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The Latest on the NYC Subway Death: Associated Press: "A homeless man was arrested Wednesday in the death of a subway rider who was pushed onto the tracks and photographed just before a train struck him. Naeem Davis, 30, was taken into custody for questioning Tuesday after security video showed a man fitting the suspect's description working with street vendors near Rockefeller Center. Police said Davis made statements implicating himself in Ki-Suck Han's death. Davis was arrested on a second-degree murder charge. ... Witnesses told investigators they saw a man talking to himself Monday afternoon before he approached the 58-year-old Han of Queens at the Times Square station, got into an altercation with him and pushed him into the train's path."
The Photographer Speaks: In a first-person account in the New York Post, the paper that published the haunting image on its cover with an all-caps "DOOMED" headline, in an interview with the New York Times, and during an appearance on NBC's Today show, R. Umar Abbasi told largely the same story. The accident happened too fast. He was too far away to help. He snapped the photos out of some combination of instinct and effort to get the train driver's attention. No one else helped either. It wasn't his call to run the photo. "I can't let the armchair critics bother me," he said. "They were not there. They have no idea how quickly it happened."
Wait, What?? Politico: "Glenn Beck on Wednesday announced that he is teaming up with actor Vince Vaughn to produce a new reality show set to debut next year on Beck's TheBlaze TV. 'Pursuit of Truth' will pit 20 documentary filmmakers in a competition for financing and distribution for their film. Beck’s TheBlaze TV, Vaughn and Peter Billingsley’s Wild West Productions and Gary Auerbach’s Go Go Luckey Entertainment are behind the nine episode series, which will launch on TheBlaze TV in spring 2013."
In Beck's Own Words: "I am proud to announce that Vince Vaughn and I are going to be the executive producers," Beck said on his radio show. "That should make everybody's head spin. What the hell is Vince Vaughn doing with a crazy man? I know, that's what my friends say. Glenn, what are you doing with the crazy man Vince Vaughn? Yes. It's great, isn't it? I love it."
And What He Wants to See: "I’d like to see the stuff [that] just isn’t done,” Beck said. "And done right. And done without conspiracy. I’d love to see something on the Federal Reserve, the game that’s being played there. I would love to see something on why capitalism is actually a good thing, why it’s not a bad thing.” PoT website here.
Lost in Space: Associated Press: "NASA ... looks lost in space and doesn't have a clear sense of where it is going, an independent panel of science and engineering experts said in a stinging report Wednesday. The report by a panel of the distinguished National Academy of Sciences doesn't blame the space agency; it faults the president, Congress and the nation for not giving NASA better direction. At the same time, it said NASA is doing little to further the White House's goal of sending astronauts to an asteroid. In one withering passage, the panel said NASA's mission and vision statements are so vague and 'generic" that they 'could apply to almost any government research and development agency, omitting even the words aeronautics or space."
Shocking Absolutely No One, There's Still No Cliff Deal: Washington Post: "President Obama on Wednesday slammed suggestions that Republicans could allow upper-income tax cuts to expire now only to use the nation’s debt limit as leverage to push for new concessions next year. In a meeting with leaders of the nation’s biggest businesses, the president said firmly that he would not allow the nation’s borrowing to again be used as a negotiating point in the nation’s efforts to tame its debt. ... Senior Republican aides have confirmed in recent days that House GOP leaders are looking for a way out if they cannot reach a budget deal with Democrats, including linking the deal to the debt ceiling. In one scenario, the House would take up a Senate-passed bill that would extend the Bush-era tax rates for the middle class and have Republicans vote “present,” forcing Democrats to pass the bill alone and take the blame for letting taxes rise on the rich. The two sides could then take up the fight over spending cuts again in a few weeks."
Signs of Progress?: Bloomberg: "A few dozen Republicans have joined a bipartisan call to break the impasse between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner over taxes for the highest- earning Americans. The Republicans signed a letter calling for exploration of 'all options' on taxes and entitlement programs, a signal that some rank-and-file members are ready to bargain. ... What unifies these lawmakers is a recognition that Obama’s re-election has strengthened his hand in negotiations aimed at averting more than $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect in January. The letter’s approximately 80 signers are half-Republican, half-Democratic."
The Market Doesn't Appear Too Worried, Yet Anyway: Wall Street Journal: "Blue chips led U.S. stocks higher as investors watched budget negotiations and a measure of service-sector activity topped expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 118 points, or 0.9%, to 13070 in midafternoon trading. The blue-chip benchmark reversed morning losses of as much as 28 points to head toward its first daily gain of the week. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index added seven points, or 0.5%, to 1414. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index lost 12 points, or 0.4%, to 2985, as Apple shares tumbled."
Death in the the Philippines: New York Times: "With many roads and bridges washed away, rescue teams struggled on Wednesday to reach isolated villages in the southern Philippines after a powerful out-of-season typhoon tore through the region, leaving more than 270 people dead and hundreds more missing, officials said. Typhoon Bopha packed winds of up to 100 miles per hour when it struck on Tuesday, bringing torrential rains that flattened entire villages and left thousands homeless. A national disaster official, Benito Ramos, said at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon that 274 people had died, 339 were injured and 279 were missing. Those figures were likely to rise, he suggested, since rescue workers had not yet reached several villages in the hardest-hit areas and the casualties there were not known. Most of the dead appeared to have drowned or been hit by falling trees or flying debris, officials said."
The Scene: Associated Press: "Bodies of victims were laid on the ground for viewing by people searching for missing relatives. Some were badly mangled after being dragged by raging flood waters over rocks and other debris. A man sprayed insecticide on the remains to keep away swarms of flies. A father wept when he found the body of his child after lifting a plastic cover. A mother, meanwhile, went away in tears, unable to find her missing children. “I have three children,” she said repeatedly, flashing three fingers before a TV cameraman. Two men carried the mud-caked body of an unidentified girl that was covered with coconut leaves on a makeshift stretcher made from a blanket and wooden poles." Video here; photo gallery here.
Cleaning Up After Sandy: New York Times: "President Obama plans to ask Congress for about $50 billion in emergency spending to help rebuild the states ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, according to administration and Congressional officials briefed on the discussions. The White House is assembling a spending request to send to Capitol Hill as early as this week, and while the final sum is still in flux, it should fall between $45 billion and $55 billion. That represents an enormous sum at a time when Mr. Obama is locked in a titanic struggle with Republicans over the federal deficit, but is significantly less than the states sought."
Looking Back: The Secrets of the 2012 Campaign
Looking Forward I: Most Americans Want Hillary To Run For President. Looking Forward II: Marco Rubio Mentions the Middle Class 35 Times in One Speech
Citigroup Cuts: Reuters: Citigroup Inc, which has lagged behind its peers in recovering from the financial crisis, said it is cutting 11,000 jobs worldwide, about 4 percent of its staff, to save as much as $1.1 billion a year in expenses. The move will initially result in pre-tax charges of $1 billion against fourth-quarter earnings, the No. 3 U.S. bank by assets said on Wednesday. The cuts are Chief Executive Michael Corbat's first major steps to reorganize the company since he took the reins in October after directors pushed out his predecessor, Vikram Pandit."
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