THURSDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Libya: “At a two-day summit of NATO nations that opened [in Berlin] Thursday, U.S. officials played down emerging rifts among allies and said they planned to use the meeting to work toward bridging those differences.”
* A discouraging reversal: “More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the first increase in three weeks. Still, the broader trend points to a slowly healing jobs market. The government says applications for unemployment benefits rose 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 412,000 for the week ended April 9. That left applications at their highest point since mid-February.”
* That pesky 1099 provision in the Affordable Care Act is no more; President Obama signed its repeal this afternoon.
* Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) today conceded that some of the key elements of his union-busting crusade wouldn’t actually save the state any money, but he nevertheless sells the labor crackdown as being fiscally necessary.
* Walker also admitted that he has no mandate to purse the anti-union agenda, since he never actually told voters this is what he intended to do.
* The Wall Street Journal‘s ridiculous editorial page accused President Obama of relying on “blistering partisanship” yesterday. I wonder what the WSJ would have said if Obama had echoed Reagan’s budget speech from 1983.
* On a related note, Politico is criticizing the president for doing what Politico recommended. Typical.
* There’s just no getting around this: “The Republican Budget Hits Poor, Elderly, and Children Hardest.”
* I’m not familiar with the notion of “fat possums,” but there are apparently some that made their way into the budget deal.
* Apparently, the biggest political story of the day is a vote Obama cast as a senator five years ago. Sigh.
* The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to see science and technology education improved. It’s just not sure who should do it.
* I’d sure like to know if there’s a public health risk posed by cellphones.
* Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) will be stuck with the “not intended as a factual statement” mess for quite a while. Hell, it’s arguably going to be his only legacy after a long congressional career.
* And in the Texas state legislature, Republican lawmaker Leo Berman is pushing a measure to guard against the non-existent threat of Islamic Sharia law. After arguing that there are some parts of the U.S. where judgers are “using” sharia, Berman was asked to support the bogus claim. “I heard it on a radio station,” he said.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.