Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Updated

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Today’s edition of quick hits:

* In Boston: “President Barack Obama on Wednesday touted the success of the Massachusetts health care law that served as a blueprint for the Affordable Care Act, highlighting how the Bay State plan overcame a troubled start in an effort to assure the public that his law can do the same.”

* NSA: “The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials.”
 
* The Fed: “The Federal Reserve, still uncertain that the American economy can grow unaided, announced on Wednesday it would press ahead with its stimulus campaign of asset purchases and low interest rates…. The Fed was widely expected to continue adding $85 billion a month to its portfolio of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities, particularly after the disruptive partial shutdown of the federal government in the first half of October.”
 
* It’s a problem when more than half of the Senate Republican caucus disapproves of themselves: “Twenty-seven Republican senators voted with Democrats on Oct. 16 to lift the debt ceiling and avert a catastrophic default. And each one of those 27 senators voted Tuesday to ‘disapprove’ of their own votes.”
 
* It’s not much better in the House.
 
* If only he understood something about monetary policy: “Sen. Rand Paul said on Tuesday that he plans to place a hold on Janet Yellen’s nomination to be Federal Reserve chair to try and force a vote on a bill he argues would increase transparency at the central bank.”
 
* FCC: “The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to confirm President Obama’s two nominations to the Federal Communications Commission, overcoming obstacles by Republican lawmakers.”
 
* I genuinely wish our discourse were smarter: “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Wednesday said Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. should be forced to purchase health insurance through ObamaCare exchanges, since he wrote the opinion upholding the law that she described as ‘a complete and utter disaster.’”
 
* On the one hand, most Americans still support the death penalty. On the other hand, it’s worth noting that support has dropped to a 40-year low.
 
* And reading Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defend Social Security is one of life’s great pleasures – at least, in my life anyway.
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report

Updated