WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Someone’s making money: “A year after accepting a bailout from Washington, a resurgent JPMorgan Chase reported another round of surprisingly strong profits on Wednesday, strengthening its position at the pinnacle of American finance. Morgan’s results — $3.6 billion in profit for the third quarter — fanned hopes on Wall Street that, despite lingering troubles, the nation’s banking industry was entering a new period of prosperity.”
* Kevin offers a valuable rejoinder: “There’s an insanity here that’s almost beyond analysis. Wall Street can spark an economic slowdown that misses destroying the planet and causing a second Great Depression only by a hair’s breadth — said hair being an 11th hour emergency infusion of trillions of taxpayer dollars — and then turn around and use those trillions to return to bubble levels of profitability within 12 months. And they can do it even though the rest of the economy is still suffering through the worst recession since World War II. It’s mind boggling.”
* Given that Social Security is not expected to get a cost of living increase next year, this sounds like a good idea: “President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to approve $250 payments to more than 50 million seniors to make up for no increase in Social Security next year. The White House put the cost at $13 billion.”
* Even during two wars: “For the first time in more than 35 years, the U.S. military has met all of its annual recruiting goals.” The economy is cited as the main factor.
* Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) was asked whether he would vote for a bill that Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) opposes. “I don’t know,” he said. “That’s a good question.”
* If Snowe is swayed by her constituents’ concerns, she may find it interesting to know Maine residents want a public option.
* As negotiations continue, Jonathan Cohn has a terrific piece on the “Top Ten Things Worth Fighting For” in health care reform.
* Unions do not want to see reform watered down.
* David Roberts: Seven reasons for optimism about the Senate climate bill.
* RNC Chairman Michael Steele changed the name of his new blog. Good move.
* Speaking of Steele, I don’t think he understands what happens when cows and moving trains intersect.
* The group bidding on the St. Louis Rams franchise has reportedly parted ways with Rush Limbaugh.
* MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan got pretty impatient today with Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donahue. I can’t say I blame him.
* It’s always good to see breakthroughs: “President Barack Obama has nominated a Minnesota policewoman to become the first openly gay person to serve as a U.S. marshal.”
* Air America gets a redesign. Looks good.
* Cake Wrecks is a brilliant idea, executed beautifully.
* As a rule, Glenn Beck should just steer clear of Nazi comparisons.
* If I didn’t know better, I might think Pat Buchanan is a racist.
* And finally, Townhall’s Ben Shapiro explains why he feels comfortable saying he hates America: “So yes, I hate Obama’s America. Because Obama’s America isn’t America — it’s the European view of America, implemented from high office. Opposing the total redefinition of America isn’t anti-American; it’s patriotic.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.