Friday’s Mini-Report

FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Consumer spending in the U.S. edges up, just a little.

* Iran really shouldn’t stonewall nuclear watchdogs.

* The Taliban was driven from three Pashtun-dominated districts in northern Afghanistan in 2001, and the area has been considered safe for quite a while. Now, Taliban insurgents are back, and they’re taking over.

* On a related note, the more there are accusations of fraud and voter coercion in Afghanistan’s presidential election, the worse it is for the legitimacy of the Kabul government.

* When it comes to the health care debate, conservatives seem almost obsessed with “death.”

* Apparently hoping to prove how truly crazy he’s become, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) claims to have been just days away from filing a lawsuit challenging the president’s citizenship.

* I’m glad to see Tom Coburn’s remarks this week to a wife of a brain-injury victim start to get noticed. If Democrats were better organized and had a more favorable media environment, the video probably would be the single most important exchange of the summer.

* According to local officials, including some very conservative Republicans, the Obama White House is doing some terrific work on post-Katrina efforts in Louisiana.

* Newt Gingrich wants President Obama to fire Attorney General Eric Holder. Newt Gingrich isn’t very bright.

* South Carolina’s GOP lawmakers are moving forward with possible impeachment plans against Gov. Mark Sanford (R).

* On a related note, half of Sanford’s constituents want him to go away.

* Greg Sargent keeps making Stephen Hayes look foolish. Hayes, for reasons I don’t understand, keeps coming back for more, and Greg keeps making Hayes look worse.

* Nice piece today from Michael Tomasky on Drudge and Breitbart.

* I have no idea whether turnout for the next Tea Party events will be strong or not, but I’ve never seen events get this kind of publicity from an outlet pretending to be a “news” network.

* Michael Scheuer, still nutty.

* And finally, if you haven’t already seen it, watch this mock cable-news debate: “Is Using A Minotaur To Gore Detainees A Form Of Torture?” It’s painfully funny and painfully sad at the same time. Instant classic.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.