Thursday’s Mini-Report, 7.16.15

Updated
Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Criminal justice: “President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to see the inside of a federal prison on Thursday in Oklahoma, capping a week of events aimed at rallying support for criminal justice reform. ‘There but for the grace of God,’ Obama told reporters after meeting with six non-violent drug offenders … and gazing into one of the 90-square foot cells in which they live.”
 
* Eurozone: “Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, suggested on Thursday that Greece might be better off leaving the euro, saying that a temporary exit from the common currency could give the country additional flexibility to reduce its crippling debt load.”
 
* Education: “No Child Left Behind is a step closer to a major overhaul giving far more flexibility to states to act – or not – on poorly performing schools. The vote on the Senate bill – 81 to 17 – sends it to a conference with the House bill, which the White House threatened to veto.”
 
* Israel: “When President Obama called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday to discuss the nuclear deal with Iran, the American president offered the Israeli leader, who had just deemed the agreement a “historic mistake,” a consolation prize: a fattening of the already generous military aid package the United States gives Israel.”
 
* Middle East: “U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter will travel to Saudi Arabia as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to convince skeptical allies in the region about the benefits of the Iran nuclear deal, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on Wednesday.”
 
* A worthwhile endeavor: “President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged the expansion of high-speed Internet access to low-income children in rural communities by talking about a young woman who once had to stand on a rock to get cell-phone service.”
 
* Alabama: “A Cullman-based attorney has filed a lawsuit against Alabama’s governor saying Robert Bentley didn’t have the authority to remove Confederate flags from the grounds of the state Capitol.”
 
* You’ve probably seen some of the coverage about ACA rate increases. What’s been reported and what’s true in the broader context aren’t quite the same thing.
 
* A striking statistic: “Corporations now spend about $2.6 billion a year on reported lobbying expenditures – more than the $2 billion we spend to fund the House ($1.16 billion) and Senate ($820 million).”
 
* An ugly sight: “When President Obama arrived at his hotel in Oklahoma City last night, he was greeted by a small group of protestors waving Confederate battle flags.”:
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 7.16.15

Updated