Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Iraq: “Iraqi security forces and their tribal allies made gains in heavy fighting on Sunday in Ramadi, reclaiming parts of the city from Sunni militants aligned with Al Qaeda, security officials and tribal leaders said. But the insurgents appeared to maintain control of much of Falluja, another important city in Anbar Province, and had the upper hand in fighting on its outskirts.”
* Syria: “An internal war between Syrian insurgents and their onetime allies, members of a transnational jihadist group that even some fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda reject as too extreme, widened on Monday from parts of northern Syria into Raqqa, the largest city in eastern Syria that had been under the group’s control, antigovernment activists and fighters said.”
* This would be an interesting diplomatic twist: “Iran could improve its chances of playing at least a limited role in the upcoming peace conference on Syria if it persuaded President Bashar al-Assad to stop the bombardment of Aleppo and allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged towns and cities, senior State Department officials said on Monday.”
* On the Hill tonight: “The Senate is likely to hold votes on Monday evening despite the record cold that is causing flight delays across the country, leadership staffers say. The office of Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) said ‘nothing has changed’ when it comes to votes Monday evening on the confirmation of Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve and a procedural vote on federal unemployment benefits.”
* More on this on tonight’s show: “How bad does it have to get for Texas women for it to be too bad? That was the underlying question behind the sometimes-arcane issues of constitutional precedent and burden of proof at today’s oral argument before an all-female panel of judges at the Fifth Circuit, challenging two parts of Texas’s abortion law.”
* Great reporting on the Koch brothers from Matea Gold: “The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents…. The resources and the breadth of the organization make it singular in American politics: an operation conducted outside the campaign finance system, employing an array of groups aimed at stopping what its financiers view as government overreach.”
* “60 Minutes” really didn’t need another misleading and widely panned news story, but it aired one anyway – as Shauna Theel explained, the show’s segment on alternative energy last night was a bit of a mess.
* And as it turns out, no, conservative media will never learn: “Daily Caller Cites 24-Year-Old Fake Princeton Newspaper to Attack the NYT’s Benghazi Reporter.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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