Thursday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Another tragic day in Blacksburg: “A Virginia Tech police officer was fatally shot Thursday during a routine traffic stop on the Blacksburg campus and a second person was found slain in a nearby parking lot after the gunman fled, the university reports. The Associated Press, citing an unnamed law enforcement official, is reporting that the person found dead in the parking lot is the gunman who killed the officer.”

* Europe: “The European Central Bank moved aggressively to head off a recession and credit crunch in the euro area Thursday, but the bank disappointed expectations that it might ramp up its bond-buying program to contain the sovereign debt crisis. The E.C.B. cut its benchmark interest rate for the second straight month and took unprecedented steps to expand emergency financing for cash-starved banks.”

* I’m fairly certain Republicans no longer understand what “covert” actually means: “Republican US presidential candidates have redoubled their public calls for ‘covert’ operations against Iran and Syria, including sabotage, assassination and aid to opposition forces.”

* A day later, President Obama is still very wrong about access to Plan B contraception.

* Maybe the CIA shouldn’t have picked a residential neighborhood? “One of the CIA’s most important secrets in the war on terrorism was hiding in plain sight, on a leafy residential street along a busy set of train tracks in Romania’s capital. There, tucked in the basement of a government building, the CIA ran a clandestine prison, former U.S. intelligence officials said.”

* Remember the far-right freak-out over JournoList? “The former spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is shopping a 3,000-word trove of opposition research against bloggers critical of Israel to friendly neoconservative journalists. I’ve obtained an email sent by Josh Block to a private listserv called The Freedom Community, in which he throws around accusations of anti-Semitism against liberal bloggers and calls on other list members to ‘echo’ and ‘amplify’ his assault and ‘use the below [research] to attack the bad guys.'”

* Congressional Republicans sure have made it easy for the left to make Ronald Reagan look like a center-left Democrat.

* Probably a good move: “Apparently Penn State might be rethinking that whole massive football program thing.”

* Nice gig for a very good journalist: “It may be hard to believe, but CBS’ venerable newsmagazine ’60 minutes’ has been on the air more than 40 years, and has never had a legal analyst. That is changing, as the program announced that Andrew Cohen will be joining the program as its legal analyst.”

* Save Greendale.

* A community organizer approached Bill O’Reilly last night after a fundraiser to ask him a question. O’Reilly hit the guy with an umbrella and then asked a police officer to arrest him. How very odd.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.