Monday’s Mini-Report

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

* A calculated revelation: “North Korea showed a visiting American nuclear scientist earlier this month a vast new facility it secretly and rapidly built to enrich uranium, confronting the Obama administration with the prospect that the country is preparing to expand its nuclear arsenal or build a far more powerful type of atomic bomb.”

* On a related note, North Korea officials are arguing that it’s simply trying to build nuclear power plants. No one believes them.

* Ireland formally applied for a rescue package yesterday. It’s likely to total $109 billion to $123 billion U.S.

* Insider trading: “The FBI raided three hedge funds in connection with a widening probe into insider trading, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.”

* Another installment of the White House White Board, this time featuring Nancy-Ann DeParle explaining the medical-loss ratio in an easy-to-understand way. (Dear WH staff, please keep doing these. Maybe they’ll one day be considered the fireside chats of the Obama era?)

* If conservatives are hoping to exploit the families of victims of the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa to push for more military commissions, the right will apparently be disappointed.

* Motor Trend‘s Todd Lassa did a very nice job making Rush Limbaugh look like a buffoon (yes, even more so than usual).

* Add “Social Security policy” to the list of things Eric Cantor (R-Va.) pretends to understand but doesn’t.

* That food safety bill we’ve been waiting for might still pass, but the vote has been delayed to next week.

* Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) is still the target of multiple investigations, and may yet face criminal charges, but the hush money his parents paid his mistress’ family has been cleared by the Federal Election Commission.

* Matt Yglesias: “Worth noting that [incoming House Budget Committee Chairman] Paul Ryan is a dangerous madman, with monetary views well to the right of Milton Friedman.”

* Jon Chait referred to today’s GOP this morning as “an intransigent and largely insane party.”

* Edward Luce, a reporter for The Financial Times, believes there is “a greater hatred of Obama” among congressional Republican “than there is a love of American national security.”

* Rebooting Buffy strikes me as a remarkably bad idea. Rebooting Buffy without Joss Whedon strikes me as a spectacularly bad idea.

* MSNBC giving Lawrence O’Donnell a show was clearly a good idea. (thanks to reader V.S. for the tip)

* I don’t want to alarm anyone, but Newt Gingrich really does lie a lot.

* The number of online courses is growing rapidly. Whether these courses are any good is a separate matter entirely.

* And you may have heard rumors about the TSA “strip searching” a young boy at the Salt Lake City International Airport. The “story” made the rounds after a Drudge push, but it’s total nonsense. Someday, news outlets will stop taking Drudge stories seriously, but that I’m afraid that day is nowhere in sight.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.