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

* Defense Secretary Robert Gates doesn’t think it’s a good time to withdraw from Afghanistan.

* Vice President Biden explains why the stimulus is working even better than expected.

* Quick, someone tell James Inhofe: “The Arctic is warmer than it’s been in 2,000 years, according to a new study, even though it should be cooling because of changes in the Earth’s orbit that cause the region to get less direct sunlight.”

* Headline written to drive me batty: “GOP calls VA pamphlet a ‘death book.’ Experts say it isn’t.”

* In the wake of its coup, the U.S. is “cutting all non-humanitarian aid to Honduras.”

* Reps. Lynn Woolsey and Raul Grijalva, the two leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said any health care bill lacking a public option — with Medicare-based reimbursement rates — will be deemed “unacceptable.” The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is also keeping the pressure on.

* Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) sure did have a good approach to health care policy some months ago. Too bad he’s now ready to scrap the public option.

* On a related note, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) may be a member of the Gang of Six, but he really doesn’t support health care reform.

* Right-wing Tea Bagger protestors have labeled Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) as “wanted for treason.”

* Outrageous: “Private security guards at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul were pressured to participate in naked pool parties and perform sex acts to gain promotions or assignment to preferable shifts, according to one of 12 guards who have gone public with their complaints.”

* Tom Toles has been even more brilliant than usual lately. See yesterday’s contribution and today’s.

* When Megan McArdle uses statistics, they’re not necessary “statistics.”

* Glenn Beck is still losing advertisers.

* Tom Ridge doesn’t agree with the wording on the book jacket of his own book.

* Van Jones apologized yesterday for having called Republicans “a**holes” before joining the Obama administration.

* The Washington Post editorial board wants to see Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) step down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

* Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-N.Y.) said lawmakers will get around to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell eventually. “We have a very heavy, busy agenda and a few months left to do it,” he said. “So it may not be now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be soon.”

* I had no idea nepotism rates in Congress had declined this much. That’s a good thing.

* Looks like the RNC doesn’t want to talk about its work with WorldNetDaily.

* There’s been some violence and threats of violence at various political events lately, but I think this is the first one in which one person bit the finger off another.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.