Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Overdue: “The SEC charged six former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with securities fraud Friday, saying they misled the public about the companies’ exposure to subprime loans during the onset of the mortgage meltdown.”
* The House passed the omnibus spending bill to keep the government open through September, 296 to 121. The vote included a stop-gap that will let the Senate vote tomorrow. The payroll deal, if there is a payroll deal, would come sometime next week.
* Hopeless? “The credit rating agency Fitch said on Friday it thought a comprehensive solution to the euro zone’s debt crisis was beyond reach, putting six euro zone economies including Italy on watch for potential near-term downgrades.”
* This seems like a pretty big deal: “The Obama administration will propose new regulations on Thursday to give the nation’s roughly two million home-care workers minimum wage and overtime protections after those workers had long been exempted from coverage, according to a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
* We’ve tried reducing health care costs through competition between plans. It’s never had the desired effect.
* The result of a three-year investigation: “In a strongly worded critique of the country’s best-known sheriff, the Justice Department on Thursday accused Sheriff Joe Arpaio of engaging in ‘unconstitutional policing’ by unfairly targeting Latinos for detention and arrest and retaliating against those who complain.” Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has had “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” that “reaches the highest levels of the agency.”
* For the record, I think Jake Tapper got screwed by his network: “After a year and a half in the anchor’s seat, Christiane Amanpour will leave ABC’s This Week, the Sunday political affairs show, she said in a statement on Tuesday. She will be replaced by her predecessor, George Stephanopoulos, according to a network spokesman.”
* It’s good to see former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) end up at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, where I’m sure he’ll do great work.
* There’s nothing wrong with colleges trying to improve graduation rates, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do achieve this goal.
* Earlier in the week, Republican media complained that President Obama is celebrating Christmas too much. Now, Republican media believes President Obama is praising U.S. troops too much. I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand how the right thinks.
* The Hitch passes: “Christopher Hitchens, a slashing polemicist in the tradition of Thomas Paine and George Orwell who trained his sights on targets as various as Henry Kissinger, the British monarchy and Mother Teresa, wrote a best-seller attacking religious belief, and dismayed his former comrades on the left by enthusiastically supporting the American-led war in Iraq, died Thursday at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He was 62.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.