Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Keep suffering, Europe: “The European Central Bank left interest rates on hold as the debt crisis tightens its grip on the euro-area economy, increasing pressure on policy makers to deliver further stimulus.”
* Syria: “Representatives from more than 55 countries pressing for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria threatened on Wednesday to dramatically expand their financial pressure on his government because of the violent repression of an uprising there, and the United States Treasury secretary suggested that the use of military force was a possibility.”
* White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters today President Obama “will not extend … the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent.” Pressed further about a short-term extension, Carney added, “He will not – could I be more clear? – he will not support extension of the upper-income Bush tax cuts.”
* Former President Bill Clinton heard about Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) recent McCarthyism-like tirade about secret communists in the House Democratic caucus. His response was both compelling and amusing.
* House Republicans are poised to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s medical device excise tax. The White House issued a veto threat today.
* The House is scheduled to take its ninth recess of the year next week. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today to cancel the break and get some work done.
* You’re about as likely to get struck by lightning as you are to find actual voter fraud in Florida.
* It’s not quite at the level of good news, but Jared Bernstein makes the case that recent developments in the housing market are a step in the right direction.
* A reporter passed along complaints to Jay Carney today that Obama is “cavorting with showbiz types.” Asked for a response, the press secretary replied, “Two words: Donald Trump. Next question.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.