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

* Col. Timothy R. Reese wrote an interesting memo: “A senior American military adviser in Baghdad has concluded in an unusually blunt memo that the Iraqi forces suffer from deeply entrenched deficiencies but are now capable of protecting the Iraqi government, and that it is time ‘for the U.S. to declare victory and go home.’” Reese acknowledged the corruption and poor management in the Iraqi forces, but said they’re competent enough to hold off insurgents, and there’s not much more we can do anyway.

* A federal judge today ordered military officials to release Mohammed Jawad, who was reportedly taken into U.S. custody when he was 12 years old, from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

* The problems in Iran continue: “Iranian police arrested mourners who gathered at a Tehran cemetery to commemorate victims of the unrest that followed the country’s disputed June presidential election , witnesses said. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was also blocked from attending the graveside memorial after he defied a government ban on the gathering.”

* Dozens of liberal House Democrats continue to threaten to derail health care reform, following Henry Waxman’s compromise with some Blue Dogs yesterday.

* There’s quite a bit of wasteful spending in the Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2010. The Obama administration instructed Congress not to send him a pork-padded bill, and the House responded today by approving it anyway, 400 to 30.

* A sixth Republican senator, Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, endorsed Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination today.

* The media’s interest in the Obama/Crowley/Gates get-together this afternoon is more than a little excessive. How bad is it? This afternoon, MSNBC not only aired footage of Henry Louis Gates walking to a car, on his way to the airport, it also put a countdown graphic on the screen, letting viewers know the number of hours, minutes, and seconds remaining until the “beer summit.”

* On a related note, a Boston police officer was suspended yesterday for writing an email calling Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. a “jungle monkey.” Boston Mayor Mayor Thomas M. Menino said last night that the officer, Justin Barrett, is “gone,” adding, “[I]t’s like cancer, you don’t keep those cancers around.”

* It took a whole lot of effort, but Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) finally conceded today that he believes the president is a natural-born citizen of the United States.

* If more reporters covered the health care debate as well as Time‘s Karen Tumulty does, the country would be a lot better off.

* Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) recently unveiled their alternative health care plan. It probably won’t surprise you to learn their plan is awful.

* And when Fox News personalities start making fun of Lou Dobbs, that should send a pretty clear signal to CNN that he’s an embarrassment to the network.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.