Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* The employment picture continues to look rather abysmal.

* Leon Panetta said exactly what needed to be said during his CIA confirmation hearing today.

* There’s been some conflicting reports today about whether Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) is sticking to his misguided cuts in the stimulus package. Based on the most recent update, Nelson isn’t backing down — even though he should be. The negotiations, meanwhile, remain touch and go.

* If Hilda Solis’ husband had been nominated for the cabinet, this delay might make sense. But as it stands, this is completely unjustified.

* In case you missed it, Obama signed the S-CHIP measure into law late yesterday.

* Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had some encouraging things to say about getting healthcare done this year.

* Blue Dogs are capable of doing some meaningful and lasting damage to the country.

* The federal grand jury probe into the U.S. Attorney purge scandal has begun to focus on retired Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.)

* Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni had an unpleasant experience while under consideration for the job of U.S. ambassador to Iraq. The administration still hopes, however, to bring him into the fold.

* ABC News’ report on presidential perks was pretty ridiculous.

* The right’s ability to play fast and loose with CBO reports knows no bounds.

* Republicans are are not at all happy about Judd Gregg losing control over the census.

* Brace yourself for a new round of “Fairness Doctrine” panic.

* House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) plans to bring up the Employee Free Choice Act “soon.”

* And on a related note, Fox News’ Glenn Beck believes his bizarre rants on EFCA might lead unions to kill him. What a strange man.

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.