William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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EGYPT VOTES – AT 10:43 A.M. ET:  – Egypt votes today on a new constitution.  In many ways, the vote is a sham.  The constitution was shoved through a parliament dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and objections of Christians, woman and secular liberals were overlooked. 

There's been almost no time for discussion, but Egypt's new president, and Obama's new best friend, insisted on an early vote.  It's a foregone conclusion that the constitution will pass.  The Egyptian masses have little information, most are Muslim, and they will go along.  Then the trouble begins.  From NBC News:

Egyptians voted on Saturday on a constitution promoted by its Islamist backers as the way out of a prolonged political crisis and rejected by opponents as a recipe for further divisions in the Arab world's biggest nation.

Lines formed outside polling stations in Cairo and other cities and soldiers joined police to secure the referendum process after deadly protests during the build-up. Street brawls again erupted on Friday in Alexandria, Egypt's second city.

The opposition says the constitution is too Islamist and tramples on minority rights. Morsi's supporters say the charter is needed if progress is to be made toward democracy nearly two years after the fall of military strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Highlighting the tension in the run-up to the vote, nearly 120,000 army troops were deployed on Saturday to protect polling stations. Clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents over the past three weeks have left at least 10 people dead and about 1,000 wounded.

"The times of silence are over," bank employee Essam el-Guindy said as he waited to cast his ballot in Cairo's upscale Zamalek district. "I am not OK with the constitution. Morsi should not have let the country split like this."

El-Guindy was one of about 20 men standing in line. A separate women's line had twice as many people. Elsewhere in the city, hundreds of voters waited outside polling stations for nearly two hours before stations opened at 8 a.m.

And...

The referendum will be held on two days — this Saturday and next — because there are not enough judges willing to monitor all polling stations after some in the judiciary said they would boycott the vote.

Egyptians are being asked to accept or reject a constitution that must be in place before a parliamentary election can be held next year — an event many hope can steer the country toward stability.

The measure is generally expected to pass, given the well-organized Muslim Brotherhood's record of winning elections since the fall of Mubarak. Many Egyptians, tired of turmoil, may simply fall in line and vote "yes."

COMMENT:  If it passes, there will be the usual whitewash from the pro-Brotherhood Obama White House, and the amen corner in the press will fall in line.  But it's an awful constitution that would never pass muster in a modern country.  Sharia law prevails, and Muslim authorities have ultimate say.  Women's rights are ignored, but notice, once again, the silence of "feminist" groups in America and Europe.  These groups today are simply part of the Obama left.  Whatever he says, goes.  Some feminists.

December 15, 2012