Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The Fed fiddles while the economy struggles: “The Federal Reserve’s policy-making committee took no new steps to support the economy at a meeting that ended Wednesday…. The Fed said that the pace of economic growth had slowed over the summer, and said that it expected the unemployment rate to fall ‘only slowly.’”
* Quick action from the 9th Circuit on Arizona’s pending anti-abortion efforts: “A law in Arizona that the ACLU is calling ‘the most extreme and dangerous of abortion bans’ was blocked from taking effect on Thursday after an emergency appeals request.”
* Natural disaster: “Just over half of the counties in the U.S. are now labeled “natural disaster areas” after the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday added 218 counties in 12 states to the list.”
* Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) received a very sharp rebuke from the House Ethics Committee today after she was found to have used Hill staffers to perform campaign work.
* USPS default: “The U.S. Postal Service defaults on a major bill today, the first time in the agency’s history, and Congress isn’t poised to do anything about postal reform before the August recess.”
* The ninth resignation in the 112th Congress: “Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) is retiring from Congress immediately, he announced Tuesday. Davis had previously announced that he would not run for reelection.”
* I wonder what the economy would be like right now if GOP lawmakers cared about jobs as much as abortion: “Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) filed an amendment to pending cybersecurity legislation that would outlaw some abortions in the District of Columbia.”
* Paul Krugman took a closer look and concludes Ed DeMarco’s stonewalling on mortgage relief is “even more outrageous” than first believed.
* And Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is the latest House Republican to go “birther,” suggesting the president’s parents may have used a “telegram from Kenya” to get his birth announcement in Hawaiian newspapers in 1961. He wasn’t kidding.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.