Today’s edition of quick hits:
* As of eight minutes ago, tonight’s vote on House Speaker John Boehner’s budget plan has been “postponed.” The leadership assumed it would have the votes by now. It doesn’t.
* Some encouraging economic news: “New claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, dropping below the key 400,000 level for the first time since early April, according to a government report on Thursday that pointed to some labor market improvement.”
* Boehner’s crying again.
* The Speaker can’t be pleased that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops hates his plan.
* James Fallows lists the five reasons House Republicans really are to blame for the debt-ceiling crisis.
* More on this from Joe Klein: “[H]ere we are. Our nation’s economy and international reputation as the world’s presiding grownup has already been badly damaged. It is a self-inflicted wound of monumental stupidity. I am usually willing to acknowledge that Democrats can be as silly, and hidebound, as Republicans — but not this time. There is zero equivalence here.”
* The FAA shutdown: “What has happened to the Federal Aviation Administration in the last few days should remind everyone of the costs of the Republicans’ obstructionism and their slash-and-burn budget games.”
* Terror plot: “An Army soldier who had been granted conscientious objector status because of his Muslim faith purchased bombmaking materials and planned to attack military personnel outside Fort Hood, Tex., the same base where 13 people were killed by an Army major in a 2009 shooting , authorities said Thursday.”
* Remember that labor dispute at an Ikea furniture factory in Virginia? It’s ended well: workers voted overwhelmingly yesterday to form a union. It’s a big win for labor.
* Sharp piece from Paul Glastris on why President Clinton supports the “Constitutional Option” as a resolution to the Republicans’ debt-ceiling crisis.
* This hardly seems like an unreasonable assessment: “A top Russian official [yesterday] called Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) ‘radicals’ and ‘monsters of the Cold War’ and warned that the U.S.-Russia relationship would collapse if Republicans came to power.”
* It can’t be good when Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) gets ideas on education policy from Texas Gov. Rick
Scott Perry (R).
* Disasters happen, and with Republicans having at least some power, they’re likely to keep happening: “Call it Angell’s Fallacy: ‘X won’t happen because X would be insane.’ But these things do happen!”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.