Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Good advice: “President Barack Obama challenged the GOP to end political brinkmanship and said Republicans should ‘win an election’ if they so badly wish to change his policies.”
* If this is true, it’s a pretty bold move: “Senior administration officials confirm that President Barack Obama has chosen former Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson to succeed Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security Secretary.”
* Welcome back: “The United States government sputtered back to life Thursday morning after President Obama and Congress ended a 16-day shutdown, clearing the way for federal agencies to again deliver services, reopen public facilities and welcome hundreds of thousands of furloughed employees returning to work.”
* A welcome decision: “Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says he will not allow another government shutdown as part of a strategy to repeal ObamaCare.”
* On the other hand: “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Thursday that he would not rule out pushing the federal government to shut down again in order to defund the health care law.”
* That’s an amazing amount of progress: “Though the Oregon’s health insurance exchange is not yet up and running, the number of uninsured is already dropping thanks to new fast-track enrollment for the Oregon Health Plan. The low-income, Medicaid-funded program has already signed up 56,000 new people, cutting the state’s number of uninsured by 10 percent, according to Oregon Health Authority officials.”
* Syria: “A top Syrian army general was killed in fighting with rebels, state-run Syrian television reported Thursday, according to broadcaster Al Arabiya.”
* This really was a strange moment on a strange evening: “House passage of a government funding and debt limit deal got bizarre Wednesday night when a House stenographer went rogue.”
* The American League of Lobbyists apparently believes the word “lobbyist” has negative connotations and wants to change its name. Hmm.
* If you haven’t yet read Zachary Roth’s fantastic report on Beaumont, Texas, please take a few minutes to do so.
* Ross Douthat reflects on the House Republican lawmakers and their government shutdown: “It was an irresponsible, dysfunctional and deeply pointless act, carried out by a party that on the evidence of the last few weeks shouldn’t be trusted with the management of a banana stand, let alone the House of Representatives.”
* And Rush Limbaugh wants to know if Americans can “imagine” 45 Ted Cruzes in the U.S. Senate. I’m going to assume that’s a rhetorical question.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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