Update at 12:10 p.m. ET: While (as we said earlier) The Wall Street Journal is quoting, by name, a State Department spokesman as saying that Google executive Wael Thonim has been released from custody in Egypt, The New York Times' Jennifer Preston is tweeting that "I talked to State Dept. It is not confirmed that @ghonim has been released. Too many conflicting reports. Let's get it right."
The crisis in Egypt, as we reported earlier, enters its third week with protesters still camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square and still demanding that President Hosni Mubarak leave office now — while the Mubarak government continues to say that he'll stay until after elections in September, even as it opens negotiations with opposition groups.
Jonathan Cohn is a senior editor at The New Republic.
Two weeks ago, before a lower federal judge in Florida declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, another relatively obscure government figure generated news about health care reform. It was Richard Foster, the chief actuary at the federal agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid.