Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* I’ll believe it when the checks arrive: “Oil giant BP, under mounting pressure to meet its obligations in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has agreed to implement a more transparent and expedited claims process to pay individuals and businesses harmed by the disaster, U.S. officials said Thursday.”

* Is BP doing enough to protect the health of workers fighting the oil spill in the Gulf? Probably not.

* President Obama spent about an hour today with the families of those killed if the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

* House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is still working out his argument when it comes to taxpayers being on the hook for the disaster in the Gulf.

* Afghanistan: “A suicide bomb ripped through a wedding party for a family with ties to police in the Taliban’s heartland in Afghanistan, killing at least 40 people and wounding dozens more, officials said Thursday.”

* Things aren’t going as well as we hoped in Kandahar, and Gen. McChrystal wants more time.

* New applications for unemployment benefits — still too high.

* After recent events in Arkansas, at least the White House seems to realize it needs to mend some fences with labor.

* The conference committee on Wall Street reform got to work today.

* GOP lawmakers in Tennessee tried to pass measures to block the Affordable Care Act at the state level. They failed. (thanks to reader P.A. for the tip)

* Glenn Greenwald references this post of mine from December in a critical way, but re-reading what I wrote, I think the larger point stands up pretty well. Yglesias has some related thoughts.

* A college degree is hardly a guarantee when it comes to staying out of poverty.

* The press conference on the Hill today on mohair subsidies went surprisingly badly for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). Put it this way: it’s a bad sign when members of Congress leave a press conference bleeding.

* If it’s all right with Politico, I’d prefer we skip the discussion over what White House officials are wearing.

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.