Backing Off Added Powers, Egypt’s Leader Presses Vote

CAIRO — Struggling to quell violent protests that have threatened to derail a referendum on an Islamist-backed draft constitution, President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt moved Saturday to appease his opponents with a package of concessions hours after state news media reported that he was moving toward imposing a form of martial law to secure the streets and allow the vote.

Mr. Morsi did not budge on a critical demand of the opposition: that he postpone the referendum set for next Saturday to allow a thorough overhaul of the proposed charter, which liberal groups say has inadequate protection of individual rights and provisions that could someday give Muslim religious authorities new influence.

But in a midnight news conference, his prime minister said Mr. Morsi was offering concessions that he had appeared to dismiss out of hand a few days before. The president rescinded most of his sweeping Nov. 22 decree that temporarily elevated his decisions above judicial review and drew tens of thousands of protesters into the streets calling for his downfall. He also offered a convoluted arrangement for the factions to negotiate constitutional amendments this week that would be added to the charter after the vote.

Taken together, the announcements, rolled out over a confusing day, appeared to indicate the president’s determination to do whatever it takes to get to the referendum, which his Islamist supporters say will lay the foundation of a new democracy and a return to stability.

Read more at The New York Times

Comments

Jimmy Kimmel 'censors' Obama

Thanks to some mischievous editing from Jimmy Kimmel, these originally innocent TV clips will put your mind straight in the gutter.

Jon Stewart: Fox News is 'killing' him

As his days on the Daily Show wind down, Jon Stewart wants to make sure we are all aware how much he really, really hates Fox News.

Jay Carney is going to work for Amazon

Imagining an Amazon customer service call with Jay Carney on the line.

Ron Swanson, libertarian visionary

We're sad to say that "Parks and Rec" has aired its finale episode, leaving a Pawnee-shaped hole in our hearts.

Jon Stewart defends Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, whom a Mother Jones report has accused of Brian-Williams-like war reporting exaggerations, has an unlikely defender: his long-time sparring partner, Jon Stewart.

White House

Calling for cooperation, Obama engages in confrontation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone XL pipeline — a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington's political realignment.

It’s on: Obama follows through and vetoes Keystone pipeline

Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency.

Biden: The middle class is ‘being killed,’ in worse shape than any time since the ’20s

Joe Biden—everyone’s favorite creeper and truth-bomb-dropper.

MSNBC Host: Obama’s terrorism summit is a ‘dog and pony show’
You know it’s bad when President Obama has even lost the support of MSNBC. MSNBC Host Andrea Mitchell basically called the White House’s Summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” a farce during her show Wednesday. “Here he has the summit, no heads of government coming, the participation has not been at a particularly high level. We’ll have […]
Obama assures ‘almost complete confidence’ there have been no NSA abuses

The president’s interview with Re/code over the weekend touched on privacy issues, with Obama insisting with “almost complete confidence” that there have been no abuses of the government’s vast surveillance program.

Congress

Rand Paul calls on Hillary to retire

Rand Paul’s speech at CPAC Friday felt a lot like a campaign rally—and the crowd left little room to doubt that they wanted it that way, breaking out into chants of “President Paul! President Paul!” at least three times over the course of his remarks.

Cruz: Obama, Carter similarities 'uncanny'
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has his sights set on 2016, but he is not very optimistic about what will happen both at home and abroad in the mean time. Cruz laid out his predictions for the direction he believes President Obama is leading the country in during a round table event with reporters and bloggers […]
Cruz calls Lynch vote 'heartbreaking'
Loretta Lynch won approval from a key Senate committee Thursday to serve as the nation’s next attorney general, as divided Republicans clashed over her support for President Barack Obama’s immigration policies. The 12 to 8 vote in the Judiciary Committee sent Lynch’s nomination to the full Senate. Three Republicans joined all committee Democrats in voting “yes.” […]
It's Warren 2015, not '16

There seems to be a lot of talk about political "branding" lately. Allow Elizabeth Warren to take a crack at it.

Rand Paul calls Giuliani comments

Rand Paul pushed back on Rudy Giuliani’s controversial comments about Obama’s lack of patriotism, saying he prefers to question policy rather than motive.