Friday’s Mini-Report

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

* Wall Street started 2009 on the right foot, with all three of the major indexes closing up 3% or more.

* Is an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza the next move?

* U.S handed over control of the Green Zone to Iraqi control yesterday, with minimal fanfare. Among those who didn’t show up: the U.S. ambassador, the head of U.S. forces in Iraq, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

* U.S. manufacturing has hit its lowest level in 28 years.

* Flying While Muslim continues to be problematic.

* I wonder how many temper tantrums John Cornyn will throw before Al Franken takes the oath of office.

* Roland Burris is a respected figure in Illinois, but his background is not without controversy.

* The “future grave” he built for himself is also kind of odd.

* Former Sen. Claiborne Pell (D) of Rhode Island died yesterday at age 90. The New York Times described him as “the most formidable politician in Rhode Island history.” What’s more, I know I’m not the only one who was able to afford college thanks to his signature policy initiative: Pell Grants.

* It’s hard to imagine TPM without Greg Sargent, but it sounds like Greg has an amazing opportunity lined up at the Washington Post. I wish him the best of luck in the new gig.

* On a related note, congrats to Marc Lynch on the new gig at Foreign Policy.

* Corporate sponsorship of college bowl games has driven Jonathan Chait to Marxism.

* There’s reason for skepticism about the new Military Times poll.

* It’ll be a while until they’re on the road, but Toyota is reportedly working on a solar-powered car. I’m glad someone is.

* Powerful Republicans in D.C. will be fleeing the capital for “an extended holiday vacation” during the Obama inauguration. They will, however, return.

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.