Today’s edition of quick hits:
* European accord reached overnight: “European leaders, in a significant step toward resolving the euro zone financial crisis, early Thursday morning obtained an agreement from banks to take a 50 percent loss on the face value of their Greek debt. The agreement on Greek debt was crucial to assembling a comprehensive package to protect the euro, which has been keeping jittery markets on edge.”
* Relevant detail: “The deal does not, and was not intended to, have any effect on the core problems facing the eurozone. There is still an urgent need to restore growth to economies which are hamstrung by uncompetitive business sectors, and continuous fiscal tightening. Recession still looms, especially in the southern economies.”
* Sarah Kliff walks readers through EuroDeal 101: “Five basics of the new agreement.”
* Slowly inching lower: “The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dipped slightly last week, though not by enough to suggest that hiring is picking up. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits declined 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the fourth drop in six weeks.”
* Tuesday night’s clash between Oakland police and Occupy protestors put Scott Olsen in the hospital in critical condition. Olsen, a Marine who completed two tours in Iraq, was hit in the head with a police projectile.
* Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is switching gears, expressing support for the Occupy movement, and vowing to minimize police presence going forward.
* Good Medicare news: “Medicare’s basic monthly premium will rise significantly less than expected next year, the government announced Thursday. That could pay political dividends for President Barack Obama and for Democrats struggling to win over seniors in a close election.”
* Dahlia Lithwick: “One of the best things about Occupy Wall Street is the way it confuses and ignores the shrill pundit class.”
* If you haven’t read Jon Chait’s takedown of Paul Ryan, it’s well worth checking out.
* On a related note, has Paul Ryan met Paul Ryan?
* It strikes me as odd that PolitiFact would fact-check homemade signs held by random, anonymous citizens.
* Russia Today’s Alyona Minkovski has a few choice words for Politico‘s Ben Smith.
* Scott Lemieux is right, conservatives really do need to stop whining about Robert Bork.
* Adding more security to the SATs seems like a bad move.
* And Greg Sargent’s 10-year-old son offers more astute — and more accurate — political analysis in one drawing than Fox News offers in a year.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.