Thursday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* A series of deadly terrorist attacks in Iraq: “A wave of 16 bombings ripped across Baghdad Thursday, killing at least 69 people in the worst violence in Iraq for months. The apparently coordinated attacks struck days after the last American forces left the country and in the midst of a major government crisis between Shiite and Sunni politicians that has sent sectarian tensions soaring.”

* Because the report holds both sides responsible, and notes that Pakistanis fired first, this won’t lessen tensions: “Mistakes by both American and Pakistani troops led to airstrikes against Pakistani posts on the Afghanistan border that killed 26 Pakistani Army soldiers last month, according to a Pentagon investigation that for the first time acknowledged some American responsibility for the clash.”

* We thought GDP grew at a 2% annual rate in the third quarter, but the Commerce Department revised that total down today to 1.8%.

* Domestic terrorist sentenced: “A 37-year-old white supremacist, Kevin William Harpham, was sentenced Tuesday to 32 years in prison for placing a bomb-laden backpack along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Spokane, Washington, in January, the U.S. Justice Department said.” (thanks to R.P. for the tip)

* Good: “A federal judge blocked several parts of South Carolina’s immigration law Thursday, saying in his ruling that the measure tramples on federal powers. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel granted a preliminary injunction, according to The Associated Press and Reuters, ruling that the federal government has the sole constitutional authority to set immigration policy and regulate enforcement. Gergel said parts of South Carolina’s law are in violation of those powers.”

* Rachel Maddow had a fascinating chat with Slate, and her comments on Fox News and Roger Ailes were of particular interest.

* Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote one dissent in an 8-1 ruling year. It offers some insights into her broader thinking.

* As Glenn Kessler may have learned today, sarcasm is sometimes hard to express in print.

* Derek Thompson takes a look at the Most Important Graphs of 2011.

* Job training matters: “Despite the fact that community colleges exist at least in part to train people for jobs, many such institutions are apparently now having trouble keeping up with demand, and have had to cut back on job training programs.”

* Paul Krugman raises an important point about political parties and the new mercury emissions standards: “[I]t matters who holds the White House. You can complain about Obama’s lack of a strong progressive agenda, which I sometimes do, or wonder what good it is to hold the White House when the other side blocks every attempt to do good through legislation. But mercury regulation would not have happened if John McCain were president. Elections have consequences, and this is one delayed consequence of 2008 that will make a big difference.”

* When the First Lady’s buttocks become a topic of conversation for members of Congress, there’s a problem.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.