Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Libya: “Rebel fighters overwhelmed Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s sprawling compound on Tuesday, crashing through its outer gates, running pell-mell through the grounds and ransacking caches of weapons abandoned by his shrinking retinue of defenders. Colonel Qaddafi and his family were nowhere to be found.”

* Housing market: “The number of people who bought new homes fell for the fourth straight month. Sales this year are on track to finish as the worst on records dating back half a century.”

* Watching Irene: “Since yesterday, Hurricane Irene has grown to a Category 2 hurricane, and presently contains maximum sustained winds of 100 mph…. Marching west-northwestward at 12 mph, the storm is very likely to intensify into a major hurricane (category 3 or higher) and head towards the U.S. East Coast, but the exact track and specific impacts remain fuzzy.”

* Regulatory overhaul: “The White House on Tuesday unveiled plans to loosen the regulatory burden for American companies, announcing cuts in regulations that administration officials said would save more than $10 billion over five years.”

* House Republicans immediately said the regulatory overhaul isn’t good enough for them.

* Maybe now S&P can get its act together: “The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said late on Monday that its president, Deven Sharma, who has become the public face of the firm in the wake of its historic downgrade on the United States’ long-term debt rating, will step down and leave the company by the end of the year.”

* The Jamie Leigh Jones case: “Military contractor KBR is trying to get a woman who said she was raped while working for them in Iraq to pay them $2 million to cover their court fees, claiming her $145 million lawsuit against them was frivolous and fabricated.”

* The American Sociological Association identified the four primary characteristics most associated with those Americans sympathetic to the Tea Party: “Authoritarianism, ontological insecurity (fear of change), libertarianism and nativism.” Try not to be surprised.

* Dear Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas): when lawmakers schedule congressional hearings for the sole purpose of trying to “embarrass the president,” they’re not supposed to admit it out loud.

* Sharpton’s slot: “Al Sharpton has been officially named the host of the 6 PM hour on MSNBC. The network announced Tuesday that Sharpton will host ‘PoliticsNation’ on weeknights starting August 29.”

* The difference between the RNC and the Fox Nation website is practically non-existent.

* And apparently some on the right want us to be troubled by the fact that President Obama reads novels during his vacation. Conservatives sure do pick strange things to complain about.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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.