TUESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* A critical moment is just a few hours away: “BP plans to gradually close the outlets in the newly recapped gulf oil well, performing an ‘integrity test’ that could temporarily halt the flow of the oil for the first time in 85 days, and possibly allow engineers to “shut in” the well permanently.”
* The number of 99ers — Americans unemployed for 99 weeks — stands at 1.4 million. The number has “grown sixfold in the past three years.”
* Earth’s hottest January-to-June on record. If only 60 senators cared.
* On a related note, expect a Senate debate on a still-unseen energy/climate bill in two weeks.
* If confirmed, Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew will replace Peter Orszag as the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Lew’s qualifications aren’t in doubt — he held the exact same job in the Clinton administration.
* Federal officials have long considered Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R) sand berm proposal to be pretty dumb. They were right, and as is often the case, Jindal was wrong.
* Some welcome economic news: better-than-expected profits from Alcoa, CSX, and Intel.
* Post-Katrina shootings: “Six current and former police officers were charged in connection with shootings on the Danziger Bridge in the days after Hurricane Katrina that left two dead and four wounded, federal law enforcement officials announced here on Tuesday.”
* Indefinite detention and the case of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani: “A federal judge has rejected a claim by a terrorist defendant in Manhattan that his nearly five years of detention by the American government before being transferred into the civilian court system violated his Constitutional right to a speedy trial.”
* Senate Republicans have found the one thing they’re good at: forcing needless delays. “Elena Kagan will have to wait one more week to find out if the Senate Judiciary Committee will recommend her to the full Senate for confirmation to the Supreme Court.”
* Speaking of the Senate GOP, the votes are there to end the chamber’s practice of secret holds, but Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) won’t allow the measure to reach the floor.
* The closer one looks at Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl’s (R-Ariz.) economic ideas, the more incoherent they appear.
* Inexcusable: “Deadly yet easily preventable bloodstream infections continue to plague American hospitals because facility administrators fail to commit resources and attention to the problem, according to a survey of medical professionals released Monday.”
* Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) comes up with some very odd conspiracy theories.
* Questioning the conventional wisdom that says the United States does not send enough of its young people to college.
* Regular Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers talked to host/activist/propagandist Megyn Kelly about the absurd “controversy” surrounding the New Black Panther Party. Powers is conservative, but dismisses this as nonsense. This led Kelly to freak out a bit, and threaten to cut Powers’ microphone. Let this be a lesson for on-air contributors: Fox News exists for the dissemination of the agreed upon message/narrative — and nothing else.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.