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

* Afghanistan: “In another sign of growing violence in the last two weeks before national elections, a group of civilians, mainly women and children traveling to a wedding party, were killed by a roadside bomb on Wednesday in the southern province of Helmand.”

* Ten Democratic senators, including some genuine progressives like Feingold and Franken, wrote to the White House today, “saying that they will not support any domestic climate change bill that did not protect American industries from competition from countries that did not impose similar restraints on climate-altering gases.”

* Former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) — you know, the guy with cash in his freezer — was found guilty yesterday by a federal jury on 11 counts of corruption. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 30.

* Is the stimulus working as advertised? Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer makes a very compelling case that it is.

* The White House struck a deal a while back with the pharmaceutical industry — the drug companies agree to support health care reform, and the administration agrees to seek no more than $80 billion in savings from the drug manufacturers. Now, the industry wants to make sure Democratic policymakers stick to the deal.

* A deal to extend “cash for clunkers” by $2 billion is “imminent.”

* Support for U.S. policy in Afghanistan is slipping, and a CNN poll found that 41% favor the ongoing war.

* Why were those three American hikers arrested in Iran?

* Dear Max Baucus, please stop trying to convince Mike Enzi to support health care reform. Chuck Grassley, too. Sincerely, Steve.

* Much to the dismay of religious right groups, the American Psychological Association declared yesterday that gay people cannot become straight through therapy or other treatments.

* Glenn Beck’s insane antics are causing some advertisers to walk away.

* There’s just no reason for major media outlets to keep quoting John Bolton as an authoritative source.

* NPR’s Mara Liasson backed off her comments yesterday comparing “cash for clunkers” to Hurricane Katrina.

* O’Reilly, just one day after getting slammed by Olbermann, is back to attacking G.E. What a coincidence.

* Fox News’ Trace Gallagher interviewed Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on “cash for clunkers” yesterday, and apparently she was doing a little too good a job responding to Republican talking points. He quickly ended the segment, saying he a “breaking news” story he had to report. The big story? “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel.

* That obviously-fake Kenyan birth certificate was a prank that a few too many on the right fell for.

* Michelle Cottle with the Quote of the Day: “I have given up hope for a loyal opposition. I’d settle for a sane one.” I have the same thought, just about every day.

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.