Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.
TGIF, and thankfully a relatively peaceful Friday in Egypt. The big debate today is whether the Army’s decision to allow the pro-democracy demonstrators space for their rally is a sign of shifting sentiment, or just a move designed to prevent more bloodshed. In any event, it sharply limited the number of skirmishes. Top deputies to President Mubarak continue to reject suggestions the president step down, and so there remains a political stalemate. President Obama weighs in again, and Defense Secretary Gates made another call to his Egyptian counterpart to urge restraint. Still a lot more questions than answers here, but a day of peaceful protest beats the alternative. Our observations today are from Erick and Jane. Erick stirs a controversy over a “missing” abortion report from the government, and notably – from the right – heaps scorn on GOP claims to be advancing their promises to significantly cut spending. Jane’s trademark skepticism pours through in her postings, beginning with her doubts the team around President Mubarak is ready or able to do the right thing. Enjoy the day – and the weekend, during which I’m heading out to California for the Reagan Centennial Celebration. Take care. – John King
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
– Redstate.com has discovered the CDC is not issuing its annual survey of abortion data. The CDC said there were no plans to release the 2010 report — a report that has been delivered every Thanksgiving since the 1960's. Within 30 minutes of RedState writing about this, the CDC responded and reversed its statement from last week, now saying it will release something.
– The Department of Education has refused to respond to several requests made as far back as November of 2010 regarding the use of taxpayer funds in colleges and universities to pay for student healthcare plans that fund elective abortion. That use would be prohibited by the Hyde Amendment.
– Republicans touting their $74 billion in budget cuts are actually only cutting $35 billion. The $74 billion is based on what they'd b cutting had Barack Obama's budget passed Congress. But it didn't. The $74 billion is as fictitious as the budget it is based on.
Firedoglake.com Blogger/Founder Jane Hamsher: