MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Iraq: “A female suicide bomber detonated her explosives inside a way station for Shiite pilgrims Monday, killing 54 people and rattling security officials who are struggling against a possible rise in violence before key elections next month.”
* Haiti: “[E]ven as food-aid workers enjoyed their most successful day since the Jan. 12 earthquake, the increasingly prominent role of U.S. troops and civilians in the capital is creating high expectations that the Obama administration is struggling to contain. The needs are extraordinary, and the common refrain is that the Americans will provide.”
* Budget: “President Obama sent Congress on Monday a proposed budget of $3.8 trillion for the fiscal year 2011, saying that his plan would produce a decade-long reduction in the deficit from $1.6 trillion this year, a shortfall swollen by $100 billion in additional tax cuts and public works spending that he is seeking right away.”
* Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said today the proposed “Volcker Rule” and Bank Tax have no shot in the Senate.
* Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was read his rights “only after … Abdulmutallab had stopped talking to authorities.”
* China thoroughly unhappy about the latest arms deal between U.S. and Taiwan.
* Middle East: “The Obama administration is quietly working with Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf allies to speed up arms sales and rapidly upgrade defenses for oil terminals and other key infrastructure in a bid to thwart future military attacks by Iran, according to former and current U.S. and Middle Eastern government officials. ”
* Defense Secretary Roberts Gates is sacking the head of the “star-crossed, nearly $350 billion” F-35 program and is “withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in performance fees to JSF-maker Lockheed Martin.” Gates told reporters, “When things go wrong, people will be held accountable.” I like his Gates guy more and more all the time.
* Eyeing a “sweeping overhaul” of No Child Left Behind.
* Candy Crowley will take over CNN’s “State of Union.” She’s not my favorite journalist, but I’m glad to see some diversity — Crowley will be the only Sunday show host who isn’t a white guy.
* What’s inside the Quadrennial Defense Review? Robert Farley takes a look.
* On a related note: “The Pentagon will no longer shape the U.S. military to fight two major conventional wars at once, but rather prepare for numerous conflicts and not all in the same style, according to a draft of a new strategic outlook the Pentagon is announcing on Monday.”
* It looks like the Obama administration has curtailed enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” a lot. Good.
* I still think Obama’s right about the itemized deduction rates, even if Congress disagrees.
* Characterizing college aid as “welfare“? Please.
* Sad, but true: “The moral here is that right now the GOP literally has no ideas about how the nation should actually be governed. And the scary thing is that lack of ideas seems to be a winning platform.”
* President Obama takes questions via YouTube.
* Bill O’Reilly is really, really bad at math.
* Charles Krauthammer apparently doesn’t like Nigerians.
* CBS exercises some odd judgment when it comes to accepting and rejecting Super Bowl ads.
* Fox Nation’s crush on Scott Brown is humiliating, even for Fox Nation.
* And on a related note, if you missed Paul Krugman confronting Roger Ailes yesterday, you’ll definitely want to check out this clip.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.