Wednesday’s Mini-Report

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

* Details remain sketchy, but the U.S. crew has reportedly retaken control over the ship hijacked by Somali pirates this morning, though the U.S. captain is still reportedly being held hostage.

* In a significant break from Bush-era policy, the U.S. will join in multi-nation talks with Iran over its suspected nuclear ambitions.

* The engagement with Iran will apparently be welcome news to a majority of Americans.

* Keep an eye on instability in Moldova.

* This isn’t going well: “The Obama administration might agree to postpone auctioning off 100 percent of emissions allowances under a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas pollution, White House science adviser John P. Holdren said today.”

* Attorney General Eric Holder is poised to name Mary Patrice Brown, a well-respected career prosecutor, as the new head of the Justice Department’s internal ethics unit. Good move.

* Speaking of the Justice Department, Keith Olbermann is none too pleased with the administration’s recent claims on secrecy and immunity.

* The fallout from the prosecutorial misconduct in the Ted Stevens case continues.

* Has the Army pressured medical staff not to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorders?

* Speaking of veterans’ issues, Tammy Duckworth will finally get a vote after Republican obstructionism delayed her nomination unnecessarily.

* Encouraging gesture: “The White House is allocating tickets for the upcoming Easter Egg Roll to gay and lesbian parents as part of the Obama administration’s outreach to diverse communities.”

* In yet another embarrassment for George Will, the Washington Post‘s editorial cartoonist has begun mocking him, too.

* Leading progressive bloggers ask leading progressive organizations: where’s the love?

* Muntadar al-Zaidi, the shoe-thrower, has seen his sentence reduced from three years to one.

* The new ads from the National Organization for Marriage are slick but ridiculous.

* A Republican caller told Rush Limbaugh yesterday that the host sounds like a “brainwashed Nazi.” One can only assume the call-screeners will be severely punished.

* I get the sense former Bush strategist Pete Wehner doesn’t understand that tax increases produce more money for the government.

* And finally, a Quote of the Day from Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, commenting on the 17,000 Italians left homeless by the Abruzzo earthquake: “They should see it like a weekend of camping.”

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.