WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Clashes in Egypt grow increasingly violent: “The Egyptian government struck back at its opponents on Wednesday, unleashing waves of pro-government provocateurs armed with clubs, stones, rocks and knives in and around Tahrir Square in a concerted effort to rout the protesters who have called for an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s near-30-year rule.”
* The White House has lost patience with Mubarak. Referencing President Obama’s call for a transition, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters today, “Now means now.”
* Journalists targeted in Cairo: “As chaos gripped central Tahrir Square in Cairo on Wednesday, journalists covering the scene on the ground found themselves the targets of violence and intimidation by demonstrators chanting slogans in favor of President Hosni Mubarak. One prominent American television correspondent, Anderson Cooper of CNN, was struck in the head repeatedly.”
* With the region on edge, Yemen’s longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, announced a series of concessions, including his departure and a pledge that his son would not be his successor.
* Cyclone Yasi, packing extraordinary winds up to 186 mph, batters northeastern Australia.
* Judge Roger Vinson’s decision on the Affordable Care Act was so wrong on so many levels that the Center for American Progress put together a fascinating interactive graphic, detailing every error of fact and judgment, page by page.
* Conservatives won’t like it, but the truth is, the government already regulates inactivity, and has for years.
* President Obama signs New START, ending the treaty process.
* It appears the Gulf of Mexico will recover from the BP by the end of 2012, which is faster than many people expected.
* Barbara Morrill does what I should have done yesterday — make a cool chart documenting the media’s interest in health care court rulings.
* Fox News ran a Rupert Murdoch infomercial today instead of covering events in Egypt.
* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to cut U.S. aid to Israel. Senate Democrats push back.
* Michael Kinsley made me laugh out loud with this one.
* How for-profit schools keep the federal dollars flowing.
* Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) had one unfilled cabinet post, and he finally found an African-American official to join his team.
* Bill O’Reilly doesn’t understand how climate change doesn’t prevent snowstorms in winter. Al Gore explains it to him.
* And best wishes to Glenn Greenwald, who’s out of the hospital and on the mend. Here’s to a speedy recovery, Glenn.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.