Monday’s Mini-Report

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

* Japan: “Tokyo Electric Power Company began dumping more than 11,000 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Monday, mostly to make room in storage containers for increasing amounts of far more contaminated runoff.”

* Libya: “Rebel fighters pushed back into this hard-fought oil town on Monday, seizing half of Brega and pledging to drive out Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in hours in an advance that would open a vital conduit for oil sales by the opposition.”

* U.S. officials had stood behind Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, because he’s a long-time ally. No more: “The United States, which long supported Yemen’s president, even in the face of recent widespread protests, has now quietly shifted positions and has concluded that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of office, according to American and Yemeni officials.”

* That would have been an interesting constitutional crisis: “Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald was repeatedly warned he would be stepping outside the law if he forcibly returned 14 Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin in February, according to internal emails.” Part of the problem: there wasn’t a police officer in Wisconsin prepared to forcibly detain state Senate Democrats.

* Transocean, the company that operated the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil rig, looked back at 2010 and patted itself on the back, handing on massive executive bonuses for its “best year in safety performance.” As Kristen Bartoloni noted, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was not amused.

* Radical TV Preacher Pat Robertson’s support for Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo manages to look even worse upon further inspection.

* It’s one things for anti-union ads to feature fake teachers. But could the far-right groups at least hire different fake teachers?

* Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R), just a few months on the job, has a fascinating new tax plan: tax breaks for the wealthy, tax hikes for the middle class.

* Great piece from Dahlia Lithwick on Clarence Thomas writing “one of the meanest Supreme Court decisions ever.”

* If George Will hates trains, and sees them as part of a liberal conspiracy to “diminish Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism,” why does he ride them?

* Good question: “[D]oes anyone else think political involvement might actually be a rather good form of education?” Yep.

* Today is the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I’ve seen several noteworthy pieces today honoring the occasion, but given the larger circumstances, I’m partial to Leonard Pitts Jr.’s piece on MLK and the rights of labor. Take a look.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.