MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The earthquake that shook central Italy early this morning has caused extraordinary devastation. At last count, 150 deaths were reported.
* Violence in Pakistan is not limited to tribal areas along the Afghan border — there were three suicide attacks in the country yesterday, including one that killed 26 people at a Shiite mosque outside the capital.
* Similarly, there were four car-bomb attacks in Baghdad this morning. The deadliest of the four killed at least 10 people at a popular market in Sadr City.
* Was there a plot to assassinate President Obama in Turkey today?
* There’s a lot of scum and villainy out there: “The Obama administration on Monday announced a major crackdown on companies operating mortgage and foreclosure scams that target cash-strapped consumers on the verge of losing their homes. The stepped-up enforcement effort comes amid an explosion of mortgage fraud cases in which opportunistic scammers woo vulnerable homeowners with promises of assistance that never materializes.”
* On a related note, Allen Stanford expects to be indicted in two weeks.
* After betraying party principles on the estate tax, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) will betray party principles again on the Employee Free Choice Act. Her opposition makes EFCA passage extremely unlikely in this Congress.
* Remember, no matter how bad a conservative columnist is, he or she will always get another job.
* It’s hard to imagine Boston without the Globe.
* Is Judd Legum the first national blogger to run for public office? Probably.
* A.L. explains racial demagoguery to the National Review‘s Victor Davis Hanson.
* GOP lawmakers aren’t the only ones screwing up the facts on cap and trade.
* And finally, remember the conservative uproar last week about Obama bowing when he met King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia? It turns out, Bush and Cheney bowed, too. Let the rumors about Bush and Cheney being secret Muslims begin.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.