Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Europe: “Analysts said investors were encouraged by a ruling by the German Constitutional Court that rejected challenges that aimed to block German participation in bailouts for other countries in the euro area. Still, the court said future financial rescues must be approved by Parliament’s budget committee.”

* Daniel Gross sees some domestic silver linings: “Data on retail sales and car sales for August, as I noted, were positive. The ISM manufacturing report, released on September 1, indicated that the goods sector of the economy was still expanding in August, although new orders slowed. The ISM services report, released yesterday, showed the vast services sector gained strength in August, with new orders rising.”

* The Fed: “The Federal Reserve is moving toward new steps aimed at lowering interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of long-term loans, without making another massive infusion of money into the economy.”

* In retrospect, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) decision to cut fire-department funding by 75%, and forest-service funding by a third, probably wasn’t the best of ideas.

* You know really wasn’t impressed with the Obama White House’s decision on ozone standards? Al Gore.

* It’s almost hard to believe, but the Senate actually managed to confirm an appeals court nominee. It was the first such confirmation in nearly four months.

* Josh Nelson takes a look at the energy section of Mitt Romney’s economic agenda. He finds a few too many factual errors and inconsistencies.

* After its treasurer was busted on fraud charges, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party — the biggest county party in the United States — has no idea how much money it has in the bank.

* Troy Davis, whose murder conviction has been the subject of intense national debate, is now set to be executed in Georgia later this month. There are many questions raising doubts about his guilt.

* I’d never heard of a public college conducting drugs tests on all of its students, but that’s what Linn State Technical College in Missouri is up to.

* And as you’ve probably heard, there will be a debate tonight featuring all of the Republican presidential candidates. I’m afraid I won’t be live-blogging the event, but I’ll have coverage in the morning.

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.