FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Two junk shot attempts in the Gulf have come up short: “BP’s renewed efforts at plugging the flow of oil from its runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico stalled again on Friday, as the company suspended pumping operations for the second time in two days, according to a technician involved with the response effort.”
* POTUS on the scene: “Under pressure to step up his response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, President Barack Obama tried to assure the country Thursday that he and his administration are in charge and working feverishly to clean up the mess.”
* “You are not alone, and you will not be abandoned,” Obama said. “We are on your side, and we will see this through.”
* A deadly milestone in Afghanistan: “The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, launched in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, reached a milestone today as reports of one more service member killed in the conflict raised the total number of U.S. military deaths in and around Afghanistan to 1,000.”
* There’s ample reason to be deeply skeptical about BP’s claims.
* I continue to be amazed the deficit hawks are willing to undermine our fragile recovery: “The House passed a $93 billion package of jobless benefits and business tax breaks Friday after moderate Democrats fed up with deficit spending forced leaders to slice billions of additional dollars from the legislation. The House voted, 215 to 204, to approve the measure, which would extend expanded benefits for the unemployed through November, finance thousands of summer jobs and renew for one year dozens of expired tax credits and deductions for businesses and individuals.”
* Consumer spending flattened in April.
* Peggy Noonan’s column today was one of the more ridiculous pieces I’ve seen in quite a while. I lacked the stomach to pick it apart, but Andrew Sullivan, Ron Chusid, and Steve M. showed more patience.
* Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics officer under George W. Bush, considered the latest information in the Sestak “story.” He told Greg Sargent, “Based on the information disclosed from the White House, it’s even more apparent that this is a non issue. No scandal. Time to move on.”
* And yet, when Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) held another ridiculous press conference, MSNBC carried the whole thing live. It’s painful to see the kind of judgments major media outlets will sometimes make.
* Will Folks released phone records today documenting phone calls between himself and South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley (R). Ed Kilgore bravely summarizes the latest details of the story.
* The Condition of Education is released with some interesting new revelations.
* And Glenn Beck used his radio show today to mock President Obama’s 11-year-old daughter for several minutes. He later apologized, but it’s a reminder that some of the leading right-wing voices are not only deranged, they’re also classless.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.