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

* Coordinated attacks in 13 Iraqi towns and cities kill dozens: “Insurgents unleashed a wave of coordinated attacks across Iraq on Wednesday in a demonstration of their ability to strike at will.”

* Really not good: “Sales of U.S. new homes unexpectedly dropped in July to the lowest level on record, signaling that even with cheaper prices and reduced borrowing costs the housing market is retreating.”

* Really not good, Part II: “New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods excluding transportation equipment posted their largest decline in 1-1/2 years in July while overall booking rose far less than expected, pointing to a slowdown in manufacturing.”

* Relief trickles in for victims of Pakistan flooding.

* The anti-Muslim stabbing of a New York City cabdriver is so shocking, and the details about the alleged attacker so bizarre, one hardly knows where to start.

* President Obama will visit Fort Bliss, Tex., on Tuesday to meet with U.S. troops returning from Iraq. That night, he’ll deliver an Oval Office address about the end of combat operations in the country.

* Yemen remains a focus of serious attention: “For the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, CIA analysts see one of al-Qaeda’s offshoots — rather than the core group now based in Pakistan — as the most urgent threat to U.S. security, officials said.”

* Alan Simpson, the co-chair of President Obama’s Fiscal Responsibility Commission, apologizes for his ridiculous email this week. Paul Krugman isn’t persuaded.

* Republicans made dire predictions about the Obama administration’s drilling moratorium. As is often the case, they were wrong.

* A Korean cult leader, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, apparently wants the conservative Washington Times back.

* Congrats to Nate Silver and his team on FiveThirtyEight’s transition to the New York Times.

* Daniel Luzer: “The recession has caused parents to save more for college, though apparently it’s not working out so well.”

* Former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R) believes political figures who use the word “retarded” in a private meeting should be fired. She also believes political figures who use the “N-word” on national broadcasts should be protected. I wonder why that is.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.