Friday's Mini-Report, 1.3.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* More deployments: "The United States is sending approximately 3,000 soldiers to the Middle East after thousands of people stormed the compound of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, three U.S. defense officials and one U.S. military official confirmed to NBC News on Friday."

* Democrats weren't the only ones in the dark about Trump's airstrike: "The US did not inform the UK that it was planning to assassinate Iran's top military commander in advance of Friday's airstrike, a UK government source said."

* A case worth watching: "Federal appellate judges are wrestling with whether courts should be refereeing a dispute between the House of Representatives and the Trump administration over the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn, even in the face of what one judge called the White House's 'broad-scale defiance of congressional investigation.'"

* The Bevin scandal is far from over: "Kentucky's new Republican attorney general has asked the FBI to investigate a flurry of pardons by former Gov. Matt Bevin.... Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron wrote in a letter Monday that he has sent a formal request to the FBI to 'investigate this matter.'"

* Discouraging ISM manufacturing index: "A slump among American manufacturers deepened in December as a survey of senior executives showed the weakest performance in more than 10 years."

* The UMC is the nation's third largest denomination: "The United Methodist Church has proposed splitting into separate entities in order to resolve long-standing disagreements over the issues of same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay clergy, according to a statement shared Friday by the United Methodist Council of Bishops."

* I don't expect this to work, but one never knows for sure: "House Democrats and Democratic attorneys general from around the country on Friday asked the Supreme Court to step in and decide the fate of Obamacare, following an appeals court's decision that the law's individual mandate was unconstitutional."

Enjoy the weekend.

MORE: Today's Maddowblog