*Monday’s Mini-Report

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

* Toyota announced this morning that it expects to post its first annual operating loss in more than 70 years. U.S. markets did not respond well to the news, and finished down again.

* A jury convicted five men today of conspiring to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The plot, you may recall, came to light when the men gave a Circuit City clerk some of their training videos to be converted to DVD. The clerk contacted authorities.

* Nearly two years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers identified 122 levees across the country that were in “unacceptable” condition and in need of repair. To date, only 45 have been fixed.

* Did Arab leaders really give Condoleezza Rice jewelry worth more than $300,000? Apparently so. (thanks to B.G. for the tip)

* The New York Times accidentally published a letter to the editor that claimed to be from the mayor of Paris about Caroline Kennedy. The paper neglected to verify the authenticity of the letter. Oops.

* Barack Obama is poised to have four African Americans in his cabinet. The Congressional Black Caucus is reportedly disappointed. A senior member of the CBC apparently told The Hill that Obama “isn’t doing enough for the black folks.”

* The Boston Globe always seems to have the most amazing photo collections.

* Cokie Roberts’ on-air complaints about Hawaii being “foreign” and “exotic” deserve the label of “Most Inane Punditry of the 2008 presidential campaign.”

* Both the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune included “The Middleman” among the best television shows of 2008. I’m glad; I was afraid I was the only one watching.

* I just can’t figure out why Joe Scarborough says such dumb things on a daily basis.

* Here’s hoping YouTube ignores the Parents Television Council.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.