Today’s edition of quick hits:
* All is not well in the world of global finance.
* Oddly enough, the day’s economic news didn’t start off all that badly, with the Labor Department announcing that initial unemployment claims ticked down a little to a seasonally adjusted 400,000.
* On a related note, while it seems ridiculous to point to good economic data today, I suppose it’s also worth noting that July retail sales were up
* Under “intense” pressure from the White House, it looks like Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will remain at his post through next year. Part of this is driven by the White House’s desire to avoid yet another confirmation fight in the dysfunctional Senate.
* I’ll look forward to hearing more about this: “Without disclosing details, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says she has a plan for dealing with the Republicans’ legislative hostage-taking strategy. In a meeting with a small group of reporters in her office Thursday morning, she said the dynamics of the debt limit fight — where Democrats were forced to accept deep cuts to government programs on the threat of default — will not happen again.”
* The Pentagon would not welcome the trigger: “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned lawmakers Thursday not to enact a ‘doomsday mechanism’ that would slash an additional $600 billion from the Pentagon budget, saying that such cuts would pose a severe threat to U.S. national security.”
* Plagued by scandals and mental health issues, Rep. David Wu (D) of Oregon officially resigned last night.
* Cool news from Mars: “Scientists announced Thursday that they had detected dozens of slopes across the southern hemisphere of the planet where previously undetected dark streaks come and go with the seasons. When the planet heats up, the streaks appear and expand downhill. When it gets cold, the streaks disappear.”
* New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has no use for the anti-Muslim “crazies” in his own party. Good for him.
* Checking in on the progress of Peter Thiel’s “20 Under 20” program, which invests in students to help them leave college and launch other projects.
* And finally, The Onion does it again: “After months of heated negotiations and failed attempts to achieve any kind of consensus, President Obama turned 50 years old Thursday, drawing strong criticism from Republicans in Congress…. According to White House officials, Obama attempted to work with Republicans right up until the Aug. 4 deadline, but was ultimately left with no choice except to turn a year older.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.