Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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

* President Obama continues to press Pakistan and Afghanistan on their response to the Taliban. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the discussions have produced “some very promising early signs.”

* On a related note, Clinton expressed her deep regret today for civilian casualties caused by U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan. (The right will start whining about U.S. “apologies” in 3 … 2 … 1 …)

* At least 11 Iraqis were killed today when a car bomb exploded at a popular south Baghdad produce market.

* Bank of America needs another $34 billion in capital. This, for reasons that I don’t understand, is not horrible news for the company.

* The White House is getting a little tired of Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) refusing to let the Senate vote on the president’s FEMA nominee.

* The Boston Globe lives to publish another day.

* Arlen Specter has lost his Senate seniority, but if things turn out well for him, he might get it back in 2011.

* Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes the extremely persuasive case for more gender diversity on the Supreme Court.

* Rush Limbaugh wants to see Colin Powell leave the Republican Party.

* The latest national CNN poll shows a majority of Americans do not want to see Bush administration officials investigated over torture policies.

* It was all off the record, but I’m glad Obama recently had dinner with Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, both of whom believe the president’s economic policies have been inadequate.

* Someday, I’d love to hear the editors of the LA Times justify paying Andrew Malcolm.

* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) continues to have a way with words.

* Birthers are not only at odds with reality, they’re at odds with each other.

* Remember that crazy Washington Times editorial, insisting that Obama’s approval ratings are awful? The paper retracted the piece today. Good move.

* And finally, the right’s attacks against the president have become so reflexive, yesterday some conservatives blasted Obama for his choice of condiments on a hamburger.

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.