WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Iraq: “At least 10 people were reported killed Wednesday in Iraq, including four who perished in twin bombings near a revered Shiite shrine in Karbala. The other six were members of a family whose home north of Baghdad was raided overnight by suspected insurgents, according to Iraqi authorities.”
* Good news on the economic front: “[T]he number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell below 500,000 last week for the first time since January…. The number of people filing first-time claims for jobless aid fell by 35,000 to 466,000, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That was the fewest since September of last year. And it was far better than the 500,000 economists had expected.”
* More good news on the economic front: “Consumer spending ticked upward in October, the Commerce Department estimated today, a marked reversal from the month before.”
* When President Obama unveils the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, he’ll do so in a speech at West Point.
* Soon after the president’s remarks, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hear directly from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
* In a bit of a surprise, support for additional troops in Afghanistan is growing, not shrinking.
* Israeli officials today approved a 10-month settlement freeze, but the exceptions to the policy make it controversial.
* The U.S. delegation to Copenhagen next month will include Al Gore.
* More lists from the White House visitor logs.
* The media gave Sarah Palin all kinds of attention last week — more than most Americans were interested in.
* Phillip Carter resigned this week from the Defense Department after just seven months on the job. He cited “personal reasons,” which by all accounts, is the truth.
* Alex Koppelman and Mike Madden have a nice overview on why the Senate leadership aren’t anxious to approve health care legislation through the reconciliation process.
* One step closer to impeachment proceedings against South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R).
* If John McCain wants to talk about “viciousness” and “personalization” in political attacks, we can oblige.
* Over time, policymakers shifted their focus away from class size in K-12. The same shift is underway in higher ed.
* Of the 10 longest pieces of congressional legislation considered over the last decade, five of the bills were written by Republicans. (If the GOP were willing to consider ending the whining about the length of the health care bill, now would be a very good time.)
* For Dana Perino, maybe Bush’s first term doesn’t count.
* And finally, as presidential pardons for Thanksgiving turkeys go, today’s was pretty amusing.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.