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

* President Obama started to sketch out his policy today on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Senate Republican leaders didn’t show up.

* Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented Congress with his ideas about re-regulating the financial industry today.

* The administration has some ideas about how to help the U.S. auto industry, but I don’t think the companies are going to like them.

* This isn’t exactly new, but a secretive wing of Pakistan’s military intelligence agency continues to provide direct support to the Taliban.

* The president is poised to sign an important conservation bill, which is “the largest expansion of the wilderness system in 15 years.”

* Obama will not legalize marijuana to help the economy.

* “Campaign against extremists who wish to do us harm” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

* We thought the economy shrank at 6.2% pace in the fourth quarter of 2008. It was actually 6.3%.

* R.I.P., John Hope Franklin.

* Gingrich sees Obama as a “dictator.” Limbaugh prefers “tyrant.”

* Happy Blogoversary, Blue Girl.

* Why anyone would look to an unlicensed, non-union plumber for guidance on federal labor policy is a mystery.

* I think it’s fair to say that ThinkProgress has gotten Bill O’Reilly’s attention.

* Quote of the Day: “Two novels can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other involves orcs.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.