Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Plenty of drama in London: “In a grueling afternoon of testimony before lawmakers, Rupert Murdoch and some of the most senior figures in his family’s media empire apologized profusely on Tuesday for the phone hacking scandal that has convulsed British public life, even as they insisted they had not ordered or tried to cover up illegal newsgathering practices at their newspapers and were not directly to blame.”
* The Big Dog may be onto something: “Former President Bill Clinton would invoke the 14th Amendment — ‘without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me,’ he says — to raise the debt ceiling if he were in President Barack Obama’s shoes.” He also told Joe Conason, “I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy.”
* The Affordable Care Act will get more popular thanks to advances like these: “Virtually all health insurance plans could soon be required to offer female patients free coverage of prescription birth control, breast-pump rentals, counseling for domestic violence, and annual wellness exams and HIV tests as a result of recommendations released Tuesday by an independent advisory panel of health experts.”
* As if the first two weren’t enough, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) is scheduling a third round of hearings on the alleged radicalization of Muslim Americans. This next round should at least be more substantive, and focus on al-Shabaab’s recruitment efforts.
* The RNC is trying to make some wild accusation about White House fundraising. How bad it is? An ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush’s White House called the allegations “an embarrassment to the Republican Party, of which I count myself a part.” Ouch.
* There are real and important similarities between the fights over the debt ceiling and the war in Iraq. Paul Glastris explains.
* I’d find House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) less grating if he didn’t play the politics of resentment in such a petty, whiny way.
* It sounds like a bad movie, but it’s real: “The bizarre story about the drug ring run out of a student’s dorm room at Columbia University is apparently now over.”
* A new O’Keefe video? Whatever.
* My favorite paragraph of the day: “…Democrats are clearly baffled by the challenge of persuading opponents who not only have a different set of priorities, but a different set of facts. ‘There’s a question about how much the facts matter to them,’ says a Democratic official. ‘And I don’t know what to do about that.’”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.