Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Moments ago, the House passed the bipartisan budget deal with a 266-vote majority. Most House Republicans voted against it, but the package is nevertheless headed to the Senate, which will have to approve it before Monday to avoid the debt-ceiling deadline.
* Spring Valley High: “The school resource officer who was caught on camera violently flipping a South Carolina high school student at her desk has been fired, Richland County authorities announced Wednesday.”
* In a bit of a surprise, Bernie Sanders has formally endorsed the bipartisan budget deal. The package has also picked up support from AARP, and the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities had a largely positive reaction to the agreement.
* The changing nature of Middle Eastern politics: “Iran has accepted an invitation to join talks with the United States and Russia this week on a possible political resolution to the Syrian civil war, state news media reported on Wednesday.”
* Hastert: “Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert could get up to six months in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday in his hush-money case.”
* The final vote was 74 to 21: “The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that intends to improve cybersecurity by encouraging companies and the government to share information about hacking threats.”
* A rate hike seems like a horrible idea right now: “The Federal Reserve on Wednesday downgraded its warnings of the damage the global economic slowdown could do to the U.S. recovery, leaving the door open for the central bank to consider raising interest rates this year.”
* Greenland is melting away. This is simply a stunning piece of work.
* A fascinating report: “Weeks before President Obama ordered the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in May 2011, four administration lawyers developed rationales intended to overcome any legal obstacles – and made it all but inevitable that Navy SEALs would kill the fugitive Qaeda leader, not capture him.”
* A story worth watching about Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.): “A prominent Democratic watchdog group on Tuesday called for an ethics investigation into a GOP congressman who continued paying his chief of staff several months after receiving sexual harassment allegations against him.”
* It’s a real shame to see what’s happening in North Carolina: “When Republicans gained supermajorities in both houses of the North Carolina legislature in 2012, they stacked the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors with extremely partisan, conservative appointees. Those appointments paid off for the GOP: The board fired the UNC system’s left-leaning president and, last Friday, elected Margaret Spellings to replace him.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.