MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Egypt: “The political forces aligned against President Hosni Mubarak appeared to strengthen sharply Monday when the Army said for the first time that it would not fire on the protesters who have convulsed Egypt for a week demanding his resignation. The announcement was shortly followed by the government’s first offer to talk to the protest leaders. Egypt’s new vice president said on state television that he had been authorized to open a dialogue with the opposition for constitutional and political reforms.”
* Some economic fallout from the uprising: “Political turbulence in Egypt is casting a pall on global financial markets and creating new risks for the shaky world economy in the months ahead. Higher prices for oil and food, a problem intensified by the Egyptian uprising, could cause further unrest in the Muslim world. Analysts also are concerned that movement could be restricted through the Suez Canal, controlled by Egypt and a crucial link in world trade.”
* Oh, for crying out loud: “Fraud and mismanagement at Afghanistan’s largest bank have resulted in potential losses of as much as $900 million — three times previous estimates — heightening concerns that the bank could collapse and trigger a broad financial panic in Afghanistan, according to American, European and Afghan officials.”
* Let’s just say the White House wasn’t impressed with the Republican court ruling on the Affordable Care Act today.
* Consumer spending climbs higher: “Americans spent at the fastest pace in three years in 2010, boosted by a strong finish in December.”
* I’d characterize this as a one-sided vote: “Southern Sudan’s referendum commission says more than 99 percent of voters in the south opted for secession according to the first official primary results released since the vote was held earlier this month.”
* Income inequality in Egypt is a real problem. As it turns out, though, income inequality is actually worse in the United States right now.
* In an apparent terrorist plot, Roger Stockham was arrested last week after police found him with explosives in the trunk of his car in the parking lot of the Islamic Center of America, a Dearborn, Michigan, mosque.
* Former Sen. Evan Bayh becomes a lobbyist. Try not to be surprised.
* A far-right blogger, Paul Mirengoff of Powerline, blasted the Native American invocation at the recent memorial service in Tucson, despite working at a law firm with American Indian clients. As part of the fallout, Mirengoff is no longer a part of the prominent right-wing blog.
* Are America’s state universities too cheap? Actually, no, they’re not.
* And Richmond Ramsey tackles a common contemporary problem: an inability to have reasonable conversations with older relatives who watch Fox News. Ramsey labels it “Fox Geezer Syndrome,” which is actually a pretty good name for it.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.