MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has released his new assessment of the war. “The situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort,” General McChrystal said in a statement. The report does not call for additional U.S. troops, but that’s likely to come soon.
* The era of one-party dominance in Japan has ended, and the center-left Democratic Party won a huge victory over the weekend against the Liberal Democratic Party.
* The forest fires in California are “still very much out of control.”
* Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) announced today the special election to fill the Senate vacancy left by Ted Kennedy will be held on January 19. On September 9, however, state lawmakers will debate whether to change the law and allow Patrick to appoint an interim placeholder senator.
* Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who’s pretending to work on health care reform, sent out a fundraising letter vowing to defeat “Obamacare.” The conservative senator’s office later said the appeal was referring only to the public option.
* Mike Huckabee made some pretty vile comments about reform and Ted Kennedy last week. Today, instead of apologizing, he doubled down.
* Speaking of vile reform-related rhetoric, say hello to Rep. Pete Olson (R) of Texas.
* Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still thinks the health care status quo in the United States is fine.
* Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) was involved in a serious boating accident in Montana on Friday, and is hospitalized in stable condition.
* For the first time that anyone can remember, Florida’s population is shrinking.
* Michael Scheuer thinks Democrats are “pro-terrorist.” What an odd man.
* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told the publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he hopes the paper goes out of business. The paper was not pleased. Reid later said he was kidding.
* Betsy McCaughey continues to be poison for the public discourse.
* Chris Wallace isn’t even pretending to be anything but a torture apologist.
* I’m not at all pleased to see Disney is buying Marvel.
* How ugly has it become for conservative activists fighting against health care reform? When Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) hosted a town-hall meeting and requested 10 seconds of silence out of respect for Sen. Ted Kennedy’s death, some of the conservatives shouted through it. Classy.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.