Wednesday’s Mini-Report

WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Libya: “Fighters loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi sought to maintain their grip on the capital, Tripoli, on Wednesday, as a growing popular uprising spread across the eastern part of the country and anti-government forces consolidated control over key Mediterranean cities.”

* Oil prices: “Oil prices hit $100 per barrel for the first time since 2008, driven by growing concerns about global supplies, as Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi continued to lose his grip on the oil-rich country. Similar uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this month already had markets on edge before protests escalated in Libya, which has the biggest oil reserves in Africa.”

* Purple Hearts: “President Barack Obama awarded six Purple Hearts while visiting with wounded service members on Wednesday. The commander in chief met with 22 patients and their families during a midday visit to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., just outside of Washington, the White House said. Twenty-one served in Afghanistan; the other served in Iraq.”

* A closer look at the Wisconsin budget: “The state’s entire budget shortfall for this year — the reason that Walker has said he must push through immediate cuts — would be covered by the governor’s relatively uncontroversial proposal to restructure the state’s debt. By contrast, the proposals that have kicked up a firestorm, especially his call to curtail the collective-bargaining rights of the state’s public-employees, wouldn’t save any money this year.”

* On a related note, Gov. Scott Walker (R) insisted the other day that he “campaigned on” his union-busting proposals, adding, “Anybody who says they are shocked on this has been asleep for the past two years.” He’s lying.

* The Indiana Deputy Attorney General who said he wanted to see “live ammunition” used on protesters in Wisconsin? He’s been fired.

* Sens. Kerry, Franken, Cantwell, and Wyden haven’t forgotten: “Four Senate Democrats wrote to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday to oppose GOP efforts to defund net neutrality rules through spending legislation.”

* Fox News gets Gallup data exactly backwards, badly misleading viewers. Is the network incompetent or dishonest?

* I knew Americans paid less for gas than other countries, but I didn’t appreciate how much less.

* The director of MassHealth — the state-run Medicaid plan that insures nearly 1.3 million Massachusetts residents — seems to think consumers would be better off with single payer. Something to keep an eye on.

* Once more, targeting those who get in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s way.

* Interesting: “A new study shows that, beyond increased voting, going to college really has no impact on engagement in the political process.”

* Terry Jeffrey expresses a sentiment that’s more common than some might expect among far-right activists: “It is time to drive public schools out of business.”

* And on a personal note, today is, for lack of a better word, my “Blogoversary” — I started blogging exactly eight years ago today. (My very first post in 2003 — I kid you not — was complaining about the guest list on “Meet the Press.” I guess some things never change.) It’s hard to believe I’ve given more than a fourth fifth of my life to do this non-traditional profession, but I continue to enjoy the work. Whether you’ve been reading for eight days or eight years, my most sincere thanks for the support.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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