Tuesday’s Mini-Report

TUESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The virus spreads: “Two new swine flu cases were confirmed in Israel and as many as 11 in New Zealand, bringing the number of countries with confirmed cases to at least seven on Tuesday. But all, with the exception of Mexico, said the patients were recovering or had been hospitalized with only mild symptoms, leaving health officials struggling to determine why the disease has killed only in Mexico.”

* The CDC expects to see Americans die from the swine flu virus. The U.S. now has 64 confirmed cases across five states, with the most cases in New York, which has 45.

* Pakistan starts taking the Taliban menace a bit more seriously.

* President Obama isn’t happy about yesterday’s fly-over in Manhattan, and has ordered an official investigation of what happened.

* Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell believes Arlen Specter’s party switch represents a “threat to the country.”

* Note to Michael Steele: Republicans really have to drop “no one could have predicted” from the list of talking points. It’s a cliche Atrios uses to make fun of you.

* Chrysler may avoid bankruptcy after all.

* In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court decided today that the FCC can punish television networks for isolated incidents of profanity, known as “fleeting expletives.”

* Russ Feingold released a report card of sorts, evaluating the Obama administration on judicial issues and the rule of law. The president fares pretty well, though Feingold is justifiably critical on the issue of state secrets.

* 42% of Americans now support gay marriage. That’s obviously not a majority, but it’s an all-time high for support of marriage equality, and a big jump from the support of just a few years ago.

* Ross Douthat’s first column in the New York Times ran today. There are plenty of interesting takes on the piece, but I’ll just say this: Douthat is already an infinitely better columnist than Bill Kristol.

* Florida Republicans don’t want stimulus aid for the state’s unemployed, either. I’ll never understand this.

* Dawn Johnsen was endorsed yesterday by a bipartisan coalition of scholars. Will Arlen Specter get his career in Democratic politics off to a very bad start by voting against her nomination?

* I get the impression that Joe Scarborough is getting worse as an on-air hack.

* And finally, the Quote of the Day, by way of Michael Crowley: “Two wars, economic collapse, and now a possible global pandemic. When do the locusts arrive? During the ’08 campaign the GOP ran an advertisement mockingly comparing Obama to Moses. But if he can get us through all this….”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.