TUESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* This better work: “The most critical moment in the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico is at hand, as BP engineers armed with 50,000 pounds of dense mud and a fleet of robotic submarines are poised to attempt a “top kill” maneuver to plug the leaking well a mile below the surface.”
* President Obama will be back in Louisiana on Friday to assess the response to the BP oil spill disaster. In announcing the visit, the White House noted in a statement that the administration “has mobilized one of the largest responses to a catastrophic event in history, with more than 1,200 vessels in the region and more than 22,000 people, including many of the brightest scientific minds from both the public and private sector, working around the clock to mitigate the oil’s impact.”
* As far as the White House is concerned, there’s no doubt this is the worst oil spill in American history.
* Tensions continue to rise: “Relations between North and South Korea, already strained over the sinking of a South Korean warship, deteriorated to their worst point in many years on Tuesday as the South Korean president redesignated the North as its archenemy, and the North retaliated by severing its few remaining ties with the South.”
* Along the border: “President Obama will send up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the Southwest border and increase spending on law enforcement, yielding to demands from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers there that border security be tightened, administration officials said.”
* U.S. consumer confidence rises to its highest level since August 2007.
* For the first time in seven years, there are more U.S. troops in Afghanistan than Iraq.
* Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) sees action on the climate/energy bill in mid-Summer.
* The administration weighs a new approach to the line-item veto.
* Get ready for Round 3 in the congressional fight to extend unemployment benefits.
* Fox News aired footage from Obama’s speech at West Point, but carefully edited out all of the applause.
* Because college financial aid is tricky, many families rule out colleges they might be able to afford.
* Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) doesn’t take criticism well.
* The chief ethics lawyer for George W. Bush believes there’s nothing untoward about the Joe Sestak job offer.
* Vice President Biden will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day. Some conservatives are outraged that the president isn’t doing this himself. They shouldn’t be.
* Ouch: “When Ann Curry, news anchor of the Today Show, gave the commencement speech at Wheaton College in Massachusetts last Saturday, she listed several famous graduates — Wes Craven and Billy Graham among them — of the wrong Wheaton College.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.