Friday’s Mini-Report

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

* Terror threat: “Two packages containing explosive devices originating in Yemen and bound for two places of Jewish worship in Chicago set off a global terror alert that began when one package was found at a FedEx facility in Dubai on Thursday, and then another was found early Friday morning near London, sparking a day of dramatic precautionary activity in the United States.”

* Earlier media reports suggested there were no explosives found in the packages. President Obama told reporters this afternoon, however, that there were explosives and this represented a “credible terrorist threat.”

* The packages reportedly originated in Yemen, where the “underwear bomber” originated, but the president did not explicitly assign blame to al Qaeda.

* I feel like we’ve heard this before, but maybe this time will be different: “Iran said Friday that it would resume talks with the West about its nuclear program in November, according to officials at the European Union.”

* Just like the good ol’ days — Halliburton trying to shift the blame: “Halliburton, whose failed cement job on the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico was identified as a contributing factor to the deadly blowout by a presidential investigative panel on Thursday, is defending its work and assigning the blame for the accident to BP.”

* Some clever folks launch the “Vote Sanity” initiative.

* Hearing Rush Limbaugh accuse Democrats of racism buries the needle on the Irony-O-Meter.

* If Tim Profitt is waiting for Lauren Valle to apologize for having her head under his shoe in Kentucky earlier this week, he shouldn’t hold his breath.

* I fear the moral of the story is, if Glenn Beck criticizes you on the air, his minions will threaten to kill you.

* The bigot on the Arkansas school board who urged “fags” and “queers” to kill themselves told CNN last night that he will resign.

* Dick Morris will say anything for money.

* Is Jonah Goldberg seriously suggesting someone should murder Julian Assange? It sure seems like it.

* University of Phoenix draws renewed scrutiny: “Apparently it’s not just the coming education debt rules about which the University of Phoenix needs to worry. Federal regulators have asked the school’s parent company, Apollo Group Inc., to provide information and documentation about the company’s internal practices.”

* And Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker announced this week — in a televised campaign ad, no less — that the federal judge who found DADT unconstitutional is as big a “security threat” as al Qaeda. He wasn’t kidding.

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.