Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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.

* That “$23 trillion bailout” nonsense keeps making the rounds. That’s unfortunate.

* 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.

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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.