Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* I watched just about every second of the White House’s health care summit. One thing I learned: it’s hard to write blog posts and listen to health care discussions at the same time.

* Afghanistan: “A U.S. general hailed ‘a very historical day, a new beginning’ Thursday, as an Afghan flag was raised over the former Taliban stronghold of Marjah and troops began mopping up the last pockets of resistance.”

* On a related note: “The Afghan government said Thursday that Pakistani authorities have agreed to hand over several suspected insurgents whom Pakistan has taken into custody, including the Taliban’s No. 2 commander.”

* The jobs crisis isn’t close to being over: “The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly increased last week, a sign that the economic recovery will be uneven as the labor market struggles to rebound.”

* More compromise: “The Obama administration is no longer insisting on the creation of a stand-alone consumer protection agency as a central element of the plan to remake regulation of the financial system. In hopes of quick congressional approval of a reform bill, White House officials are opening the door to compromise with lawmakers concerned about creating a new bureaucracy, according to congressional and some administration sources.”

* Maryland will recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Good for Maryland.

* Good to see a Democratic lawmaker defend the administration on national security grounds. Too many Dems are still afraid to touch the issue.

* Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) recommitted yesterday to voting with Republicans against health care reform, because he sees the Democratic bill as too conservative.

* Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is stark raving mad.

* So is Frank Gaffney.

* Republicans really have used reconciliation more than Democrats.

* A tea party may be coming soon to a campus near you.

* Steve M. asks a provocative question: “Are right-wingers even the same species as the rest of us?”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread — about issues not related to the summit. I’m going to have a separate open thread on that shortly.

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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.