John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Beat since 1999.
Rejecting Republican demands for massive cuts in federal programs while maintaining tax breaks for the wealthy as not "sustainable," President Obama used a press conference Wednesday to argue that serious negotiations about balancing the budget and addressing deficits and debt must include plans to end tax breaks for "millionaires and billionaires, oil companies and corporate jet owners."
Hedge fund manager Dvid Tepper is said to have left behind an ATM receipt at a bank in East Hampton, New York. It was passed along to the Wall Street gossip blog "Dealbreaker.com." The receipt shows a savings balance of just under $100 million.
"NATO forces in Afghanistan say they have killed a senior militant they suspect of involvement in [Tuesday's] attack on the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul," the BBC reports. "Ismail Jan died in an airstrike in the eastern province of Paktia on Wednesday, the alliance said."
Dr. William Phillips was giving a talk on heart disease at the Central Maine Medical Center. Suddenly a man in the audience complained of chest pain and collapsed from a heart attack. The man happened to be surrounded by cardiac nurses who grabbed a defibrillator and saved his life.
Federal regulators held a briefing today in West Virginia to discuss their investigation into the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion. The Mine Safety and Health Administration says the explosion on April 5, 2010 that killed 29 miners in southern West Virginia was preventable. In a presentation, MSHA administrator Kevin Stricklin outlined Massey’s failures at the mine, including a focus on coal production at the expense of proper safety measures.
A Harlan County miner became the nation’s ninth coal miner to die on the job this year, and the second in Kentucky. The name of the miner hasn’t been released, but the accident happened at the Manalapan P1 mine at Pathfork this morning. Investigators from the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing are on the scene, and preliminary reports suggest the miner was killed in a roof fall.
While Pakistan battles an Islamist militancy that seeks to overthrow the state, another lesser-known conflict rages on its soil. In the southwest province of Baluchistan, separatist fighters are clashing with security forces and killing anyone they see as the enemy.