FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Officials have nearly doubled the estimate of the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf every day. The new estimate puts the total at between 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil a day. Another group of experts concluded the range is between 20,000 and 40,000.
* A conservative estimate of the costs of this disaster: $28 billion.
* Upping the pressure on the Republican congressional leadership, a House GOP lawmaker — from Florida — has endorsed lifting the liability cap.
* Iraq: “Two American soldiers were killed and six were wounded Friday by a car bomb north of Baghdad, wrapping up a week of renewed insurgent attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq.”
* Afghanistan: “Two U.S. troops and at least 11 civilians died in violence across southern Afghanistan on Friday, including one attack in which a suicide bomber wearing a burqa blew himself up in a bazaar.”
* Not good: “Sales at retailers unexpectedly fell in May, raising some questions about how much consumers will be able to continue contributing to an economic recovery.”
* Eyes on the prize: “President Obama, returning to his theme of ‘jobs, jobs, jobs,’ called on Congress Friday to pass a string of initiatives aimed at spurring hiring by small businesses, including a plan to take $30 billion from the fund that bailed out Wall Street financial institutions and steer it to community banks to lend to small firms.”
* A real scandal at Arlington National Cemetery.
* South Carolina state Sen. Jake Knotts (R) has been “officially rebuked by his county Republican Party” for his “raghead” slurs.
* Good move: “In a vote that advocates of abortion rights sought beforehand to keep quiet, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a provision on May 27 to allow privately financed abortions at military hospitals and bases.”
* Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) did the right thing vetoing an odious anti-abortion bill.
* Terrific piece from Dahlia Lithwick on former Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s commencement speech at Harvard.
* The future of affirmative action in college admissions.
* I hadn’t heard about Roger Simon’s health issues, and welcome him back to work.
* The right-wing media really seems to hate soccer and the World Cup.
* Glenn Beck should try to leave the president’s family alone.
* And on a related note, Media Matters takes a look at Beck’s new novel. Based on the review, it may be the among the worst novels ever written.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.