Monday’s Mini-Report

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

* Afghanistan: “Afghan officials canceled a runoff presidential vote set for Saturday and declared President Hamid Karzai the winner on Monday, a day after his remaining challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew.”

* Pakistan: “A suicide bomber killed 35 people outside a bank near Pakistan’s capital Monday, as the U.N. said spreading violence has forced it to start pulling out some expatriate staff and suspend long-term development work in areas along the Afghan border.”

* U.S. manufacturing activity grew in October at the fastest pace in more than three years.

* And in other encouraging economic news, Ford is doing surprisingly well of late: “The Ford Motor Company posted a surprise third-quarter profit of $997 million on Monday and said that it had had its first profitable quarter in North America in more than four years. The carmaker also said that, at least temporarily, it had stopped rapidly depleting its cash reserves.”

* A health care reform bill may very well reach the floor this week, with a vote next week.

* Goldman’s sales and its clandestine wagers: “In 2006 and 2007, Goldman Sachs Group peddled more than $40 billion in securities backed by at least 200,000 risky home mortgages, but never told the buyers it was secretly betting that a sharp drop in U.S. housing prices would send the value of those securities plummeting.”

* CNN is very bad at stimulus math. The Associated Press is far better.

* Big Dog celebrated in Kosovo: “Thousands of ethnic Albanians braved low temperatures and a cold wind in Kosovo’s capital Pristina to welcome former President Bill Clinton on Sunday as he attended the unveiling of an 11-foot (3.5-meter) statue of himself on a key boulevard that also bears his name. Clinton is celebrated as a hero by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority for launching NATO’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999 that stopped the brutal Serb forces’ crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians. (thanks to D.D. for the tip)

* The abuse of power scandal surrounding Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is pretty serious stuff.

* Nice charts on why U.S. health care costs so much.

* A tentative agreement on a media shield law.

* When it came to his employees leaking the name of a covert CIA official during a war, Dick Cheney sure was forgetful. Indeed, he couldn’t recall much of anything.

* An actual fist fight among staffers at the Washington Post? Wow.

* Making higher ed more consumer-focused.

* DVR users are watching commercials. That’s surprising.

* Another setback for the Washington Times‘ goal of being considered a credible newspaper.

* If Fox News had ethical and journalistic standards, this Mike Huckabee lapse would be a huge deal.

* And finally, this is a thought I ponder all the time: “Imagine what would have happened to Joe Lieberman long ago if Lyndon Johnson were President.” Or, of course, if LBJ were Senate Majority Leader.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.