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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The White House said Tuesday it was “cautiously encouraged” by a timeline proposed by Egypt’s interim rulers for elections to replace ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

“We will not prescribe a timeline. We are cautiously encouraged by … a plan that includes a return to a democratically elected government that includes parliamentary and presidential elections,” spokesman Jay Carney said.

Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has set out plans to revise the constitution and hold fresh parliamentary elections in the coming months, with a presidential vote possible by early next year.

The Muslim Brotherhood, furious over the military coup that brought down Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, immediately rejected the plan, drawing a stern warning from the military against any disruption.

The military drove Morsi from power last week and arrested him after millions of protesters took to the streets to demand his ouster, saying his government had failed the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

The Brotherhood has held its own mass protests in recent days, and on Monday more than 50 people were killed when the military opened fire on demonstrators in Cairo.

President Barack Obama’s administration has declined to say whether the military intervention was a “coup,” adopting a wait-and-see attitude while encouraging a swift return to elected civilian rule.

The United States provides $1.5 billion of mostly military aid to Egypt — a key regional ally — every year, but is legally barred from aiding countries in which the military overthrows an elected government.

Morsi opponents insist the military’s action was not a coup but a necessary response to widespread rejection of a failed government.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

The late Sen. John McCain

I don't know Kyrsten Sinema, but I did know John McCain. Not at all intimately, to be sure, but just enough to say -- despite her pretensions and the fantasies of her flacks that she is the reincarnation of the war hero in a purple wig -- that Kyrsten Sinema is no John McCain.

Lately Sinema has advertised herself as a "maverick," by which she means that she flouts the positions and policies of her party's leadership, and is supposed to pair her with McCain, who sometimes strayed from the Republican party line. Her most notorious attempt at imitation occurred last year with a gesture on the Senate floor marking her vote against a minimum wage increase. Her coy mimicry of the admired war hero was synthetic, leaving an unpleasant odor in its wake. When McCain delivered his bold "thumbs down" on gutting Obamacare, he was protecting Arizona's working families – not betraying them.

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