TUESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* In the wake of Tunisia, civil unrest in Egypt: “Thousands of people calling for the end of the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak clashed with riot police here in the capital and in other Egyptian cities on Tuesday, on a day of some of the most serious civil unrest in recent memory. Three people were reported killed, two protesters in the port town of Suez and a soldier who died of injuries sustained during the protests in Cairo.”
* This may not be quite what it appears to be: “President Obama will call for reducing the deficit during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, proposing a five-year freeze on non-defense government spending, officials said.”
* Not the news we were hoping for: “Home prices slipped in nearly every major metropolitan area in November, with a few cities hitting their lowest levels since prices peaked about four years ago, according to a closely watched index released Tuesday.”
* Federal courts in Arizona were in bad enough shape before, but given Judge John Roll’s tragic death in the recent Tucson shootings, the courts have no choice but to declare a judicial emergency and walk away from its own rules about speedy trials. Maybe Senate Republicans could, I don’t know, let the chamber vote on some judicial nominees or something.
* In the 1990s, congressional Republicans cultivated a real hatred for the United Nations. It’s apparently getting worse.
* Remember that 2008 crash that very nearly destroyed the global economy? It was entirely preventable.
* Carol Browner, the White House’s coordinator for energy and climate change policy, is poised to leave her post. Browner’s intended role leading a push for action on the climate crisis didn’t come together, and with her departure, progress will be even less likely.
* An odious, but largely symbolic, vote: “The House voted on Tuesday to direct the chairman of the Budget Committee to cut federal spending to 2008 levels on a broad array of programs, as they sought to play offense in what is expected to be a long battle with the Obama administration on fiscal policy.”
* Fox News makes stuff up. Try not to be surprised.
* For someone who claims to be a “constitutional conservative” and devotee of the Founding Fathers, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is spectacularly ignorant when it comes to history.
* If the Republican Study Committee thinks the road to fiscal responsibility goes through cuts to education, it’s sorely mistaken.
* For his next trick, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) intends to gut several key environmental laws in his state.
* House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) wants to make sure no one takes away his crown for Lawmaker Who Hates Muslim Americans Most.
* And rumor has it, there will be a State of the Union address in about three-and-a-half hours. If you’re inclined to stop by, I’ll be here, making various live-blogging observations.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.