Thursday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* When it comes to U.S. diplomacy, it is an exceedingly awkward time in Afghanistan right now.

* Also in Afghanistan: “The Taliban proposed a deal in which they would free a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their most senior operatives at Guantanamo Bay, while Afghan President Hamid Karzai eased his opposition Thursday to joining planned peace talks.”

* Bernanke seems to have rattled a few investors: “Global markets tumbled on Thursday over concern about a credit crunch in China and uncertainty about the United States central bank’s plans for withdrawing the monetary stimulus upon which the American economy has become dependent.”

* The Corker/Hoeven deal is done: “Two Senate Republicans reached an agreement on Thursday on a plan to strengthen border security with the bipartisan group of eight senators that drafted an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, raising hopes that the new deal could build Republican support for the immigration legislation being debated on the Senate floor.”

* It was a 54-43 vote: “The Senate on Thursday rejected Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) immigration reform bill amendment that would have put mandatory border security triggers in place before immigrants were given legal status.”

* Not funny: “During a question and answer session following a relatively dry policy speech at the University of Nebraska in Omaha tonight, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pointed to the audience and joked, ‘You’re not a member of the Taliban, are you?’”

* Greg Sargent has taken the lead on pushing for the declassification and release of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions authorizing NSA surveillance programs. There was some action on Capitol Hill on the issue today.

* I’ll have more on this once the announcement is made: “President Obama is preparing regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, senior officials said Wednesday. The move would be the most consequential climate policy step he could take and one likely to provoke legal challenges from Republicans and some industries.”

* An overdue honor: “The unveiling of the Frederick Douglass statue in the Capitol on Wednesday drew a rich cross-section of American society as dignitaries and descendants gathered to commemorate the storied abolitionist’s legacy, as well as throw in a little politicking.”

* Hmm: “Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson said Thursday that he is ‘morally opposed’ to online gambling.”

* Noted without comment: “CNN’s longtime media reporter, Howard Kurtz, is moving to Fox News. As first reported by Mediaite and subsequently confirmed by the network itself, Kurtz will be taking over the spot currently occupied by Fox News’ weekend media criticism program, Fox News Watch.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report

Updated