Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Greece avoids default: “The Greek Parliament backed Prime Minster George Papandreou’s bitterly contested package of austerity measures on Wednesday, clearing the way for crucial international lending to stave off default over the summer. But thousands of Greeks took to the streets in protest, and some clashed violently with police officers, who responded with tear gas.”
* Understanding what transpired in yesterday’s attack in Kabul: “Eight suicide bombers managed to elude several rings of security and reach one of the capital’s premier hotels, which was busy with guests, many of whom had come from the provinces to the city for a conference on the transition of security responsibility to Afghan control.”
* Progress: “The Senate Wednesday voted 79-20 to approve legislation to streamline its confirmation process by reducing the number of positions requiring full Senate confirmation and requiring fewer nominees to go through a full confirmation procedure.”
* Surprising progress: “The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm three of President Obama’s senior Justice Department nominees, including James Cole, whose nomination to be deputy attorney general had been stalled for nearly a year…. The Senate also confirmed, on voice votes, Lisa Monaco to run the division that handles terrorism cases and Virginia Seitz to run the Office of Legal Counsel.”
* President Obama’s withdrawal policy in Afghanistan is quite popular with the American public.
* Even now, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) doesn’t seem to understand collective bargaining.
* Speaking of strange Wisconsin Republicans, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) had an idea yesterday to shut down the Senate. His temper tantrum was short-lived.
* This ought to be interesting: “Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said Wednesday afternoon that Democrats have reached an agreement on a budget plan and plan to unveil it as soon as next week.”
* Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) doesn’t understand the tubes: “Federal legislative proposals to help consumers to effectively stop companies from tracking them online without their knowledge might ‘break the internet,’ a key Republican senator working on the legislation said in a hearing on the issue on Wednesday.”
* Brookings argued it’s better to invest in a college education than to invest in stocks and bonds. That’s true, but the details are more complex than Brookings suggests.
* Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has a new idea to combat his chronic unpopularity: annoying robocalls to random constituents.
* And finally, 13 Senate Democrats, led by freshman Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), appeared together in an excellent contribution to the “It Gets Better” project. Good for them.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.