TUESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Another possible option in the Gulf: “The federal government’s spill chief is considering whether to pump heavy mud and cement through BP’s experimental well cap that’s keeping oil from the Gulf of Mexico. Retired U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says Tuesday that the procedure would make it easier to complete the permanent fix of plugging the oil from the bottom of the blown out well because the oil would be smashed in from two directions.”
* And what about that seepage? Officials apparently believe it’s coming from a different well.
* The Senate voted 60 to 40 today to end a Republican filibuster of extended unemployment benefits. Two Republicans — Maine’s Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe — sided with the majority, while one Democrat — Nebraska’s Ben Nelson — fought to prevent a vote on the legislation.
* If only there were 60 votes for aid to states: “Since the start of the recession, at least 25 states and the District of Columbia have curtailed programs that include meal deliveries, housekeeping aid and assistance for family caregivers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a research organization. That threatens to reverse a long-term trend of enabling people to stay in their homes longer.”
* Under the circumstances, this seems more than fair: “Senior Democrats on the [House Energy and Commerce Committee] — Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) — used a hearing on the Interior Department’s role [in the BP oil spill] to trace the disaster back to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy policy task force.”
* When Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) says the White House has never called him, he’s not telling the truth.
* Harold Pollack on HIV policy: “[Last] Tuesday, the Obama administration released its National HIV/AIDS Strategy. It’s imperfect, but its authors should be proud. Whatever criticisms one may have of this administration, its policy analysts are allowed to discuss serious problems as mature adults, with a minimum of the embarrassing oversimplification, euphemism, or blatant political shading. In areas such as HIV and drug policy, this is refreshing.”
* In our reality, congressional Republicans have fought for weeks to oppose extended aid to the jobless. In Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) reality, accurate observations are “crazy.”
* This clearly isn’t a great time to be a recent law school graduate.
* I have to admit, I find the ongoing conservative hyperventilating about the now-defunct Journolist pretty amusing. If folks were talking about signing their names to an open letter — a letter I signed, by the way — then maybe it wasn’t a secret plot?
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.