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The Edge

Defense Budget Winners and Losers—THE EDGE—Brought to You by the American Medical Association

photo of Jack Fitzpatrick
February 24, 2014

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel previewed a $496 billion Defense Department budget that included shrinking the Army to pre-World War II levels. Rep. John Dingell, who has served in Congress longer than anyone, announced he would retire at the end of his term. Ukraine's new government issued an arrest warrant for former President Viktor Yanukovych, who has essentially disappeared after being voted out of office. Egypt's prime minister and Cabinet resigned unexpectedly. Piers Morgan's show on CNN was cancelled for a number of reasons. And Procter & Gamble is almost ready to sell $199 toothbrushes that track how often and how well your brush your teeth.


HAGEL RECOMMENDS MAJOR CUTS TO DEFENSE BUDGET: The Pentagon will ask for a $496 billion budget in 2015, $45 billion less than originally expected. It would shrink the Army from 520,000 active troops to as few as 440,000. (Sorcher/Carney, NJ)


JOHN DINGELL TO RETIRE: The longest-serving member of Congress ever will not seek reelection at the end of this year, his 29th term in the House of Representatives. Dingell's wife, Deborah Dingell, is considered a favorite to run to replace him. (Spangler/Henderson/Gray, Detroit Free-Press)

UKRAINE'S NEW GOVERNMENT ISSUES ARREST WARRANT FOR YANUKOVYCH: Ousted President Viktor Yanukovych is on the run after Ukraine's Parliament removed him from office, according to the country's new interior minister. The country's new government has issued a warrant for his arrest based on his role in the deaths of 88 protesters, but even U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice says officials don't know where Yanukovych is. (William Booth, WaPo)

EGYPT'S PRIME MINISTER, CABINET RESIGN: Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced that his government was resigning today, seven months after Beblawi replaced Mohamed Morsi, who was removed from office by the country's military in July 2013. The move came as a surprise, despite the government's violent crackdown against Morsi supporters and persistent questions about Beblawi's legitimacy. (Fahim/Sheikh, NYT)

HOLDER ASKS CONGRESS TO HELP STOP DATA BREACHES: Inspired by the data thefts at Target and Neiman Marcus, Attorney General Eric Holder called on Congress to pass legislation requiring companies to follow national security standards, saying "these crimes are becoming all too common." (Dustin Volz, NJ)

SUPREME COURT HEARS CHALLENGE TO EPA EMISSIONS RULES: The Supreme Court heard a challenge to the Obama administration's greenhouse-gas regulation in which the EPA reviews permits to determine if power plants could use new technologies to limit carbon emissions. The ruling won't directly affect Obama's plan to limit carbon emissions from power plants, but the political stakes are high because a ruling against the EPA would give weight to Republicans' criticisms of Obama's climate policies. (Ben Geman, NJ)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama will speak at 3:05 p.m. about public-private partnerships on manufacturing, defense, and attracting high-quality jobs. Vice President Joe Biden will be on The View to talk about the importance of signing up for health care on before the March 31 deadline. The House and Senate are in session.


THE REASON(S) PIERS MORGAN GOT CANCELED: Was it the cricket references? His stance on guns? His preference for personality interviews during a breaking-news period? Pick any of the above. (James Poniewozik, Time)

A BLUETOOTH-ENABLED TOOTHBRUSH? WHY? Procter & Gamble will be the first company to sell a $199 toothbrush that will tell your dentist what you need to do to brush better. Why is this a thing? (Rachel Feltman, Quartz)

LABOR GROUPS WON'T SAVE SENATE DEMOCRATS: The AFL-CIO has found that there aren't enough members in states with close Senate races to justify getting heavily involved. (Michael Catalini, NJ)

A LOBBYIST'S BILL TO BAN GAYS IN THE NFL: Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman says he has political support to ban gay players from the NFL in reaction to college football star Michael Sam coming out a few weeks ago, but he wouldn't say which lawmakers support his bill. (Rebecca Shabad, The Hill)

WHY ARE THE IRISH HAPPY WITH HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT? Ireland's unemployment rate is still high, at 12 percent, and yet the country's consumer-confidence index is higher than during the housing boom of the mid-2000s. (Matt Phillips, Quartz)


HOW SHOULD UNIVERSITIES MAKE MONEY FROM THEIR RESEARCH? Universities are focusing more on students' business ventures, with some even investing in them. In 2012, American universities earned $2.6 billion from patent royalties. (John Bringardner, New Yorker)

HOW MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY WATCH 'HOUSE OF CARDS'? Probably less than a fifth of NCIS's viewership, although it's hard to say. (Derek Thompson, The Atlantic)


LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: Vladimir Putin must be sad to see everyone escape—ahem, leave—after the Olympics have ended. (Reena Flores, NJ)

NORTH KOREA FROM SPACE: Other than the little bright spot of Pyongyang, North Korea is almost completely dark in a recent photo from the International Space Station. (Max Ehrenfreund, WaPo)

VIDEO FOOTAGE OF AN ASTEROID STRIKING THE MOON: A space rock hit the moon at 37,900 miles per hour, and a University of Huelva professor caught it on tape. (Jason Samenow, WaPo)

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