Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* The H1N1 numebrs increase: “Confirmed cases of swine flu worldwide increased to 236 on Thursday, up significantly from the previous day’s total of 147, the World Health Organization reported.” There are 109 confirmed cases in the U.S., but for now, most are considered mild.

* A very disappointing result on cramdown: “The Senate has defeated legislation that would have let hundreds of thousands of debt-ridden homeowners seek mortgage relief in bankruptcy court.” The measure drew 45 supporters, all from the Democratic caucus.

* A security aide to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, recently in Mexico City, reportedly contracted the H1N1 virus, as did three members of his family.

* After talks broke down last night, Chrysler filed for bankruptcy today, and entered into an alliance with the Italian automaker Fiat.

* Rumor has it that Sen. Arlen Specter is a Democrat now. Given his voting record over the last two days, I find that hard to believe.

* A law to allow marriage equality in Maine passed the state Senate today, and the state House is expected to take up the bill next week.

* Defense Secretary Robert Gates does not have high hopes about a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program.

* Former FEMA chief Michael “Brownie” Brown went on Fox to bash the Obama administration’s handling of the N1H1 public health emergency. Oddly enough, this gives me more confidence in Obama’s team, not less.

* CNN’s Ed Henry’s question last night about the Freedom of Choice Act would have made more sense if the bill had even been introduced in Congress.

* Yesterday, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “hoax.” Today, Foxx, a right-wing Republican, said she used a “poor choice of words.” She added, however, that she still questions whether Shepard was brutally murdered because of his sexual orientation.

* Confirm Dawn Johnsen.

* Elizabeth Edwards thinks John Edwards shouldn’t have run for president in 2008. You don’t say.

* Veridian Dynamics: “When Presidents Talk, Americans Get Hurt.” (It’s a parody ad from a great TV show that was preempted last night.)

* Conservative bloggers are still talking about people “going Galt“? I thought that was a March fad.

* Ta-Nehisi Coates has a very good item following up on Byron York’s piece from yesterday.

* Right-wing talk-show hosts are back to ranting about the Panama Canal? It’s as if they’re trying to look ridiculous.

* And in case the previous National Organization for Marriage ads weren’t quite bad enough, the conservative group is now launching a new campaign starring a Miss USA contestant who has become a cause celebre in Republican circles for her anti-gay attitudes.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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