FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Pakistan: “At least 40 people were killed and scores were injured Friday when a pair of suicide bombers stormed a crowded mosque in the military district of Rawalpindi City, joined by assailants who hurled grenades and sprayed gunfire among the worshipers. Officials said two attackers died when they blew themselves up during the most well-attended prayer service of the week, and two others were killed by security forces.”
* NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, responding to President Obama’s speech, announced that NATO will send an additional 7,000 troops, all of whom will be “new forces,” to the coalition fighting in Afghanistan.
* Technically, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty expires tomorrow, but both U.S. and Russian leaders will simply continue to operate as if it were in place as negotiators continue to work on a new deal.
* We will apparently learn about a new White House policy next week, intended to “jump start” the job market.
* In a surprise move, it now appears President Obama will appear at the international climate summit in Copenhagen at the end of the meeting, instead of at the beginning.
* Good news on H1N1: “Swine flu infections continue to wane, just as vaccine is becoming plentiful enough that some communities are allowing everyone to get it, not just those in priority groups.”
* G.M.’s management shake-up isn’t quite done.
* The Senate will be voting over the weekend on amendments to the health care reform bill.
* Congressional Republicans would have us believe cost-saving measures in reform aren’t to be trusted, because they won’t “stick” (Congress won’t follow through in the future). They should read this fascinating report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is very likely wrong about increased recovery efforts.
* World’s most deliberative body? Not if Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has a say in the matter. What an embarrassment.
* Zero GOP votes: “The House voted to permanently extend the estate tax on Thursday, approving a measure that would lock in a top rate of 45 percent on some multimillion dollar estates.”
* Republicans attacking Dems on Medicare Advantage probably ought to take a closer look at their own record.
* The new, expanded GI Bill has so many applicants, officials can’t keep up with demand.
* Insightful post on health care reform from Ezra Klein: “Thousands and thousands of lives will be saved by this bill. Bankruptcies will be averted. Rescission letters won’t be sent. Parents won’t have to fret because they can’t take their child, or themselves, to the emergency room. This bill will, without doubt, do more good than any single piece of legislation passed during my (admittedly brief) lifetime. If it passes, the party that fought for it for decades deserves to feel a sense of accomplishment.”
* The investigation into Sen. John Ensign’s (R-Nev.) sex scandal continues to heat up.
* Some of Obama’s wealthiest contributors are “becoming a bit whiny,” because the White House isn’t doling out enough perks to high-dollar donors.
* Andrew Malcolm isn’t very good at what he does.
* Far-right activists are still going after Kevin Jennings? Aren’t we past this one, yet?
* And finally, the correction of the day, as published by the Washington Post: “A Nov. 26 article in the District edition of Local Living incorrectly said a Public Enemy song declared 9/11 a joke. The song refers to 911, the emergency phone number.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.