Today’s edition of quick hits:

* White House flexibility: “President Obama would consider a short-term measure aimed at raising the nation’s debt ceiling and avoiding a default by Aug. 2 if it were coupled with agreement on a ‘larger deal’ to reduce the deficit, his spokesman said Wednesday. The White House later clarified that Obama could accept a slight extension of the debt limit by ‘a few days’ to allow a long-term deficit-reduction and debt-ceiling deal to work its way through Congress.”

* Minnesota: “After a legislative session that dragged on late into the night, Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota signed on Wednesday new spending plans for the state, ending the longest and broadest shutdown in state history.”

* Murdoch media scandal: “Prime Minister David Cameron went before a loud and rowdy session of Parliament on Wednesday to offer a spirited defense of his record in Britain’s phone hacking scandal. For the first time, he seemed to distance himself from a former tabloid editor he had hired to work in 10 Downing Street.”

* Gallup found that the vast majority of Americans are concerned about economic growth and job creation, not deficit reduction. The disconnect between the Washington conversation and the public conversation is remarkable.

* Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) hates the Recovery Act. He loves, however, the projects the stimulus finances in his district, and has no qualms about showing up smiling at the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

* Hmm: “The Justice Department has called into question a key pillar of the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist accused of mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and terrorized Congress a decade ago.”

* The Republican war on voting continues: the League of Women Voters has been forced to abandon its voter registration program in Florida due entirely to new and unnecessary GOP restrictions.

* Taxpayers in Alabama are still forced to pay to support Confederate veterans, all of whom have been dead for many years.

* Justice in the Balkans: “The final major war crimes suspect wanted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal for crimes committed during the Balkan War has been arrested.”

* President Obama nominated yet another openly-gay federal judge today, his fourth. I’m beginning to think allegations that the president secretly hates gay people aren’t true.

* If the allegations are true, Aaron Swartz seems to have a pretty serious legal problem on his hands.

* Lawrence Summers isn’t known for his sense of humor, but he has a pretty amusing take on the Winklevoss twins.

* Eventually, more folks will realize that when pseudo-historian David Barton makes a dubious claim, it’s a safe bet that the claim is wrong.

* The Onion has another one of those it’s-funny-because-it’s-true pieces: “Members of the U.S. Congress reported Wednesday they were continuing to carefully debate the issue of whether or not they should allow the country to descend into a roiling economic meltdown of historically dire proportions.” We live in stupid times.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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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.