had volunteered, and Reuters claims it was a boy as young as 12. This comes as a sharp reminder of the strong Al-Qaida and Taliban operations along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, despite years of attacks against the groups. Not to beat a dead horse, or a dead ideology, but at what point did we decide that we could conquer what essentially is an entire continent deeply rooted in faith - with nothing more than firepower and arrogance? It was all about Bush in his flight jacket on the aircraft carrier wasn't it? Congrats USA - no mission accomplished, missing a conscience.

The fashionable apple: Mercedes Benz fashion week kicks off today in the Big Apple with BCBG stealing the show in throwback 70s style on Auschwitz survivor thin models...I dunno, seems a little retro for my taste.

Art Walk: If you live in LA, check out the Art Walk downtown. In the center of the city (Spring-Broadway between 3rd and 8th), galleries will showcase their pride and joy along with live music, alcohol and free swag like condoms and fashion magazines.

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