Tuesday’s Mini-Report

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

* Moving well beyond a no-fly zone in Libya: “Britain announced Tuesday it will dispatch experienced military advisers to aid Libyan rebels in organizing their forces, inching toward deeper Western involvement in the two-month-old rebellion against Moammar Gaddafi.”

* Syria: “Syria tried to placate protesters with declarations of sweeping reform on Tuesday while also issuing harsh threats of reprisals if demonstrations do not come to an end, as one of the Arab world’s most repressive countries struggled to blunt the most serious challenge to the 40-year rule of the Assad family.”

* Ignore the S&P: “A day after the nation was given a negative credit outlook, President Obama and the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, on Tuesday defended efforts that the administration was taking to reduce the budget deficit but warned that the process would not be easy.”

* On a related note, Paul Krugman reminds folks not to take the S&P “warning” seriously: “People, this was a non-event.”

* My favorite response to Standard & Poor’s warning — which is to say, the response that was most in line with my own — came from Joe Klein: “Hey, weren’t you the same guys who gave AAA ratings to the repackaged subprime mortgage-backed securities that, in truth, were utter dreck? And didn’t that help cause the 2008 economic collapse? And didn’t subsequent accounts reveal that you were in bed with the banks whose products you were supposed to be rating? I mean, you guys are still in business?”

* Mild-mannered economist Alan Blinder blasts the House Republican budget plan, in the Wall Street Journal, no less: “The Ryan plan has received vastly too much praise from people who should know better.”

* President Obama hasn’t given up on immigration reform, but there’s one noticeable problem: voters elected a Republican House.

* It’s heartening to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights functioning again.

* Fred Hiatt has run a lot of columns on climate-change denial. He now seems surprised that so many people are receptive to the rhetoric coming from climate-change deniers.

* Daniel Luzer: “It doesn’t seem that online courses are really helping to expand learning so much as they’re just replacing existing courses with a new, and arguably less effective, method of delivery.”

* Terrific political cartoon, capturing the partisan debate over Medicare.

* When racists say, “I am not a racist,” they’re still racists.

* David Barton, the right’s favorite fake historian, actually believes net neutrality is — get this — in conflict with the Bible. The deeply strange far-right activist also called net neutrality “wicked” and “socialism on the Internet.” It remains unclear if he knows what net neutrality is.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.