Thursday's Mini-Report, 2.13.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* This passed 55 to 45, with eight Republicans in the majority: "The U.S. Senate backed legislation on Thursday to limit President Donald Trump's ability to wage war against Iran, rebuking him after a strike against an Iranian military commander and Tehran's retaliation last month raised fears of broader regional conflict."

* Jessie Liu: "The former U.S. attorney whose office oversaw the Roger Stone prosecution resigned from the Trump administration Wednesday, two days after President Donald Trump abruptly withdrew her nomination for a top job at the Treasury Department."

* America needs newspapers: "The publisher of the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star and dozens of newspapers across the country is filing for bankruptcy protection. The publisher's 30 local newsrooms will continue to operate as usual as McClatchy Co. reorganizes under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection."

* This is the Amazon case I've been covering: "A judge ordered Thursday a temporary block on the JEDI cloud contract in response to a suit filed by Amazon."

* Climate crisis: "The planet experienced its hottest January in recorded history last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday."

* The inevitable pushback: "President Donald Trump blasted his former chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday after the ex-top aide said Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman did the right thing in reporting his concerns about Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine's president."

* Census: "With the start of the 2020 census just a month away for most U.S. residents, the U.S. Census Bureau is behind in recruiting workers and establishing partnerships with civic groups, and it is at risk of missing some informational technology testing goals, according to a report released Wednesday."

* This struck me as deeply odd: "Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee boycotted a hearing Wednesday on emerging technology and national security, calling it a 'distraction' and contending that the panel should be focused on 'urgent and critical concerns' like a recent watchdog report identifying errors and abuses in the FBI's domestic surveillance program."

* The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' Frank Easterbrook: "President Donald Trump has defanged Congress' oversight authority. That became clear when the Senate acquitted the president of obstruction. But one conservative judge isn't willing to let the executive branch steal power from his branch of government."

* A quote from former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, which I'm noting without comment: "[Y]ou have to be careful about what you are watching and reading, because the media has taken sides. So if you only watch Fox News because it's reinforcing what you believe, you are not an informed citizen."

See you tomorrow.