Tuesday’s Mini-Report

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

* Israel is considering a temporary cease-fire in Gaza. Should Hamas rocket fire disrupt a cease-fire, Israel is threatening a ground offensive.

* Consumer confidence reached an all-time low this month, hitting depths unseen since the Conference Board began keeping track 41 years ago. Nevertheless, the major indexes rallied today, each closing up more than 2%.

* If you missed the wild Blagojevich press conference today, it’s online.

* On a related note, the U.S. Senate isn’t the embattled governor’s only hurdle to filling the Senate vacancy — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said today he won’t certify Blagojevich’s paperwork.

* Also on this story, Jeff Greenfield considers whether the Senate really does have the authority to refuse a legally-appointed U.S. senator.

* The Treasury Department is committing $6 billion to bolster GMAC.

* The International Monetary Fund’s top economist believes Obama’s approach to economic recovery is the right one.

* Muntazer al-Zaidi, the shoe thrower, is facing up to 15 years in prison. (Update: The trial has been delayed.)

* Naturally, John Bolton looks at the violence in Gaza and believes this is an ideal time for the U.S. to attack Iran.

* Kevin makes a good point about why Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina ruined his presidency.

* Kudos to John Judis for sticking up for Spencer Ackerman, after Martin Peretz described Ackerman’s articles as “trash.”

* Dennis Prager is back with more sexual advice for married women everywhere. I’m beginning to think there really may be something wrong with that guy.

* Are taxpayers on the hook for Bernard Madoff losses?

* Like Zbigniew Brzezinski, I’ve long believed that Joe Scarborough has “such a stunningly superficial knowledge” of current events that “it’s almost embarrassing to listen” to him.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.