Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Maybe now would be a good time for congressional debate: “President Obama has authorized the deployment of up to 1,500 additional troops to help train, advise and assist Iraqi government and Kurdish peshmerga forces in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon announced Friday. Deploying all 1,500 troops would nearly double the total U.S. military presence in Iraq.”
* Quite a disclosure: “More than 600 American service members since 2003 have reported to military medical staff members that they believe they were exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq, but the Pentagon failed to recognize the scope of the reported cases or offer adequate tracking and treatment to those who may have been injured, defense officials say.”
* Missouri: “A federal judge on Friday declared Missouri’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages unconstitutional, echoing a state court’s conclusion earlier this week.”
* Hard not to be pessimistic: “President Obama is holding a lunch meeting with the newly empowered Republican leadership of Congress as the two sides, faced with the prospect of even worse partisan gridlock in the capital, seek areas of possible compromise.”
* More on this on tonight’s show: “Christopher B. Epps, a former state corrections commissioner in Mississippi, was arraigned in federal court on Thursday on charges of participating in a corruption scheme in which he received nearly a million dollars from a contractor who paid off Mr. Epps’s home mortgage and helped him buy a beach condominium.”
* Lame-duck session: “Before ceding full control of Congress to the GOP in January, Senate Democrats are planning to rush a host of critical measures to President Obama’s desk, including bills to revive dozens of expired tax breaks and avoid a government shutdown for another year.”
* “My committee is a desert island if not for a press that will look at something fairly, scrutinize it, but if they see a there, there, report it,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said. “When an administration says ‘no,’ it’s no different than when Andrew Jackson marched Indians down the Trail of Tears, to their death.” I have no idea what he’s even trying to say.
* Detroit: “The largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is ending. Federal Judge Steven Rhodes on Friday confirmed Detroit’s plan to emerge from Chapter 9 bankruptcy, allowing the city to crawl out from under a $7 billion mountain of debt and setting it on a course to try to revive its financial fortunes.”
* Ferguson: “[F]ew are expecting peace as this St. Louis suburb prepares for a grand jury decision, expected in the next few weeks, on whether to indict the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in August, inciting months of protests and putting Ferguson at the center of a national debate over the police and race.”
* This might be funny if it weren’t so sad: “Former Florida congressman Allen West has been named CEO of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, which was founded in 1983 to develop private, free-market alternatives to reforming everything from healthcare to pensions to education.”
* Peggy Noonan has been reduced to writing columns about her analysis of the president’s smiles. I’m starting to worry about her.
* Read Krugman today: “[I]t’s not often that a party that is so wrong about so much does as well as Republicans did on Tuesday.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.