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Friday's Mini-Report

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Where's Isaac? Just South of the Dominican Republic, headed west towards the Gulf.

* Shootings in Chicago: "Nineteen people were wounded in at least seven shootings within eight hours overnight Thursday in Chicago, police said."

* Shootings in Mexico City: "The Mexican Navy says federal police shot at a vehicle carrying two U.S. government employees after the vehicle came under attack from unidentified gunmen."

* Shootings in New York: "A clothing designer who had been fired from a Midtown Manhattan company shot and killed a former co-worker in the shadow of the Empire State Building on Friday morning and was then killed by the police, in a hail of gunfire in which nine bystanders were hurt, the authorities said."

* Rush Limbaugh blamed the shooting on President Obama's rhetoric. No one ever accused Limbaugh of being the sharpest crayon in the box.

* Pakistan: "U.S. drones fired missiles at three hideouts in a key militant sanctuary close to the Afghan border Friday, killing 18 suspected insurgents in the latest of a series of strikes conducted this week despite protests from Islamabad, Pakistani intelligence officials said."

* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke wrote a letter to a House Republican this week, saying "he thinks the Fed can do more to bolster the economic recovery and help reduce unemployment." I wish he would.

* U.S dependence on foreign oil has dropped to its lowest level in nearly two decades.

* As Niall Ferguson continues to defend the demonstrable falsehoods he published in his Newsweek cover story, Matthew O'Brien once again sets the record straight, and connects Ferguson's errors of fact and judgment to "the post-fact world."

* Adam Serwer has a beautiful piece on why Mitt Romney's birther "joke" wasn't funny. The Obama campaign's Ben LaBolt added, "Romney's decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.