Friday’s Mini-Report


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* As promised, President Obama took his fiscal message on the road today, delivering a speech at a toy factory in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia. He described the Republican plan to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage “a Scrooge Christmas.”

* Israel’s retaliation: “As the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to upgrade the Palestinians’ status Thursday night, Israel took steps toward building housing in a controversial area of East Jerusalem known as E1, where Jewish settlements have long been seen as the death knell for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

* A new study documents the extent to which ice in Antarctica and Greenland is melting into the sea – and speeding up – intensifying the climate crisis.

* Indefinite detention: “The Senate voted late on Thursday to prohibit the government from imprisoning American citizens and green card holders apprehended in the United States in indefinite detention without trial.”

* Keep a close eye on this one: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday announced Democrats would circulate a discharge petition to force a House vote to extend current tax rates only on annual household income below $250,000.”

* Susan Rice’s GOP detractors lose another talking point: “Republicans aimed criticism at U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice Thursday for having modest stakes in companies that did business with Iran…. Senator John McCain maintains investments in two of the same companies – ENI and Royal Dutch Shell –through funds revealed in his financial disclosures.”

* The U.S. Chamber of Commerce makes the transition from an 800-pound gorilla before the elections, to “a wounded 500-pound gorilla” now.

* And though Congress will probably never go for it, transitioning from paper $1 bills to $1 coins would save the country about $4.4 billion over the next three decades.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report