Wednesday’s Mini-Report

Updated
 

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* On his first trip abroad as Secretary of State, John Kerry said today that Iran “knows what it needs to do.” The comments come against a noteworthy backdrop: “Two days of talks between six world powers and Iran over its nuclear program ended on Wednesday with specific agreement for further meetings in March and April over a proposal that would sharply constrain Iran’s stockpile of the most dangerous enriched uranium in return for a modest lifting of some sanctions.”

* Read Rick Hasen on today’s VRA arguments at the Supreme Court: “I’ve read the transcript from today’s oral argument and I have no hope that the Voting Rights Act will continue in its current form after the Supreme Court is done with it in the Shelby County case.”

* Didn’t see that one coming: “Royal Dutch Shell PLC announced Wednesday it will not drill in the Arctic Ocean this year, imposing a temporary cease-fire in one of the nation’s fiercest political battles over energy development and environmental protection.”

* They’re right: “With Washington mired deep in the manufactured crisis known as sequestration, one option for resolving the crisis is getting almost no attention: Simply repealing the sequester. That may now change. The AFL-CIO is coming out today for a repeal of the sequester.”

* Ripple effect: “Vice President Joe Biden argued Wednesday that Democratic voters in yesterday’s special Democratic congressional primary in Illinois illustrated that there is a larger national mandate for tighter gun restrictions.”

* Reproductive rights: “The Arkansas House voted 53-28 Tuesday to override Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of a bill that would outlaw most abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy, hours after a state Senate committee approved a package of even tighter abortion restrictions.”

* There are still Birthers in public office? Seriously? In 2013?

* Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) appears to have had an unpleasant experience in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, whom the congressman described on the air as “the worst excuse for a journalist I’ve ever seen.”

* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) probably shouldn’t compare herself to Wikipedia.

* And this, alas, is true: “It may be hard to believe, given the intense partisan strafing already ignited by the automatic government spending cuts that begin on Friday, but this year’s budget wars have yet to get fully under way.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report

Updated