Monday, November 28, 2011

Morning Brief: Christmas shopping season begins with pepper spray and Cyber Monday; voters to the polls in Egypt with little optimism that the violence will end

The Thanksgiving Day holiday has come and gone, and so, here in America, we begin the season where the nation celebrates shopping and consumer consumption. It is an ugly sight probably best exemplified by the incident at the Porter Ranch Walmart in Southern California where a woman used pepper spray to make her way through the line to purchase an Xbox. The woman, still unidentified, turned herself into the police this weekend likely to face battery charges.

(Imagine what the scene would have been at that Walmart if iPads were sold at a 50% discount.)

Today, of course, is Cyber Monday, the day the online retailers try to grab back the attention of shoppers by offering real and imagined deals. But for many Americans it is simply another reason to continue shopping while at the office. has taken the absurdity one step further by promoting "Cyber Monday Deals Week". Monday is now a week. Give me a break.

Egyptians are going to the polls today to vote for their representatives in Parliament with the Muslim Brotherhood expected to win a large portion of the seats. But despite the turnout observers fear further violence at the military has rejected calls for a shift transition to civilian rule.

“It won’t be a working Parliament. It will be a Parliament that people want to overthrow,” the New York Times quotes one Egyptian.

The fear is that the newly elected Parliament will merely be seen as an extension of the military generals who current control power, and that those elected to Parliament will want to hold onto their positions and so will cooperated with the military.