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

* Captain Richard Philips returns home to Vermont.

* A breakthrough on relations with Cuba?

* Marital rape will not be legal in Afghanistan after all.

* NIH releases new guidelines on stem-cell research.

* Andrew Slack has a report on how “the genocide in Darfur has shifted to a new phase of horror for the Darfuri people.”

* California’s unemployment rate is up to 11%.

* The White House is standing by Steven Rattner, at least for now.

* Thank the ACLU for yesterday’s revelations on the Bush torture memos.

* And be sure to read Jeffrey Toobin’s take on one of the torture memo authors: Jay Bybee.

* I guess it was only a matter of time before Glenn Beck attacked Little Green Football’s Charles Johnson.

* Let the countdown-to-apology clock begin — Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R) of Kansas described Rush Limbaugh today as “just as entertainer.”

* Whether Gates realizes it or not, DADT is going to end.

* The feud between Howard Dean and Rahm Emanuel appears to be over.

* I have no idea why CNN would “commend” South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) for embracing Neo-Hooverite policies.

* Deranged right-wing shock-jock Michael Savage is apparently feeling litigious.

* I often wonder what kind of media figure Joe Scarborough would be if he weren’t so frighteningly foolish.

* And finally, Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera reminded his colleagues yesterday that the “grand total of all of the tea party demonstrators” this week was less than the number “at that immigration rally in 2006 in the city of Chicago alone.” That’s true. Remind me, did Fox News do public-relations work for that rally, promote it constantly for weeks, and offer live coverage throughout the day?

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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

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.