Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* The White House’s most significant achievement yet in addressing global warming: “The Obama administration finalized the first national rules curbing greenhouse gas emissions Thursday, mandating that the U.S. car and light-truck fleet reach an average fuel efficiency of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.”

* New filings for unemployment dropped last week, “matching the lowest level since August 2008.” The totals are still too high, though they’re improving.

* GM had its best month in years in March, and the whole industry seemed to get a real boost.

* The Obama administration’s new efforts to counter drug trafficking are off to a good start: “Opium seizures in Afghanistan soared 924 percent last year because of better cooperation between Afghan and international forces, the top U.S. drug enforcement official said Thursday.”

* Rhode Island experiences its worst flooding in 200 years.

* D.C. will host a nuclear security summit later this month. There were some fears that Chinese President Hu Jintao wouldn’t attend, but to officials’ relief, he said this morning he’ll be there.

* One of the Hutaree members arrested over the weekend had 46 guns and 13,000 rounds of ammunition in his Indiana home.

* The New York Times editorial board seems fairly impressed with the administration’s plan on coastal drilling: “President Obama … announced a decision to expand oil and gas exploration in selected areas of America’s coastal waters that will satisfy neither extreme but is, on the whole, a careful and useful addition to the steps he has already taken to reduce the nation’s energy dependence.”

* More questionable spending from the RNC?

* Larry Sabato backs off his claim about liberals and war heroes. Good move.

* Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) may need to brush up on his geology basics.

* The College Guide blog has nothing but April Fools-related posts today.

* National Review’s symposium on black unemployment will feature six white panelists — and no one else.

* If the Tea Party crowd is going to wave right-wing signs for the cameras, they should probably proof-read them first.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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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.