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

* On the president’s desk: “The formal request by the nation’s top Afghanistan commander for more troops is now in President Barack Obama’s hands, administration officials said Wednesday as the war launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks reached its eight-year mark with no end in sight.”

* Obama doesn’t intend to double-down or withdraw.

* Oh my: “Two men were arrested when police found a pipe bomb, two shotguns, bomb-making materials, ammunition, a can of propane and SWAT costumes in their car Tuesday night in New Haven, Conn. So far the police don’t have a clear sense of what the pair were planning to do, New Haven Police spokesman Officer Joe Avery told TPM.”

* A House GOP effort to force Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) from the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee fell far short.

* Speaker Pelosi moving towards a watered-down public option?

* The “czars” hearing came to the expected result: “Five constitutional experts testified at a Senate hearing Tuesday that President Obama’s extensive use of policy ‘czars’ is legal — as long as the officials do not overstep their authority.”

* Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) doesn’t care what the constitutional experts say on the subject.

* Dahlia Lithwick’s Supreme Court dispatches continue to be brilliant. In the latest, she reports on yesterday’s hearing regarding animal-cruelty videos.

* National Review columnist John Derbyshire digs deeper in his opposition to women voting.

* If you exclude Fox News viewers, the president is pretty popular in North Carolina.

* John Blevins and Marvin Ammori offer a very helpful look at the Comcast v. FCC case pending in the D.C. Circuit.

* Why on earth would Newsweek ask someone from the Consumer Bankers Association for their opinion on SAFRA?

* On a related note, SAFRA is clearly an issue in which Obama is winning.

* Thanks to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine for helping make the case for a public option.

* Newt Gingrich continues to lose touch with reality.

* And finally, Rep. Louie Gohmert, a right-wing Republican from Texas, in arguing against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” managed to insist that a hate-crimes bill would lead to a legalization of necrophilia, pedophilia, and bestiality. He then used scripture to condemn homosexuality before comparing his opponents to Nazis. Seriously.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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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.