Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Europe: “The interest rates on Spanish and Italian bonds plummeted Monday, and European bank shares soared, as the European Central Bank expanded its purchases of government debt to support Madrid and Rome for the first time.”
* Under intense pressure from the White House, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has agreed to stay at his post for a while, ending speculation about his immediate plans.
* Diplomatic pressure on Syria: “Joining a chorus of global condemnation, three oil-rich Arab countries on Monday recalled their ambassadors to the Syrian capital Damascus in protest of President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal crackdown on demonstrations, as the Syrian military and security forces pressed ahead with their assault on the most restive locales.”
* It’s possible many of the leading officials at Standard & Poor’s weren’t blessed with an overabundance of intelligence.
* BoA isn’t having a good year: “Bank of America Corp was sued by American International Group Inc for more than $10 billion over an alleged ‘massive fraud’ on mortgage debt, causing the bank’s shares to tumble 22.8 percent amid worries it cannot manage a deepening litigation morass.”
* About 45,000 Verizon employees have gone on strike.
* A striking scene in London: “The rioting and looting that convulsed poorer parts of London over the weekend spread Monday to at least four new parts of the metropolitan area and broke out for the first time in another big city, in what appeared to be the worst outbreak of social unrest in Britain in 25 years.”
* The Obama administration will override some of the less-sensible measures of Bush’s No Child Left Behind law, giving states waivers on the law’s proficiency requirements.
* Fascinating item from Matt Yglesias: “[T]here’s precious little evidence that FDR’s recovery policies were any more effective than Obama’s were.”
* I feel like I’ve seen this headline a few too many times for far too long: “As Corporate Profits Rise, Workers’ Income Declines.”
* Did you catch Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) Christian prayer rally on Saturday? The fine folks at Right Wing Watch tuned in to every last detail so we wouldn’t have to.
* Al Gore is certainly justified getting pissed off by the climate denial machine.
* A new “Cosmos” series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson? I’ll actually look forward to that.
* Is going to college a good investment? Yes. But given costs and debt, the degree is worth less than it used to be.
* The founder of Tea Party Nation said liberalism is responsible for killing “a billion people in the last century.” Wow.
* And former Sen. Mark Hatfield of Oregon died over the weekend at the age of 89. He was the last great Republican senator, and he is missed.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.