WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* A painful setback in the Gulf: “BP suffered another setback in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, when a discharge of liquid and gases forced the company to remove the containment cap that for three weeks had been able to capture a large portion of the oil gushing from its damaged well…. Live video from the seafloor showed oil and gas storming out of the well unrestricted.”
* Part of the housecleaning: “The Mineral Management Service is no more. As of today, the agency in charge of overseeing offshore oil exploration-and the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling rig-will be known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. That’s the Bureau of Ocean Energy, or BOE, for short.”
* Housing: “Today, the Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes, well, went off a cliff after the expiry of the Obama administration homebuyer tax credits. In May, sales were at a rate of 300,000 a year. That is 33 percent lower than in April, when the rate was 446,000, and 18.3 percent lower year-on-year.”
* Afghanistan: “June has become the deadliest month of the Afghan war for the NATO-led international military force. An Associated Press count based on announcements by the alliance and national commands shows 76 international service members have died this month. The total includes 46 Americans.”
* Senate confirmation of Gen. David Petraeus to take command in Afghanistan is expected “within days.” The chamber can move pretty quickly when it wants to.
* Elizabeth Warren came up with the idea of the consumer financial protection agency, and she’s fairly pleased with how it’s coming together.
* This was the first earthquake I’ve ever felt in my entire life.
* It’s almost as if House Republicans are trying to appear ignorant about health care policy.
* All kinds of interesting media moves today, including the estimable Spencer Ackerman moving from the Washington Independent to Wired; Ron Fournier making the transition from the AP to National Journal; and CNN hiring Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker for a new primetime show.
* Apparently SAT preparation is so popular that it’s now showing up in some unexpected places.
* I really don’t like it when Glenn Beck talks like this: “I think we’re headed for a civil war.”
* John Cole noted yesterday what he doesn’t understand about contemporary movement conservatism: its proponents are “simply operating in their own made-up fictional universe in which history and the English language mean different things to them than to anyone outside the cult.” I have the same thought, literally every day.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.