Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Afghanistan: “More than two dozen people were killed in a four insurgent attacks in southern Afghanistan that began late Wednesday and continued through Thursday afternoon, Afghan authorities said.”

* It’s becoming a habit: “The United States Navy has for a third time in as many weeks come to the rescue of distressed Iranian mariners in the Persian Gulf.”

* New tourism policies: “Brazilians and Chinese who want to visit the United States will have a much easier time under an executive order issued by President Obama on Thursday, and that’s fuel for the economy of Florida, where he traveled to get as much political mileage as possible from the change.”

* I wonder if congressional Republicans know (or care) about the role they played in killing the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

* A lot of the time, when someone argues, “President Obama really needs to x,” the truth is, Obama has already said it and the critic just didn’t notice.

* Ari Fleischer thinks we should feel sorry for the wealthy because they shoulder so much of the tax burden. Mark Thoma explains why that’s ridiculous.

* Do low taxes on capital gains spur growth? Not really.

* Dana Milbank had a good piece on yesterday’s debt-ceiling nonsense on the House floor: “Lawmakers went home for the holidays and got an earful from constituents about their juvenile behavior in Washington. So, in their first major act of 2012, House Republicans picked up exactly where they left off.”

* Officials in Florida are pushing for “market-based” college tuition. This might make more sense if the officials understood actual markets.

* When prominent conservative media figures are reduced to complaining about President Obama’s “lips” and “jowls,” it’s a reminder of just how pathetic the right’s criticisms can get.

* And Fox News’ Andrea Tantaros argued, on the air, that the Great Recession was a “good” thing for America’s children, because they’ve now been “humbled a little.” I don’t think she was kidding.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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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.