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

* Five American troops were killed this morning in Mosul as a result of a “massive” suicide truck bombing. It was the deadliest day for U.S. forces in over a year.

* Negotiations with the Somali pirates continue, as Richard Phillips’ effort at an escape proved unsuccessful.

* Limbaugh tries to connect the pirates with ACORN. What a weirdo.

* President Obama sees “glimmers of hope” in the economy, but reiterated his belief that we have a long way to go.

* Robert Mugabe’s cronies are seeking amnesty deals by abducting and torturing opposition leaders.

* The Obama administration’s efforts in invoking the state secrets claim continues to be an ongoing source of deep disappointment.

* Corporate lobbyists are helping orchestrate right-wing “Tea Parties”? Imagine that.

* Marc Morano will be a full-time, professional global warming denier. Nice work if you can get it.

* The way David Schultz, an NPR-affiliate reporter, was treated at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center forum was not acceptable.

* Is Maine Gov. John Baldacci (D) open to marriage equality? Maybe. (thanks to reader A.F. for the tip)

* On a related note, someone really ought to get the opponents of marriage equality some urban dictionaries.

* Why anyone would find Charles Krauthammer even remotely credible is a mystery to me.

* Broder Today, Broder Yesterday.

* There aren’t that many gay Republicans. The chances of sustaining two rival political organizations for the same constituency seem remote.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen

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.