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

* The EPA is damned if it does; we’re all damned if it doesn’t: “With the federal government set to regulate climate-altering gases from factories and power plants for the first time, the Obama administration and the new Congress are headed for a clash that carries substantial risks for both sides.”

* Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano arrived in Afghanistan this morning, and will spend New Year’s Eve with U.S. troops. It’s part of a week-long trip for the cabinet secretary, which will also include stops in Israel and Qatar.

* The process of trying to reform Senate rules is extremely complicated, and Brian Beutler has a helpful walkthrough of what the “constitutional option” is all about.

* Remember the ongoing court fights over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Given recent developments, there’s no longer any point to pursuing them.

* On a related note, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) raised a few eyebrows when he ended up voting with the majority on DADT repeal. Now he’s facing a fair amount of right-wing heat back home for having done the right thing.

* Outgoing Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) said yesterday that a “credible conservative” movement should do more than focus on “hatred” of President Obama. That’s true, which is probably why conservatives aren’t especially credible.

* Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) said the ideological differences between the parties on immigration policy are so great, they’re “almost irreconcilable” and make compromise unrealistic. Regrettably, I suspect he’s right.

* DNC Chair Tim Kaine is obviously not objective, but his take on President Obama’s first two years is pretty compelling.

* When Vice President Biden called health care reform a “big f**king deal,” that doesn’t qualify as a “gaffe.”

* Is college a good investment? Of course. But while it’s a smart investment for young people, it’s a wise investment for states, too.

* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was a Democrat when she was younger. Then she read Gore Vidal’s “Burr” and became a Republican. Apparently, she found Vidal “snotty” towards the founding fathers.

* Picking up where Jon Swift left off, Batocchio has a collection of Blog Posts of the Year, as chosen by the bloggers themselves. (Disclosure: one of the entries came from me.)

* I like to mock listicles as much as the next guy, but I actually kind of liked Politico‘s Top 10 “worst decisions of 2010.” There are some real doozies in there, worthy of the recognition.

* And with that, Happy New Year to you. See you in 2011, which is to say, tomorrow.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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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.