MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The World Health Organization has issued a phase 4 alert on the swine flu.
* There are now a 73 confirmed cases of swine flu worldwide, including 40 in the United States, but the actual number is believed to be closer to 1,6000 affected people. In Mexico, the virus has killed 149.
* The CDC today encouraged Americans forgo all “nonessential travel” to Mexico.
* The right is responding to the public health emergency about as you’d expect. Some are accusing the administration of deliberately overreacting. Others see an elaborate conspiracy to get Americans to “respond to government orders.” Others still see a different conspiracy to get Kathleen Sebelius confirmed. Just another day in conservative political discourse.
* Just what Mexico City needed: an earthquake.
* Among those who supported cutting pandemic flu preparedness from the recovery package were Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and David Vitter (R-La.). Susan Collins (R-Maine), meanwhile, is defending her record.
* Krugman: “So Bobby Jindal makes fun of ‘volcano monitoring,’ and soon afterwards Mt. Redoubt erupts. Susan Collins makes sure that funds for pandemic protection are stripped from the stimulus bill, and the swine quickly attack. What else did the right oppose recently? I just want enough information to take cover.”
* GM is cutting 21,000 factory jobs and dropping Pontiac altogether.
* Every major broadcast network will air President Obama’s White House press conference on Wednesday — except Fox.
* Flying these jets over Manhattan today was a pretty jarring error.
* Five House Democrats were arrested today protesting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s expulsion last month of 16 aid groups from Darfur.
* Nine years later, political reporters still aren’t fair to Al Gore.
* “Politics Daily” launched today, featuring work fromWashington Monthly contributing editor Walter Shapiro, among others. We wish the site the best.
* Newt Gingrich still doesn’t know if waterboarding is torture.
* Threatening to kill government officials in Twitter messages can get someone arrested.
* Dave Weigel made me laugh with this tweet: “If it turns out that rightwing extremists invented the swine flu in a secret militia lab, Janet Napolitano is gonna *laugh*”
* And finally, I’m sorry to hear about Portfolio shutting down, but I’d love to know how a magazine burns through $100 million in two years.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.