Friday, 15 June 2012

Linkliste unbehandelter Themen

Politics: 

Update on Egypt: Two weeks after former President Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison two weeks ago, and days before the Presidential elections this weekend, the country's Supreme Constitutional Court found a decision to disqualify some of the candidates unconstitutional and dissolved the popularly elected parliament. 
The timing of the ruling seems like a transparent attempt to undermine the Islamists just two days before Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood is set to compete in the runoff against Ahmed Shafik, a former air force general and Mr. Mubarak’s last prime minister.

If the ruling is carried out, whoever wins the presidential race would take power without the check of a sitting Parliament and could exercise significant influence over the elections to form a new one. The new president will also take office without a permanent constitution to define his powers or duties.  
NY Times: Blow to Transition as Court Dissolves Egypt’s Parliament, June 14, 2012
The Obama campaign had a bad week amidst a failed effort to remove Republican Governor Scott Walker in a recall election in Wisconsin, fuelled by reforms that severely affect labour unions ("They forbade unions from negotiating on pensions, benefits, or working conditions."), dire economic data in May (employment situation / Bureau of Labor Statistics and this unfortunate soundbite), and the Republican Party raised more money than the Democrats for the first time (and here's a number to think about: 53 % of Democratic donations are under $200, 57 % of Republican are the maximum $2,500.) 

Slate has an excerpt from James Mann's The Obamians - an interesting chapter about Richard Holbrooke's (special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009 to 2010) position in the administration.

Here's some cheerful news from Greece on the eve of the election: "Greece on edge of financial collapse as paralysis takes hold in election runup", "Europas Notenbanken bereiten Ernstfall vor" (also the use of the dry and analytical term "Schicksalswahl" to describe the election...). Spain's also not doing so brilliantly. And Austrian finance minister Maria "Kassandra" Fekter wants her very own piece of the predicting doomsday cake.

Pop Culture: 

In such dark times, it is always nice to know that lovely Gillian Jacobs of Community has your back. I wish Rookie had been around when I was a teenager, it truly deserves its very own 100+ characters tumblr tag.

The Seattle Stranger has discovered the existence of Fat Segal, who will  release! a record! soon.

Doomsday Slackers. If someone wants to send me some advice regarding vegetable gardens in chronically sun-less apartments, I'll probably get around to that. Eventually. And teach myself how to bake bread without destroying vital kitchen appliances. 

Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do is streaming in its entirety on NPR.

What else? Pretty Little Liars is back for a third season and as good as ever, I've spent the past two weeks learning about Plantagenets and Tudors (fed into my Margaery Tyrell feelings... there's a reason why someone watched Natalie Dormer in The Tudors and thought, yup, that's her) and Stuarts and the French Revolution, via Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel!), this slightly cracky documentary series, historically not particularly accurate but Cate Blanchett films, a Teaching Company Course, and GĂ©rard Depardieu.

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