Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Despite being a felon, Grimm doesn’t want to resign: “New York Rep. Michael Grimm on Tuesday afternoon in Brooklyn federal court pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion, admitting to hiding more than $1 million in wages and income.”
* Thanks, Vladimir: “With a Russian-backed separatist insurgency still gripping eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian Parliament voted on Tuesday to take steps toward joining NATO. It was a pointed rebuke to Russia that immediately drew an angry response.”
* People like round numbers: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 18,000 for the first time on Tuesday, capping a run that saw the index tack on 1,000 points in only six months. It was the fifth straight session of gains for the Dow, handing investors a merry Christmas as 2014 draws to a close.”
* Oklahoma: “A federal judge in Oklahoma City on Monday said that the state can resume executing prisoners this winter, rejecting the argument by some medical experts that using the same sedative involved in the bungled execution of Clayton D. Lockett in April amounted to an illegal experiment on human subjects.”
* I’m still amazed this actually happened: “A Baltimore Fox affiliate apologized Monday night for a report it ran over the weekend that deceptively edited protesters to look like they were chanting ‘kill a cop.’” Joy-Ann Reid’s related report is well worth your time.
* Obviously overdue: “The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that it would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, a change that experts said was long overdue and could lift the annual blood supply by as much as 4 percent.”
* Ebola: “There are reasons for both hope and continued worry about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Monday.”
* Related news: “Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., used his 4-day trip to Ebola-stricken Liberia to emphasize it is a safe place to travel [to] – and additional investment may be needed to keep it that way.”
* Confirmation odds seem pretty good: “Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has met privately with several Republican senators in recent weeks, earning some of their early support ahead of what is expected to be a contentious set of nomination hearings early next year.”
* Krugman explains what 5% GDP growth doesn’t mean: “It does not necessarily mean that now is the time to tighten; that depends mainly on how far we still are from target employment and inflation, not on how fast we’re growing. Remember, the US economy grew 10 percent in 1934, which didn’t mean that the Depression was anywhere near over.”
* Circle the date on your calendar: “The Supreme Court said it will hear oral arguments on March 4 in a lawsuit over whether the Obama administration is improperly providing tax credits to consumers who purchase health insurance through the federal exchanges.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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Tuesday's Mini-Report, 12.23.14