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

* The “top kill” efforts had to be temporarily halted this afternoon, but officials intend to re-start the pumping tonight. We won’t have a sense of the efficacy for a while, but there’s still a fair amount of optimism about the strategy.

* Tensions continue to rise around the Korean peninsula: “North Korea said on Thursday that it was cutting off a naval hot line used to prevent clashes on its disputed sea border with South Korea, while the South conducted a large naval drill in a show of force after the sinking of one of its warships.”

* The White House’s first formal National Security Strategy was released today.

* Are the votes there in the House to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Speaker Pelosi thinks so. We may see a vote tonight.

* New unemployment filings dropped by 14,000 last week. The numbers are — let’s all say it together — still far too high, and the modest drop was not as strong as expected.

* Germany may not fully appreciate what the regional economic crisis will do to Germany.

* First quarter GDP numbers were slightly lower than originally estimated.

* Do House Dems have the votes to pass a new, post-Citizens United, campaign finance reform bill? The leadership thinks so, and we can expect a vote on the DISCLOSE Act fairly soon.

* The Justice Department are moving forward with plans to challenge Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law.

* Justice Antonin Scalia and former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor don’t see a problem with Elena Kagan’s lack of judicial experience.

* It’s just astounding that “more than 113 census takers have been the victims of assaults or attacks this month.”

* Kaplan University’s agreement to offer some California Community College courses isn’t working out well.

* And as a rule, House Republicans are at their absolute nuttiest when they’re trying to rationalize their hatred of gay people. It’d be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.