Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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

* Haiti suffers once again: “A 6.1 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti Wednesday morning, shaking buildings and sending panicked people running into the streets only eight days after the country’s capital was devastated by a previous quake.”

* Relief efforts nevertheless continued apace: “A strong aftershock rattled nerves but didn’t stop a struggling relief effort that saw some positive signs Wednesday — among them the arrival of a U.S. hospital ship, the restoration of running water at Haiti’s largest hospital and news that 2,000 more U.S. Marines were being sent to the quake zone.”

* President Obama reinforced “his support for an independent agency to protect consumers against lending abuses that contributed to the financial crisis” yesterday, telling Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) that a Consumer Financial Protection Agency is “nonnegotiable.”

* Speaker Pelosi vows: “We will move forward.”

* The House Dems’ caucus meeting was pushed to tomorrow.

* Another tragic shooting in Virginia: “Police with dogs and heat-sensing equipment hunted for a man they say shot eight people to death Tuesday and then nearly took down a police helicopter that was trying to flush him out of the woods near this central Virginia town.”

* Was the Massachusetts race a referendum on the Obama agenda? Not according to a key GOP pollster, it wasn’t.

* Is Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) really open to using reconciliation on health care? That seems hard to believe.

* President Obama’s approval rating in the new AP poll: 56%.

* The paper’s last experiment on this didn’t go well: “The New York Times announced Wednesday that it intended to charge frequent readers for access to its Web site, a step being debated across the industry that nearly every major newspaper has so far feared to take.”

* Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) claims to be “frustrated” with Washington. Wasn’t it his sweetheart deal for his home state, after holding health care reform hostage, that offended so many people?

* I’d assumed no one would seriously defend Pat Robertson’s comments last week on Haiti. I stand corrected.

* The true cost of college.

* Roy Edroso’s headline — “Scott Brown Wins Mass. Race, Giving GOP 41-59 Majority in the Senate” — is probably the most important 12 words written today.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.