IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Wednesday's Mini-Report

Today's edition of quick hits:

* In a Chicago speech, First Lady Michelle Obama made an emotional plea in support of efforts to reduce gun violence.

* On the Korean Peninsula: "American and South Korean troops increased alert levels on Wednesday as South Korea's foreign minister warned that North Korea could launch its medium-range Musudan missile 'any time from now.'" U.S. defense officials are also "highly confident" that North Korea is planning the imminent launch of a medium-range missile.

* Now that there's a bipartisan agreement on key elements of the gun-safety legislation, will Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) drop his filibuster threat and allow the Senate to debate the issue? Of course not.

* NLRB: "President Obama announced three nominations to the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday to complete a package of five nominees -- three Democrats and two Republicans -- that the administration hopes Senate Republicans will approve to end the board's unusual limbo."

* Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R) office probably ought to be a little more circumspect about "Gestapo" references, especially given how little we know about the recordings leaked yesterday.

* Remember the presidential candidate who supported expanded background checks for firearm purchases in 2000 and 2004? His name was George W. Bush. Why did the Texas Republican hate our freedoms and disregard our Constitution?

* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) appeared at a press conference yesterday, but when reporters asked about ethics allegations surrounding the right-wing congresswoman, aides "ushered her out of the room," and did so while blocking reporters and photographers from the lawmaker.

* A Republican county commissioner in Kansas admits to using the "n" word during a commission discussion last week, but says that doesn't make him a racist.

* If you're like me, you've heard occasional references to "bitcoins," without the slightest idea what they are. Adam Serwer and Dana Liebelson have a helpful primer.

* If you were distraught about the end of Saturday mail service, I have some good news for you.

* Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) provided the Quote of the Day: "I would point out that if you're a believer in in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change and that certainly wasn't because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.