Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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.

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Steve Benen

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.