Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* Suicide bombers killed more than 70 people in Iraq today.

* Taliban militants have “established effective control” over Buner in Pakistan, about 60 miles from Islamabad. Pakistan’s military is headed for the area.

* Chrysler’s bankruptcy may come as soon as next week. GM, meanwhile, will shut down most of its plants for most of the summer.

* Preliminary election results in South Africa show Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress way out in front, and Zuma’s supporters have already taken to the streets in celebration.

* Good: “President Barack Obama says he will push for a law to provide “strong and reliable” protections for the millions of Americans who have credit cards. The president on Thursday outlined his priorities after meeting with chief executives of the credit-card lending industry.”

* Defense Secretary Robert Gates grudgingly endorsed releasing the Bush-era* torture memos.

* Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Alberto Gonzales, and John Ashcroft were among the Bush administration officials who approved of the detainee abuse as early as 2002.

* President Obama rejected the advice of his advisors on the creation of a 9/11 Commission-style investigation of interrogation techniques. According to a presidential aide, “His whole thing is, ‘I banned all this. This chapter is over. What we don’t need now is to become a sort of feeding frenzy where we go back and re-litigate all this.'”

* It’s hard to imagine the American Prospect without Ezra Klein, but it sounds like Ezra has an amazing opportunity lined up at the Washington Post. I wish him the very best in the new gig.

* Needless Republican obstructionism is blocking Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to the OLC.

* Needless Republican obstructionism is also blocking Kathleen Sebelius’ HHS nomination.

* When it comes to Cheney’s efforts to shift the torture debate, Greg Sargent gets it.

* The Weekly Standard used to support torture investigations. Come to think of it, George W. Bush did, too. I wonder what changed their minds?

* Sorry, Juan Williams, First Lady Michelle Obama seems to be getting more popular all the time.

* O’Reilly really doesn’t know much about history.

* Is it possible that Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) broke the law? Zachary Roth ponders.

* Far too many rank-and-file Republicans believe news of global warming is “exaggerated.”

* And finally, it’s not every politician who gets a semi-automatic rifle named for him or her. Sarah Palin is just more fortunate than most.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

* fixed

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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.