Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Iraq: “An American is among eight people wounded when a car bomb exploded outside the U.S. Consulate in the Iraqi city of Erbil, a State Department official and Kurdish medical official said. Two people were killed in the blast.”
* Republican judges, Republican lawsuit: ‘The Obama administration faced stiff odds Friday in swaying a conservative-leaning appeals court to lift the freeze placed on the president’s sweeping executive actions on immigration. It was a critical test for President Obama’s Nov. 20 unilateral measures, which are imperiled by a lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 other states.”
* He’s right: “President Barack Obama on Friday slammed the Senate’s exhaustive process in confirming Loretta Lynch as attorney general as ‘embarrassing,’ adding that it’s ‘gone too far.’”
* Yemen: “International aid agencies expressed rising alarm Friday over the humanitarian disaster consuming Yemen, as airstrikes and street fighting have intensified and nearly paralyzed essential services.”
* Sometimes, appearances matter: “House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster is dating a top lobbyist for the leading U.S. airline trade association, an organization that spends millions of dollars trying to influence his panel.”
* Good move: “Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and the Department of Health and Human Services enlisted the help of Elmo on Friday to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. Murthy revealed a 30-second public service announcement with the Muppet Friday in a blog post published on the HHS website, in which he discusses the importance of vaccines.”
* Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, likes the nuclear deal with Iran (sort of): “The nuclear agreement between the international community and Iran already stands as a remarkable if incomplete achievement. As in all such deals, the devil surely lies in its details and in implementation. I like the phrase “Distrust but Verify.” And yet the real significance of this agreement is broader. If successful, it portends historic opportunities for change, not only in Iran but in the Middle East as a whole.”
* On a related note, AIPAC recently issued its reasons for opposing the diplomatic framework, which led Mitchell Plitnick and Matt Duss to debunk AIPAC’s rationale, point by point.
* A smart, thought-provoking piece from Jon Chait: “How ‘negative partisanship’ has transformed American politics.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.