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

* Something to keep a close eye on in Afghanistan: “The commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan said Tuesday that the Taliban are approaching the Afghan government and foreign forces about laying down arms after almost nine years of insurgency. US General David Petraeus, who commands more than 150,000 NATO and US troops in Afghanistan, said many small insurgent groups had already made “overtures” to NATO forces about quitting the fight.”

* Hoping to keep the government open: “The Senate voted 83-15 on Tuesday to end debate and move to consideration of a stopgap spending measure to avoid a government shutdown later this week. Senators could vote on final passage of the legislation Wednesday, then head out of town to campaign for the November midterm elections.”

* Another successful filibuster: “Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a Democratic plan to encourage companies to bring jobs back from overseas, as a united GOP caucus voted against a motion to debate the measure on the Senate floor.”

* I don’t know if we’re allowed to talk about this without being accused of class warfare, but the income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year “to its widest amount on record.”

* The DNC’s ongoing “Boehnerization” of the Republican Party continues with a new web video contrasting GOP rhetoric with Democratic action.

* Tragic shooting at the University of Texas.

* On a related note, an interesting report about gun violence: “A study due to be released this week by a coalition called Mayors Against Illegal Guns uses previously unavailable federal gun data to identify what it says are the states that most often export guns used in crimes across state lines. It concludes that the 10 worst offenders per capita, led by Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky, supplied nearly half the 43,000 guns traced to crime scenes in other states last year.”

* When Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) talks about treating public colleges “like a business,” he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about.

* Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) fealty to the oil industry just doesn’t seem healthy.

* Wait, World War I isn’t technically over?

* Fox News’ Stuart Varney, who presents himself as some kind of business journalist, is painfully confused — even by the network’s low standards — about the basics of economics. What an embarrassment.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.