Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Updated
Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Daily briefings reinforce the seriousness with which the administration is taking this: “As officials scramble to fix the technical bugs plaguing HealthCare.gov, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that it will hold daily briefings to update reporters on the progress of what President Barack Obama has called the ‘tech surge.’”
 
* Baby steps: “One insurance industry source did say Tuesday that although the volume of enrollees remains low, the files coming over from [the Department of Health and Human Services] are now accurate.”
 
* Echoing a good piece from Jonathan Cohn: “The Obamacare online saga may be reaching the phase where media and political hysteria is out of proportion to the actual problem.”
 
* International incident #1: “The German government said Wednesday that it had received information that the cellphone of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was under surveillance by United States intelligence services and that she had called President Obama to make clear that such practices – if confirmed – were ‘completely unacceptable.’”
 
* International incident #2: “Secretary of State John Kerry, facing new frictions with America’s most important Middle East allies over its policies in the region, sought to assure Israel on Wednesday that the United States would insist on strict constraints on Iran’s nuclear program in its newly reinvigorated negotiations with Tehran.”
 
* International incident #3: “Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called Wednesday on US President Barack Obama to end drone strikes, which are widely unpopular in his country. Speaking next to Obama in the Oval Office, Sharif said he ‘brought up the issues of drones during our meeting, emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes.’ Obama did not mention drones when addressing reporters.”
 
* A story the Maddow team has been watching: “Russian investigators on Wednesday dropped piracy charges against the crew members of a Greenpeace International ship who staged a protest against oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean last month, but said they would still face lesser charges of hooliganism.”
 
* Noted without comment: “Ron Fournier, a National Journal columnist, on Tuesday compared President Obama’s approach to the health care website rollout to President George W. Bush’s handling of the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina.”
 
* The White House denied this one: “Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) is sticking with his story that a House GOP leader told President Obama ‘I cannot even stand to look at you’ during a meeting over the federal government shutdown earlier this month.”
 
* Sheldon Adelson: “The biggest donor to Republican Party political groups said Tuesday that the United States should drop a nuclear bomb on Iran to spur the country to end its own nuclear program.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report

Updated