Today’s edition of quick hits:
* A deal by Aug. 2 will be too late: “The White House believes it must strike a budget deal with Congress by July 22 to avoid a risk of defaulting on the national debt, Democratic officials briefed on the negotiations said Thursday, as Senate leaders canceled a recess next week to try to break the deadlock with Republicans.”
* A factory report offers a pleasant surprise: “The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose to 55.3 points in June from 53.5 the previous month. The June increase, the first upturn in four months, surprised economists who had been expecting a further decline.”
* Dominique Strauss-Kahn freed on his own recognizance: “Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest on Friday as the sexual assault case against him moved one step closer to dismissal after prosecutors told a Manhattan judge that they had serious problems with the case.”
* Conservatives are having a very rough week at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals: “A divided federal appeals court has struck down Michigan’s ban on consideration of race and gender in college admissions…. The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday concluded in a 2-1 ruling that the voter-approved ban on ‘preferential treatment’ at state colleges and universities was unconstitutional, and ‘alters Michigan’s political structure by impermissibly burdening racial minorities.’”
* The Senate is apparently only capable of doing work Republicans can tolerate: “Ryan Crocker was confirmed by the Senate as the new ambassador to Afghanistan. Crocker was unanimously confirmed to the position on Thursday. He succeeds Karl Eikenberry, who reportedly kept strained relations with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.”
* Quite a story: “After 10 years of incarceration, and seven years after a jury sentenced him to die, 30-year-old Cory Maye will soon be going home. Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell signed a plea agreement Friday morning in which Maye pled guilty to manslaughter for the 2001 death of Prentiss, Mississippi, police officer Ron Jones, Jr.”
* I’m beginning to wonder if Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is even safe to be around. Yesterday, he lost his cool during an interview and grabbed a microphone out of a reporter’s hand. He was being asked about violence towards a colleague at the time.
* Michele Bachmann would like to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency. The American mainstream strongly disagrees.
* The Zadroga 9/11 Health Law goes into effect today. It’s about damn time.
* Sign of the times: Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship Program has found that its future isn’t bright at all.
* Dear Heritage Foundation, everyone makes mistakes on occasion, but refusing to acknowledge or correct obvious errors isn’t exactly the mark of a good “think” tank.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.