Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Rumor has it the Senate will be voting any minute now on the House Republican budget plan. I’ll have a full report in the morning.

* More deadly storms slam the central U.S.: “Several tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma City and its suburbs, killing at least eight people and injuring at least 70 others, authorities said. Among those killed was a 15-month-old boy, and searchers were looking for his missing 3-year-old brother. The storms killed two people in Kansas and four in Arkansas, and may have killed a man in Texas whose burned body was found near a downed power line.”

* Tucson shooter unfit for trial: “A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Jared L. Loughner was not mentally competent to stand trial on charges of opening fire at a constituent event for an Arizona congresswoman in January, killing 6 and injuring 13.”

* Busted: “The Justice Department plans to move ahead with criminal charges against John Edwards, the former senator and presidential candidate, contending that he misused campaign funds to cover up an affair, a person close to Mr. Edwards said on Wednesday morning.”

* It looks like Army Gen. Martin Dempsey is President Obama’s choice to be the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

* If former FEMA director Michael Brown has thoughts on how others respond to natural disasters, he should probably keep those thoughts to himself.

* I suspect he’s trying to reassure a whole lot of folks, including himself: “Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he is confident that the debt ceiling will be raised. The GOP opposition, he said, is just ‘political theater.'”

* Remember that odious mandatory-sonogram bill in Texas? Gov. Rick Perry (R) has signed it into law.

* Online courses don’t have to be bad, but let’s be honest about this situation.

* Beck’s new venture: “Outgoing Fox News host Glenn Beck and his company, Mercury Radio Arts, are developing a new service called ‘GBTV,’ which will be a web-based TV channel.”

* MSNBC’s Ed Schultz called far-right media personality Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut” on his radio show yesterday — twice. Language that’s demeaning towards women is never acceptable, regardless of the target, and I’d be surprised and disappointed if MSNBC doesn’t punish Schultz for the on-air comment.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Steve Benen

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.