THURSDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The Red Cross believes the death toll in Haiti may reach 50,000 people.
* President Obama delivered a message to the Haitian people this morning, saying he could understand why they would “look up and ask have we somehow been forsaken.” He added, “You have not been forsaken. You have not been forgotten. Today you must know help is arriving.” The president went on to explain that the U.S. is launching “one of the largest relief efforts in our recent history,” but he acknowledged it may be an excruciating few days before it can arrive where it’s needed because “roads are impassable, the main port is badly damaged and communication is just coming on line.”
* Obama is calling on his two immediate predecessors — George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — to help lead the nation’s humanitarian and relief efforts in Haiti.
* Bill Clinton also has an op-ed in the WaPo today on what the U.S. can do to help Haiti, both in the short term and beyond.
* In Iraq: “Three bombs exploded in quick succession after sunset Thursday in the southern holy city of Najaf, killing up to 25 people and wounding scores of others, Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said. ”
* Plaudits: “Google’s surprising decision this week to abandon cooperation with Chinese government censors — and, possibly, its four-year effort to do business here — is galvanizing an unusually broad coalition of foreigners who hope for a fresh chance to rein in the conduct of an emerging great power.”
* Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who apparently has never heard of Rolling Stone magazine, was disappointed that its new issue didn’t name him the #1 enemy of the planet. He was #7.
* Kevin Drum sketches out a pretty straightforward plan for tackling long-term deficit reduction.
* A college in Maine is taking the idea of “four-year degree” seriously.
* And on MSNBC this morning, co-host Mika Brzezinski joined her colleagues in mocking Sarah Palin’s inability to choose a favorite among the nation’s founders. Brzezinski suggested her favorite was Abraham Lincoln, and I can only hope she was kidding.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.