Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 8.27.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* It’s like watching an invasion in slow motion: “Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but also a wide section of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials described on Wednesday as a stealth invasion.”
 
* An emotional appeal: “The mother of an American journalist held by the militants of ISIS pleaded with his captors on Wednesday to spare his life and ‘please release my child.’ In a video message, Shirley Sotloff directly addressed the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, by his preferred title – ‘the caliph of the Islamic State’ – and asked him to show mercy on her son, Steven.”
 
* More ISIS news: “The United States has begun to mobilize a broad coalition of allies behind potential American military action in Syria and is moving toward expanded airstrikes in northern Iraq, administration officials said on Tuesday.” President Obama is also weighing “airstrikes and airdrops of food and water around the northern Iraqi town of Amerli, home to members of Iraq’s Turkmen minority.”
 
* More on this tomorrow: “The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.”
 
* A stunning story: “A coroner’s report obtained exclusively by NBC News directly contradicts the police version of how a 22-year-old black man died in the back seat of a Louisiana police cruiser earlier this year – but still says the man, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, shot himself.”
 
* Proponents of marriage equality, watching developments at the 7th Circuit closely, have reason for optimism: “Lawyers for Indiana and Wisconsin on Tuesday tried, with little success, to explain to three judges why their laws banning same-sex couples from marrying were constitutional.”
 
* House Republicans look for an excuse: “Congress should not give President Obama additional authority to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) until the administration provides a strategy for defeating the militant group, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said Wednesday.”
 
* Jindal really hopes we forget that he was a Common Core supporter up until very recently; “Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing the U.S. Department of Education of illegally coercing states to adopt the Common Core academic standards by requiring states that want to compete for federal grants to embrace the national standards.”
 
* Yes, Fox News really is running another special on Benghazi: “A central question of Fox News’ latest documentary on Benghazi has already been answered by official congressional and State Department investigations into the terrorist attacks.”
 
* Twelve words that Bill O’Reilly probably shouldn’t have started his show with last night: “White Privilege: That is the subject of this evening’s ‘Talking Points Memo.’”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 8.27.14