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

* Shahzad sentenced to life behind bars: “Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a sport utility vehicle carrying a homemade bomb in May in Times Square, thick with Saturday visitors, was sentenced on Tuesday morning to spend the rest of his life in prison.”

* Have Karl Rove’s shady campaign operations run afoul of federal tax law? Maybe: “Two campaign finance watchdogs have asked the IRS to investigate a conservative group backed by Karl Rove. Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center argue Crossroads GPS, a conservative group spending heavily in this year’s campaign races, is violating tax laws meant to limit political activity by non-profit groups.”

* Mining safety matters: “Federal regulators have increased their inspections at 89 coal mines with poor safety records, including Loveridge. They have also upped their use of orders to shut down mines until safety problems are fixed. But despite their efforts, five men were killed by heavy machinery; four were killed by falling rock. They died in mines where safety citations had increased about 31 percent after the Upper Big Branch blast.”

* Good idea: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Zoe Lofgren and other California Democrats are calling for a federal investigation into irregularities in processing foreclosures of thousands of homes by some of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.”

* Rachel Maddow stopped by Christine O’Donnell’s (R) campaign headquarters today. It didn’t go well.

* Another sign of the media times: “Howard Kurtz, a three-decade veteran of The Washington Post who came to embody insider Washington media reporting with his weekly column and CNN television show, is leaving The Post for Tina Brown’s news and commentary Web site, The Daily Beast.”

* I know the right finds this inconvenient, but energy independence really is a national security issue.

* MSNBC to undergo some rebranding, including a new tagline: “Lean Forward.”

* Brilliant piece from Barry Friedman and Dahlia Lithwick: “How to explain the [conservative Supreme Court] justices shoving the law rightward, while everyone thinks it is dead center or too far left? The answer is that [Chief Justice] Roberts is a brilliant magician. He and his four fellow conservative justices have worked some classic illusionist tricks to distract us from seeing the truth. Roberts is likely the first chief justice to understand that the message matters as much as the outcome. He has played his role with consummate skill, allowing the law to shape-shift before our very eyes, even as he and his fellow conservatives claim that nothing is happening.”

* Daniel Luzer: “Community Colleges and the Training Part of Education.”

* I’m delighted to be included on this list, but I suppose it means I’ll have to start taking the Twitter account more seriously.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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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.