Tuesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Tehran: “Iranian protesters screaming ‘death to England’ stormed the vast British embassy compound and a diplomatic residence in Tehran on Tuesday, torched at least one vehicle, tore down the Union Jack, ransacked offices and briefly held six staff members captive during an officially approved protest of economic sanctions against Iran’s suspect nuclear energy program.”

* Iraq: “Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. arrived here on Tuesday for a historic visit meant to inaugurate a new relationship between the United States and Iraq, just weeks before the last American troops are scheduled to leave the country.”

* AA: “Saddled with an aging fleet of aircraft and high labor costs, the parent company of American Airlines filed for bankruptcy Tuesday, seeking protection from creditors while it restructures its operations. The airline said that operations would continue, that all flights would depart on schedule and that frequent-flier miles would be honored.”

* Austerity doesn’t work: “States are caught in a fiscal vise as weak economic growth, dwindling federal help and increasing appeals from hard-pressed local governments squeeze their budgets.”

* Murdoch media scandal just keeps expanding: “The former Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain has been told by the Metropolitan police that they are investigating evidence that his computer, and those of senior Northern Ireland civil servants and intelligence agents, may have been hacked by private detectives working for News International.”

* Felix Salmon takes former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to task for giving “his old Goldman Sachs buddies … invaluable information” in the summer of 2008, when he should have been tending to the nation’s interests.

* The Obama administration’s QuickPay program is worthwhile, cutting government reimbursement rates for small-business invoices from 30 to 15 days. But the “15 days from when?” question still matters a great deal.

* This isn’t a surprise: “The Office of Legal Counsel advised President Barack Obama on whether he could ignore Congress and raise the debt ceiling himself under the 14th Amendment. We just don’t know what they told him.”

* Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) says he cares “completely” about programs that feed the needy at shelters. Given that his sweeping budget cuts this year “slashed funding to some veteran and farm surplus programs that helped the homeless,” I don’t think Scott means it.

* On a related note, as Scott’s administration in Florida imposes harsh tuition hikes on state higher-ed students, campuses are getting organized to protest the governor’s “attack on higher education.”

* It’s amusing to compare Newt Gingrich’s take on Occupy protests to Colin Powell’s perspective. The former seems to think the latter is some kind of radical.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.