MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* At the start of a two-day summit between the United States and China, President Obama emphasized the fact that the relationship between the two countries will shape the 21st century. The U.S. delegation for the talks will be led by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
* New home sales in the U.S. far exceeded expectations last month, showing the largest increase in more than eight years.
* Images from intelligence satellites of Arctic ice bolstered the evidence of global warming. The Bush administration kept the images hidden; the Obama administration has released them.
* Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have announced their opposition to the Sotomayor nomination. No big surprise.
* The $644-million Community Stabilization Program in Iraq has been suspended due to alleged widespread corruption.
* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in what I believe is a first, seems to be hitting the campaign trail, hoping for a second term.
* How can policymakers pay for health care? John Kerry’s idea about imposing an excise tax on “gold-plated Cadillac” insurance plans seems to be generating quite a bit of support.
* In the wake of the controversy surrounding Skip Gates’ arrest, racial slurs at The Root have become a real problem.
* Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is real sorry he suggested last week that the U.S. needed to prepare for a possible military confrontation with India.
* It was a pleasant surprise to see Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) acknowledge that United States has detention facilities that could safely hold Gitmo inmates. Alas, he’s still wrong about the policy.
* Rick Santorum apparently can’t read health care legislation. After all those years in the House and Senate, Santorum really should have learned a little more about the process.
* Yet another far-right, “family values” Republican has been caught up in a sex scandal. The latest is Tennessee State Sen. Paul Stanley (R), a married Sunday school teacher, ardent anti-gay lawmaker, and proponent of abstinence-only education, who acknowledged his adultery after his mistress’ boyfriend tried to blackmail him. The boyfriend, apparently, had video of the state senator in a “compromising” position.
* Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), never accused of being the sharpest crayon in the box, argued today on the Senate floor that burning oil doesn’t cause pollution. He wasn’t kidding.
* One of the guest hosts of MSNBC’s “Countdown” this week will be none other than Howard Dean. That ought to be fun.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.