Today’s edition of quick hits:
* FEMA’s funds: “The federal government’s disaster relief fund has enough money to continue distributing storm aid through the end of the week — longer than originally estimated, and maybe just long enough to avoid another congressional spending showdown.”
* Europe: “Wedged between impatient financial markets and restive voters, European political leaders struggled Monday to formulate a bolder response to the sovereign debt crisis that might include expanding the firepower of the euro zone’s bailout fund. European officials said a plan was in the works that would enlarge the bailout fund’s borrowing power but not the amount of money that countries were contributing.”
* After 781 days of prison for Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer: “Two American hikers being held in an Iranian prison got a big surprise one day after their exercise routine: Instead of being blindfolded and led back to their cell, they suddenly heard the words, ‘Let’s go home.’”
* Not exactly inspiring confidence in the process: “Members of the deficit-reduction super committee have received a combined total of $41 million from the financial and real estate sectors during their time in Congress, according to a new report from Public Campaign and National People’s Action. The report also found that at least 27 current or former aides for members of the super committee have traveled through the revolving door between K Street and Capitol Hill and have lobbied on behalf of financial firms.”
* The legal arguments presented by opponents of the Affordable Care Act really are genuinely weak.
* Discrimination is illegal: “The Justice Department said late Friday that based on their preliminary investigation, a congressional redistricting map signed into law by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry appears to have been ‘adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to Congress.’”
* Russia: “Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, who transformed post-Soviet Russia by imposing Kremlin control over most aspects of public life, moved on Saturday to return to the presidency and could remain until 2024, giving him a rule comparable in length with that of Brezhnev or Stalin.”
* Saudi Arabia will not let women drive. It will, however, let women vote and run in municipal elections. Progress.
* Scandal in Wisconsin: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) spokesman, plus two supporters, have now been granted immunity in the ongoing campaign finance investigation of former aides to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), from Walker’s time as Milwaukee County Executive.”
* Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) finds another country he’s willing to invade.
* I thought “Affirmative Action Bake Sales” are so 10 years ago.
* And Fox News wants you to believe the Obama administration is waging a “war on salt,” which may restrict your ability to “eat salt in your own home.” As you might imagine, that’s not true.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.