FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Once more, back to the table: “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Friday that Israel and the Palestinians would resume direct negotiations in Washington on Sept. 2, awakening hopes for the Middle East peace process but leaving many key questions unanswered. Mrs. Clinton said that she hoped an agreement could be reached within a year and that the negotiations would cover all the so-called ‘final status’ issues.”

* Four new White House recess appointments: “Maria del Carmen Aponte to chief of mission for the Republic of El Salvador; Elisabeth Hagen to undersecretary for food safety at the Department of Agriculture; Winslow Sargeant to chief counsel of advocacy for the Small Business Administration; and Richard Sorian to assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.” None is considered especially controversial

* I’m glad to see the Chamber of Commerce back off its ridiculous blog post about the gender pay gap. The Chamber’s COO David Chavern called his own blog’s piece “simplistic and misguided,” adding that it was built on “an argument from the 1960’s.”

* Charles Krauthammer should know that when he picks a fight with Greg Sargent, Greg is going to make him look bad.

* It’s probably an inconvenient time to mention it, but the World Trade Center was a work of Islamic architecture.

* Some of the common perceptions about Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s background aren’t true.

* The significance of Viktor Bout being extradited to the U.S.

* When bad schemes go awry: “It seemed like a brilliant idea: provide a way for tea party-conscious consumers and tea party-sympathetic businesses to join forces and, well, support their local tea party. It ended in disaster, hurt feelings and more than a few accusations of flim-flammery.”

* If the company had it to do over again, I suspect Target wouldn’t be foolish enough to get involved in Minnesota’s gubernatorial race.

* I do enjoy it when Adam Serwer uses video games to make broader political observations.

* It’s a whole lot easier for students to pay their own way through college when tuition isn’t excessively, crushingly expensive.

* Bill O’Reilly told Glenn Beck he’ll give Beck his timeslot if more than 100,000 people show up for next week’s right-wing rally in D.C. Bad idea: “It doesn’t really matter how many people show up for Beck’s rally. If 10,000 people turn out, he’ll say there were a quarter of a million people in attendance. If 100,000 people do actually show up, he’ll say there were nearly a billion people there. And Fox News will have his back, breathlessly inflating the turn out estimates, all evidence to the contrary be damned.”

* And selective outrage about the “N-word” is never a good idea.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.