FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Iran seemed amenable to the proposed nuclear deal. Then, it didn’t.
* Not an easy day for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Pakistan.
* Weak consumer confidence has consequences.
* Good move: “President Obama has strengthened the authority and independence of an espionage oversight board made up of private citizens with top-level security clearances and a mandate to uncover illegal spying. In an executive order released Thursday by the White House, Mr. Obama rolled back several changes made by the Bush administration that had weakened the Intelligence Oversight Board, a panel that helps presidents make sure spy agencies are obeying federal laws and presidential directives.”
* Hmm: “House ethics investigators have been scrutinizing the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July.” But is there less here than meets the eye?
* Chris Hayes asks a terrific question: Anyone notice that the president signed a $680 billion defense appropriations bill in the midst of our heated debates about $90 billion a year for heath care?
* Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) thinks the health care debate is more important than the 9/11 attacks. If a Democrat had said this, would the right be all right with it?
* What was the CBO score on the House reform bill? That’s a little complicated.
* Will the public plan have higher premiums than private insurance? Ezra Klein takes a closer look.
* More evidence that a lack of health care coverage can lead to American deaths.
* It pains me to admit it, but Rick Santorum’s criticism of the Bush administration’s Afghanistan policy happens to be correct.
* I’m afraid Stephen Spruiell is badly confused about education policy.
* Sounds like financier and philanthropist George Soros has an interesting new project.
* I’m not at all pleased about publius’ “semi-permanent vacation.” He’s long been one of my very favorites.
* White House goes open source, embraces Drupal.
* It’s odd that Jeb Bush, after all of his exposure to government and politics, still doesn’t understand what “capitalism” means. There’s just something wrong with those Bush boys.
* Fox News’ interest in the “War on Christmas” seems to come earlier every year.
* Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) has a habit of saying remarkably dumb things.
* CNN’s Lou Dobbs thinks his critics are shooting at his home. There’s reason for skepticism.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.