Thursday’s Mini-Report, 2.5.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Ukraine: “With fighting intensifying in eastern Ukraine and the White House weighing whether to send arms to bolster the government’s forces, Western leaders embarked on a broad diplomatic effort on Thursday aimed at ending a conflict that has strained relations with Russia.”
 
* Cameroon: “Hundreds of Boko Haram fighters took revenge Thursday on villagers in Cameroon, shooting and burning scores to death and razing mosques and churches after warning Nigeria’s neighbors not to join the battle against the Islamic insurgent group.”
 
* Contract talks have been ongoing since May: “Traffic at nearly 30 West Coast ports is on the verge of ‘complete gridlock’ and shipping officials have threatened to stop paying dockworkers if a contract deal is not reached soon.”
 
* Mitch McConnell, wasting time for no reason: “Three strikes and you’re out? For the third time in as many days, the Senate voted to advance legislation to unravel President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. And for the third time, their efforts failed.”
 
* Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) seems impressed with Jordan’s king: “ ‘He’s angry,’ Hunter said of King Abdullah. ‘They’re starting more sorties tomorrow than they’ve ever had. They’re starting tomorrow.’ …. ‘He’s ready to get it on,’ Hunter added. ‘He really is. It reminded me of how we were after 9/11. We were ready to give it to them.’”
 
* A story worth watching: “Leading members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are lining up to skip a coming speech by the prime minister of Israel. Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the civil rights icon, and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), the chairman of the CBC, said they won’t attend Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech before Congress to protest Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) decision to invite the prime minister without first consulting President Obama, according to The Associated Press.”
 
* I wonder how many Dems might vote for this: “Unbowed by opposition in both parties, two Republican senators on Wednesday moved forward with a plan to gut the filibuster for all nominations – including those for the Supreme Court. Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Mike Lee of Utah introduced a Senate resolution to ‘establish by rule the Senate tradition of approving presidential nominations by a simple majority vote.’”
 
* E.J. Dionne Jr. asks a good question: “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) values his reputation as a serious policy analyst and a genial soul. But he’s not above name-calling, and he insists that President Obama’s budget is the product of ‘envy economics.’ … If Ryan wants to play the branding game, is it unfair to ask him why ‘greed economics’ isn’t an appropriate tag for his own approach?”
 
* “I made a mistake,” the anchor said: “NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday’s program offered a clarification of the events that led to his news team being protected in Iraq by the Third Infantry in 2003 – and his recent honoring of one of the Army vets who was there.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 2.5.15