Monday’s Mini-Report

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

* As promised, Senate Republicans blocked a vote to start debate on Wall Street reform this afternoon. In a rather ridiculous move, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) joined with the GOP, proving once again just how embarrassing he can be.

* Iraq: “Seven weeks after Iraqis went to the polls, a special elections court disqualified a winning parliamentary candidate, likely reversing the narrow defeat of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s coalition and possibly allowing him the first chance to form a new coalition government.”

* Political chaos continues to threaten Thailand.

* President Obama eulogizes 29 coal miners killed in West Virginia earlier this month. “Our task, here on Earth, is to save lives from being lost in another such tragedy,” the president said.

* Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) still thinks the climate/energy bill is headed for the Senate floor — eventually.

* Encouraging: “The recovery is shaping up to be stronger than expected and there is little risk the economy will slip back into a recession, according to USA TODAY’s quarterly survey of 46 leading economists.”

* Maybe this will have an impact on the policy debate? “Coast Guard officials said Monday afternoon that the oil spill near Louisiana was now covering an area in the Gulf of Mexico of 48 miles by 39 miles at its widest points, and they have been unable to engage a mechanism that could shut off the well thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface.”

* Should be an interesting case: “The Supreme Court, wading into a thicket of free-speech and children’s rights issues, agreed Monday to decide whether California can ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.”

* On a related note, there will be no announcement this week on the next Supreme Court nominee.

* Mary Kay Henry, not Anna Burger, will head the SEIU.

* What was Joseph Sean McVey doing at Asheville Regional Airport yesterday, armed and interested in seeing the president? (thanks to reader V.S. for the tip)

* Howard Kurtz gets into the fact-checking game on CNN, which is good. But if the segment is going to be a both-sides-do-it feature, that isn’t good at all.

* How do you know for sure the crazy immigration law passed last week in Arizona goes too far? Tom Tancredo thinks it’s excessive.

* Jesus will stay on Trinity University’s diploma.

* George W. Bush’s memoir will be released later this year — a week after the midterms.

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.