WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Pakistan: “Five people arrested in Pakistan had been reported missing in the United States, and police are confident they were planning terrorist acts, a Pakistani police official told CNN.”
* It’s going to get worse before it might get better: “Coalition forces can attain “success” in Afghanistan, but U.S. officials should wait until December 2010 before they can measure the progress of the troop surge, a top U.S. commander told a Senate committee Wednesday. Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, predicted the surge will be met by an increase in violence in spring 2010 and a rise in ‘security incidents’ in the summer.”
* Maybe we should have tried this sooner: “The American commander in charge of training the Afghan security forces said Wednesday that there had been a recent wave of recruits for the Afghan Army, most likely because of a pay increase that he said put salaries close to those of Taliban fighters.”
* It looks like South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) won’t be impeached after all.
* President Obama seems impressed with the tentative compromise on the public option in the Senate.
* Jonathan Cohn asks 10 good questions about the policy specifics that are not yet clear.
* Justice Clarence Thomas apparently isn’t pleased with Justice Sonia Sotomayor. That’s an excellent sign on the quality of her work.
* TSA: “The Department of Homeland Security has initiated unspecified personnel actions against individuals involved in the bungled online posting this spring of a government document that revealed airport screening secrets, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told senators Wednesday morning.”
* TARP: “The independent panel that oversees the government’s financial bailout program concluded in a year-end review that, despite flaws and lingering problems, the program ‘can be credited with stopping an economic panic.’”
* Wouldn’t it be nice to apply the “The One Percent Doctrine” to the climate?
* Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) may understand the economics of prostitution, but he doesn’t understand the economics of drug reimportation.
* New tax on bank bonuses? Sounds good to me.
* Reebok’s new butt-centered ad campaign is ridiculous.
* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) thinks ACORN may soon be able in a position to help regulate the financial services industry. There has to be a medication for what’s ailing that poor woman.
* That Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is confused about the difference between the words “fact” and “fiction” explains a lot.
* Sure, Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson seems conspicuously unintelligent, but it may be an act to appeal to an audience that appreciates stupidity.
* And remember Russell Wiseman (R), mayor of the Memphis suburb of Arlington, who argued last week that the president deliberately scheduled his Afghanistan speech to coincide with the “Peanuts” Christmas special? Wiseman now considers his remarks a “poor attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.