Monday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Escalating crisis in Yemen: “Al-Qaida militants seized full control of a town south of the Yemeni capital on Monday, overrunning army positions, storming the local prison and freeing at least 150 inmates, security officials said.”

* A day of service: “President Barack Obama evoked Martin Luther King, Jr.’s own words about public service Monday as Obama and his family celebrated the life of the late civil rights leader with a volunteer project. The president, along with wife Michelle Obama and daughter Malia, joined other volunteers at Browne Education Center in Washington.”

* When Mitt Romney ran Bain Capital, “his word was not his bond.”

* Smart move: “To head off medical conflicts of interest, the Obama administration is poised to require drug companies to disclose the payments they make to doctors for research, consulting, speaking, travel and entertainment.”

* Another smart move: “Reversing himself in what had become an awkward intraparty stalemate for Democrats, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey said Friday that he would no longer block President Obama’s nominee to a federal appeals court. Mr. Menendez said he had decided to support the nominee, Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz, after an ‘in-depth discussion’ with her at a meeting on Friday.”

* Hmm: “Two veteran House Republicans received discounted mortgage loans from the now-defunct Countrywide Financial Corp. under a VIP program, a congressional official said Friday. The discounts went to Reps. Howard McKeon and Elton Gallegly of California, said the official.”

* Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) wants the government to pay for his education, not yours.

* Bill Gates has given away roughly $28 billion, “which has helped save 6 million lives.” That’s simply astounding.

* Did Fox News plagiarize The Atlantic Wire? It sure looks like it.

* Eugene Robinson considers the MLK legacy: “For the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., dreaming was not optional. It was a requirement of citizenship to envision a fairer, more prosperous nation no longer shackled by racism and poverty. It was a duty to imagine a world no longer ravaged by senseless wars. His most famous speech was less an invitation to share his epic dream than a commandment. In these sour, pessimistic times, it is important to remember the great lesson of King’s remarkable life: Impossible dreams can come true.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.