Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Though we don’t yet know any details about what he’ll say, President Obama will deliver a televised address tomorrow night, outlining the “scale and pace” of U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
* Iraq: “Twin explosions including a suicide bombing killed at least 22 people and wounded dozens early Tuesday near a government compound in a rare attack in the Shiite heartland, Iraqi officials said.”
* In an exceedingly rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate confirmed Leon Panetta as the new Secretary of Defense today. The final vote was 100 to 0.
* This may get a vote as early as this week: “In an effort aimed at countering a House Republican plan to defund American military operations in Libya, Senators John Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a Democrat, and John McCain, a Republican, announced the introduction of a joint resolution on Tuesday authorizing the limited use of United States Armed Forces in Libya.”
* On a related note, President Obama’s defense for circumventing the War Powers Act continues to take heat from credible media observers. Eugene Robinson today calls the White House’s argument “nonsense.”
* I have no idea what it takes to discourage smokers, but the new on-pack warnings are certainly attention-grabbers.
* Blocked from unionizing, Wal-Mart employees are creating a new group to fight for workers’ interests. It’s called Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart).
* In a surprisingly one-sided vote, members of the American Medical Association reaffirmed their support for an individual mandate as part of health care reform.
* Why did the head of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities resign?
* And as of today, Hoosiers in need of Planned Parenthood’s services are officially out of luck. The health care consequences for countless families in need will not be pretty, but in the name of Republican radicalism, that no longer matters.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.