Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico: “Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday designated a widening oil slick pill in the Gulf of Mexico as “a spill of national significance” as government officials acknowledged that the amount of oil spewing daily from the well is far more than earlier thought.”

* Administration steps up: “President Obama increased his administration’s role in the cleanup of the vast oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, by positioning the Department of Defense to assist the giant oil company BP in dealing with the spill and by sending three top officials to Louisiana.”

* Greece: “European leaders raced on Thursday to complete a financial rescue package for Greece, hoping to head off a chain reaction against other heavily indebted European nations that could turn into a financial meltdown across the continent.”

* Initial filings for unemployment benefits dropped a bit, but they’re still too high.

* On top of their other legislative priorities, congressional Dems plan to move on a new campaign-finance measure, intended in part to respond to the Citizens United ruling, before July 4.

* Another coal mine tragedy, this time in Kentucky.

* More litigation challenging Arizona’s immigration law.

* As Karzai’s legitimacy continues to falter, the Taliban strengthens.

* President Obama has made his selections to fill vacancies on the Federal Reserve board.

* House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was asked yesterday whether he supports Arizona’s new immigration law. He refused to say, calling the question a “false choice,” which doesn’t make any sense. No Profile in Courage Award for you, Eric.

* Oh, good. Frank Luntz has new suggestions on how Republicans can deceive the public.

* If you think Republicans in D.C. have crazy ideas, consider what Republicans in state legislatures are up to.

* A certain former half-term governor considers deranged media personality Glenn Beck “an inspiring patriot.” The mind reels.

* The recession isn’t slowing down college enrollment rates.

* It’s almost as if Karl Rove doesn’t remember 2001 through 2008 at all.

* Saying goodbye to civil rights icon Dorothy I. Height.

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.