MONDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Iran: “Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday that it will start producing higher-grade enriched uranium, prompting the United States and France to call for tougher U.N. sanctions against the country.”
* Tehran fails to impress: “Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Saturday played down assertions by Iran that it is ready to reach a deal on its nuclear program, saying Tehran’s overall response to overtures from the Obama administration has been ‘quite disappointing.’”
* Anthem Blue Cross in California is jacking up its health care premiums by as much as 39% next month. The Obama administration wants “a detailed justification for these rate increases to the public.”
* Ukraine: “The opposition leader Viktor F. Yanukovich appeared on Monday to have won a narrow victory in Ukraine’s presidential election, according to nearly complete results, giving him an unlikely comeback from his humiliating defeat in the 2004 Orange Revolution, when he was shunned as a bumbling Kremlin sidekick.”
* Why the European debt crisis matters to the United States.
* After the explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems: “All workers at a Connecticut power plant that exploded have been accounted for, leaving the death toll at five and the number of injured at 12, the mayor of Middletown said on Monday.”
* Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was asked if the U.S. is at risk of losing its triple-A bond rating. “Absolutely not,” he replied. “And that will never happen to this country. When people were most worried about the stability of the world, they still found safety in the Treasuries and the dollar. That is a very, very important sign of basic confidence in our capacity as a country to work together to fix these problems.”
* Matt Yglesias explains why President Obama is having far more success than the conventional wisdom suggests.
* Getting a sense of what and whether college students actually learned after four years.
* Retired Col. David Hunt, a Fox News military analyst, is generally pretty conservative. But he supports the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and criticized John McCain on the air over the issue.
* No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition.
* Remember that awful Reuters report about the Obama budget and “backdoor” taxes that don’t exist in reality? The reporter who wrote it is no longer at Reuters.
* I tend to think Sarah Palin writing her beliefs on her palm is a fun little side story, but it never occurred to me the defense that Fox News would come up with. Gretchen Carlson “suggested that it was a brilliantly clever plot to draw attention to Obama’s use of a teleprompter.” Oh my.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.