Friday’s Mini-Report


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* It was a lively afternoon on Capitol Hill, where hearings into the IRS controversy began in the House.

* It’s tough to imagine an agency this clumsy participating in an effective conspiracy: “The veteran tax lawyer whose pre-arranged question to an IRS official at a panel last week prompted the admission that the agency had targeted conservative groups said in a written statement on Friday that she did not know what the answer to the question would be.”

* President Obama spoke in Maryland today about job creation: “I know it can seem frustrating sometimes when it seems like Washington’s priorities aren’t your priorities,” he said at a manufacturing plant in Baltimore. “I know it all seems like folks down there are more concerned with their jobs than with yours. Others may get distracted by chasing every fleeting issue that passes by but the middle class will always be my Number One focus, period.”

* Syria: “After more than two years of conflict, Syria is breaking up. A constellation of armed groups battling to advance their own agendas are effectively creating the outlines of separate armed fiefs. As the war expands in scope and brutality, its biggest casualty appears to be the integrity of the Syrian state.”

* The 12-week standard is on hold in Arkansas: “A federal judge barred Arkansas from implementing one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws Friday, calling it ‘more than likely unconstitutional.’”

* Oh, now Darrell Issa is willing to hear from Thomas Pickering.

* A crisis that requires follow-through: “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey said Friday that he’s looking for ‘game changers’ from Congress and the military to address the problem of sexual assault in the military.”

* Jonathan Cohn takes a look at new Obama administration regulations that may improve child safety at day-care centers. It’s a fascinating piece and part of an important story.

* I remember when Bob Woodward was a respected media giant whose perspective was both sharp and important. I miss those days.

* Allen West will be paid to pontificate on Fox News. How perfect.

* Can Nate Silver please respond to every Peggy Noonan column? That would make me happy.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report