Friday’s Mini-Report

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

* Case closed: “After seven frustrating years probing the deadly 2001 anthrax mailings, the FBI closed the case Friday, concluding a mentally unhinged government researcher acted alone in the attacks that killed five people and unnerved Americans nationwide.”

* The mortgage crisis isn’t over: “President Barack Obama used a campaign push for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Friday to announce a new fund to support homeowners in five states hit hardest by the housing crisis.”

* In fact, the mortgage crisis may be shifting: “A mortgage crisis like the one that has devastated homeowners is enveloping the nation’s office and retail buildings.”

* Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has a cancerous stomach tumor, but is expected to make a full recovery. He may miss some Senate votes, but intends to keep working throughout his treatments.

* Operation Iraqi Freedom becomes Operation New Dawn.

* When it comes to analysis of the federal budget, deficits, and government spending, Peggy Noonan is almost comically confused.

* The estimable Harold Pollack reminds us how truly ridiculous the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page is on health care policy analysis.

* At CPAC, it’s apparently not too soon to tell jokes about anti-government radicals flying airplanes into buildings.

* In tough times, states put Medicaid on the chopping block.

* Time for concealed weapons at college?

* In a depressing sign of the times, former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) was booed at a CPAC panel today when he described waterboarding as torture.

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.