Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Italy: “Cornered by the European debt crisis, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy offered a conditional resignation on Tuesday, agreeing to step down but only after Parliament passes an austerity package demanded by the European Union, a move that could bring the country closer to early elections.”

* Greece: Lucas Papademos, a respected economist, seemed on the verge Tuesday night of being named Greece’s next prime minister, Greek news outlets reported, but party leaders were still engaged in a bitter and drawn-out fight over the make-up of his cabinet.

* More encouraging news back in the U.S.: “Job openings at U.S. workplaces rose to 3.35 million in September — the highest level since August 2008 — from 3.13 million in August, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. Overall job openings rose 22% from the prior year, with private openings up 23% to 2.99 million.”

* More moves as part of the “We Can’t Wait” campaign: “President Obama renewed his campaign on Monday for measures to help veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan break into the work force, amid signs that the Senate was moving toward passing a provision of the president’s jobs bill that would give companies a tax incentive to hire returning veterans.”

* White House also eyes Head Start reforms: “Declaring that investments in early education are critical to the future competitiveness of the United States, Mr. Obama said that the government would, for the first time, require Head Start programs to meet certain standards to qualify for renewal of federal grants.”

* Combating AIDS: “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday called on the world to create the first ‘AIDS-free generation’ by using antiviral drugs, condoms, circumcision and other approaches to stem the spread of HIV. In a highly promoted speech at the National Institutes of Health, Clinton said scientific advances led by the United States have provided the tools to minimize the spread of the deadly virus.”

* Pipeline review: “The State Department’s inspector general said Monday that he will conduct a special review of the department’s analysis of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.”

* Last week, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) signed a letter demanding the super-committee not raise taxes. This week, Coburn said the letter is “meaningless.”

* Republicans would have us believe federal workers are paid more than their private-sector counterparts. That’s backwards.

* Love him or hate him, President Obama seems really good at interacting with kids.

* Daniel Luzer takes a closer look at bankruptcy reform and the potential benefits for those with student-loan debts.

* Rob Tornoe on playing the race card from both sides of the deck.

* And National Journal‘s Beth Reinhard talked to a voter in South Carolina today who said she wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney “because he’s a Muslim.” Ain’t democracy grand?

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.