MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* This could get even uglier: “Federal officials are increasingly concerned that high waves from Tropical Storm Alex may interfere with the oil cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico, National Incident Commander Thad Allen told reporters in a Monday afternoon briefing.”
* Major 2nd Amendment ruling: “The Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual right to bear arms applies to state and local gun control laws, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a 5-to-4 decision.” More on this from Scott Lemieux, and at his brand-new, stand-alone blog, Adam Serwer.
* Sarbanes-Oxley also fared well at the high court: “The first group established by Congress to regulate the accounting industry survived a constitutional challenge on Monday, emerging only with its members’ having a little less job security…. In its ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which established the board and sought to reform corporate America after the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals.” It may seem unrelated, but this matters to legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act.
* Not inspiring confidence: “Top officials in President Hamid Karzai’s government have repeatedly derailed corruption investigations of politically connected Afghans, according to U.S. officials who have provided Afghanistan’s authorities with wiretapping technology and other assistance in efforts to crack down on endemic graft.”
* And in related news: “The chairman of a key House subcommittee said Monday that she would strip $3.9 billion in aid for Afghanistan from next year’s spending bill over concerns about rampant graft in the country and alleged efforts by President Hamid Karzai’s government to derail corruption probes.”
* Shades of the Cold War: Russian spies arrested in the U.S.
* I’m genuinely delighted to see so many Senate Democrats dismiss the “umpire analogy” as it relates to the Supreme Court.
* Not encouraging at all: “Leaders of the world’s biggest economies agreed Sunday on a timetable for cutting deficits and halting the growth of their debt, but also acknowledged the need to move carefully so that reductions in spending did not set back the fragile global recovery.”
* Slightly improved: “Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in May more than forecast, a sign households are gaining confidence in the recovery and the job market.” Personal incomes were up a little, too.
* Former Vice President Dick Cheney was hospitalized over the weekend for medical reasons, and was released earlier today.
* The White House hasn’t given up on immigration reform.
* Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) of Hawaii becomes the new president pro tempore of the Senate.
* The Monthly‘s Daniel Luzer interviews James Kvaal, the next deputy undersecretary of education.
* For all the bizarre theories about the now-defunct Journolist, I can personally attest to the fact that the truth is far more mundane.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.