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

* A disappointing White House reversal: “President Obama said on Wednesday that he is seeking to block the release of photographs that depict American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, worrying that the images could ‘further inflame anti-American opinion.’” He added that the pictures “are not particularly sensational.”

* You can tell when the president makes a bad decision by the number of high-profile Republicans who offer Obama praise.

* In more encouraging White House news, the administration is poised to announce new regulations of derivatives.

* What did we learn at today’s Senate hearing on Bush-era torture?

* There were hopes that some of the economic numbers from April would offer some signs of hope. They didn’t — foreclosure and retail numbers were both awful.

* The president believe the “stars are aligned” to get health care reform passed this year. I hope he’s right.

* On a related note, Organizing for America is getting to work rallying support on the issue.

* Something to keep in mind while Senate Republicans block Dawn Johnsen: “Her predecessor, Jay Bybee — who went on to authorize illegal torture — won easy confirmation in 2001 through a simple voice vote. Bybee’s successor, Jack Goldsmith, was also approved by a voice vote. Steven Bradbury served for three years as an acting OLC head, and so did not have to come up for a vote. Having a full — and filibuster-proof — Senate vote on Johnsen would be an unusual break with recent precedent.”

* I’m not sure if the new cooperative plan with the Pakistani government over the use of Predator drones is going to work out.

* Congrats to Marcy Wheeler for winning a Hillman Foundation journalism award. It’s well deserved.

* Marriage equality takes a step forward in New York.

* The language Christopher Hitchens used to attack Wanda Sykes is not OK.

* Eric Boehlert asks a question I’ve pondered many times myself: “Does anybody actually edit the WashTimes?”

* And once in a while, it feels good to be appreciated. This very generous post brought a smile to my face.

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.