Days after a labor-led movement ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian military dissolves parliament. The ruling Al’Hizb Al Watani Al Democrati (National Democratic Party) held 81% of the seats in the People’s Assembly and 84 of 88 seats in the upper chamber, the Shura Council. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will rule, arguing that it can issue new law until it sets up new elections, which will presumably be held in 6 months.
In response to successful protests in Egypt and Tunisa, the Palestinian Authority has hastily called for new elections to be held by September. Meanwhile, protests in Jordan have led to King Abdullah to swear in a new cabinet. Yemenis continue to demonstrate against the American-backed government. And protests have been held this weekend in Algeria and Syria, with more protests scheduled for Monday in Bahrain and Iran and on Thursday in Libya. Even Saudi Arabia has experienced protests as Muslims do peacefully what the Neo-Conservative Project for a New American Century once argued would take numerous American preemptive wars and countless lives.
In the US, President Obama is preparing a new federal budget that will come out Monday. According to the New York Times, the budget contains deep spending cuts totaling as much as $1.1 trillion for the next decade. We will offer a breakdown as well as comparisons with the draconian cuts in the House Appropriations Committee proposal later this week.
The meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) winds down with a number of notable moments, including Representative Peter King’s (R-IA) call to kill the government if President Obama will not repeal his health care reforms. How to do it? By not extending the federal debt ceiling this spring. Most economists, as well as Timothy Geitner and Ben Bernanke argue that failure to raise the federal debt ceiling would be catastrophic, likely resulting in a default on over $14.3 trillion in debt and causing markets to crash around the world.
Other moments at CPAC include former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld receiving the “Defending the Constitution Award” all while hearing simultaneous cheers and shouts of “War Criminal” (also going to Dick Cheney) for his work to endorse torture by the US military. Last year’s winner, Rush Limbaugh made numerous mistakes about the Constitution he defended during his conference-closing award acceptance speech.