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

* A “stronger-than-expected increase in orders for manufactured goods in August” signaled encouraging economic news.

* The House probably won’t vote on tax cuts before the midterm elections, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hinted today that the schedule is far from final.

* Mahmoud Ahmadinejad argued yesterday that much of the world believes the U.S. government was responsible for 9/11. In an interview today, President Obama was not pleased: “It was offensive. It was hateful. And particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just a little north of ground zero, where families lost their loved ones — people of all faiths, all ethnicities, who see this as the seminal tragedy of this generation — for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable.”

* For those of us who eat food, the news from the Hill isn’t good: “Sen. Tom Coburn objected again Thursday to bringing up a sweeping overhaul of food safety regulations, putting the future of the bill in doubt as the 111th Congress enters its final months.”

* The Justice Department feels compelled to defend the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law in court, but the White House went out of its way to make clear that “the legal maneuver was a formality, not an indication of presidential policy.” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs even issued a statement: “This filing in no way diminishes the president’s firm commitment to achieve a legislative repeal of D.A.D.T. — indeed, it clearly shows why Congress must act to end this misguided policy.”

* On a related note, when the DADT policy ends, Harvard will reinstate its ROTC program on campus.

* In media news, Jonathan Klein is leaving CNN, and Jeff Zucker is leaving NBC Universal.

* Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was asked today to identify some government program congressional Republicans would cut if they were in the majority. He couldn’t name anything.

* Does Fox News’ lawsuit against Senate candidate Robin Carnahan (D-Mo.) have merit? No, actually, it doesn’t.

* If “Young Guns” is going to be a best seller, folks probably should check the comprehensive fact-check of the book.

* The New York Times reports on Americans for Job Security really being a front for political operatives funneling corporate money for electoral ends. Of course, Washington Monthly readers learned all about this in our magazine six years ago.

* The Tea Party crowd thinks it embodies the traditions of the Founding Fathers. That’s absurd.

* In case you missed it, Stephen Colbert testified — mostly, but not entirely, in character — before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law this morning, speaking at a hearing on “Protecting America’s Harvest.” It was pretty amusing, but Fox News and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) really didn’t think so.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen

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.