MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Putting together a long-term relief plan: “Haiti will ask the international conference meeting in Montreal on Monday for $3 billion to rebuild this city, left largely in ruins by the Jan. 12 earthquake, according to a senior Haitian government official.”
* Baghdad: “A coordinated attack of vehicle bombs on Monday ripped through the perimeters of three hotel compounds known for housing foreign journalists, destroying a nearby apartment building and leaving at least 36 people dead.”
* The Iraq bombings followed the execution of Ali Hassan al-Majid, a former Iraqi official best known as “Chemical Ali.”
* Housing crisis: “Home sales slid in December, putting at least a temporary end to a gradually improving picture for real estate and deepening questions about the market’s viability.”
* President Obama re-emphasizes the middle-class agenda: “Promising repeatedly to ‘keep fighting’ for average Americans, President Obama rolled out new proposals Monday to help struggling middle-class families, setting the stage for his first State of the Union address Wednesday night.”
* Soon after, congressional Republicans said they hate all of the president’s ideas, including tax breaks favored by the White House.
* Taliban talks: “This — to be very clear — isn’t a shift of position. Both Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of NATO troops in the war, have said that they would support any outreach made by the Afghan government to reconcile with insurgents not linked to al-Qaeda.”
* As of today, will Ben Bernanke get to keep his job at the Fed? Roll Call reports that a push from administration officials “has turned the tide” in the nominee’s favor.
* House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s (D-S.C.) frustration with the Senate is both understandable and growing.
* Laurie Mylroie probably isn’t the best choice to offer “expert” analysis to the Pentagon.
* The extent to which the Republican National Committee is willing to mislead Americans, even its own supporters, is limitless.
* One of the best possible excuses for missing jury duty: busy running the executive branch of the federal government.
* And Sen. Jim DeMint has been so conditioned to say “Democrat Party,” he can’t even use the word “democratic” in other contexts. How sad.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.