Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Libya: “In another sign that Colonel Qaddafi’s regime had come unglued, loyalists holding more than 30 foreign journalists captive in Tripoli’s luxury Rixos hotel abruptly let them go.”

* The bounty: “Even as the Libyan rebels claimed to have most of the capital of Tripoli under their control, the whereabouts of Moammar Gadhafi remain a mystery. Libya’s opposition National Transition Council said Wednesday it was offering a $1.7 million bounty for Gadhafi’s capture, dead or alive.”

* Gaddafi, meanwhile, delivered a radio address overnight, calling his retreat “tactical,” and vowing “martyrdom.”

* Economy: “New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rose in July, offering hope the ailing economy could dodge a second recession even though a gauge of business spending fell.”

* Yesterday’s earthquake caused a crack in the Washington Monument that’s four feet long and one inch wide.

* Watching Irene: “Evacuations began on a tiny barrier island off North Carolina as Hurricane Irene kept strengthening near the Bahamas Wednesday, with the U.S. East Coast in its sights. Still a Category 3 hurricane, Irene could grow to a Category 4 on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.”

* The Congressional Budget Office projects GDP growth of 2.3% this year and 2.7% next year, with unemployment dropping to 8.5% by the end of 2012. But — and this is a key “but” — the CBO projections were completed in July, and the last few weeks have been unkind.

* Hmm: “House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has for months argued for closing tax loopholes as a way to pay for his proposed tax cuts. But it turns out he has a penchant for creating those same loopholes when it comes to helping out his biggest donors.”

* Republicans don’t want to hear this, but raising Medicare’s eligibility age would “increase overall health spending and shift costs to seniors, states, and employers.”

* I’d never heard of gay affirmative action: “Elmhurst College, a small private college about 20 miles west of Chicago, Illinois, will apparently be the first college in the country to make sexual orientation a part of its admissions process.”

* It was only a matter of time before some far-right crank said yesterday’s mid-Atlantic earthquake was a divine message. WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah was up to the task.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation