Today’s edition of quick hits:
* ISIS: “The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria has killed the group’s finance minister and two other senior leaders in air strikes in recent weeks, a U.S. military spokesman said on Thursday.”
* CAIR: “The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is located a few blocks south of the Capitol, has been evacuated. CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told Roll Call that a white powdery substance was received in a letter and several staffers are quarantined inside the building.”
* Current federal funding expires tomorrow night, but there won’t be a shutdown: “The Senate passed by voice vote a five-day continuing resolution Thursday that extends government funding past Friday’s deadline to Dec. 16.”
* Ugh: “Ghosts of Christmas past? More like specters from the South’s racist past. More than a dozen cadets at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, were in hot water Thursday after photos were posted online of them looking like Ku Klux Klansmen.”
* Irrational panic fails in Texas: “Even as the world debated Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump’s desire to prevent Muslims from entering the United States because they might be terrorists, a federal court was deciding whether a state could prevent Syrian refugees from settling within its borders because they might be terrorists. Its conclusion: No way.”
* Scalia fallout, Day 2: “Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) bashed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for suggesting affirmative action was sending Africans Americans to schools too advanced for them. Reid called the comments – made during Wednesday’s oral arguments for a major affirmative action case – ‘stunning,’ ‘deeply disturbing’ and ‘racist.’”
* More good news on the ACA front: “A million new customers have signed up for health insurance during the Affordable Care Act’s third open-enrollment season, Obama administration officials said on Wednesday, and call centers have been deluged with requests from others eager to enroll.”
* For the first time, women in Saudi Arabia will be able to vote and run for public office in municipal elections this Saturday.
* Two House Republicans, Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), have one final indignity in mind for John Boehner. Retired House Speakers are allowed to set up an office, with paid aides, on Capitol Hill, but Jones and Massie want to end the traditional practice.
* The Toronto Star knows how to welcome Syrian refugees: “Welcome to Canada. Ahlan wa sahlan. You’re with family now. And your presence among us makes our Christmas season of peace and joy just that much brighter. The people of Toronto are honoured to greet the very first group of 25,000 Syrians who will be arriving in this country in the next few months, and who have chosen to make a new life here. It’s been a long trek, but you are no longer refugees. Your days of being strangers in a strange land are over.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.