FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* A new domestic threat? “A piece of mail addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ignited Friday at a U.S. Postal Service facility in Washington, a day after suspicious letters ‘flared up’ at state government buildings in neighboring Maryland, authorities said…. FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said initial information indicated the parcel that ignited in northeast Washington about 2:45 p.m. was similar to the two packages opened in Maryland on Thursday.”
* Bernanke breathes a little easier: “The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, told senators on Friday that he expected the recovery to be ‘moderately stronger’ this year…. ‘We have seen increased evidence that a self-sustaining recovery in consumer and business spending may be taking hold,’ Mr. Bernanke told the Senate Budget Committee.”
* The apology: “In a letter to be distributed Friday night, Reps. Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick apologize to all 433 of their House colleagues for voting after missing out on taking their official oath of office during Wednesday’s opening ceremonies of the 112th Congress.”
* Popular or not, the Recovery Act kept 4.5 million Americans out of poverty.
* Jay Newton-Small notices that the new House Republican majority is off to “a rocky start.” That’s certainly true.
* On a related note, the Democratic National Committee seems to enjoy going on the offensive, hammering the new GOP majority for abandoning its own spending-cut promise.
* Anti-immigrant Republicans have come up with a new idea, being explored at the state level: two-tiered birth certificates, guaranteeing literal second-class citizens based on the immigration status of one’s parents.
* Undermining the very idea behind a counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan.
* Dick Morris still doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
* We reported over the summer that community colleges needed to do a better job with the speed at which students can complete programs, and explained the benefits of accelerating existing programs with some federal labor funds. The Obama administration appears to agree with us.
* Rush Limbaugh, still racist.
* By now, just about everyone in America has seen or heard about Ted Williams, the homeless man with the extraordinary radio voice. A Columbus Dispatch videographer posted the extraordinary clip to YouTube, watched it get 12 million hits, and created one of the greatest social media stories ever. And then the Columbus Dispatch decided to yank it from YouTube. I really wish more outlets understood the Internet better.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.