TUESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Political pressures intensify throughout the Arab world: “King Abdullah II of Jordan fired his government in a surprise move on Tuesday, in the face of a wave of demands of public accountability sweeping the Arab world and bringing throngs of demonstrators to the streets of Egypt.”
* The U.S. manufacturing sector had a good month in January, which made Wall Street pretty happy.
* In light of the ambiguities in yesterday’s court ruling, Wisconsin’s Republican attorney general has decided he no longer has to enforce the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. A spokesperson for the state AG’s office refused to explain what this might mean for Wisconsin families.
* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is aware of Republican plans that include “privatizing or eliminating Social Security,” but as far as he’s concerned, such plans are “off the table.”
* In a bit of a surprise, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) agreed today to a two-year moratorium on earmarks. The position puts Inouye at odds with Reid.
* Illinois takes a step forward on civil rights, approving a bill making civil unions legal for same-sex couples in this state.
* As a rule, copying and pasting materials from an anti-gay hate group, and including them in a federal court ruling, strikes me as a bad idea.
* The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) appears to have a legitimate shot this year.
* Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who, for some unknown reason, is the new Republican chair of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness, can’t wait to cut education funding. Particularly vulnerable: low income students who go to college thanks to Pell Grants.
* I can’t think of a reason to pay close attention to the political views of politicians’ kids. They’re entitled to their opinions, and I’m glad when they reach the right conclusions, but they hardly seem newsworthy.
* And Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), in an apparent bid to deal with the controversy surrounding his all-white cabinet, has named an African-American staffer as his Director of Minority Affairs. That’s a start, I guess.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.