Monday’s Mini-Report, 7.7.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* An intensifying crisis: “Israel and the militant group Hamas seemed set on a collision course on Monday, with an escalation of cross-border clashes around the Gaza Strip, Hamas vowing to avenge the deaths of six of its fighters, and preparations underway for a possible large-scale Israeli operation in the Palestinian coastal territory.”
 
* Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend: “In all, at least 82 people were shot, 14 of them fatally, since Thursday afternoon.” In nearly all modern nations, this would be considered a public-safety crisis. In the United States, nothing will happen.
 
* Nigeria: “More than 60 of the nearly 300 women and girls abducted by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, have reportedly managed to escape their captors in northern Nigeria, sources told Agence France-Presse on Sunday.”
 
* Immigration: “The White House said Monday that most of the thousands of unaccompanied minors flooding across the border would likely be deported.”
 
* CIA: “The Central Intelligence Agency was involved in a spying operation against Germany that led to the alleged recruitment of a German intelligence official and has prompted renewed outrage in Berlin, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said on Monday.”
 
* NSA: “Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post. Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else. Many of them were Americans.”
 
* In celebration of Independence Day, President Obama “hosted 15 active-duty service members representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, as well as one reservist, one veteran, and seven spouses of service members, as they took their oath of allegiance. The newly naturalized American citizens hail from 15 countries, including Guatemala, China, and Jamaica. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas led the group in reciting the oath.”
 
* For all the talk about “constitutional conservatives,” E.J. Dionne Jr. makes a compelling case that it’s “time for progressives to reclaim the Constitution.”
 
* There may be an IRS scandal; it’s just not the one Republican conspiracy theorists like: “[T]he real scandal is what Republicans did to cripple the agency when virtually no one was looking. Since the broad Tea Party-driven spending cuts of 2010, the agency’s budget has been cut by 14 percent after inflation is considered, leading to sharply reduced staff, less enforcement of the tax laws and poor taxpayer service.”
 
* Martin Longman explains recent history to Maureen Dowd so no one else has to.
 
* Scaife: “A principal heir to the Mellon banking, oil, and aluminum fortune, billionaire conservative and publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Richard Mellon Scaife died on Friday morning at his home. He was 82.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Monday's Mini-Report, 7.7.14