THURSDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Not too big a surprise: “The Treasury Department, trying to stabilize the battered auto industry, will provide up to $5 billion in financing to troubled auto parts suppliers who are linked to Detroit’s carmakers, officials said Thursday. The funding would be made available from the government’s Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, said two congressional aides briefed on the plan.”
* Claiming full responsibility for the situation, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNN today that his office “asked Sen. Chris Dodd to include a loophole in the stimulus bill that allowed bailed-out insurance giant American International Group to keep its bonuses.” He said he requested the measure to prevent costly governmental litigation.
* Two far-right senators — Jim Bunning (Ky.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.) — called for Geithner’s ouster today. No one really cares what they think.
* Today is the sixth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. It didn’t generate too much attention.
* On a related note, President Obama’s Iraq policy is drawing considerable support from the public.
* Lawrence Wilkerson is still on a roll: “A former Bush administration official says many Guantanamo detainees are innocent and have been held only because U.S. officials hoped they would know something important.”
* Why did yesterday’s House hearing with AIG CEO Edward Liddy go poorly? Daniel Gross has a compelling piece arguing that lawmakers were asking questions of the wrong person.
* Noam Schieber warns of potential unintended consequences of today’s vote on AIG bonuses.
* Good: “The House voted Wednesday to approve the largest expansion of government-sponsored service programs since President John F. Kennedy first called for the creation of a national community service corps in 1963.”
* The Senate passed the public lands bill, again.
* I’d be pretty surprised if immigration reform happened this year.
* How far gone is Larry Kudlow? Today he literally set money on fire. There’s something deeply wrong with CNBC.
* Last week, on “The Daily Show,” Jim Cramer was contrite and committed to doing better. Today, not so much.
* Who made the final four in your Bracket of Evil?
* And my Quote of the Day goes to Robert Farley, who made me laugh out loud: “Now that I’m more or less finished with my taxes, I can proclaim without reservation that I have, for the 34th consecutive year, successfully managed to keep my income below $250000. Take that, Barack Hussein Hitler Lenin Osama! I can only hope that society will realize the folly of constraining my creative energies through the medium of a modest increase in the marginal tax rate.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.