Nov 22, 2011

Supercommittee Flop’s Silver Lining




Today: Egypt's Cabinet Offers to Resign , BofA Warned by Regulators , UC Chancellor Sorry for Pepper Spray
The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet: Morning

November 22, 2011
DEBT

The supercommittee may have been a super failure, but there may be some good news to come out it: a sharp drop in annual federal deficits. Now, per an earlier agreement in Congress, spending cuts will kick in automatically, with at least half coming from defense spending in 2013. Plus, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2012. Together, the new cuts and taxes would cut the annual deficit by half. But as The Daily Beast's Patricia Murphy reports, the bright side could soon dim—lawmakers are already setting up a campaign to block the automatic cuts.

Middle East

Fall in Egypt is looking a lot like spring. The Egyptian cabinet offered its resignation to the country's military rulers Monday, but the move failed to quell protesters, who are planning their biggest recent demonstration. Some 20,000 camped out in Tahrir Square Monday night, and they are calling for a million-man march Tuesday afternoon to pressure the military to hand power over to civilian leaders. Since Saturday, a military crackdown has killed at least 33 people and injured hundreds or thousands more. Also on Tuesday, Amnesty International released a report saying the Egyptian military has "been responsible for a catalog of abuses which in some cases exceeds the record of Hosni Mubarak."

Banking

Nothing that some ridiculous new debit-card fees can't fix? Bank of America has been quietly warned by regulators to take steps to grow stronger—and it could face public action if it fails to comply. According to The Wall Street Journal, the bank has been operating under a secret memorandum since May 2009 identifying governance, liquidity, and risk management as problems. Recently regulators warned BofA's board that, without greater progress, the secret movement could become a public action that would place greater restrictions on and bring new scrutiny to the bank. The board, says the Journal, was caught off guard by the development.

Occupy

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi apologized to students Monday for the campus pepper-spraying incident Friday that became a rallying cry for the Occupy movement. "I am here to apologize," Katehi told a crowd of about 1,000 students. "I feel horrible for what happened." She spoke shortly after some of the students who were sprayed had just described their ordeal. Katehi has put the campus police chief on administrative leave. Two officers involved in the spraying have also been put on paid leave.

MIFFED

Fox News has always been loyal to Sarah Palin, so when the former Alaska governor announced on another program that she wouldn't be running for president in 2012, Fox chief Roger Ailes was so ticked off he even considered pulling her off the air entirely. After she made the Oct. 5 announcement on Mark Levin's conservative talk-radio show, Ailes apparently felt Palin had robbed Fox News of a well-deserved exclusive that could have potentially skyrocketed the network's ratings. "I paid her for two years to make this announcement on my network," Ailes allegedly told Bill Shine, Fox's executive vice president and Palin's main point of contact with the network. But Palin apparently made the decision because she was miffed that Fox News had given a platform to Karl Rove, one of her biggest critics. Levin, meanwhile, had become her biggest fan among conservative commentators. Palin's contract with Fox News ends in 2013, and while Shine has tried to smooth things over, it's unclear whether the conflict with Ailes will interfere with her future on the network.


Investigations
Feds Passed on NYC Terror Suspect
Thought he didn't pose a threat.
TRUE STORY
On Set With Marilyn Monroe
Costar Vera Day dishes on inspiration for new film.
Finance
MF Global Hole Doubles to $1.2B
Nearly a quarter of client funds are missing.
Crime
Youth Gets 21 Years in Gay Killing
Pleads guilty to California manslaughter.
TRAGIC
Kenyan Runner Has Feet Amputated
After suffering from frostbite.
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