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

* Libya: “Thousands of mercenary and other forces struck back at a tightening circle of rebellions around the capital, Tripoli, on Thursday, trying to fend off an uprising against the 40-year rule of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, who blamed the revolt on ‘hallucinogenic’ drugs and Osama bin Laden.”

* Late yesterday: “President Obama on Wednesday condemned Libya’s violent crackdown against a widening anti-government movement, saying the ‘suffering and bloodshed is outrageous, and it is unacceptable.’ But Obama did not call for a change in Libya’s autocratic government or announce specific sanctions that the United States would support to punish the country for actions that he said ‘violate international norms and every standard of common decency.’”

* Below 400k is an encouraging number: “Fewer people requested unemployment benefits last week, pushing the four-week average of applications to its lowest level in more than two and a half years. The Labor Department says the number of laid-off workers applying for unemployment benefits dropped by 22,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 391,000.” The four-week average is now at its best level since July 2008.

* Hardly a good use of police resources: “Wisconsin state troopers were dispatched Thursday to the doorsteps of some of the AWOL Democratic senators in hopes of finding at least one who would come back to allow a vote on a measure to curb the power of public-employee unions.”

* On a related note, with Gov. Scott Walker (R) having admitted to considering placing troublemakers amid the crowd of protesters, the Madison police chief has some concerns.

* Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, the American three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops, reportedly used “psy-ops” techniques on U.S. dignitaries — including members of Congress — during the visits to Afghanistan. Gen. David Petraeus has launched an investigation, which doesn’t bode well for Caldwell. The allegations are pretty serious.

* Did Fox News chairman Roger Ailes encourage Judith Regan to lie to federal investigators? There are affidavits that suggest he did, and Regan even claims to have a recording to prove it.

* One of the dumbest “controversies” in recent memory: “A Commerce Department inspector general investigation into the ‘Climategate’ controversy finds that government scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did not manipulate climate change data.”

* Hawaii joins the list of states to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples.

* Matt Miller considers New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) candor: “For Christie to be rhapsodized for saying we need to reform entitlements without adding that federal taxes will have to rise as America ages makes him a half-truth-teller at best. And half-truths are all we have from the GOP so far.”

* I’m reminded why I don’t bother to read James Glassman’s columns.

* It’s easier for the Department of Education to want to define college credits, used to determine federal financial aid, than to actually do it.

* Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) heard Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) call for the end of legal prostitution in their home state, but he disagrees. Perhaps, given his sex scandals, he should have left this issue alone?

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen

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.