July 13, 2011

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Why Egypt wasn't waiting for WikiLeaks to ignite a revolution Mosa’ab El Shamy, an Egyptian activist and photographer who spent the 18 days of the uprising in Tahrir, told The Next Web, “I thought we would only have to counter all the local corporates here, which were trying to claim credit for the revolution and share a ride on the bandwagon, but Wikileaks, is to me, the worst of them all.” Many local companies have been accused of playing both sides in Egypt, bowing to the regime before the uprising, and in a lightening quick chameleon change, their colours were suddenly an entirely red, white and black display of supposed patriotism and pride in Egypt’s revolution. El Shamy goes on to explain his views on Wikileaks conceding, “I believe it’s changing the world in its own way and their effort is a prime and noble one, but it’s ludicrous to hear Mr. Assange in the ad declare with a cheeky grin as he watches the imagery of protesters pushing police forces back from Kasr el Nil Bridge that ‘the world changing as a result of his work is priceless.’” In fact, as Egyptian blogger Zeinobia pointed out in her response to the parody ad, most of the Wikileaks cables relating to Egypt were never translated or published in local media for a variety of reasons, ranging from a fear of retribution to simply a matter of bad timing, with more important issues taking the attention of the Egyptian media and its audience. Ironically, much of the information that the Wikileaks...
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Bush Tax Cuts In The Balance In Debt Ceiling Talks | ThinkProgress One point that’s not always being made clear in discussions of the debt ceiling talks is that the revenue increases Barack Obama is demanding are increases relative to current policy rather than relative to current law. This is important because the Bush tax cuts are currently set to expire in 2012, and these tax cuts are extremely expensive. The upshot is that if Obama obtains bipartisan agreement on taxes, revenue will be much lower than where it would be if he simply promised to veto extension of the tax cuts. Recall that the Bush tax cuts come in two pieces. One piece, the more expensive one, is composed of broad-based, highly regressive tax cuts. Political convention calls these “middle class” tax cuts because middle class individuals do indeed receive them. And because middle class people outnumber rich people, the largest share of the money goes to middle class people. But rich people actually receive much larger cuts than do middle class people. Another piece, cheaper but still very expensive, is composed of super-duper regressive tax cuts that only very high income people get. The current negotiating posture of the White House is to say that they favor permanent extension of the very expensive broad-based regressive tax cuts but do not favor permanent extension of the expensive rich people only super-regressive tax cuts. And the current negotiating posture of congressional Republicans is to say that they will vote against extension of the very expensive broad based regressive tax cuts unless they’re...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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