Thursday’s Mini-Report, 12.18.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* ISIS: “Three leaders of ISIS have been killed by American airstrikes in Iraq in the past month and a half, U.S. defense officials said Thursday. They were identified as Haji Mutazz, a deputy to the ISIS leader; Abd al-Basit, the top military commander; and Radwin Talib, who is in control of ISIS in Iraq. They were described as mid- to high-level leaders.”
 
* Nigeria: “More than 100 women and children were unaccounted for after gunmen stormed a northeastern Nigerian village in a deadly raid Sunday, a Nigerian military source told NBC News on Thursday. No group took responsibility for the attack in Gumsuri, but it bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which abducted more than 200 girls in April from a secondary school in nearby Chibok.”
 
* Secret Service: “The Secret Service is overstretched and needs a ‘culture change’ from outside leadership, according to an independent review of the agency that found profound problems in the organization tasked with protecting the president and his family.”
 
* Putin: “Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a press conference on Thursday to address the country’s increasingly dire economic crisis, made an extended, bizarre reference to bears that is drawing a lot of attention, and rightly, because it makes him sound absolutely crazy.”
 
* A lot of the early reporting on this was wrong: “How exactly the former Marine suspected in this week’s killing spree in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, died is unclear after an examination by the county’s coroner. Coroner Dr. Walter Hoffman tells NBC10’s Deanna Durante there was no sign of trauma to Bradley Stone’s center region, contradicting information released by prosecutors on Tuesday.”
 
* DOJ: “Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department’s position going forward in litigation will be that discrimination against transgender people is covered under the sex discrimination prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
 
This will matter to several red-state policymakers from Plains states: “U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said reforms announced today by President Barack Obama will make it make easier to sell U.S. farm products to Cuba.”
 
* For Capitol Hill watchers: “Sen. Michael B. Enzi will be the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee in the next Congress. The Wyoming Republican will get the job over current ranking member Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who announced Wednesday he’d be deferring the position.”
 
* The subtle differences between orders and memos: “President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history – using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders.”
 
* Justice delayed: “Calling it a ‘great and fundamental injustice,’ a South Carolina judge on Wednesday vacated the 1944 murder conviction of 14-year-old George J. Stinney Jr., the youngest person executed in the United States in the last century.”
 
* Oh my: “A Virginia Democratic state lawmaker is resigning from office after recently entering a plea in connection with accusations that he had an improper sexual relationship with a teenager. But Del. Joseph D. Morrissey says he plans to run for his seat in a special election.”
 
* And thanks to this week’s flurry, more judicial nominees have been confirmed over the last two years than any two-year stretch since 1980. It’s quite a diverse bunch, too: “Obama has named the first-ever Native American woman and Indian-American federal judge. He has placed more female and Hispanic judges than any previous president, and more Asian-American and openly gay judges than all other presidents combined.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 12.18.14