WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-Ariz.) condition has been upgraded from “serious” to “good.” She was scheduled to be moved from the intensive care unit to a nearby rehabilitation center today.
* Egypt cracks down: “The Egyptian government intensified efforts to crush protests on Wednesday, decreeing a new ban on public gatherings and sending police equipped with clubs, tear gas and armored carriers against small groups that defiantly gathered in Cairo to oppose the 30- year rule of President Hosni Mubarak.” There were reportedly 860 protesters arrested.
* Earlier today, the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament gave its final approval to the New START nuclear arms control treaty.
* The Congressional Budget Office expects a $1.5 trillion deficit this year. Before the right starts hyperventilating, conservatives should remember that this is their fault — the tax cuts they demanded are driving the increase.
* Speaking of the CBO, I’m glad to see Doug Elmendorf receive a full four-year term, the Republican drive to discredit the office notwithstanding.
* A story to keep an eye on: “After two suspicious packages were delivered to Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) offices in the Dallas area on Wednesday, local station CBS 11 reports that bomb squad technicians detonated the two devices.”
* President Obama took his SOTU message on the road today, touring Orion Energy Systems, a power technology company, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
* Remember the widely-mocked color-coded threat system created by the Department of Homeland Security? As of April, it’s gone for good.
* It’s hard to say whether this will translate into substantial GOP support, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fully on board with the White House’s infrastructure investment plans.
* Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), easily one of Congress’ most ridiculous members, wasn’t impressed with last night’s address: “Mr. President, you don’t believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism.” What a strange man.
* One of the House Republicans’ favorite talking points about Democrats and spending is demonstrably ridiculous.
* Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) makes all kinds of inexplicable decisions, but her education policies are simply impossible to defend.
* The right’s fascination with politicians and teleprompters appears to be fleeting. Imagine that.
* At a House hearing today on federal regulations, Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) asked, out loud, in front of a room full of people, “How do I explain all this gobbledygook you talk about?” And people wonder why I question the GOP caucus’ intellectual capacity.
* Why, oh why, did ABC’s “Good Morning America” invite Christine O’Donnell on to condemn the State of the Union address? What possible reason could there be for this?
* Fox News’ Steve Doocy isn’t just an odd Republican media personality, he’s a thin-skinned, odd Republican media personality.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.