WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* In a bit of a surprise, new U.S. home sales jumped 9.6% in July, beating analysts’ expectations for the fourth straight month.
* The Cash for Clunkers program wrapped up this week, and led to nearly 700,000 new car sales. The program, which most have deemed a success, came in under its $3 billion budget.
* South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R) troubles got worse today when Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) urged Sanford to resign, and vowed not to seek another term if the governor would finally step down. Sanford said he would not be “railroaded” out of office.
* If Massachusetts lawmakers are still willing to change the process for replacing U.S. senators, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) would sign a bill into law.
* Funeral arrangements were announced today for Edward Kennedy. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, just 95 feet south of the area where his older brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, were laid to rest.
* Vice President Biden delivered a heartfelt tribute to Kennedy today. The two served together for nearly four decades.
* The Vietnam Veterans of America, a national advocacy group, is not at all impressed with the vile, right-wing “death book” attacks.
* Betsy McCaughey continues to be poison for the political discourse.
* In light of President Obama’s decision to re-nominate Ben Bernanke at the Fed, James K. Galbraith’s piece in the new issue of the Monthly is all the more significant.
* You know that attack on the Colorado Democratic Party Headquarters? The initial reports suggested it was the work of enraged right-wing activists. There may be more to it than that.
* It looks like Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) is going for the full “birther” after all.
* And, as the anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster approaches, right-wing radio host Neal Boortz today referred to the victims of the story as human “debris.” You stay classy, conservatives.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.