Friday’s Mini-Report


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The sequestration cuts will be especially brutal for the Pentagon, and Fred Kaplan argues these cuts “are far worse than you think.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined this afternoon some of what’s to come.

* On a related note, it’s important to remember that while the sky didn’t fall today at noon, that doesn’t mean the sequester was a false alarm. It’s still plenty scary, and it’s still likely to do severe damage.

* This is great economic news that Congress has not yet screwed up: “The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector picked up to its fastest rate in over a year and a half in February as new orders continued to accelerate, an industry report showed on Friday.”

* On a related note, austerity doesn’t work: “The unemployment rate in the euro zone edged up in January to a new record, official data showed Friday, as the ailing European economy continued to weigh on the job market” (thanks to reader F.B. for the tip).

* The administration’s decision is not yet final , but the State Department has concluded that the controversial Keystone XL pipeline would have a modest environmental impact on overall greenhouse-gas emissions.

* Looking ahead to the next man-made, self-inflicted crisis: “President Barack Obama said Friday that he would not risk a government shutdown in an effort to avert the sequester, even as he continued to pressure Republican leaders to budge.”

* A rare batch of presidential pardons.

* The investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) aides and associates has wrapped up, and the governor will not face charges.

* When Dick Cheney is not whining incessantly about people he doesn’t like in the Obama administration, he’s whining incessantly about people he didn’t like in the Bush administration.

* And while the president raised eyebrows among sci-fi fans everywhere today by accidentally combining Star Wars and Stark Trek canon, the White House has decided to have a little fun with the error. Indeed, the president’s team even created a link for

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report