Thursday’s Mini-Report

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

* It’s working: “BP says engineers have finished plugging the blown-out Gulf of Mexico well with cement in their effort to permanently seal it.”

* After breaking a GOP filibuster yesterday, the Senate approved the state aid/jobs bill this afternoon. The final vote was 61 to 39.

* Discouraging: “This morning, the Department of Labor said that initial jobless claims edged up last week, from 460,000 to 479,000. Economists expected the number of claims to decrease. The weekly figure is the highest since April.”

* Al-Shabab is clearly trying to appeal to Somali Americans: “Federal indictments unsealed Thursday in Minnesota, Alabama and California charge 14 people with terrorism offenses for allegedly aiding the radical Islamist al-Shabab organization in Somalia.”

* The Affordable Care Act has “strengthened Medicare’s financial condition,” with the Medicare trust fund “predicted to last a dozen years longer than expected a year ago, according to a new government forecast.” I’ll look forward to Republicans explaining why this is a bad thing.

* On a related note, there’s no Social Security crisis, either.

* So much for net neutrality? “Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.” Google is denying the accuracy of the story.

* In related news: “The Federal Communications Commission Thursday suspended its weeks-long series of talks with Internet providers on net neutrality, dealing a blow to efforts to produce a deal that the agency could take to Congress.”

* Senate Republicans are now once again blocking the nomination of James Clapper to be director of national intelligence.

* Can cramdown make a comeback?

* Stepping up in support of 99ers: “Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced a bill Wednesday that would provide extra weeks of benefits to people who’ve reached the end of their unemployment insurance lifelines.”

* Target is sorry about its right-wing campaign contribution.

* Fascinating story about conservatives playing a rigged game with Digg.

* Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) takes a firm stance against the “shameful and divisive” tactics from the right against the Cordoba House.

* Making it a little easier to see how colleges spend their money.

* Karl Rove guest hosting for Rush Limbaugh. Imagine that.

* Fox News really should be able to tell the difference between Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Shirley Sherrod. The network doesn’t have many African-American viewers, but this is just sad. (thanks to reader D.D. for the tip)

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.