Friday’s Mini-Report

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Today’s edition of quick hits:

* If we have enough money for a pointless shutdown, we have enough for education: “President Obama on Friday visited the Brooklyn high school he praised in his State of the Union address earlier this year to deliver a message about the urgency of education reform in the global economy.”

* “I just sat in on a class called ‘Real World Math,’” Obama said at P-Tech High School in Brooklyn, “which got me thinking whether it’s too late to send Congress here for a remedial course.”

* Japan: “A 7.3-magnitude earthquake shook Japan early Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The quake was off the Fukushima region of Japan, 231 miles east off the island of Honshu. It was 6.2 miles deep, officials said, hit at 3:10 a.m. Saturday local time and was felt 300 miles away in Tokyo.”

* NSA: “The White House will meet with German officials in the coming weeks to discuss allegations that the U.S. spied on world leaders, NCS Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said Friday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused the U.S. this week of tapping her cell phone after she saw the number written on U.S. documents. Days earlier, the French newspaper Le Monde reported that the NSA culled more than 70 million phone records of French citizens over 30 days.”

* More from Jeff Zients’s Q&A earlier: “In an abrupt shift, the Obama administration on Friday named a ‘general contractor’ to fix the troubled Web site of the federal health insurance marketplace, and said the repairs would be completed by the end of next month.”

* Center to Protect Patient Rights gets in trouble: “A secretive nonprofit group with ties to the billionaire conservative businessmen Charles and David Koch admitted to improperly failing to disclose more than $15 million in contributions it funneled into state referendum battles in California, state officials there announced Thursday.”

* Maybe someone should do something: “New research shows that average summer temperatures in the Canadian Arctic over the last century are the highest in the last 44,000 years, and perhaps the highest in 120,000 years.”

* The nation’s best-kept secret: “Obama has been one of the most effective presidents in American history to reduce deficit levels.”

* Quit while you’re behind: “Don Yelton, the North Carolina GOP official who resigned over the fallout for his racially charged ‘Daily Show’ interview, used the N-word to defend himself in an interview with TheWrap.com Friday.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

 

Friday's Mini-Report