Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 5.18.16

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* Nigeria: “One of the schoolgirls whose abduction triggered the #BringBackOurGirls campaign has been located after more than two years in captivity, activists and military officials said Wednesday.”
 
* I still think it’s a mistake to assume the economy is growing too quickly: “The Federal Reserve sent a sharp, simple message to financial markets on Wednesday: Pay attention. The Fed is thinking seriously about raising its benchmark interest rate at its next meeting, in June.”
 
* A notable shift: “The Obama administration on Tuesday announced an easing of some U.S. economic sanctions on Burma, a move designed to foster greater trade ties with the once-isolated Southeast Asian nation that is undergoing a fitful democratic transition.”
 
* Kansas: “A federal court judge ordered Kansas officials Tuesday to register thousands of people to vote in federal elections who had applications derailed for not showing documentation of citizenship when registering at one of the state’s motor vehicle offices.”
 
* The South Carolina Legislature “passed a bill Tuesday prohibiting abortion after 19 weeks, becoming the 17th state to pass the restrictive ban. The legislation will now head to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk. The Republican said in March she will almost certainly sign it, but wants to look at the details once it reaches her.”
 
* That’s quite a delay: “High-speed rail is turning out to be a slow-speed proposition. The first segment of California’s first-in-the-nation bullet-train project, currently scheduled for completion in 2018, will not be done until the end of 2022, according to a contract revision the Obama administration quietly approved this morning.”
 
* It was like a hearing, except it wasn’t: “The image was stark: Nine Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee dutifully listened to witnesses shower praise on a Supreme Court nominee, while half of the dais – the GOP side – remained completely empty. The nominee, Merrick Garland, wasn’t there – nor is he expected to appear before the Senate anytime soon. Because they’re in the minority, Democrats can’t call a hearing, so they couldn’t use the official Judiciary room. They had makeshift paper nameplates, and a senator not on the Judiciary Committee even got to sit in and ask a question.”
 
* Republicans love local control and a weaker federal government except when they love the exact opposite: “A congressional committee voted Tuesday to nullify a ballot measure approved by D.C. voters and then declared that the District can never spend local tax dollars without congressional approval.”
 
* A striking observation: “[L]ast Thursday, a deadlocked court refused to vacate a stay of execution of an Alabama man, Vernon Madison, with the court’s four conservatives saying they would have let the execution proceed. Had Justice Scalia lived, Mr. Madison would almost certainly have died.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 
 
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 5.18.16