Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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

* A key court ruling: “Iraq once again stepped back from a political crisis of its own making when an appeals court on Wednesday temporarily overruled a controversial step to disqualify hundreds of candidates in next month’s election for having ties to Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party.”

* Pakistan: “A roadside bomb killed three U.S. special forces troops and three schoolgirls in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday in an attack that drew attention to a little-publicized American military training mission in the al-Qaida and Taliban heartland.”

* Iraq: “A blast tore through a crowd of Shiite pilgrims just outside the holy city of Karbala south of Baghdad, killing at least 23 people and injuring 120 in the second attack this week on the huge religious processions for annual observances, officials said.”

* Terror threat: “The Obama administration’s top intelligence officials on Tuesday described it as ‘certain’ that al-Qaeda or its allies will try to attack the United States in the next six months, and they called for new flexibility in how U.S. officials detain and question terrorist suspects.”

* Another round of offensive AIG bonuses.

* Is Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) open to repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Maybe.

* There’s a small but important loophole that Republicans may exploit prevent Senate consideration of reconciliation bills, which in theory, only need a simple majority to pass.

* The administration wants to cut some parts of the federal budget. The non-proliferation budget isn’t on the chopping block.

* President Obama makes some encouraging remarks about Net Neutrality.

* Twelve years ago, the Lancet medical journal published a paper connecting autism to childhood vaccines. This week, Lancet formally retracted the paper.

* The president doesn’t hate Las Vegas. Good to know.

* If you missed Obama’s talk this morning with Senate Dems, the video is online.

* What college really pays.

* The Washington Post seems oddly unaware of its own polling data.

* And supporters of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” continue to be some of the strangest people in public life: “On NPR yesterday, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) was asked why he believes DADT should remain in place. Hunter, a former marine, said that it would hurt the “special bond” between soldiers ‘if you open up the military to transgenders, to hermaphrodites, to gays and lesbians.'”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.