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

* Syria: “Security forces in Syria met thousands of demonstrators with fusillades of live ammunition after noon prayers on Friday, killing at least 73 people in the bloodiest day of the five-week-old Syrian uprising, according to protesters, witnesses and accounts on social networking sites.”

* McCain in Libya: “U.S. Sen. John McCain, one of the strongest proponents in Congress of the American military intervention in Libya, said Friday that Libyan rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi’s troops are his heroes. The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee made the remark after arriving in Benghazi, a city that has been the opposition capital in the rebel-held eastern Libya.”

* A federal judge in New Jersey threw out a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act this afternoon. The case was dismissed on procedural grounds — the plaintiffs did not have standing — not on the merits. (thanks to K.M. for the tip)

* Jared Bernstein, arguably the leading liberal economist at the White House is leaving the administration and joining the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. For those of us hoping for as many progressive voices as possible making their case at the White House, this isn’t good news.

* There is no debt crisis, and we’re not really drowning in a sea of red ink.

* Republicans beat back labor rights once again, this time in New Hampshire, where GOP lawmakers, by a veto-proof majority, passed a measure “that would prohibit unions from collecting mandatory fees and disallow collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join a labor union.”

* Conservatives occasionally like to argue that people will leave states with higher taxes on the wealthy, and move to lower-tax alternatives. That’s not really true.

* I imagine Donald Trump, looking ahead, hopes all of his interviews are conducted by Meghan McCain, or at least those asking her style of “interview” questions. (When an interviewer asks the interviewee to hire them, it’s a bad sign.)

* Apparently, Wonkette ran a bizarre item the other day related to a conspiracy theory involving Sarah Palin and one of her children. It’s sparked some renewed interest in the “controversy,” such as it is, but let’s be clear: there’s nothing to Trig Trutherism and no serious person should consider the rumors credible.

* I feel better already: “Reeling from months of scandal over debt burdens, recruiting practices, and course quality, America’s for-profit college will soon have a ‘code of conduct.’”

* Happy Earth Day. We have a long ways to go.

* Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly believe George Soros and Paul Krugman want to deliberately destroy the American economy. Why? So they can “build up a socialistic system.” Those Fox News personalities really aren’t very bright.

* And finally, remember when Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) lied about Planned Parenthood and his office later said his remarks were “not intended to be a factual statement”? Kyl has now used his power as a senator to “revise” the official transcript and strike his falsehoods from the congressional record. We’ll still remember, but officially, it will be as if the comments were never made.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.