Thursday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Neil Heslin, who lost a son in the Sandy Hook shootings, fears Congress “doesn’t have the guts” to approve new measures to reduce gun violence. His frustration is both palpable and understandable.

* Republicans who’ve invested so much energy in saying he’s anti-Israel probably won’t care for this: “President Obama was awarded Israel’s Presidential Medal of Distinction Thursday, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to receive the honor.”

* Syria: “The Syrian civil war is threatening the 39-year-old cease-fire between Syria and Israel, as fighting along a separation line between the two countries is undermining the United Nations’ capacity to monitor the terms of the truce, according to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki moon.”

* In related news: “Senate Armed Services Committee chief Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) joined with Senate Republicans on Thursday to demand that President Obama take military action to end the Syrian civil war.”

* Cyprus: “The euro currency union, a centerpiece European policy for a generation, edged toward a rupture on Thursday when the region’s central bank said it was ready to pull the plug on Cyprus.”

* Good idea: “Two Michigan Democrats have called for a review of Michigan’s emergency manager law shortly after a manager was appointed to improve Detroit’s financial state. The lawmakers, Reps. John Conyers and Gary Peters, sent a letter on Thursday to General Accounting Office Comptroller Gene Dodaro requesting an investigation into potential abuse of the law.”

* Maybe Congress should have thought of this sooner and passed the postal-reform bill that lawmakers ignored: “The financially beleaguered U.S. Postal Service suffered a setback in its plan to end Saturday delivery of first-class mail as Congress on Thursday passed legislation requiring six-day delivery.”

* The universe looks great for its age: “Astronomers released the latest and most exquisite baby picture yet of the universe on Thursday, one that showed it to be 80 to 100 million years older and a little fatter, with more light and dark matter than previously thought, and perhaps ever so slightly lopsided.”

* Stay tuned: “Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a leading negotiator in talks on immigration reform, says the Senate Gang of Eight is on track for a deal by the end of March.”

* I’d like to think reasonable, fair-minded people can agree that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is an embarrassment to herself, her constituents, and the Congress.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report

Updated