WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The Fed seems cautiously optimistic about the beginnings of an economic recovery.
* Iraqi security forces, against the wishes of the U.S., launched an offensive against an Iranian dissident group. It’s a move fraught with implications.
* Despite 280 supporters in the House, a sweeping food safety bill, which would improve inspections and oversight, is being slowed down on the Hill.
* Despite today’s deal, some Blue Dogs still don’t like health care reform.
* The center-right health care “compromise” emerging from the Senate Finance Committee will reportedly cost under $900 billion over 10 years. No word yet on what kind of concessions, or gimmicks, make this possible.
* When pressed, even the most right-wing lawmakers will rail against government-run health care and praise Medicare in the same breath.
* Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) of Louisiana wants to find the “center” of the health care reform debate. I have no idea what that means.
* The DCCC is not amused by mock-hangings put together by reform opponents.
* In an apparent attempt to be as annoying as humanly possible, Sen. Ben Nelson (D) of Nebraska says he’s undecided about Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. The conservative Democrat said yesterday he needs to “convince myself she won’t be an activist” on the bench.
* It can be challenging to keep the conservative front-groups straight when it comes the fight over health care reform, but ThinkProgress has done some interesting research on the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights.
* The New America Foundation’s Frida Berrigan has a great piece on the neocons drumming up opposition to the administration’s policies on nuclear weapons.
* Both of Colorado’s freshmen Democratic senators, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, are taking heat from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence for their votes on the Thune Amendment last week.
* Tennessee’s Paul Stanley (R), in the wake of an ugly sex scandal, wisely chose to resign yesterday.
* And finally, Fox News can’t find Egypt on a map. Apparently, the network’s staffers are as confused as its audience.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.