Friday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* President Obama’s African trip continues, with South Africa up next.

* Contraception: “The Obama administration issued a final rule on Friday requiring many employers and health insurance plans to provide free coverage of contraceptives for women, a policy that has touched off a furious legal and political battle likely to rage for another year.”

* Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright: “Legal sources tell NBC News that the former second ranking officer in the U.S. military is now the target of a Justice Department investigation into a politically sensitive leak of classified information about a covert U.S. cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear program.”

* Ricin: “Federal prosecutors on Friday announced charges against a Texas woman who authorities believe sent letters containing the poison ricin to President Barack Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.”

* As Congress leaves town, the fate of the farm bill remains entirely unclear.

* On a related note, Congress is actually in recess – no pro-forma sessions – though it’s unclear if the White House has any recess appointments in mind.

* In the IRS controversy, the Inspector General is changing his story, and it’s congressional Democrats who are asking the questions.

* On a related note: “A Republican-led panel said Friday that the IRS official at the center of an alleged targeting controversy waived her Fifth Amendment rights when she declined to answer lawmakers’ questions in an appearance before the committee last month.”

* Good call: “A federal judge in Michigan has blocked a state ban preventing public officials from offering domestic partnership benefits, finding that the law is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution.”

* A terrific piece on the climate crisis from Jonathan Cohn: “What the Weather Channel knows – and John Boehner doesn’t.”

* Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) really doesn’t want to talk about his lovely-but-scandal-plagued Rolex.

* And finally, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should have known better than to mess with Norm Ornstein.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Friday's Mini-Report

Updated