Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Yemen: “Yemen appeared to tip closer to all out civil war on Wednesday as government troops and opposition tribesmen battled to control key positions in the capital and foreign diplomats boarded planes to flee.”
* Cold comfort: “The deadly tornadoes and widespread flooding that have left a trail of death and destruction throughout the South and the Midwest have also disrupted dozens of local economies just as the unsteady recovery seemed to be finding a foothold. But a new phase is slowly beginning in some hard-hit areas: reconstruction, which past disasters show is typically accompanied by a burst of new, and different, economic activity.”
* Good: “The Health and Human Services Department is telling the state of Indiana that its Medicaid plan, which bans funding to Planned Parenthood, is illegal and must be changed.”
* Also good: “U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that some prisoners incarcerated for crack cocaine offenses should benefit from a new law that lowers crack sentences.”
* Remember last year, when congressional Republicans were apoplectic about the “deem and pass” legislative maneuver? It appears the House GOP, which had used the same maneuver many times, is using it once again. I eagerly await the media freak-out.
* Remember, Republicans desperately want the U.S. to follow the lead of the U.K.: “The UK economy is set to experience the slowest pick-up in consumer spending of any post-recession period since 1830, according to a Financial Times analysis of official forecasts.”
* The richest 1% of Americans control 40% of the nation’s wealth. Conservatives believe this isn’t quite good enough.
* On a related note, in a global context, U.S. tax rates are some of the lowest in the world. Conservatives believe this isn’t good enough, either.
* To the chagrin of the right, Jewish Democratic donors are not abandoning President Obama. Imagine that.
* Microloans: “Is there a better way to fund American colleges? There might be.”
* Georgia Republicans cracked down dramatically on undocumented immigrants, and are now outraged that there’s an apparent shortage in agricultural labor. (thanks to reader C.R. for the tip)
* And the Space Shuttle Endeavour returns to Earth for the last time, wrapping up its 16th and final mission to space. It’s an impressive legacy: “The official tally for Endeavour, after 19 years of flight, was 170 crew members, 299 days in space, 4,671 orbits of Earth and 122,883,151 miles.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.