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Monday's Mini-Report, 9.8.14

Today's edition of quick hits.
Today's edition of quick hits:
* Iraq: "Early Monday, ISIS forces attacked Sunni tribal fighters north of Baghdad, killing at least 17 people. Using an explosive-laden Humvee, apparently captured from the Iraqi Army, the militants assaulted an entrance to the town of Dhuluiya, according to local tribal leaders."
* Some Iraqi political progress: "Iraq swore in a new government on Monday to try to bridge the violence-ravaged country's deep divisions. The late-night vote in parliament got underway after Kurdish lawmakers, who had threatened to boycott, joined from the cafeteria an hour and a half late. But key positions, including the defense and interior chiefs, were left open amid controversy over who would fill the roles."
* Ukraine: "With a fragile truce barely holding in eastern Ukraine, President Petro O. Poroshenko visited the port city of Mariupol on Monday, not far from where Ukrainian forces suffered severe losses in recent days, and declared that his government would never relinquish territory that some separatists claim historically belongs to Russia."
* What will Congress say? "President Obama is pushing congressional leaders to authorize a broad counterterrorism relief fund that could be used to support operations against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. Doing so might allow the White House and congressional leaders to avoid a tough vote to either authorize or fund military action before the midterm elections and still achieve the 'buy in' the president has said he wants from Congress."
* Ebola: "The Pentagon will send a 25-bed field hospital to Liberia to help provide medical care for health workers trying to contain the fast spreading Ebola virus that has killed 2,100 people in West Africa."
* This could get ugly: "The presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah once more brought Afghanistan's troubled electoral process to the brink on Monday, insisting that he had won the disputed vote and vowing to reject any government formed on the basis of it."
* Hey, look, bipartisanship: "The bonhomie was flowing between former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush Monday morning at an event to announce a new scholarship program run jointly by their presidential centers."
* While President Obama assembles an international coalition to respond to ISIS, Iran's role is well worth watching. Joshua Keating had a good piece explaining why,
* Net neutrality: "The Federal Communications Commission should ban 'fast lanes' on the Internet by regulating broadband companies like traditional phone companies, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Monday."
* Overdue: "Democrats are demanding the Obama administration update its policy to allow gay men to donate blood, tissue and organs."
* Another NBA owner? "Another basketball team will go up for sale thanks to racist statements. Atlanta Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson will sell his stake in the team over a 2012 email that included disparaging statements about the team's African-American fans."
* The right comes up with foolish anti-Obama talking points, Part I: "Fox News host Harris Faulkner accused President Obama of 'tipping his hat' to the terrorist group known as the Islamic State by referring to it as 'ISIL' rather than the group's earlier recognized name of 'ISIS.'"
* The right comes up with foolish anti-Obama talking points, Part II: "Were you, concerned American citizen, dismayed by those pictures of President Obama touring Stonehenge on Friday? Did it bother you that many of the photos showed Obama taking in the prehistoric structure by himself? Former White House press secretary Dana Perino is pretty sure you were."
* Maybe this would be worth some investment? "On Sunday afternoon -- at 2:15 pm Eastern time, to be exact -- a small asteroid will whiz by the Earth.... Yet we still haven't invested in all the infrastructure needed to spot small asteroids with much warning (we spotted this one less than a week ago). And we've done nothing to develop the ability to divert a larger one if it threatened us.
* And if you missed Rachel talking about it on the show, we’ve been updating an online whip count, listing the members of Congress who support a congressional debate and vote on authorizing force against ISIS targets. Have your representatives weighed in? If so, and their names aren’t on our list, email us at
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.