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

* Over the weekend, a suicide bomber struck a food distribution center in Pakistan’s restive tribal belt, killing at least 42 people and injuring dozens: “The attack occurred in the main city in the Bajaur area as hundreds of members of the Salarzai tribe, which had been displaced by fighting between militants and the Pakistani army, lined up to collect World Food Program rations at a government center, a local official said.”

* Confidential maps put together by U.N. officials “show a clear deterioration in security in parts of Afghanistan over the course of this year.”

* With the New START ratification process nearly complete, President Obama will turn his attention to the next phase: negotiating with Russia to establish, for the first time, legal limits on “smaller, battlefield nuclear weapons viewed as most vulnerable to theft or diversion.”

* The very idea of U.S. troops coming home from fighting a foreign war, only to end up homeless, is a national embarrassment.

* Republicans may not like the EPA acting to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, but it doesn’t mean the EPA is acting “unilaterally.”

* Jon Stewart continues to receive well-deserved praise for shining a light on the Zadroga 9/11 health bill. Today, the New York Times ponders whether the efforts of “The Daily Show” host make him “the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow.”

* On a related note, John Culhane scrutinized the 9/11 health bill in more detail, and concluded it could be better, but it’s “fair enough.”

* For-profit colleges are stacking up on lobbyists for the 112th Congress, including a legion of former members of Congress, led by former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.).

* Good advice from E.J. Dionne Jr: “The Civil War is about to loom very large in the popular memory. We would do well to be candid about its causes and not allow the distortions of contemporary politics or long-standing myths to cloud our understanding of why the nation fell apart.”

* President Bush’s Director of National Intelligence, Vice Admiral Mike McConnell (ret.), told CNN yesterday that President Obama has been “as aggressive, if not more aggressive” in pursuing terror threats.

* Here’s hoping he succeeds: “Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie vowed to end the ‘birther’ controversy surrounding President Obama’s nationality once and for all.”

* Was “refudiate” just an innocent typo? No, not really — the former half-term governor had used the word before, on the air, suggesting she thought it was an actual word.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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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.