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

* This doesn’t sound good: “A U.S. district court issued a preliminary injunction on Monday stopping federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research in a slap to the Obama administration’s new guidelines on the sensitive issue.”

* This was opposed by many Republicans on the Hill, but it should help a lot of folks: “The sweeping reform of the credit card industry was finally completed Sunday as the last pieces of the landmark federal law designed to stop unfair or deceptive practices took effect. The final phase restricts how much card issuers can charge in penalty fees compared with the amount of the violation. For example, if you are late paying a credit card bill with a $10 minimum payment, the penalty charge cannot be more than $10.”

* Xe reaches a settlement: “The private security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide, long plagued by accusations of impropriety, has reached an agreement with the State Department for the company to pay $42 million in fines for hundreds of violations of United States export control regulations.”

* The Cooch is always up to no good: “Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, who is anti-abortion, has issued a legal opinion allowing greater restrictions on abortion clinics, drawing swift criticism from providers who say it could cause some of the facilities to close.”

* Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) shows ’em how it’s done.

* Media Matters has some new thoughts to share about Fox News getting a front-row seat in the White House press room. News Corp’s $1 million check to the RGA changes things.

* A Texas Republican House candidate in Texas doesn’t want to commit to supporting Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). That’s interesting.

* Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) believes conditions in Afghanistan are improving, thanks to the escalation. I really hope he’s right, but I seem to recall Graham making very similar remarks in 2004 and 2005 about Iraq.

* How far gone is former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa./Va.)? He’s praising Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for “the quality of his arguments.” Wow.

* And finally, on a personal note, yesterday was my two-year anniversary since joining the Washington Monthly team. Thanks to everyone — readers, editors, publishers, and staff — for all the support.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.