Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Iraq: “Iraqi security officials said Wednesday that fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were advancing on the Haditha Dam, the second-largest in Iraq, raising the possibility of catastrophic damage and flooding.”
* Iran in Iraq: “Iran is directing surveillance drones over Iraq from an airfield in Baghdad and is secretly supplying Iraq with tons of military equipment, supplies and other assistance, American officials said. Tehran has also deployed an intelligence unit there to intercept communications, the officials said.”
* A lack of credibility in Nigeria: “Nigeria’s government on Wednesday denied claims that Boko Haram militants abducted 60 women and children from the country’s restive northeast, saying there was no evidence despite eyewitness testimony.”
* A 6-3 ruling against Aereo: “The Supreme Court delivered a major victory Wednesday to the nation’s television networks, ruling that an upstart Internet company was violating copyright laws by transmitting their programs without paying for them.”
* Seems all but inevitable: “The Obama administration is poised to make ‘significant’ changes in immigration policy if Republicans fail to act on the issue before August, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) warned Wednesday.”
* VA: “The Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday that two senior officials would be leaving their posts as the department’s acting secretary moved to remake the agency and rebuild trust amid a scandal over falsified waiting lists that were used at many hospitals to hide delays faced by veterans.”
* The estimable Ari Berman reflects on the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer and the anniversary of the Shelby County decision in which the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, one year ago today.
* NSA and Snowden: “The National Security Agency says it has not been able to find a single recorded case where former contractor Edward Snowen raised complaints about the agency’s operations. The claim, revealed in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from investigative reporter Jason Leopold, undercuts Snowden’s claim that he raised concerns with his superiors before leaking top-secret spy agency documents to the press.”
* The appropriate attitude, Part I: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday dismissed a Republican lawsuit against President Obama for his executive orders as an election-year ploy. ‘They’re doing nothing here. They have to give some aura of activity,’ Pelosi said at her weekly Capitol press conference. ‘It’s a subterfuge.’”
* The appropriate attitude, Part II: “Economists and financial experts are bullish on the economy despite the stunning drop in gross domestic product reported for the first quarter of the year.”
* Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) gets it: “Ultimately, the allocation of war powers is based on a value. The nation should not send U.S. service members into harm’s way unless there is a consensus among the civilian leadership – executive and legislative – that the mission is worth it. Ordering people to risk their lives without Washington doing the work necessary to reach a political consensus is immoral.
* Rush Limbaugh doesn’t get it: “Limbaugh: ‘Black Uncle Tom Voters’ Are Responsible For Sen. Cochran’s Primary Win.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.