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

* Japan: “Japanese authorities on Tuesday raised the severity rating of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant to the highest level on an international scale, on a par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.”

* Libya: “France and Britain urged NATO on Tuesday to intensify airstrikes against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces and called on the alliance to do more to shield noncombatants from loyalist attacks.”

* More good news from Ivory Coast: “Five generals pledged their loyalty to President Alassane Ouattara on Tuesday following the capture of the country’s strongman leader after a four-month standoff, as French and Ivorian forces worked to eliminate the last pockets of resistance.”

* Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is considering a filibuster of the budget agreement reached last week, to be voted on Thursday. It probably has more than 60 votes anyway, but the procedural delays could cause real trouble in the chamber.

* Melody Barnes explains “why young Americans should care” about Equal Pay Day.

* Eugene Robinson: “The far-right ideologues in the House seek to starve the federal government to the point where it can no longer fulfill its constitutional duty to promote the general welfare. I don’t mean to sound apocalyptic, but that’s what this struggle comes down to.”

* In Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court election, conservative Justice David Prosser planned to force a recount when it looked like he’d lost. Now that he’s ahead, he wants challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg not to bother with a recount.

* During his tenure at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld wrote memos that were so hilarious, I’m tempted to think they’re parodies. Alas, they’re real.

* If the concept of online education is going to appear more legitimate, it’ll need more credible proponents than Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

* And two weeks ago, The Lynchburg News & Advance, a newspaper in Southern Virginia, reported that the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University took in hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars through federal financial aid. Last week, Liberty University removed The Lynchburg News & Advance from campus.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.