TUESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Today’s chat at the White House seemed to go well: “President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he saw ‘movement in the right direction’ on the crucial question of Israeli settlement construction in Palestinian areas, after Israeli officials described an apparent de facto slowdown there. Speaking following an Oval Office meeting with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Mr. Obama said that a climate had developed for ‘positive steps’ in the region.”
* Afghanistan: “A suicide bomber blew up a car near a NATO convoy on the dusty outskirts of Kabul on Tuesday, and mortars or rockets struck near the presidential palace as the Afghan government moved to stop the media from reporting on violence during this week’s presidential election.”
* Thanks to unexpected demand, General Motors is bringing back 1,350 of its U.S. and Canadian auto workers.
* Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki now supports a referendum that could force U.S. troops out of the country ahead of schedule. The referendum still needs to be approved by the Iraqi parliament.
* Sen. Mike Enzi, (R-Wyo.), a member of the Finance Committee’s Gang of Six, wants to break up health care reform into separate pieces.
* A man carrying a semi-automatic assault rifle outside a presidential event told fellow protestors, “We will forcefully resist people imposing their will on us through the strength of the majority with a vote.”
* On a related note, Josh Marshall considers the recent history of political violence and the modern American right.
* Glenn Beck keeps losing advertisers.
* President Obama will host “a web- and phone-based meeting on Thursday for all supporters, according to a letter sent to the Organizing for America email list today.”
* The Justice Department has hired a liaison to the gay community.
* Even Joe Scarborough realizes a public option is not a “government takeover.”
* More astroturf letters emerge on cap-and-trade.
* The RNC’s talking points on co-ops are factually wrong. Imagine that.
* Sen. Ben Nelson is surprisingly thin-skinned.
* Nicholas Beaudrot explains health care reform in a very helpful flowchart. It’s far more coherent than that thing John Boehner’s office came up with a while back.
* And finally, political reporter Robert Novak died today. The controversial columnist and pundit, who embraced the nickname “The Prince of Darkness” for his memoir, is perhaps best known for his column publicly identifying CIA operative Valerie Plame. Novak died at his home of a brain tumor. He was 78.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.