FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Education is on the to-do list, too: “President Obama launched a competition Friday for $4.35 billion in federal education funds, urging states to ease restrictions on charter schools, link teacher pay to student achievement and adopt common national academic standards to be eligible for the money.”
* No big surprise, but Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah) and John Cornyn (Texas) have announced their opposition to Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination.
* From Nicaragua to Honduras: “Ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya walked under a border chain Friday and returned to his country nearly a month after being removed by a military-led coup.”
* Iran continues to crack down on Internet usage; and Iranians continue to look for ways around government interference.
* Hamas, seeking legitimacy, isn’t giving up on armed resistance, but it is talking up a “culture of resistance.”
* Effective today, the minimum wage goes from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour.
* California lawmakers have signed off on their budget deal.
* I’m starting to get the impression that Sen. John Ensign’s (R-Nev.) aides are worried about the future careers — so they’re running away from the disgraced senator.
* Worried about the implications of the delay in the health care reform fight? Nate Silver explains why waiting until after August isn’t necessarily disastrous.
* Does Rep. Heath Shuler, a conservative North Carolina Democrat, live with The Fellowship on C Street? It’s hard to say.
* I assume you’ve seen it, but “The Daily Show” did the definitive take-down the other day of the media (read: Dobbs) and the Birther nonsense.
* Delaying House business because of the “Boehner Beach Party” seems like a bad idea.
* Tweet of the Day: “Dear @ChuckGrassley: Next time, learn the facts about health reform: http://bit.ly/iL8Vn (Also, learn to spell ‘Pelosi’)”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.