Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Italy on the brink: “A day after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi offered his resignation in the face of rising global market skepticism, investors revolted Wednesday, suggesting they do not believe that even a new leadership could fix Italy’s intransigent financial problems and revive its economy. Italian bond rates crossed a crucial level of 7 percent, prompting questions about whether Italy could soon need an international bailout.” The money for that kind of bailout isn’t there.

* Wall Street noticed: “At 4 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 389 points, or 3.2 percent, at 11,780.94. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was off 3.7 percent, at 1,229.10 and the Nasdaq composite index fell 3.9 percent to 2,621.65. Bank stocks were hit the hardest. During the day, Morgan Stanley was down nearly 8 percent. Bank of America was down more than 4 percent, Citigroup was 7 percent lower and JPMorgan Chase declined more than 6 percent.”

* Cutting costs: “President Obama is set to unveil an executive order on Wednesday aimed at cutting wasteful spending on excess travel, printing, cell phones and government ‘swag.’ The swag under fire includes plaques, clothing, mugs and other agency-identified items distributed to employees.”

* War on voting: “Efforts to make it more difficult for voters to cast a ballot are inconsistent with American values and will be thoroughly investigated by DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.”

* Expect a recount in the undecided state Senate race in Virginia.

* The National Association of Manufacturers is known for being pretty conservative, but it’s impressed with the Obama White House’s focus on jobs.

* Dana Milbank notes that Republicans really want “Fast and Furious” to be a legitimate scandal, but can’t turn it into one. (Milbank is helping prove Jonathan Alter right.)

* With collective bargaining winning big in Ohio yesterday, Republicans are reminded that union-busting overreach is a dangerous electoral game.

* Is tuition really too expensive? Yes, it is.

* Dan Braganca did a nice job graphing the imbalance in the media’s coverage of health care court rulings.

* Rush Limbaugh is not above targeting innocent children if he doesn’t like the kid’s parents. Stay classy, Rush.

* With the important caveat that he’s not being serious, Ta-Nehisi Coates had the funniest piece I’ve read in a while mocking the right’s ridiculous attitudes towards sexual harassment.

* And speaking of funny, this Mike Tyson video mocking Herman Cain was hilarious.

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