Morsi: When I said Jews, I didn't mean Jews
Here are the headlines and headliners you'll be talking about today:
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants to raise $1 billion per year for transportation in his state, breaking with austerity-minded Republican governors elsewhere. Snyder is trying to mend wounds from a divisive legislative session that included the imposition of a "right-to-work" law in his state, where Democratic-leaning unions have long been influential.
Mohammed Morsi, the President of Egypt, now says he wasn't referring to Jews when he said, two years ago, that Egyptians must learn to hate "Jews," and called Zionists "bloodsuckers," and "pigs," and a bunch of other things. (His words were revealed by an opposition TV station, which, if you think about it, is a small sign of political health.) Good thing a U.S. Congressional junket/delegation is in the country to hear him apologize and insist that his words were constructive policy criticism and nothing more. There is absolutely no chance that Morsi's non-apology apology will jeopardize the $1.3 billion the U.S. sends Egypt, nor the extra money it is preparing with the IMF as an aid package. What leverage, if any, does the U.S really have over Egypt? And what, in practical matters, can Israeli officials do? The answer: Probably nothing, although I'm sure there will be diplomatic theatrics for months to come.
On Mali/Algeria: 41 people remain hostages at the BP plant. Either things are going to hell in a handbasket, or let the Obama Doctrine work its will for a while and see what happens. Rather predictably, the U.S. has little good intelligence about (a) the bad guys (b) the strength of their links to al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb and (c) their true intentions or (d) their determination/willingness to attack the U.S. homeland. If the intelligence they do have on the nature of the true threat is that AQIM really isn't much of a true threat to the U.S. homeland, then the Obama administration probably won't devote significant resources to countering it.
The entire world is grounding Boeing Dreamliners. An aviation industry columnist in Seattle, Jon Alton, blames the board of directors and says that it's up to the company's engineers to fix a problem that might not have been there in the first place if quality was prioritized over efficiency.
How much is Hollywood and the video game industry to blame for the culture of gun violence? The media aren't talking about their own role, so the government will do some research.
Kathryn Bigelow defends Zero Dark Thirty's torture scenes thusly: "Bin Laden wasn't defeated by superheroes zooming down from the sky; he was defeated by ordinary Americans who fought bravely even as they sometimes crossed moral lines, who labored greatly and intently, who gave all of themselves in both victory and defeat, in life and in death, for the defense of this nation."
The Sundance Film Festival begins today in Park City, Utah. Twitter hashtag is #Sundance
The 9 Most Unhealthy Chain Restaurant meals, per the Center for the Study of Science in the Public Interest.
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