MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* This was not well received: “Washington’s deficit reduction debate came to Wall Street on Monday, after the Standard & Poor’s rating firm lowered the outlook for the United States to negative, saying there was a risk that lawmakers might not reach agreement on how to address the country’s fiscal issues.”
* Japan: “A pair of thin robots on treads sent to explore buildings inside Japan’s crippled nuclear reactor came back Monday with disheartening news: Radiation levels are far too high for repair crews to go inside.”
* Some of those eager to engage Libya weren’t quite ready: “Less than a month into the Libyan conflict, NATO is running short of precision bombs, highlighting the limitations of Britain, France and other European countries in sustaining even a relatively small military action over an extended period of time.”
* Rajiv Chandrasekaran sees some progress in Afghanistan: “For the first time since the war began nearly a decade ago, the Taliban is commencing a summer fighting season with less control and influence of territory in the south than it had the previous year.” He calls this “a profound shift across a swath of Afghanistan that has been the focus of the American-led military campaign.”
* I think this is a good move: “President Obama will hit the road this week and forcibly deliver his message that a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes on the rich is necessary to rein in the nation’s rocketing debt — a high-stakes effort to rally public support ahead of a series of contentious budget battles in Congress.”
* Syria: “The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.”
* Hydrofracking: “Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats.”
* Uwe Reinhardt explains the differences between federal lawmakers’ health care and what House Republicans have in mind for Medicare recipients.
* President Obama said of the KSM trial, “I remain convinced we could have handled this in New York. We could have handled it in a normal court.” He’s right, but that apparently doesn’t matter.
* Republicans want to “reform” Social Security, a system they consider a scam. Ironically, the real scam is their proposal.
* This year’s Pulitzers were announced today. I was especially pleased to see David Leonhardt among the deserving winners.
* Daniel Luzer: “Changes to rules about Pell Grants are likely to have a dramatically adverse effect on companies that operate for-profit colleges.”
* I’m starting to get the sense Roger Ailes is kind of creepy.
* I’d find it easier to tolerate the inanity of “Fox & Friends” if the hosts weren’t so damn lazy.
* And Happy Blogoversary to Atrios, who started Eschaton nine years ago yesterday. When I started blogging a year later, Duncan was one of the people who inspired me to give this a try.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.