Morning Must Reads: Departure

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Anti-government protesters take part in Friday prayers at Tahrir Square in Cairo February 4, 2011. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

–Tens of thousands turn out for “Day of Departure” protests in Cairo.

–The Obama administration is angling to get Mubarak out and Vice President/intel chief Suleiman into power with the army’s backing. The President will take questions from the press today for the first time since the unrest began.

–Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, cautions against pulling aid.

–The press crackdown is in full effect and our own reporters have been harassed by plain clothes security forces. Al Jazeera says its Cairo offices have been sacked. Having the wrong visa stamped in his passport was enough to get Graeme Wood dragged through the streets.

–The organized pro-Mubarak counter protests troll Facebook and Twitter.

–James Fallows is heartened by the commentariat’s willingness to be uncertain about Egypt’s future.

–The January employment report is out and it’s somewhat strange. The U3 rate dropped to 9 percent and the U6 plummeted to 16.1 percent, but non-farm payrolls only increased by a measly 36,000 jobs. (Demographics? Revisions? Snow? I’ll let those wiser than myself figure this one out.)

–Floyd Norris looks to 1983 and sees a sunnier economic outlook for 2011.

–The newfangled Consumer Finance Protection Bureau launches a new website with Eilzabeth Warren front and center. The left still really wants her to land that director job.

–And rounds up the top 25 political icons of all time.

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