Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Deadly violence in Iraq: “A suicide bomber blew himself up next to a large group of Shiite Muslims on a pilgrimage Thursday, one in a series of apparently coordinated sectarian attacks that killed at least 72 people in southern Iraq and in Baghdad. Security officials said the bombings in two Shiite districts of Baghdad and near Nasiriyah, about 200 miles southeast of the capital, also injured at least 147 people.”

* It’s a good thing Obama didn’t listen to Republicans on the auto industry: “[T]he Detroit automakers all reported market share gains in 2011, the first time they were all able to do so since 1988.”

* Another economic bright spot: “For the first time in many years, manufacturing stands out as an area of strength in the American economy.”

* Busted in Wisconsin: “Three individuals — including a former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker — were charged Thursday with felonies as part of the ongoing John Doe investigation into Walker staffers.”

* TPM reports that President Obama intends to “basically ignore Congress’ terrorists-in-military-custody mandate.”

* I was under the impression that federal ethanol subsidies had effectively been eliminated from the budget. As it turns out, they’re just “hidden a little better.”

* The Roger Simon column on Romney’s event in New Hampshire yesterday was pretty darn amusing.

* Corporate profits have rebounded to pre-recession levels. Corporate tax revenue hasn’t.

* Congratulations to Melissa Harris-Perry who will have a new show on weekend mornings on MSNBC, soon after Chris Hayes’ weekend show.

* Is it kosher to refer to Mitt Romney by his given first name (Willard), even if he prefers to go by his middle name? Andy Sabl ponders “name-calling, political ethics, and blogging.”

* Remember Herman Cain? Well, he’s apparently back, and he’s “weirder than ever.”

* Electronic textbooks are supposed to make college more affordable, but new evidence suggests they’re not saving many students much at all.

* And Bill O’Reilly thinks college students are “too stupid to vote.” Here’s hoping a whole lot of young adults prove him wrong in November.

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.