Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Freedom for Gilad Shalit: “In an elaborate prisoner exchange that could roil Middle East politics, an Israeli soldier held for more than five years by the militant Palestinian group Hamas was swapped on Tuesday for hundreds of Palestinians who have spent many years in Israeli jails, all them freed to jubilant welcomes tinged with bitterness and grief.”
* Clinton in Libya: “In a historic visit punctuated by celebratory gunfire and cries of ‘God is great,’ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton toured the Libyan capital Tuesday to pledge continued U.S. support for a transitional government still struggling to consolidate control over the war-ravaged country.”
* Iran: “Iran’s nuclear program, which stumbled badly after a reported cyberattack last year, appears beset by poorly performing equipment, shortages of parts and other woes as global sanctions exert a mounting toll…. Although Iran continues to stockpile enriched uranium in defiance of U.N. resolutions, two new reports portray the country’s nuclear program as riddled with problems as scientists struggle to keep older equipment working.”
* If only Senate Republicans gave a damn: “A group of 37 state and territorial attorneys general urged the U.S. Senate to confirm Richard Cordray as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…. The group includes 29 Democratic attorneys general and eight Republicans, according to Marjorie Tharp, a spokeswoman for the association.”
* Responding to a bizarre analysis from the Investor’s Business Daily, Jared Bernstein explains the conservative outlet doesn’t understand “the fundamental concept of fiscal impulse.”
* The New York Times‘ editorial board isn’t happy with the GOP presidential field’s shallow approach to foreign policy: “For a while, we were concerned that the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination were not saying much about national security and foreign affairs. Now that a few have started, maybe they were better off before.”
* Wall Street lobbyists and banking executives are bothered with Dems for identifying with concerns raised by Occupy Wall Street. Boo hoo.
* Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) wishes more of the OWS protesters showed up to vote in the 2010 midterm elections.
* Is the commitment in higher ed to protecting diversity in admissions coming to an end? It’s possible.
* Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been whining incessantly lately about President Obama traveling on a bus made in Canada. This morning, McCain changed his talking points — right after learning that his own bus was made north of the border. Oops.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.