Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Greece: “Germany maintained a hard line with Athens on Monday after Greek voters rejected Europe’s austerity policies in a referendum, intensifying pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to restart bailout talks and opening a rift with European countries that appeared more inclined now to consider softening the push for austerity.”
* ISIS: “America’s battle against ISIS, dominated thus far by airstrikes and training opposition forces, must also include a battle against the group’s ‘twisted thinking,’ President Obama said Monday. ‘This is not simply a military effort,’ Obama said in remarks after getting briefed on the anti-ISIS effort at the Pentagon. ‘Ideologies are not defeated by guns. They’re defeated with better ideas.’”
* Heartbreaking gun violence in Chicago: “Nine people died and 46 others were wounded in shootings across Chicago this Fourth of July weekend. Among those who died was a 7-year-old boy who was shot while watching fireworks in Humboldt Park with his father just before midnight Saturday.”
* Keep an eye on this one: “Sometime in the next few weeks, aides expect President Obama to issue orders freeing dozens of federal prisoners locked up on nonviolent drug offenses. With the stroke of his pen, he will probably commute more sentences at one time than any president has in nearly half a century.”
* An alarmingly early start for Washington’s wildfire season: “Normally soggy Washington – nicknamed the Evergreen State for good reason and home to the wettest town in the Lower 48 – has never been hotter or drier at this point in the year, officials say, and the fire season has never begun so early or so fiercely.”
* Hmm: “Former attorney general Eric Holder said today that a ‘possibility exists’ for the Justice Department to cut a deal with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that would allow him to return to the United States from Moscow.”
* Genuinely impressive: “A plane powered by the sun’s rays landed in Hawaii Friday after a record-breaking five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.”
* Former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who is a fluent Spanish speaker, strikes me as an excellent choice for U.S. Ambassador to Cuba, though I have a hunch some Senate Republicans might disagree.
* Do you get the feeling this guy has a credibility problem? “Russian President Vladimir Putin called for dialogue based on equal treatment and mutual respect with the United States on Saturday in a congratulatory message to President Barack Obama marking U.S. Independence Day.”
* Mitch McConnell’s slow-motion shutdown is impossible to defend: “The GOP-controlled Senate is on track this year to confirm the fewest judges since 1969, a dramatic escalation of the long-running partisan feud over the ideological makeup of federal courts.”
* Michael Lind should expect quite a bit of interesting fan mail after this one: “A lot of the traits that make the United States exceptional these days are undesirable, like higher violence and less social mobility. Many of these differences can be attributed largely to the South…. [T]he South really is different from the rest of the country.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.