Tuesday’s Mini-Report

Updated

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Congress isn’t in session, but the Senate Foreign Relations Committee nevertheless held a lively hearing on U.S. policy in Syria this afternoon. Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel testified.

* It’s a fast-moving story: “The top senators on the Foreign Relations Committee are nearing an agreement on a new resolution authorizing the use of force in Syria, ranking member Sen. Bob Corker told reporters Tuesday at the Capitol.”

* I like this thesis: “The war debate actually gives the House Speaker a way out of the big mess he’d expected to find himself in this fall, thanks to conservative demands for a series of epic confrontations over Obamacare and the debt limit.”

* Israel: “A joint Israeli-U.S. military exercise put an already tense region on edge Tuesday morning, when Russian news media reported that Russian radar had detected two ballistic ‘objects’ flashing across the Mediterranean Sea.”

* Pakistan: “The $52.6 billion U.S. intelligence arsenal is aimed mainly at unambiguous adversaries, including al-Qaeda, North Korea and Iran. But top-secret budget documents reveal an equally intense focus on one purported ally: Pakistan. No other nation draws as much scrutiny across so many categories of national security concern.” Isaac Chotiner has more.

* Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) really doesn’t like Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).

* I found this pretty remarkable: “If Massachusetts were a country, its eighth graders would rank second in the world in science, behind only Singapore, according to Times – the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, which surveys knowledge and skills of fourth and eighth graders around the world.”

* I have no idea what the editors were thinking: “The Washington Post published a problematic op-ed by Betsy Karasik, a Dupont Circle artist described by the Post as a ‘writer and former lawyer,’ that argued for the legal acceptance of consensual sexual relationships between teachers and their underage students.”

* It’s odd that conservative writer Conn Carroll thinks presidents have the ability to sign or not sign constitutional amendments approved by Congress. That’s not how our system of government works.

* And when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) makes an ad about health care, you can guess what happens next: he makes claims that aren’t even remotely true.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Tuesday's Mini-Report

Updated