Today's edition of quick hits:
* Guilty: "Jared Lee Loughner agreed Tuesday to spend the rest of his life in prison, accepting that he went on a deadly shooting rampage at an Arizona political gathering and sparing the victims a lengthy, possibly traumatic death-penalty trial."
* Syria: "As Syrian President Bashar Assad appeared on television for the first time in two weeks on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the high-profile defection of the Syrian prime minister increased the urgency of planning for the ouster of Assad's regime."
* Yeah, I'll admit it:I can't get enough Mars footage.
* Progress: "U.S. job openings rose to a four-year high in June, but a slowdown in hiring underscored recent weakness in the labor market that has been blamed on an uncertain economic outlook" (thanks to reader V.S.).
* Climate crisis: "The percentage of the earth's land surface covered by extreme heat in the summer has soared in recent decades, from less than 1 percent in the years before 1980 to as much as 13 percent in recent years, according to a new scientific paper."
* In some circles, this has been a major controversy: "Storied manufacturer Gibson Guitar Corp. will pay $350,000 and improve its import controls in exchange for the government deferring prosecution of environmental crimes, the Department of Justice announced Monday."
* Congressional Republicans won't care for this: "The White House announced Tuesday they were inviting contract proposals from green energy firms to boost the Army's use of renewable energy."
* If the election is all about the economy, then maybe we should take Greg Sargent's advice and compare the candidates' economic plans.
* WTO: "The United States has won an impressive string of victories against China at the World Trade Organization in the past few years but U.S. companies have seen only limited benefits, according to a review of the cases and interviews with analysts and officials familiar with them."
* And Rush Limbaugh today argued that Robin Hood "was a Tea Party activist." He didn't appear to be kidding.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.