The Egyptian military consolidated its control of the country yesterday, dissolving Parliament, imposing martial law, suspending the Constitution, and calling for new elections in six months. While the military has been responsive to protesters’ concerns, there “is almost no check on the sweep of military rule.”
Jasmine Revolution update. In Yemen, students protested for the fourth day in a row, calling for an end to the authoritarian rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. In the Palestinian territories, in response to popular uprisings in the Arab world, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad dissolved his cabinet. The White House is suggesting Iran’s leadership could face upheaval from its own people.
Algeria’s foreign minister, facing demonstrations this past weekend, “dismissed the protest marches in his country as actions by a small minority,” saying that “Algeria is not Tunisia. Algeria is not Egypt.” However, the Algerian government has announced that it will be lifting the state of emergency law that has been in place since 1992, likely indicating that it is cognizant of a growing desire for democracy in the region.
Leading Republicans have come out against Build America Bonds, which let cities sell municipal bonds to the IRS, and have announced that they plan to end the program in the upcoming budget. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has said that the program is really a “a disguised state bailout.”
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) won the straw poll at CPAC for the second year in a row, beating out former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) by 7 points. Only 3,742 of the 10,000 attendees participated in the poll, “the results of which offer little indication of which candidate will emerge to take on the president.”
Public-worker unions are preparing to combat efforts to roll back wages and benefits, as budget crises threaten them at the state, federal, and local level. The nation’s two biggest public employee unions, representing 2.2 million workers, are preparing a campaign to ensure cuts aren’t made “too hastily.”
In a clear indication that President Obama’s place of birth will continue to simmer as a political controversy, the opening of state legislative sessions this year has seen 10 different “birther” bills introduced. The measures would require presidential candidates on the state’s ballots to be an American citizen. “We don’t think the president was vetted, and it’s just that simple,” said Texas GOP state Rep. Leo Berman.
And finally: “Stupid people are ruining America,” African-American conservative pundit Herman Cain told a gathering of conservatives this weekend.
ThinkProgress is hiring! Details here.