Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Not helpful: “Greece told the International Monetary Fund on Thursday that it would not make a $335 million payment due this week, invoking a little-used option to defer that payment and three others until the end of the month.”
* We’ll have more on this on tonight’s show: “In a surprise move, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday to force a debate on whether U.S. troops should withdraw from Iraq and Syria in the war against the Islamic State.”
* Climate crisis: “Federal scientists Thursday disputed the notion that the world’s temperature stopped rising 15 or so years ago. The global warming ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ has been a main talking point for climate change skeptics…. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Thursday that the last 15 years have seen warming at a pace just as fast as before, if not faster.”
* Controversial findings: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it has found no evidence that hydraulic fracking has ‘widespread, systemic impacts’ on drinking water. The EPA was asked by Congress to look at the potential impact of the oil and natural gas extraction technique on drinking water resources.”
* She went further than I expected; more on this in the morning: “In a major speech on voting rights Thursday, Hillary Clinton laid out a far-reaching vision for expanding access to the ballot box, and denounced Republican efforts to make voting harder.”
* In unsettling story out of Mississippi: “Senatobia School District’s superintendent said he pressed charges on people who cheered out of turn at graduation recently because they already understood that school officials had asked for respect at the service.”
* I want to understand Mark Halperin’s system of grading presidential candidates, but as today’s entry helps demonstrate, he doesn’t make it easy.
* Perhaps you, like me, have wondered why it seems so difficult for the left and right to have a substantive, constructive conversation about heath care policy. Consider what happened, for example, when Jonathan Cohn tried to engage John Nolte in a discussion. Pay particular attention the number of references to “fascists” and “fascism.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.