WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* As far as President Obama is concerned, U.S. withdrawal policy in Iraq is still on schedule.
* Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that the United States “would not offer North Korea any sweeteners to return to talks and would consider extending a ‘defense umbrella’ over the Middle East if Iran does not heed calls to halt its nuclear weapons program.”
* Pakistan is worried that the U.S. offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan will force militants across the border, and Pakistan doesn’t have the troops needed to stop them.
* As far as Speaker Pelosi is concerned, there are enough votes in the House to pass health care reform.
* On a related note, Pelosi believes the House can and should keep working through the August recess.
* It’s hard to reconcile moves like these with pre-inauguration promises of more transparency: “Invoking an argument used by President George W. Bush, the Obama administration has turned down a request from a watchdog group for a list of health industry executives who have visited the White House to discuss the massive healthcare overhaul.”
* When it came to Democrats voting on the Thune amendment, whether the senator represented a “blue” or a “red” state made a big difference.
* No matter which version of health care reform advances, expect an individual mandate.
* Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) became the fifth Senate Republican to announce his support for Judge Sonya Sotomayor’s nomination.
* How did Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl end up in the hands of the enemy?
* And why won’t Ralph Peters stop saying stupid things about Bergdahl being taken hostage?
* South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) is leaving the country again, this time for a European vacation.
* Of all the compensation in the United States, more than a third is now going to “executives and other highly compensated employees.”
* Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) is backing off his F-22 demands.
* If you’re looking for a full transcription of the White House call with bloggers on Monday, you’re in luck.
* For some reason, that “fool me once” expression seems to trip up conservatives. I’m not sure why.
* And finally, be sure to take a look at “Palin’s Resignation: The Edited Version.” It turns out, Vanity Fair can do more to annoy the Alaska governor after all.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.