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

* More on this tomorrow: “The Bush White House so strictly controlled access to its warrantless eavesdropping program that only three Justice Department lawyers were aware of the plan, which nearly ignited mass resignations and a constitutional crisis when a wider circle of administration officials began to question its legality, according to a watchdog report released today.”

* Ghana seems pretty excited about President Obama’s visit.

* Obama and Pope Benedict XVI meet for a chat.

* Iraqi Kurds have a vision for a semiautonomous region. Maliki insists Iraq “cannot be divided into two.”

* CIA Director Leon Panetta has ordered “an internal inquiry into the agency’s handling of a contentious and still highly classified intelligence program that has caused a heated dispute” between the CIA and lawmakers.

* The new GM: “General Motors emerged from bankruptcy this morning, with chief executive Fritz Henderson promising that the fallen corporate giant will be reformed and that ‘business as usual is over.’”

* If this is legit, and not grandstanding, it’s a fine idea: “Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) says he’s investigating charges of racism at a private pool in suburban Philadelphia where a group of minority students were turned away last month.”

* The Obama administration reminded the public yesterday that we may see an aggressive return of the swine flu virus in the fall. With good planning, the president said, “we may end up averting a crisis.” He added, “That’s our fervent hope.”

* There are conflicting reports, but it seems Rep. Mark Kirk’s (R) campaign plans in Illinois next year are very much in flux.

* It’s nice of Scarborough to express concern for his “friend” Pelosi, but an apology would be more appropriate.

* Progress/movement on Robert Groves’ nomination to head the Census Bureau?

* And finally, Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas was asked for a reaction to John Ensign’s sex scandal. “It’s not good,” Cornyn said, winning the Understatement of the Day Award. Asked if Ensign can recover, Cornyn added, “I just don’t know the answer to that.”

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.