THURSDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Things go from bad to worse on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil platform.
* Better, but still too high: “First-time claims for jobless benefits fell last week, evidence that employers are laying off fewer workers. But claims remain too high to signal steady job creation.”
* Home sales “rose more than expected in March, reversing three months of declines.”
* Greece: “The Greek debt crisis escalated again Thursday as new data showed the government’s gaping budget deficit was worse than previously thought and investors expressed fears that officials in Athens may not agree to stringent demands for an international bailout.”
* The Dems’ Wall Street reform bill will reduce the budget deficit.
* Iran: “In a matter of days, the United Nations will impose sanctions against Iran for illegally pursuing nuclear weapons, Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview Thursday.”
* Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) thinks tackling immigration reform “destroys the ability to do something like energy and climate.” I suspect he might be right about this, though Stephen Stromberg touches on a related point about EPA action that’s worth watching.
* The latest summary of Sue Lowden’s “Chickens for Checkups” controversy.
* Does Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) have any proof to bolster his White House/SEC conspiracy theory? By his own admission, “No.”
* The Senate Budget Committee moves on this year’s budget.
* Did this morning’s RNC piece from the Washington Times get the story right? Not necessarily.
* Stephanie Cutter will oversee the White House’s health care messaging strategy. Good move.
* Is it me, or is DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano just plain likable?
* Joe Conason explains why it matters that the U.S. is becoming more respected internationally in the Obama era.
* That’s even more than I would have guessed: “In recent years, at least 20 Fox News personalities have endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or causes, or against Democratic candidates or causes, in more than 300 instances and in at least 49 states.”
* And Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) believes “trained professionals” can spot undocumented immigrants based on what they’re wearing. Seriously.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.