Friday’s Mini-Report

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

* Confirming suspicions: “The Yemeni branch of al-Qaida on Friday claimed responsibility for the two mail bombs sent from Yemen last week and for the downing of a cargo plane in Dubai in September.”

* Pakistan: “A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vest inside a mosque in northwestern Pakistan during midday prayers on Friday, according to government officials, a strike apparently aimed at worshipers who had denied support to the Taliban.” At least 60 people were killed.

* The tragedy in Indonesia continues to intensify, with the volcano now responsible for 122 deaths.

* With Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) running for Minority Leader, the race is on to be Minority Whip. The current Majority Whip, James Clyburn (D-S.C.) intends to seek the job, but so does current Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Keep an eye on this one.

* The White House appears to be casting President Obama’s Asia trip in an economic light: “President Obama left Washington Friday for a 10-day Asia trip, vowing to ‘pry some markets open’ and search for other ways to bolster the struggling U.S. economy.”

* Karl Rove told the attendees at a shale-gas conference this week that the incoming Republican House majority “sure as heck” won’t pass legislation to limit greenhouse pollution from fossil fuels. “Climate is gone,” Rove said. Somehow, I fear that sentence is correct in more ways than one.

* Harvard’s David Cutler, a prominent former health care advisor to the Obama White House, expects Republicans to shut down the federal government early next year over “funding of discretionary health care.” Unfortunately, I suspect he’s right.

* Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) likes the Congressional Budget Office unless it tells him something he doesn’t want to hear.

* Remember all of those far-right voices who were obsessed with imaginary “voter fraud” for the last several weeks? All of a sudden, in the wake of significant GOP gains in the midterms, they seem to have lost interest.

* Eugene Robinson is entirely right about Nancy Pelosi: “She’s losing her job [as Speaker] not because she does it poorly but because she does it so well.”

* I was planning to do some digging through exit polls over the weekend, looking for differences between 2010 and 2006 — but it looks Kevin already did all of the hard work.

* Fox News does not “plan” to hire Christine O’Donnell as a television personality, at least not yet.

* And I was sorry to see that Marc Ambinder is giving up blogging, but I wish him well as he moves from The Atlantic to National Journal.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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