FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Diplomatic progress: “The United States and five partner countries have accepted Iran’s new offer to hold talks, even though Iran insists it will not negotiate over its disputed nuclear program, the State Department said Friday.”
* I think CNN screwed this up: “Radio traffic about a Coast Guard training exercise Friday led to erroneous television news reports that guardsmen had fired on a recreational boat in the Potomac River, near where President Obama was remembering the 9/11 attacks, a senior Coast Guard official said.”
* Congressional Democrats are not on board with the administration’s policy in Afghanistan.
* House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNN this morning that a public option will be in the House bill “in some form.”
* Remember to wash those hands: “Influenza is circulating unusually early this year with cases in all 50 states — nearly all the swine flu variety, government health officials said Friday.”
* Uh oh: “For liberal Democrats unhappy with the way Max Baucus is handling health care reform, here’s another dose of bad news: He’s got his hands on climate and energy, too. Behind closed doors, Sen. Baucus has been staking his claim on major aspects of the climate bill, including financing for a cap-and-trade system.”
* Will Vladimir Putin run for president again in 2012? It seems like a safe bet.
* It seems hard to believe, but there’s a new poll showing Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) trailing his Democratic opponent in the wake of Wilson’s “you lie” outburst. In the meantime, censure is still on the table in the House.
* Two-thirds of the members of the South Carolina Republican Party’s executive committee wants Gov. Mark Sanford (R) to resign.
* On a related note, “What’s the matter with South Carolina?”
* Jesse Singal 1, Camille Paglia 0.
* Americans United for Change launches a hard-hitting ad in support of health care reform.
* A right-wing rally in D.C. is scheduled to take place tomorrow, organized in part by Fox News. Estimates vary widely on expected crowd size — I’ve seen everything from 20,000 (from conservatives trying to lower expectations) to 2 million (from liberals trying to raise expectations).
* Warren Buffett, the world’s second richest man, would love to see Democrats raise taxes on the wealthy.
* A worthwhile PSA: “First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will urge Americans to support military families in a public service announcement that will be broadcast on Friday in baseball stadiums across the country, the White House announced.”
* Another focus group that liked President Obama’s health care speech.
* Much to my disappointment, it appears that Bradley Schlozman will avoid prosecution.
* Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has an awful habit of touting stimulus money after bashing stimulus money, while pretending it’s not stimulus money.
* Michael Kinsley lands at The Atlantic.
* And finally, I’m starting to think Pat Buchanan might be a bigot. Try to contain your surprise.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.