Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Apparent hate crimes in NYC: “A wave of arson attacks spread across eastern Queens on Sunday night, and the police said the firebombings were being investigated as bias crimes — with Muslims as the targets. No one was hurt in the four attacks, in which homemade firebombs were apparently used. In three of the four attacks, the police said, Molotov cocktails were made with Starbucks bottles. “
* That ought to be interesting: “President Obama will fly to Cleveland hours after the Iowa caucuses for an address on the economy, the White House announced Monday. Obama will travel to the Ohio city aboard Air Force One on Wednesday and will deliver remarks on the economy at Shaker Heights High School. His remarks will come shortly after Hawkeye State voters kick off the 2012 presidential nominating race.”
* Austerity doesn’t work: “Europe’s leaders braced their nations for a turbulent year, with their beleaguered economies facing a threat on two fronts: widening deficits that force more borrowing but increasing austerity measures that put growth further out of reach.”
* Good riddance: “A federal tax credit for ethanol expired on Saturday, ending an era in which the federal government provided more than $20 billion in subsidies for use of the product.”
* Adam Serwer has a helpful, detailed look at the signing statement President Obama issued with the NDAA.
* The White House will give congressional Republicans a chance to pound their chests for no particular reason: “President Obama agreed on Friday to delay a request to Congress to expand the government’s borrowing authority by $1.2 trillion, allowing lawmakers time to return from recess and register their views on it.”
* Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has heard the talk about Justices Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan needing to recuse themselves from the ACA case, but he’s not buying it.
* Matt Yglesias makes a compelling case that the economy is going to improve quite a bit in 2012. Here’s hoping Matt’s right.
* Nintendo, Electronic Arts, and Sony Electronics had all endorsed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). All three have since changed their minds.
* It’s hard to overstate how tiresome Artur Davis is.
* I wish the right could understand this: “[Y]es, debt matters. But right now, other things matter more. We need more, not less, government spending to get us out of our unemployment trap. And the wrongheaded, ill-informed obsession with debt is standing in the way.”
* I wish the right understood this, too: “[V]ery few who criticize the top one percent want them to stop existing…. We want them to face somewhat tighter regulations and substantially higher taxes. If you want Wall Street to contribute to ‘the public purse,’ you belong on the side of Elizabeth Warren, not Donald Trump.”
* Rick Perry supports the Keystone XL pipeline, though he may not fully understand that Canada is a foreign country: “Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil that we don’t have to buy from a foreign source.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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