WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Egypt: “Labor strikes and worker protests that flared across Egypt on Wednesday affected post offices, textile factories and even the government’s flagship newspaper, as protesters recaptured the initiative in their battle for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.”
* The first inter-Korean dialogue in a long while didn’t go well: “Military discussions between North and South Korea ended on Wednesday with no improvement in their badly strained relations and no agreement about whether to hold more substantive talks in the future. A Defense Ministry official in Seoul said the talks ended abruptly at 2:30 p.m. when the North Korean delegation ‘unilaterally walked away from the table and out of the meeting room.'”
* Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) has recovered to the point that she’s begun speaking again. It’s “another significant milestone in her recovery.”
* Congressional Republicans today grilled Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke over inflation that doesn’t appear to exist. I can only imagine what the economy would be like if the GOP cared a fraction as much about unemployment.
* I’m still not sure why this isn’t a no-brainer: “The Obama administration wants to invest $53 billion in high-speed and intercity rail service in the next six years, expanding a signature transportation initiative it already has targeted with $10.5 billion. The plan to spend billions more on a vast high-speed-rail network was cast by the administration as vital to keeping the United States competitive with world markets that already use the technology.”
* The GOP’s outrageous “forcible rape” provision was removed from one anti-abortion bill, but it’s still in another.
* The fact that Donald Rumsfeld has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to Saddam Hussein and weapons inspectors isn’t at all encouraging.
* What do Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Republicans have in common? Among other things, they all want to see the health care mandate eliminated — after having believed the exact opposite up until fairly recently.
* Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) seriously believes having health care coverage through Medicaid is “actually worse” than being uninsured.
* The DCCC launches a good idea: a website directed at Speaker Boehner asking, “When are the jobs?”
* Glenn Beck isn’t quite done antagonizing Bill Kristol.
* It seems pretty hard to believe that the growing number of college graduates in Egypt is the driving force for the recent uprising.
* And in South Carolina, state Sen. Robert Ford (D) was arguing against a new immigration law this week because “brothers” don’t work as hard as “Mexicans.” He said, Ford argued, “I know brothers — and I’m talking about black guys — they are not going to do the dirty work at Boeing, to do that hauling and all that building, that dirty work… A brother is going to find ways to take a break.” What a moron. [Update: I had originally identified Ford as a Republican. Apologies — he’s a Democrat, though that doesn’t change the idiotic qualities of the remark.]
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.