Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* Four Somali pirates continue to hold Capt. Richard Phillips hostage. U.S. officials have been in contact with the lifeboat.

* Wells Fargo had a strong first quarter, which pleased Wall Street. (Matt has more about why Wells Fargo had a strong three months.)

* Retail sales were worse in March than February, but the rate of decline has slowed a bit.

* For reasons I’ll never fully understand, Virginia Republicans voted to reject $125 million in federal stimulus money for additional unemployment benefits.

* Moving the ball forward on the Geithner stress-test plan.

* The White House announced today a new system for updating the media records of servicemen and women, both during and after their military careers.

* Tens of thousands of protesters are demanding Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s resignation. Blue Girl has more.

* Rush Limbaugh thinks the rise in piracy off the Somali coast is liberals’ fault.

* He also rejects the very existence of homeless veterans. (Way to honor the troops’ service, Rush.)

* The right-wing smear campaign against Harold Koh is pretty nauseating.

* Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry (D) vetoed a voter identification bill yesterday, over Republican howls. Good for him. (thanks to reader V.S. for the tip)

* I’m not sure why Mark Halperin believes Karl Rove attacking President Obama is a big deal.

* Yet another Washington Post staffer thinks George Will made false claims in his column(s) about global warming.

* Apparently, Republicans on the Hill think the Obama administration is right in its Afghanistan policy, but also think Obama deserves to be attacked on the policy they’ve already endorsed. How odd.

* If there were a political equivalent of the Darwin Awards, Bob Quick, Britain’s most senior counterterrorism officer, would qualify for one.

* If a U.S. deportation policy kicks U.S. citizens out of their own country, there’s a problem.

* New York Gov. David Paterson (D) may be down, but he’s showing some leadership on gay marriage.

* Alanis Morissette isn’t the only one confused by the meaning of the word “ironic.”

* First Lady Michelle Obama has an organic garden. Some chemical companies are concerned.

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.