Irresistible Force, Immovable Object

As we write, it’s 10 a.m. in Cairo, and crowds are already flooding into Tahrir Square for the “Day of Departure” — the departure, they hope, being Hosni Mubarak’s. When this is posted, it will be 2 p.m. If shit’s going down, it’s going down now.

Al Jazeera is repeating Omar Suleiman’s promise Thursday that protesters won’t be forced out of the square. The New York Times is is holding out a ray of hope:

The Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, administration officials and Arab diplomats said Thursday.

Today’s metaphor: National Geographic moved the Pyramids. Can the protesters?

The Case of the Moving Pyramids [Museum of Hoaxes]

I’ve seen nothing yet, but I take that promise that protesters won’t be forced out of the square to mean they’re just going to kill and maim them there.

I iz skeered for my fellow man.

it has also been made clear that a wide range of opposition groups have to be included in the transition process. he would be the caretaker and gone in the fall.

it could work. they want Mubarak to leave. if the US can arrange that they could accept the VP temporarily. why? because is was also stated that the US knows he has the support of the army. they will decide ultimately.

I think there will be good news today.

TPM reporting that members of the staff of the embassy in Luxembourg were “so demoralized that some top staffers volunteered to serve in two war zone embassies” rather than continue to working for Cynthia Stroum, appointed ambassadress by Barack Obama as a reward for being a major fundraiser during his presidential campaign.


crowd goes wild. calls heard to head for the presidential palace.


he will leave
he will leave

state tv carrying the first interview with a protest leader.

up until now they have ignored this completely.

saying they will stay in the square calling on people to join them until Mubarak is gone. impossible to overstate how big a deal this is.

this is real evidence that the tide is turning.

From Nick Kristof’s excellent op-ed piece today:

Innaharda, ehna kullina Misryeen! Today, we are all Egyptians!

And now for a comedy break:

Local blog prints MCSO (Arpaio’s office) memo telling deputies not to eat at McDonald’s because one guy allegedly got yelled at by some Spanish speaking workers.

I’m lovin’ it.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: This part of Kristof’s column gave me chills:

Amr (I’m not using some last names to reduce the risks to people I quote) was being treated for a wound from a flying rock. I asked him as politely as I could what a double-amputee in a wheelchair was doing in a pitched battle involving Molotov cocktails, clubs, machetes, bricks and straight razors.

“I still have my hands,” he said firmly. “God willing, I will keep fighting.”

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I thought until I got to the end of that sentence that you were going to say that the sheriff’s office said not to order breakfast burritos at Mickey Ds. Is there a ban on deputies going to taco trucks and Mexican restaurants? FSM only knows what the Spanish-speaking workers at McDonald’s did to the food.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Thanks for the link.

@SanFranLefty: That and the part about the older doctor who prepared a will before heading to Tahrir Square to treat protesters injured in the crackdown.

@SanFranLefty: I hope now the deputies are getting a little taste of how Hispanics are being made to feel.

@karen marie has her eyes tight shut: To be fair, many are “volunteering for two tours in war zones” because that is the newest (and easiest) way to advance their careers. Little known fact: it’s “up or out” for careerists in the ForServ, so a nearly automatic promotion is sometimes worth taking the risk of getting shot at/blown up.

Missing Google executive named leader of youth opposition group in an attempt to make Mubarak’s goons release him from prison.

@SanFranLefty: No idea, but you’d think those morons would have figured out by now that it’s best to eat all their meals at home. There isn’t a kitchen in the whole county that isn’t staffed with Latinos. I suspect that’s why I’ve seen Russell Pearce at Sweet Tomatoes a couple of times. He’s less likely to have his food spit in if he’s getting it through an unattended buffet line.

Al Jazeera: “No one’s departing so far.”

Good news: Everything’s calm.

Sad news: Al Ahram journalist Ahmed Mahmoud who was shot during protests on January 29 has reportedly died, per the Guardian and AJE.

Looking ahead: Sunday, Tuesday and Friday are the next Scheduled Protests. Damned heathens, not even taking a Super Bowl break.

AJ’s covering an Obama presser, but my coffeehouse iPhone feed keeps cutting out. Since he started by celebrating some trade agreement with Canada, I’m not sure he’s going to be saying anything new, other than it’s time for Mubarak to flee the palace.

@nojo: It’ll be after midnight Monday AM in Cairo by kickoff. I look forward to cutaways from the broadcast to all the Steeler bars in Cairo and Alexandria. Not Suez, tho – that’s Packer territory for sure.

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