Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Syria is likely to get worse: “Syria’s ruling elite, a tight-knit circle at the nexus of absolute power, loyalty to family and a visceral instinct for survival, will fight to the end in a struggle that could cast the Middle East into turmoil and even war, warned Syria’s most powerful businessman, a confidant and cousin of President Bashar al-Assad.”
* Libya: “NATO increased its bombing operations against Tripoli on Tuesday, carrying out the largest attacks in weeks as rebels appeared to make advances in their efforts to break the siege of the key western city of Misurata.”
* More on this in the morning: “Speaking in El Paso, Texas today, President Barack Obama made the case for comprehensive immigration reform, contending that providing a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants will improve U.S. security as well as the economy. He outlined the work his administration has done to increase border security, and asserted that with security issues dealt with, it is time to find a permanent solution that will help the nation’s economy.”
* Luck of the draw: “The Obama administration has lucked out in Virginia. A three-judge panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hear arguments Tuesday morning from plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform law Congress passed law last year. And all three of those judges — selected randomly by computer — were appointed by Democratic Presidents.”
* On a related note, the first day appeared to go well for the administration.
* Good for Baucus: “Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus says he doesn’t think Congress will address Social Security as part of an effort to reduce government borrowing.”
* Fact-checking Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) speech to Wall Street wasn’t easy — he lied an awful lot — but this is a thorough takedown.
* If only Florida hadn’t elected a criminal governor, it’d have a better economy: “Amtrak and rail projects in 15 states are being awarded the $2 billion that Florida lost after the governor canceled plans for high-speed train service, the Department of Transportation said Monday. The largest share of the money – nearly $800 million – will be used to upgrade train speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph on critical segments of the heavily traveled Northeast corridor, the department said in a statement.”
* Michelle Rhee, hanging out with far-right Republicans and school privatization advocated? You don’t say.
* Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is still convinced President Obama is like Nixon. Darrell Issa isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer (unless that knife is being used to pick car locks).
* The most pathetic attack of the day: “Conservatives such as Fox News, the Daily Caller and Sarah Palin are criticizing the White House’s invitation to rapper Common for a poetry event over the purported vulgarity of his lyrics. Fox Nation, for instance, called Common a ‘vile rapper.’ But roughly half-a-year ago, Fox News had a different tone about Common. In an October 2010 report for FoxNews.com, reporter Jason Robinson interviewed the ‘rap legend’ and told him, ‘your music is very positive.’”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.