THURSDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Libya: “Moammar Gadhafi struck a defiant stance Thursday after two high-profile defections from his regime, saying he’s not the one who should go — it’s the Western leaders who have decimated his military with airstrikes who should resign immediately.”
* We shouldn’t expect that regime to collapse anytime soon: “Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is not close to a military breaking point even though coalition strikes have seriously degraded his fighting power, the top U.S. military officer told Congress Thursday.”
* Japan: “Japan is increasingly turning to other countries for help as it struggles to stabilize its tsunami-stricken nuclear plant and stop radiation leaks that are complicating efforts to recover the bodies of some of the thousands swept away by the towering wave. French, American and international experts — even a robot — are either in Japan or on their way, and French President Nicholas Sarkozy visited Tokyo on Thursday to meet with the prime minister and show solidarity.”
* We’re actually getting close to a genuinely good number: “Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that layoffs are dropping and companies may be stepping up hiring. The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people seeking benefits dipped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 for the week that ended March 26.”
* There were rumors yesterday that the White House was prepared to accept GOP demands on a roll back of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory power. Those rumors appear to be completely wrong.
* Good move: “Wednesday evening, the White House issued a veto threat of major legislation, the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, if it still includes the anti-union measure the House Transportation Committee passed. The measure would undermine union organization votes, counting any non-vote by an eligible employee as a ‘no’ vote.”
* In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott (R) will present cuts for the developmentally disabled — and then attend a Special Olympics photo-op.
* Speaking of the Sunshine State, a Democratic state representative in Florida was rebuked for using the word “uterus” on the state House floor. You really should read this one; it’s a doozy.
* Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) doesn’t believe federal employees should have collective-bargaining rights. Try to contain your surprise.
* Yes, President Obama has a computer.
* Dear Newt Gingrich, when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is mocking you, it’s evidence you’ve reached new lows.
* Daniel Luzer: “Online education seems like a good way for colleges to make money. Low cost, high volume, no classrooms or office hours needed. Just sit back and watch the cash roll in, right? Not really.”
* Let’s just say that “squirmish” is as much a word as “refudiate” is.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.