Monday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Italy: “With his country swept up in Europe’s debt crisis and his once-mighty political capital spent, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned on Saturday, punctuating a tumultuous week and ending an era in Italian politics.”

* Sounds about right: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Europe could be living through its toughest hour since World War Two as new leaders in Italy and Greece rushed to form governments and limit the damage from the euro zone debt crisis.”

* Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is quickly running out of allies, following the Arab League’s moves over the weekend, and Jordan King Abdullah calling for his ouster today.

* The latest move in the White House’s “We Can’t Wait” campaign: “The Obama administration will announce Monday as much as $1 billion in funding to hire, train and deploy health-care workers.”

* Several localities continue their crackdowns on Occupy protests, with especially contentious scenes in Portland and Oakland.

* Chelsea Clinton has been hired by NBC News, joining George W. Bush’s daughter, Ronald Reagan’s son, John McCain’s daughter, and Tim Russert’s son.

* After Saturday night’s debate, it was good to see John McCain take a renewed stand against torture.

* Most Americans will never hear a word about this, but President Obama actually seems to have resolved “the biggest little diplomatic crisis you’ve never heard of.”

* Side benefit to housing crisis: more affordable options for college students.

* Nice piece from Doonesbury over the weekend on the Republicans’ War on voting. (thanks to D.M. for the tip)

* If there’s one thing Ayn Rand acolytes disapprove of, it’s the notion of “self-sacrifice.”

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.