Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The Federal Reserve has options to help the economy. Chairman Ben Bernanke said today he would be prepared to use them if the economy worsens.

* Mumbai: “Three bomb blasts shook the city of Mumbai at the height of the evening rush hour on Wednesday, killing at least 20 people in what Indian officials called a coordinated terror attack on the country’s economic capital.”

* Libya: “Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi is sending fresh signals through emissaries that he is ready to discuss stepping down, Western diplomats said Tuesday, as new intelligence assessments pointed to worsening conditions among his troops.”

* Congressional Democratic leader appear to be warming to Mitch McConnell’s proposal to end the debt-ceiling standoff.

* Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) became the first Republican lawmaker to call for a criminal investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp activities.

* It’s not the “administration’s debt ceiling.” Like it or not, it belongs to all of us.

* Eleven far-right U.S. senators today voted against funding the military. I remember when such votes were considered scandalous.

* Good point from Jay Bookman: “By my count, of the 33 Republican senators who voted for TARP in 2008, 15 are now gone, and another, Lisa Murkowski, was forced to seek re-election as an independent after losing her GOP primary. Of the 91 GOP congressmen who voted for the final version of TARP, 43 are no longer in the House…. That is a remarkable amount of turnover in three years’ time, and amounts to an ideological purge of an already radical caucus.”

* Dim bulbs: “House Republicans on Tuesday failed to advance a measure that would repeal regulations that increase efficiency standards for light bulbs, rules that they have assailed as an example of government overreach.” It got 223 votes, but needed a two-thirds majority.

* Changing the way college financial aid works: “It’s time for reform, but reform should be about more than providing student with more information; they should be supplying students with less actual debt.”

* Remember when the right was all worked up about Kenneth Gladney? “It took a St. Louis County jury less than 50 minutes to return a not guilty verdict in the assault trial featuring Kenneth Gladney and two union members who were charged with attacking him outside a two hall event during the tumultuous summer of 2009.”

* The right relies on the “Waterloo” comparison just a little too much.

* Capable of feeling at least some shame: “Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) is no longer a shareholder in the nation’s highly profitable oil and gas industry. Why? Because Al Sharpton yelled at him.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.