Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 7.21.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Honoring four victims: “Flags will fly at half-staff at the White House and on federal grounds through sunset on Saturday to honor the service members killed in the shooting rampage last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Obama administration announced on Tuesday.”
 
* Deal? “A bipartisan Senate deal to fund highway and transit projects for three years hit a speed bump on Tuesday when Democrats blocked consideration of the bill to buy more time to read through the details. The deal, struck by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), would provide $47 billion to pay for the extension of the transportation program, which is set to expire at the end of the month if Congress doesn’t act.”
 
* Another one: “On Tuesday, an anti-abortion group known as the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released the second of what it said will be a series of secretly recorded videos of abortion providers and Planned Parenthood executives.” [Disclosure: my wife works for Planned Parenthood.]
 
* Illinois: “[A] federal appeals court in Chicago on Tuesday threw out five of 18 counts against convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, vacated his 14-year sentence and ordered him retried on the five counts. While finding five of the counts invalid on technical grounds, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals called the evidence against Blagojevich ‘overwhelming’ and made clear that the former governor was not entitled to be released from prison in the meantime.”
 
* Be alarmed: “Earth dialed the heat up in June, smashing warm temperature records for both the month and the first half of the year. Off-the-charts heat is ‘getting to be a monthly thing,’ said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. June was the fourth month of 2015 that set a record, she said.”
 
* ISIS: “The Islamic State uses terror to force obedience and frighten enemies. It has seized territory, destroyed antiquities, slaughtered minorities, forced women into sexual slavery and turned children into killers. But its officials are apparently resistant to bribes, and in that way, at least, it has outdone the corrupt Syrian and Iraqi governments it routed, residents and experts say.”
 
* Scalia gets the most attention for his radicalism, but Alito is no moderate: “According to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the court’s recent decision legalizing same-sex marriage laid the legal groundwork for a libertarian justice to eliminate minimum wage laws, or a socialist justice to say that there is a right to an annual income.”
 
* An under-appreciated accomplishment: “Five years ago today, Barack Obama signed one of the most important but least understood bills of his presidency: the Dodd-Frank financial regulation overhaul, which represents his main response to the enormous financial crisis that arrived immediately before his election.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 7.21.15