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

* Afghanistan: “Taliban militants fired at least nine rockets at the Afghan capital before dawn on Tuesday in the biggest attack of its kind for several years, some landing near major Western embassies, police and witnesses said. Amid a serious escalation of violence before August 20 presidential elections, a provincial governor escaped unhurt after roadside bombs hit his convoy just west of the capital in an apparent assassination attempt, a spokesman said.”

* It looks like Senate Republicans, under pressure from dealers back home, will cave on “cash for clunkers” a $2 billion extension will pass this week.

* Iranian officials confirmed today that Iran has detained three American travelers hiking in Iraqi mountains.

* How many wingnuts will accuse Bill Clinton of North Korean “appeasement”? The list is growing.

* President Obama gives Senate Democrats a pep talk.

* Consumer spending went up in June, but not for any good reasons.

* The Democratic National Committee released a pretty hard-hitting statement this afternoon, slamming Republicans for “inciting angry mobs” or “rabid right-wing extremists.”

* On a related note, “Town Halls Gone Wild” continued today in a variety of locations.

* CBS News offers a good example of how not to report on the right-wing harassment strategy.

* Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D) of Texas hasn’t changed his mind at all after his run-in with a right-wing mob: “I am more committed than ever to win approval of legislation to offer more individual choice to access affordable health care. An effective public plan is essential to achieve that goal.”

* What’s more, Doggett told CNN today, “I’ll tell you, unless more Americans who are suffering under the insurance companies get out there and express their opinion, write their letter to the editor, call these talk shows — if they don’t get their message out the insurance companies will win in September and we just cannot let that happen.”

* HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reminds folks of “the reason we’re even having this conversation” about reform in a WaPo op-ed.

* Nice to see Blue Dog Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) have a few unkind words about George W. Bush and health care today.

* Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is apparently getting a little frustrated with opposition to the administration financial regulation proposals.

* I love anecdotes like these: “I was tentatively scheduled to be on a broadcast dealing with — well, I won’t embarrass them. But first they had to find someone to take the opposite view. And it turned out that they couldn’t — which led to canceling the whole segment. In a way this goes beyond my original point, which was the unwillingness of the news media to referee a controversy by actually reporting the facts. Now it seems that a fact isn’t worth reporting unless someone is prepared to deny it.”

* Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) gives local Nebraska businessman Michael Snider a call. (Note Nelson’s explanation for why he won’t commit to a public option.)

* When Bonner and Associates sent forged letters during the ACES debate, the firm was working on behalf of coal companies.

* Media Matters put together an ad going after Lou Dobbs and his “birther” campaign. CNN won’t air it.

* MSNBC will disclose Richard Wolffe corporate p.r. work to viewers in the future. As for “Countdown,” don’t expect to see Wolffe for awhile.

* “Mouthpiece Theater” is back. It shouldn’t be.

* On a related note, “Mouthpiece Theater” has been subjected to all kinds of criticism lately, but none of it was as powerful as this.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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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.