Contributing writer Laura Flanders is the host and founder of GRITtv with Laura Flanders, a daily talk show for people who want to do more than talk. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species (Verso, 2004) and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians (Penguin Press, 2007). A regular contributor on MSNBC, Flanders has appeared on shows from Real Time with Bill Maher to The O’Reilly Factor. Flanders is the editor of At the Tea Party: The Wing Nuts, Whack Jobs and Whitey-whiteness of the New Republican Right… and Why we Should Take it Seriously (October 2010, OR books). For more information, go to LauraFlanders.com or GRITtv.org.
“This freeze would cut the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, bringing this kind of spending -- domestic discretionary spending -- to its lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Let me repeat that...."
That was our president announcing his 2012 budget. And indeed let's repeat that — and note a few things he didn't say.
It might be the greatest bait and switch ever pulled on the American voter. For two successive election cycles we've been promised jobs, a recovering economy, attention to the Constitution. After the last one, triumphant Republican after triumphant Republican declared November’s to be an election decided on jobs.
This weekend saw something revolutionary—not just in Egypt, but in the Congo. The V-Day foundation, led by playwright and GRITtv guest Eve Ensler, opened its first City of Joy, a compound that will help Congolese women, many of them rape survivors, heal and learn, as V-Day puts it, to “turn their pain to power.”
The US media seem to have found a new language for the economy. There's been talk of “solidarity” and even “class war,” and a focus on corruption and inequality like we haven't seen in who knows how long.
The only problem? They're talking about Egypt.
The uprisings in Egypt have inspired all sorts of people, including Private Bradley Manning, the young man being held in solitary confinement in Quantico, accused of being the source for Wikileaks. Manning's friend David House tweeted after visiting him this week that “Bradley's mood and mind soared” at the news from Egypt.
As we speak, Egypt is struggling with near-total Internet and communications shut-off, and not just Egyptians are grappling with the implications. Can the flow of social media information to an entire country simply be cut? Apparently, yes. And that's not just an Egyptian concern.