Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The underwear bomber reverses his plea: “Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a commercial airliner with a bomb in his underwear in 2009, abruptly pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to each of the eight counts against him, officials said.”
* Shaking up the Middle East: “The prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel expected to begin next week could reshape regional relationships, strengthening Egypt, Hamas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel while posing an acute challenge to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.”
* Ryan J. Reilly walks through the Iran allegations: “It’s not every day that the U.S. Attorney General and director of the FBI stand at a press conference and accuse military officials in a foreign country of plotting to assassinate an ambassador to the United States.”
* When the Berkshire Hathaway CEO says he should pay a higher tax rate, he’s right: “Warren Buffett replied this week to a Republican request that he reveal his tax returns, revealing he made more than $62 million in income last year while paying $15,300 in payroll taxes.”
* Currency bill passes with votes to spare: “A bipartisan bill targeting China’s alleged currency manipulation easily cleared the Senate Tuesday night, despite warnings from Beijing and free-trade backers that the legislation could spark a trade war and harm the global economic recovery.” It was a bipartisan majority, featuring 46 Dems and 17 Republicans.
* Newt Gingrich said in last night’s debate that Barney Frank should be arrested. The Massachusetts Democrat was not amused.
* Did the city council in Topeka, Kansas, really repeal its domestic-violence law as part of a larger budget dispute? Actually, yes, it did.
* House Republicans are strange people: “Congressional Republicans haven’t gotten over the last government shutdown fight — perhaps because it wasn’t a clear win. They’re probing FEMA’s accounting practices in the last week of September, suggesting the agency manipulated its disaster relief fund to help Democrats avoid a political fight with Republicans.”
* Right-wing Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) now claims he deliberately didn’t pay tens of thousands of dollars in child support payments to his ex-wife because of an alleged “verbal agreement.”
* For Occupy Atlanta activists to reject Rep. John Lewis’ (D-Ga.) request to speak strikes me as a very bad idea.
* Congrats to former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) on her new gig at Current TV.
* Congrats to Annie Lowrey as she makes the transition from Slate to the New York Times.
* My friend (and former colleague) Rob Boston attended the Values Voter Summit last week, and published an entertaining recap of his experiences.
* Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is taking steps to push college students into majors he thinks would be better for the economy. Scott may not understand the nature of education.
* And Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), trying to compare Washington, D.C., with colonial-era England argued last night, “[T]he reason that we fought the revolution in the 16th century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown if you will.” Wow.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.