Tuesday’s Mini-Report


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The ruptured oil pipeline in Arkansas is already quite a disaster, and should raise questions anew about Keystone and an oil-based energy policy.

* This is disheartening news: “Jay Hileman, an assistant U.S. attorney in Houston, has withdrawn from a large Aryan Brotherhood of Texas racketeering case due to security concerns. Richard O. Ely II, a Houston defense attorney who is representing one of the 34 defendants, said Hileman sent him an email on Tuesday, informing him that he was off the case.”

* More posturing: “North Korea said on Tuesday that it will put all its nuclear facilities – including its operational uranium-enrichment program and its reactors mothballed or under construction – to use in expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal, sharply raising the stakes in the escalating standoff with the United States and its allies.”

* Solidarity: “In an unusual act of solidarity with the Pentagon’s civilian workforce, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the department’s deputy secretary, Ashton B. Carter, will return a share of their salaries to the federal Treasury for the same number of days that employees are docked because of furloughs.”

* Wow: “A top New York State lawmaker was arrested early Tuesday morning for what federal prosecutors said was his central role in a brazen series of bribery and corruption schemes, including an attempt to buy a spot on the ballot in this year’s race for New York City mayor.”

* Have I mentioned lately that austerity doesn’t work? “While the euro zone has been transfixed lately by the Cyprus meltdown, another and potentially bigger European crisis has continued to simmer: record-high unemployment.”

* Words matter: “The Associated Press, a news cooperative which licenses its stories to organizations across the country, is changing its long-standing style entry concerning undocumented immigrants, which it has referred to as ‘illegal immigrants’ up until now.”

* We haven’t heard the last of him: “James E. Hansen, the climate scientist who issued the clearest warning of the 20th century about the dangers of global warming, will retire from NASA this week, giving himself more freedom to pursue political and legal efforts to limit greenhouse gases.”

* The network sure has made some smart line-up decisions lately: “Democratic political consultant Karen Finney has been named host of a new msnbc program to air on weekends at 4 p.m., the network announced today.”

* So the right likes individual mandates again? “A small Georgia town on Monday passed a law requiring the head of each household to own a gun as a way to keep crime down.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Tuesday's Mini-Report