Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* It’s no longer a rumor: “Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday introduced their own plan for paying for President Obama’s jobs package, proposing a 5 percent surtax on millionaires to cover the cost of the $447 billion initiative.”

* U.S. economy: “Growth in the U.S. service sector was steady in September and private hiring picked up, suggesting the economy was not yet slipping into recession.”

* Republicans have spent much of the year insisting the United States should follow the UK’s lead on austerity, but there’s a small problem: British austerity isn’t working.

* Remember how much the media celebrated Tea Partiers as regular Americans who just wanted to be heard? Occupy Wall Street isn’t afforded similar levels of respect.

* Fred Kaplan explains why Dick Cheney “should no longer be allowed on network TV.” I’m convinced.

* I’m thankful Republicans failed to shut this research down: “Scientists reported Wednesday that for the first time they used cloning techniques to coax human eggs to generate embryonic stem cells containing the genes of specific patients.”

* I hope I’m not the only one who finds grid modernization interesting: “Demonstrating its commitment to job creation and modernizing America’s infrastructure, the Obama Administration today announced it would accelerate the permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines.”

* Good move from the White House: “The Obama administration is rejecting House GOP leaders’ latest attempt to box him into a corner on environmental protections. Late Monday afternoon the Office of Management and Budget recommended the President veto two bills House Republicans are planning to bring to the floor for a vote later this week.”

* Jonathan Turley has a brutal-but-entertaining piece on disgraced former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales landing at an unaccredited law school in Tennessee: “The idea of Gonzales shaping lawyers is enough to force one into a fetal position.” So true.

* My friend Blue Girl offers “some basic rules for successful radicals.”

* Daniel Luzer considers Occupy Wall Street in the context of student-loan debt.

* Fox News chief Roger Ailes told the AP he hired Sarah Palin “because she was hot and got ratings.” That’s a fine journalistic institution you have there, Roger. Nothing but the highest in professional standards.

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.