Today’s edition of quick hits:

* A five-hour siege in Kabul: “In the most direct assault since the American Embassy opened here nine years ago, heavily armed insurgents wearing suicide vests put the embassy and the nearby NATO headquarters in their cross hairs, showing the Taliban’s ability to enter even the most heavily fortified districts in the country.”

* Europe: “In the face of heightened market pressure to resolve the Greek debt crisis, the president of France and the chancellor of Germany will hold a video conference call Wednesday evening with the Greek prime minister, George A. Papandreou, officials announced Tuesday, with the prospect of a further restructuring of Greek debt hovering in the air.”

* Iran: “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he intends to release two Americans who have been jailed on charges of espionage for two years and grant them a ‘unilateral pardon.’”

* Senate Republicans blocked an effort yesterday to approve a $7 billion aid package for victims of recent natural disasters. Senate Democrats will try again today.

* Shoshana Hebshi is an American citizen, with a Saudi father and a Jewish mother. She’s a wife and a mother, and lives in the American heartland. How she was treated on a flight over the weekend is a national disgrace.

* FAA: “After an ugly shutdown that furloughed thousands of employees in July, the Federal Aviation Administration should win quick approval of a deal in the House Tuesday to keep the agency running.”

* Think the American Jobs Act is too moderate? The Congressional Progressive Caucus has a plan for you.

* At this point, it doesn’t much matter, a Bush-appointed district court judge in Pennsylvania rejected the Affordable Care Act’s health care mandate today.

* It’s entirely fair to ask why CNN co-sponsored a debate for presidential candidates with a right-wing political action committee.

* Obama for America launched today. Interesting site. Remember “Fight the Smears”? The new site is like the old effort, only this one will likely be better.

* Such a no-brainer: “The jobs package President Obama sent to Congress on Monday includes a ban on hiring discrimination against the jobless.”

* It’s a credible accusation: “A liberal advocacy group is filing an ethics complaint against Rep. Darrell Issa, alleging that the California Republican has repeatedly used his public office for personal gain.”

* Drop-out prevention among students is entirely worthwhile, but if it’s going to be done, it ought to be done right.

* Did Fox News’ Steve Doocy really mock the American Jobs Act over the binder clip that held it together at a White House press event yesterday? Yes, as a matter of fact he did.

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.