Wednesday’s Mini-Report


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Congressional Republicans are convinced there’s some kind of conspiracy, but FAA officials tried to explain to lawmakers that the sequester caused the furloughs, and the furloughs are causing delays.

* On a related note, the White House has officially endorsed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) plan to put a five-month hold on the sequester, using unspent war funds. Republicans still refuse to consider the compromise.

* Another mass shooting: “Five people were slain early on Wednesday in Manchester, Ill., and a suspect died after a shootout with police, Illinois State Police said. State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond confirmed the killings and also said that a 6-year-old girl had been injured and taken to a hospital.”

* Iraq: “In what appeared to be a new phase in an intensifying conflict that has raised fears of greater bloodshed and a wider sectarian war, Iraqi soldiers opened fire from helicopters on Sunni gunmen hiding in a northern village on Wednesday, officials said.”

* Syria: “Fighting between Syrian insurgents and government forces in the northern city of Aleppo left one of the Middle East’s most storied mosques severely damaged on Wednesday, its soaring minaret toppled by explosives.”

* A truly bizarre story: “A Republican presidential campaign worker who was charged this week with cyberstalking young women often bragged about dressing up as ‘Ellis the Elephant,’ a character in Callista Gingrich’s children’s books who would appear during book signings with her husband, former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.”

* That would be an interesting meeting: “Top House progressives are demanding a sit down meeting with President Obama to underscore their opposition to any Social Security benefits cuts as part of a Grand Bargain – a sign that the left has no intention of allowing any cuts to go forward without a major fight.”

* An unusually easy confirmation: “The Senate voted 96-0 to confirm the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget.”

* And if you missed Colbert’s segment last night on the Reinhart/Rogoff study that led to so much austerity, despite being wrong, it’s well worth your time (thanks to reader F.B. for the tip).

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report