Tuesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Afghanistan: “President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has been engaged in secret contacts with the Taliban about reaching a peace agreement without the involvement of his American and Western allies, further corroding already strained relations with the United States.”
 
*”Year of Action” in action: “President Barack Obama will visit a middle school in Adelphi, Md., just outside Washington on Tuesday to announce a public-private plan to help more schools and libraries get high-speed Internet connections.”
 
* Farm bill: “It took longer than any of the negotiators or stakeholders would have hoped, but at the end of the day, the farm bill coalition held together. The Senate cleared the conference report reauthorizing agriculture and nutrition programs for five years on a 68-32 vote Tuesday.”
 
* Iran: “The Obama administration aggressively defended its preliminary nuclear deal with Iran to a skeptical Senate on Tuesday, ramping up its efforts to ward off new sanctions. The president’s top nuclear negotiator and top sanctions official dismissed reports that Iran’s economy is on the mend during their first congressional appearance since a six-month interim deal went into effect on Jan. 20.”
 
* Immigration: “Federal immigration authorities announced Tuesday that they are scrapping the current form for immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship, and replacing it in 90 days with a longer and more complex form that includes numerous new questions about the applicant’s links to terrorist groups, genocide, militias, prisons and military training.”
 
* I’m starting to think Inhofe doesn’t care for the EPA: “Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Tuesday that he plans to introduce a bill that would allow states to opt-out of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on power plants. Inhofe said his Electricity Reliability and Affordability Act would allow states to determine which old power plants should be shutdown rather than the federal government.”
 
* This’ll be … different: “The highly anticipated debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham isn’t scheduled to begin until 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 4. But scientists are already sounding off about the appropriateness of the debate, in which America’s beloved “Science Guy” will defend evolution–a theory universally accepted as fact among mainstream scientists–against the dogma of young-earth creationism.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report