TUESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Probably not a good sign for diplomatic efforts: “Iran’s supreme leader, spurning what he described as several personal overtures from President Obama, warned Tuesday that negotiating with United States was ‘naive and perverted’ and said Iranian politicians should not be ‘deceived’ into starting such talks.”
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed a joint session of Congress today, pressing lawmakers on the need for legislation on global warming. Merkel is the first German chancellor to ever address a joint session.
* A White House decision on the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan is still “weeks” away.
* Senate Democratic leaders, including Harry Reid, were committed to getting health care reform done before the end of the calendar year. They’re not saying that anymore, which is more than a little discouraging.
* In the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is “reasonably confident” that a compromise will be worked out with Democratic opponents of abortion rights on the reform bill.
* Some Doug Hoffman supporters in New York’s 23rd began harassing voters today, requiring police intervention.
* Painful: “Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood, and fallout from the current recession could push those numbers even higher, researchers say.”
* No matter how difficult the economic circumstances, Senate Republicans continue to hold unemployment benefits hostage.
* Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) gets a private meeting with President Obama this afternoon, presumably to talk about health care reform.
* Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said this morning that climate change legislation “is moving faster than we expected.” I’ll take that as a good sign.
* A new poll shows a plurality of Nebraskans supporting a public option, 46% to 44%. Will Ben Nelson notice?
* In higher ed, yes, race still matters.
* Did Fox News get a ratings bump after drawing White House criticism? Not so much.
* Media Matters Action Network launches “Conservative Transparency,” documenting the sources of conservative funding.
* For the better part of the weekend, Fox News told viewers that Dede Scozzafava ended her congressional campaign to help Doug Hoffman. No wonder the network’s viewers seem so confused about current events.
* According to far-right Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Democratic health care reform plans will “destroy America.” Hyperbole, however, will survive.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.