Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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

* The Federal Reserve released its new economic projections for 2009. The central bank is even less optimistic than it was before.

* And speaking of ’09 pessimism, Gen. David McKiernan, who commands U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told reporters at the Pentagon today, “Even with these additional forces, I have to tell you, 2009 is going to be a tough year.”

* Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) continued to insist today that he’s done nothing wrong. Around the same time, Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) became the first member of Congress to call on Burris to resign.

* Alan Greenspan, oddly enough, conceded yesterday, “It may be necessary to temporarily nationalize some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring. I understand that once in a hundred years this is what you do.”

* Banks with TARP money aren’t lending the way they’re supposed to.

* The New York Post caused quite a stir today with a controversial political cartoon.

* Attorney General Eric Holder gave a provocative speech on race today.

* A federal judge yesterday denied a motion to “dismiss charges against five Blackwater guards accused of killing Iraqi civilians in a bloody rampage at a busy traffic circle in Baghdad in September 2007.”

* The North Dakota House voted yesterday to define “any organism with the genome of homo sapiens” as a person protected by rights granted by the North Dakota Constitution and state laws. The measure is intended to serve as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.

* Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is opposed to hold the Bush administration accountable for alleged wrongdoing because the economy is bad.

* Marc Morano, a press flack for Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), has quite a propaganda operation.

* The Washington Post reported in September that Sarah Palin had “billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a ‘per diem’ allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.” Tax experts said at the time that Palin was supposed to pay taxes on the money, but hadn’t. It turns out, they were right.

* “The Big Stone Wall” — the nine Bush administration officials who refused to cooperate with Justice Department investigations.

* Responding to Juan Williams’ recent foolishness, Gwen Ifill told ThinkProgress, “Since Juan was one of the people who criticized my book before it was published, I really — I just leave it at that. I think that people really should make a better effort to know what they’re talking about.”

* And finally, House Republicans had to pull their “Back in the Saddle” video yesterday after Aerosmith expressed its disapproval. Sometimes, it seems those poor GOP lawmakers just can’t do anything right.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.