TUESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Bahrain: “Thousands of demonstrators poured into this nation’s symbolic center, Pearl Square, late Tuesday in a raucous rally that again demonstrated the power of popular movements that are transforming the political landscape of the Middle East.”
* Iran: “A day after the most significant street protests in Iran since the end of the 2009 uprising there, members of the Iranian Parliament called on Tuesday for the two most prominent opposition leaders to be prosecuted and sentenced to death for stirring unrest.”
* Egypt: “The military officers governing Egypt convened a panel Tuesday to revise the country’s constitution that included both a distinguished Coptic Christian jurist and a member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, offering the first significant evidence of the military’s commitment to moving the country toward democratic rule.”
* Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes clear that the foreign-aid cuts proposed by House Republicans, if approved, will prove “devastating to our national security, will render us unable to respond to unanticipated disasters and will damage our leadership around the world.”
* Would the Senate approve the House’s proposed cuts? According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), no.
* Chevron’s guilty: “An Ecuadorian judge on Monday ordered Chevron Corp. to pay $8.6 billion to clean up oil pollution in the country’s rain forest in what is believed to be the largest-ever judgment in an environmental case. And if the U.S. oil giant doesn’t publicly apologize in the next 15 days, the judge ordered the company to pay twice that amount.” As far as affected farmers are concerned, it’s not enough.
* Pushing back against union-busting efforts: “Demonstrators gathered in large numbers at the Wisconsin state Capitol on Tuesday, to protest Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal to help close the state’s shortfall by removing nearly all collective bargaining rights for public employees. As the Wisconsin State Journal reports, over 10,000 protestors gathered at the state Capitol building Tuesday, with thousands also crowded inside the building itself.”
* Slowly but surely, this story keeps getting more interesting: “A feud between a security contracting firm and a group of guerrilla computer hackers has spilled over onto K Street, as stolen e-mails reveal plans for a dirty-tricks-style campaign against critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” The L.A. Times is picking up on this, too.
* Today’s single most ridiculous headline from a legitimate news outlet: “Obama’s budget would add $13 trillion to national debt.” Is this some sort of joke? Did Fox News staffers invade the McClatchy offices?
* Greg Sargent speaks to the “justifiable homicide” lawmaker in South Dakota, who presented a defense for his bill that appears to clear the way for killing abortion doctors.
* Remember Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed “Curveball”? He told the Bush administration Iraq had a secret biological weapons program. He was lying. (thanks to A.S. for the tip)
* I don’t mind that Thomas DiLorenzo, an economics professor at Loyola University Maryland, appears to be a nut. I mind that he was called to deliver congressional testimony last week.
* A good slogan: “Put women and children last.”
* And MoveOn.org has a powerful new ad responding to Republican efforts to limit women’s reproductive rights. It’s likely to generate some attention.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.