Nov 21, 2011

Why the Supercommittee Flopped

Today: Egypt Cracks Down on Protests , Man Arrested in N.Y.C. Bomb Plot , Michigan Rep. Denies Sex-Abuse Charge
The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet: Morning

November 21, 2011

Not so super after all: Staffers on the congressional "supercommittee" spent their final discussions Sunday not hammering out a debt-reduction deal, but rather debating how best to publicly admit their failure to reach an agreement on cutting the deficit. The Daily Beast's Patricia Murphy on why the panel was destined to fail in the first place—the idea that legislators hand-picked by their party's leadership could rise above partisanship was nearly impossible to imagine from the start—and the glimmers of hope for a path forward.

Middle East

Once the savior of the Egyptian people, the military is now battling against them. At least 22 people have died and more than 1,500 have been injured since Egypt's military forces began trying to clear Cairo's Tahrir Square of protesters Saturday. The protesters are demanding that the military hand over power in their longest continuous protest since they ousted Hosni Mubarak from power. Parliamentary elections are one week away from their scheduled date, but the army retains executive power until a presidential election, which could not come until early 2013.


Police arrested a 27-year-old Al Qaeda sympathizer who was planning on building and detonating a bombs targeting New York government facilities. Jose Pimentel, a Manhattanite and U.S. citizen, was targeting soldiers returning home and their families. Pimentel, who has been under surveillance for two years, was arrested for purchasing the materials to make explosives. He is believed to have acted as a "lone wolf," and he has no connections to international terror groups. The suspect's heroes were Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. In a news conference, Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed a video of a bomb similar to the suspect's blowing up a car.


Rep. Dale Kildee, a Michigan Democrat, has released a letter denouncing allegations in a local-news report that he sexually abused his second cousin 50 years ago. Kildee called the charges "completely false and shameful," saying his second cousin only accused him after he recently refused him money and federal benefits. Kildee's cousin, Patrick, was 12 at the time that he says the abuse happened; the local news report included interviews with Patrick's mother, step-father, and sister. Kildee says Patrick and his family have "a long history of mental illness and multiple run-ins with the law," and he released audio tapes he says reveal Patrick's wife plotting to blackmail him. Kildee is set to retire at the end of his term.


President Obama's pollsters may want to write off "NASCAR dads" for 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama was booed at a NASCAR event Sunday, along with Dr. Jill Biden. The two had showed up at the Homestead-Miami Speedway to support Joining Forces, an initiative to hire veterans, but seemed less-than-welcome when they were introduced at the start of the race. However, the women received a standing ovation at the earlier pre-race drivers' meeting, according to the Associated Press.

White House Suspect Fought MMA
And was 'textbook case' of schizophrenia, says doc.
Roseanne Barr: Embrace Menopause!
It's the "victory lap over the curse of being born female."
Gingrich to Occupy: 'Take a Bath'
Says protesters should 'get a job.'
Taylor Swift Wins Big at AMAs
Nicki Minaj too.
Prince Harry Enjoys Free Drinks
Visits Las Vegas casinos.
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