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Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 1.3.23

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s edition of quick hits.

* Good thinking: “White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday said that President Biden will not ‘insert himself’ in the Speakership elections as the House is moving on to a third vote with no end in sight.”

* In Ukraine: “Since the earliest weeks of the war, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has pleaded to any government that would listen that his country was outgunned by Russia’s army. If Ukraine was going to survive, he said, it needed longer range weapons. Answering that call in June, Washington delivered the first batch of truck-mounted, multiple-rocket launchers known as HIMARS. ... Since then, these weapons have helped Ukraine shift the momentum of the war.”

* On a related note: “Ukraine shot down all of the exploding drones that Russia had fired over the new year, an Air Force spokesman said on Tuesday, in a measure of the country’s growing ability to resist Moscow’s effort to incapacitate its energy infrastructure.”

* In Israel: “Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, visited a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem on Tuesday, despite reported objections by the prime minister and senior security officials. Israeli media said that Benjamin Netanyahu and others warned that a provocative visit to what Jewish Israelis refer to as the Temple Mount in the heart of the Old City could worsen an already escalating conflict with Palestinians and embitter relations with the wider Arab world.”

* Impressive statistics: “In the two years since a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, prosecutors have secured guilty pleas from more than half the rioters they have charged, helping lead to a 99.8% conviction rate. ... The Justice Department has charged more than 900 people, extracting guilty pleas from at least 450 of them on crimes ranging from unlawfully parading in a Capitol building to assault, obstruction and sedition. More than 180 rioters have been sentenced to jail time.”

* Speaking of Jan. 6: “The House Jan. 6 committee is shutting down, having completed a whirlwind 18-month investigation of the 2021 Capitol insurrection and having sent its work to the Justice Department along with a recommendation for prosecuting former President Donald Trump. The committee’s time officially ends Tuesday when the new Republican-led House is sworn in.”

* Another breakthrough worth celebrating: “Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Tuesday became the first female Senate president pro tempore, the second-highest-ranking position in the chamber. The president pro tempore ranks second under the president of the Senate — the vice president — and presides over the floor in the vice president’s absence.”

* Also in the Senate: “Democrats are again claiming the Senate majority, but much of the chamber’s focus Tuesday is on the top Republican as Mitch McConnell becomes the longest serving Senate leader in history.”

See you tomorrow.