Today’s edition of quick hits:
* How are the Eurozone talks progressing? Slowly. Keep an eye on whether the European Central Bank will forgo future profits on its Greek bonds.
* Russia is blocking diplomatic efforts to condemn the Syrian government. This isn’t going over well with the rest of the world.
* Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee today that al Qaeda’s core leadership will likely be reduced to “largely symbolic importance” over the next two to three years.
* Republicans on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hoped to boycott Richard Cordray’s first hearing as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The boycott, however, did not go well.
* The United States won’t have a meaningful problem with the budget deficit – unless Congress screws things up.
* Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s (R) long list of controversial pardons continues to draw scrutiny.
* Good news out of Illinois: Sen. Mark Kirk (R), a week after suffering a stroke, has been upgraded from “serious” to “fair” condition.
* Republicans won’t want to hear this, but the Affordable Care Act is likely to “boost employment” in the health care industry.
* Gender-equity in Virginia’s anti-abortion bill seems like a more than fair idea.
* David Axelrod is willing to play a little rough.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.