Thursday’s Mini-Report, 2.16.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Big news on the Muslim ban: “The Justice Department told a federal court Thursday that there’s no point in further court battles over President Trump’s executive order on immigration, because it will soon be replaced by a different one.”

* Iraq: “At least 48 people have been killed in Baghdad in the third blast in the Iraqi capital in three days, security and medical sources say. A car packed with explosives blew up near car dealerships in the Shia area of Bayaa in the south of the city. More than 50 people were injured. The Islamic State (IS) group claimed the attack, saying it targeted ‘a gathering of Shias.’”

* More on him tomorrow: “President Donald Trump announced Alexander Acosta as his new pick to head the Department of Labor, less than a day after his first choice for the job, Andy Puzder, withdrew from consideration.”

* David Friedman: “President Donald Trump’s controversial pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel said Thursday he regretted calling former President Barack Obama an anti-Semite and making other inflammatory remarks about the State Department and liberal Jewish groups.”

* The final vote was 51-49: “The Senate confirmed Rep. Mick Mulvaney as the new director of the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday morning, allowing the budget process to move forward.”

* Alabama: “New Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Wednesday officially recused himself from an investigation of Gov. Robert Bentley. The recusal confirms that the attorney general’s office is investigating the governor.”

* South Carolina: “Union organizers fell far short on Wednesday in a bid to enlist workers at Boeing’s South Carolina facilities in what was widely viewed as an early test of labor’s strength in the Trump era.”

* An ugly trend: “The number of hate groups in the United States rose for the second straight year in 2016, with a sharp spike in those spreading anti-Muslim messages, according to a civil rights group.”

* There’s no doubt that the Obama administration took steps to crack down on intelligence leaks, but Greg Sargent explained very well what’s different now with the Trump administration.

* A funny story out of Utah: “Some Utahns, outraged at Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s unsubstantiated claim that paid protesters infiltrated his raucous town-hall meeting last week, have begun to send invoices to the congressman. If he says they got money for showing up, he should foot the bill, they argue.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report, 2.16.17