Thursday’s Mini-Report


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Sen. Carl Levin (D) of Michigan announced this afternoon that he will retire at the end of his term in 2014. I’ll have more on this in the morning.

* President Obama had quite a bit to say at the signing ceremony for the Violence Against Women Act.

* After some delays and quite a bit of drama, the Senate confirmed John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. The final vote was 63 to 34.

* As the U.N. Security Council approves tough new sanctions against North Korea, the severity of Kim Jong Un’s belligerent rhetoric intensifies.

* Counter-terrorism: “Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, who acted as a spokesman for al-Qaida, was captured in Jordan, and has been transported to New York where he will appear in court as early as Friday to face terror-related charges.”

* Kind of creepy: “Venezuela’s acting president says Hugo Chavez’s embalmed body will be permanently displayed in a glass casket so that ‘his people will always have him.’”

* A big case: “An Idaho woman won a major court battle Wednesday, when a federal judge struck down a law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The Idaho law has been based on beliefs by some that the fetus was able to begin feeling pain at the 20-week stage.”

* Beltway media says the sequester isn’t hurting anyone. Local media knows better.

* The scariest climate change graph just got scarier.

* Add Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) to the list of Republican senators who supported the Voting Rights Act, but who are now afraid to say out loud whether the law is constitutional.

* This is more than a little entertaining: One of the ACORN employees caught in those 2009 video stings has won $100,000 in damages.”

* And Nate Silver takes a closer look at whether Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was wrong when citing voting statistics during oral arguments on the Voting Rights Act.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report