FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Addressing the misery in Haiti: “Hundreds of U.S. troops touched down in earthquake-shattered Port-au-Prince overnight and were soon handing out food and water to stricken survivors, as relief groups struggled to deliver aid Friday and fears spread of unrest in Haiti’s fourth day of desperation.”
* Afghanistan: “A suicide bomber on Thursday walked into a crowded bazaar in the town of Deh Rawood, in Uruzgan province, and detonated his explosives, killing at least 16 civilians — many of them women and children — and wounding more than a dozen others, the province’s governor and NATO military officials said. It was the largest insurgent attack against civilians since September. Meanwhile, a suicide car bombing in restive Helmand province killed an Afghan police officer and wounded four other officers and a civilian, according to NATO officials.”
* Discouraging retail numbers from December. They were better than 2008, but that’s not saying much.
* Report on Hasan shooting: “The military’s defenses against threats from inside its own ranks are outdated and ineffective, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on Friday as he described the findings of a Pentagon review of the Nov. 5 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.”
* Pentagon officials are aware of the possible repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year, and are engaged in internal discussions about implementation.
* On a related note, those fighting for fairness and improved military readiness will not get any help from Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who inexplicably still supports DADT.
* This seems like an issue that might have some potency in an election: “As Obama and progressives stand up to recover the money paid by hardworking Americans, conservatives are already showing signs they will fight to shield the Wall Street bankers who helped cause the crisis.”
* Senate to consider climate bill in the spring?
* Paul Krugman follows up on the controversy surrounding Jon Gruber and his HHS contract.
* As institutions of higher ed struggle financially across the country, some universities are thinking about raising tuition rates just to pay for their athletic programs.
* And it was good to see the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists push their Doomsday Clock back one minute, in light of President Obama’s sound foreign policy.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.