Thursday’s Mini-Report

THURSDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Iraq: “Iraq opened its polls early on Thursday for hundreds of thousands of soldiers and police officers responsible for protecting the country’s electorate, and they came under assault themselves. In all, three attacks in Baghdad, two in Mosul and another in Diyala struck near polling stations where Iraqi forces mustered to vote, a potentially ominous foreshadowing of the violence extremists have vowed to carry out in an effort to mar Sunday’s pivotal election of a new parliament.”

* Jobs bill: “Democrats’ jobs agenda is moving again after stalling briefly, as the House passed one measure designed to boost employment Thursday and the Senate pressed forward on another. The House voted Thursday afternoon, 217-201, to approve a $15 billion jobs measure whose centerpiece is a Social Security tax break for companies hiring new employees. Six Republicans joined the vast majority of Democrats to approve the bill.”

* Still not good, but slightly better: “Claims for U.S. jobless benefits dropped last week from a three-month high, pointing to an improvement in the labor market that is slow to develop.”

* You know who’ll win if health care loses? Wellpoint.

* Robocalls as part of the NRCC’s “code red” program: “National Republicans are planning to unleash a huge wave of robocalls tomorrow targeting dozens of House Dems and warning their constituents that Obama and Nancy Pelosi are plotting to ‘ram’ their ‘dangerous’ health reform plans through Congress.”

* On a related note, the robocalls are filled with deceptive claims. Try to contain your surprise.

* New chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee: Rep. Sander Levin (D) of Michigan.

* The House approved a resolution yesterday characterizing the Feb. 18 suicide plane attack in Austin as “terrorism.” The final vote was 408-2. Both opponents were Republicans.

* Craig Becker may yet join the National Labor Relations Board.

* Well, that’s creative: Bibles for porn.

* Get well soon, Michael Froomkin.

* For crying out loud: “A Louisiana sheriff plans to arm volunteers with shotguns, riot shields, batons, and a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on a ‘war wagon,’ as part of ‘Operation Exodus,’ a program to provide security in the event of a terrorist attack or civic unrest.”

* I have to admit, I enjoy these stories immensely: “It’s no good for a family values Republican to get picked up on a DWI. But substantially worse to get picked up for a DWI after leaving a gay nightclub with an unidentified man in a state vehicle.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.