Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Israel: “Two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven were wounded in a missile attack Wednesday as they drove in a disputed zone along the Lebanese border, Israel said, in the most serious flare-up in the area in years. Hezbollah claimed responsibility.”
* This afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court “granted a stay of execution for three Oklahoma death row inmates until the justices rule on a separate challenge involving the controversial sedative midazolam, NBC News’ Pete Williams reported.”
* Those hoping to see President Obama’s A.G. nominee fail should probably start lowering expectations: “U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch sought to distance herself from outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder in the first day of her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, emphasizing that the Constitution would be her guide if she becomes the first African-American woman to serve as U.S. Attorney General.”
* ISIS: “The Jordanian government agreed on Wednesday to release a convicted terrorist in exchange for the freeing of an air force pilot captured by Islamic State militants in Syria a month ago, according to a statement released on Jordanian state television just before a deadline set by the extremists.”
* Tax-reform retreat: “President Obama, facing angry reprisals from parents and from lawmakers of both parties, will drop his proposal to effectively end the popular college savings accounts known as 529s, but will keep an expanded tuition tax credit at the center of his college access plan, White House officials said Tuesday.”
* An excellent take from Paul Waldman on the lesson from the White House’s reversal: “Don’t mess with government giveaways to the well-off.”
* The Fed sounds optimistic: “In its most upbeat economic assessment since the recession, the Federal Reserve cited ‘solid’ economic growth and ‘strong’ job growth in a statement issued Wednesday that suggested the Fed remains on course to raise its benchmark interest rate as soon as June.”
* That was quick: “Senate Republicans’ trial balloon calling for abolishing filibusters for Supreme Court nominees is already plummeting back to earth.”
* Have I mentioned that vaccinations are a good thing? “Health officials say an outbreak of whooping cough in Barton County has killed one person and left five people ill in the last month.”
* It’s upsetting that this is necessary every single winter: “It’s time to remind climate change deniers that weather and climate are different.”
* And though the “blogosphere” has changed and evolved over the years, Andrew Sullivan has always been a dominant force in the medium. It’s hard to even imagine him walking away, but that’s evidently his plan.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.