Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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

* A brief reprieve for Florida: “News spread quickly Wednesday that tar balls found on beaches in the Lower Florida Keys were not from the Gulf of Mexico spill, a welcome reprieve for residents still fearful about the fate of their vacation mecca.”

* The oil spill disaster nevertheless has Floridians feeling panicky.

* The housing crisis isn’t over: “The number of U.S. homeowners who are behind on their mortgages rose to a record level in the first quarter, according to industry data released Wednesday that also included tentative signs the nation’s foreclosure crisis may be starting to ease.”

* At least inflation isn’t even close to being a problem.

* Violence continues to rock Bangkok as civil unrest worsens.

* President Obama welcomed his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon, to the White House today for only the second state visit since Obama took office last year.

* The NYT defends its Blumenthal story, but it’s not exactly a compelling response.

* Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings will begin on June 28.

* A dreadful milestone in Afghanistan: “On Tuesday, the toll of American dead in Afghanistan passed 1,000, after a suicide bomb in Kabul killed at least five United States service members. Having taken nearly seven years to reach the first 500 dead, the war killed the second 500 in fewer than two. A resurgent Taliban active in almost every province, a weak central government incapable of protecting its people and a larger number of American troops in harm’s way all contributed to the accelerating pace of death. ”

* Former V.P. Walter Mondale reminds the Senate about the importance of reforming the filibuster.

* Michael Gerson’s understanding of the U.S. debt leaves much to be desired.

* Campbell Brown is leaving CNN. She admits it’s the result of low ratings, giving the network a chance to try something different.

* The story of the guy who conned his way into Harvard really sounds like a bizarre Hollywood script, even though it’s all real.

* And Rep. Mark Souder’s (R-Ind.) impassioned speech in support of “traditional marriage” — delivered just six months ago — appears far more extraordinary with the benefit of hindsight.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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