Today’s edition of quick hits:
* NATO: “Permanent American forces stationed in Poland, hundreds of thousands of troops on high alert, and a formal invite for two new Nordic members: If Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in part to ward off NATO, Wednesday made clear his war has achieved the opposite. NATO has now officially invited Finland and Sweden to join the alliance, a sign of just how dramatically the Kremlin’s war has upended the previous military landscape in Europe.”
* SCOTUS: “The Supreme Court on Wednesday scaled back the effect of its own ruling two years ago that blocked state authorities in Oklahoma from prosecuting some crimes on Native American reservation land. By a 5-4 vote, the court said the state shares jurisdiction with the federal government for crimes committed on reservations by non-Native Americans against native victims.”
* The Fed: “Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said there’s ‘no guarantee’ the central bank can tame runaway inflation without hurting the job market.”
* I can think of an archbishop in San Francisco who probably wasn’t pleased: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Pope Francis on Wednesday and received Communion during a papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, witnesses said, despite her position in support of abortion rights.”
* They could make this denial under oath at any time: “Rudy Giuliani, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows are denying allegations that they sought pardons from Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol.”
* Speaking of Trump World insiders: “John Eastman, the former Trump lawyer who wrote memos arguing then-Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the 2020 election, has dropped his lawsuit that tried to block the House Jan. 6 committee from getting his call logs.”
* The effects of the Dobbs ruling are just starting to take shape: “A leading health system in Kansas City is no longer providing emergency contraception in Missouri after the state banned abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest.”
* Keeping expectations low seems wise: “Efforts to revive the Iranian 2015 nuclear agreement resumed Tuesday in Qatar’s capital, with U.S. and Iranian officials playing down expectations of a quick breakthrough that would open the way to a restored deal.”
* Remember him? “Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who was a figure in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment investigation, was sentenced Wednesday to a year and eight months in prison for fraud and campaign finance crimes.”
* Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement will be effective at 12 p.m. eastern tomorrow. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in around the same time.
* This is a little off the beaten path, but since we mentioned Derges on the show several months ago, I thought I’d note these results: “Tricia Derges, a state lawmaker and founder of several medical clinics throughout southwest Missouri, was found guilty on Monday on all charges brought against her by federal prosecutors. A jury convicted Derges on 22 counts, including wire fraud, illegal distribution of controlled substances and making false statements to investigators. They also voted to allow law enforcement to take back nearly $300,000 in federal pandemic aid money that Derges received from Greene County.”
See you tomorrow.