THURSDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Violence rages in Egypt: “Protesters and government supporters fought in a second day of rock-throwing battles at a central Cairo square while more lawlessness spread around the city. New looting and arson erupted.”
* The attacks on journalists are astounding: “Security forces and gangs chanting in favor of the Egyptian government hunted down journalists at their offices and in the hotels where many had taken refuge on Thursday in a widespread and overt campaign of intimidation aimed at suppressing reports from the capital. By evening, it appeared that none of the major broadcasters were able to provide live footage of Tahrir Square, the epicenter of antigovernment protests.”
* It’s surprising, but the Mubarak government still has some high-profile American backers on the right, including conservative media figures and Republican members of Congress.
* A step in the right direction: “Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 42,000 to 415,000 in the week ended Jan. 29, Labor Department figures showed today.”
* Taking the message on the road: “President Obama brought a message of economic innovation and clean energy to this key swing state on Thursday, even as his administration continued to grapple with the rapidly changing uprising in Egypt. In a speech at Pennsylvania State University, Mr. Obama promised new tax incentives, government investment and revamped regulations for energy efficiency.”
* Bernanke at the National Press Club: “The economy is poised to grow more rapidly this year, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Thursday, dismissing fears that rising fuel prices will trigger broad-based inflation. But he stressed that it will still take several years before the unemployment rate comes down to normal levels. ”
* It’s heartening to hear Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-Ariz.) condition continues to improve.
* Last year, a bipartisan group of senators worked for months to pass a resolution calling for greater freedom and democracy in Egypt. Thanks to secret holds, it never reached the floor.
* The White House White Board is back. In this edition, we see Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, talk up the “Startup America” initiative for U.S. entrepreneurs.
* Ted Frier makes the case than when it comes to risking default on U.S. debt, there’s a “method to GOP madness.”
* For now, it looks like the Pell Grant program will be fully funded. If that sticks, it’s good news.
* And the right is back to talking about impeaching President Obama again. It’s been weeks since conservatives banged this drum; I was starting to think they’d forgotten about it.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.