Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* The G20 seems to have ended on a positive note: “Attempting to bridge deep divides in policy and financial philosophy, the leaders of nearly two dozen of the world’s largest economies agreed Thursday to a broad array of new fiscal and regulatory steps, in a desperate effort to revive the paralyzed global economy.”

* On a related note, it’s nice to see a U.S. leader able to play a leadership role on the international stage for a change (though it must have been awkward for the prime minister of India to ask for Obama’s autograph).

* And speaking of Obama at the G20, ABC News’ Jake Tapper asked the president if he was confident about avoiding a global depression. Obama didn’t take the bait. Stressing twice that there are no “guarantees” in life, Obama returned to a preferred metaphor: “The patient is stabilized, pretty good care is being applied … [but] the wounds still have to heal.”

* Wall Street seems encouraged.

* The House passed a measure today to give the FDA the power to regulate tobacco. Senate passage is far from assured.

* The House also passed a measure last night to limit executive compensation at financial houses that received federal bailout funds.

* I find it terribly frustrating when conservative Republicans and conservative Democrats get together to make it easier to filibuster energy reform.

* A major court ruling on marriage equality is due tomorrow in Iowa.

* Maddow did a great job last night pressing Colin Powell on the Bush administration’s torture policies.

* On a related note, Maddow also is doing some solid follow-up work on the Neal Wolin nomination at Treasury,

* Drawing a line in the sand: “House liberals are threatening to vote against any health plan that doesn’t include a ‘public plan option.’ The Congressional Progressive Caucus made its point today in a publicly released letter to Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.”

* The Royal Press Office clarified today that First Lady Michelle Obama did not breach protocol by touching Queen Elizabeth II at a reception yesterday. Can political reporters move on now?

* Is Sen. Pat Leahy’s (D-Vt.) proposal for a truth commission finished? It looks like it.

* China is prepared to take the lead in producing hybrid and electric vehicles over the next three years.

* Ed Schultz isn’t getting the 10 p.m. slot on MSNBC, but he is getting the 6 p.m. spot currently held by David Shuster. Shuster is headed for 3 p.m., and Norah O’Donnell’s hour will be moved to the morning.

* A good example of why Colbert matters.

* On a related note, have I mentioned lately that Glenn Beck is a crazy person?

* And finally, Michelle Obama’s favorability rating is slightly higher than Barack Obama’s. Take that, Juan Williams.

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.