Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Eurozone: “Standard & Poor’s Corp. on Friday stripped France of its sterling credit rating, cut Portugal’s credit to junk status and downgraded Italy’s debt by two steps in a wide-ranging action revision of European countries caught in the euro crisis. The actions, which lowered the ratings of nine countries, were the strongest signal yet that Europe’s sovereign debt woes were far from over.”
* Marines’ video scandal: “U.S. military officials said Friday they have questioned four Marines who were videotaped while urinating on Afghan corpses but that a criminal investigation was still at an early stage.”
* Reality check: unexpected drop in consumer spending coincided with “meager” retail sales, which dropped 0.2% excluding motor vehicles.
* Burmese diplomacy: “The United States restored full diplomatic relations with Myanmar on Friday, hours after the new civilian government took a major step in its rapid campaign of political and economic changes, releasing many of its most prominent political prisoners.”
* Trustmark Insurance is seeking significant rate increases for health care coverage. The Obama administration has deemed the increases unreasonable, and HHS has “ordered the insurer to rescind them or justify its refusal to do so.”
* It was widely assumed that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would file suit to challenge President Obama’s CFPB recess appointment. Now, that’s less clear: “After doggedly opposing the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010, then fighting all last year to change its composition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce softened its stance Thursday.”
* In the least surprising poll result in a long while, Gallup has discovered that wealthy people are primarily concerned with deficit reduction, while lower-income Americans are principally concerned with job creation. As it turns out, the political establishment and media seem more in line with the former than the latter.
* If Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2013, health care premiums could rise by 25%, according to a study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
* SOPA opponents win a round: “In a move the technology sector will surely see as a victory, a controversial antipiracy bill being debated in Congress will no longer include a provision that would require ISPs to block access to overseas Web sites accused of piracy.”
* Here’s a tip for politicians: if you have a degree in home economics, don’t tell people you have “earned a degree in Economics.”
* And if CNN does not yet realize what a foolish mistake it made hiring Dana Loesch as an on-air political contributor, the network just isn’t paying close enough attention.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.