Friday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Terror threat: “Federal and local officials tightened security Friday in New York and Washington as investigators probed a possible al-Qaeda plot to detonate a vehicle-borne bomb around Sunday’s 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. After U.S. officials received word of what they called a credible but unconfirmed threat to use a car bomb in New York or Washington, police and other law enforcement agents in the two cities stepped up checks of bridges, tunnels, airports, bus and rail terminals and other sites.”

* Europe: “Stocks tumbled more than 2 percent on Friday after the top German official at the European Central Bank resigned in protest of the bank’s bond-buying program, which has been a major tool in fighting the region’s debt crisis.”

* Libya: “Libyan rebels attacked the loyalist holdouts of Bani Walid and Surt on Friday night, a day before their own deadline for the surrender of those cities took effect.”

* Disaster aid: “Revising its numbers higher, the White House asked Congress on Friday for an additional $5.1 billion in disaster aid over the next 13 months beyond President Barack Obama’s earlier budget requests. The immediate impetus is the damage wrought by Hurricane Irene along the East Coast, but the cash problems of the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been building for months given the spate of devastating tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest and South this year.”

* Labor: “AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka hasn’t been shy in recent weeks about speaking out against President Obama’s willingness to compromise with Republicans … but last night he seemed elated over Obama’s jobs plan and his pledge to ‘go to the mat’ for workers.”

* Quietly increasing the debt limit: “In a 45 to 52 vote on Thursday night, the Senate failed to advance a resolution that would have disapproved of a pending $500 billion increase in the nation’s debt ceiling.”

* Congress manages to pass a bill: “Congress on Thursday passed legislation that will reform the U.S. patent system for the first time since the Truman administration. In an 89-9 vote, the Senate overwhelmingly agreed to accept the bill, dubbed the America Invents Act. It passed through the House in March with a similarly lopsided 304-117 vote.”

* Support for community colleges is very much a part of the White House’s economic plan.

* And yes, it’s hard not to like sweet pictures of the president and kids.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

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.