Wednesday’s Mini-Report

WEDNESDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Terror threat: “Threats of a possible ‘Mumbai-style’ terror attack on Western interests in Europe are considered ‘credible’ and U.S. officials aren’t ruling out the possibility that the plot could extend to the U.S., a senior U.S. counterterrorism official told NBC News. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said information about a possible plot emanating from al-Qaida-linked groups in northwest Pakistan was first picked up by U.S. intelligence several weeks ago and was believed to be aimed at targets in France, Germany or the United Kingdom.”

* It’s not much of a surprise, but the House has officially decided to punt on the tax-policy debate until after the midterms.

* Stem-cell research can continue for now: “A federal appeals courts Tuesday ruled that the federal government can continue funding human embryonic stem cell research pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s new policies on the controversial field of science.”

* Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a constant source of crushing disappointment, went to the far-right Heritage Foundation today to endorse the Republican line on tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

* In light of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s imminent departure, Dave Weigel reviews why the left has never liked him.

* Good idea: “Nine retired U.S. military officers are urging that the U.S. travel ban to Cuba be lifted.”

* Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) holds up millions of dollars in aid for Haiti earthquake survivors. Seriously.

* On a related note, Coburn really will just block anything and everything: “A bill aimed at increasing enforcement of existing legislation to protect sharks was scuttled in the Senate today when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), one of the chamber’s chief obstructionists, objected to a unanimous consent request by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).”

* Measuring what colleges do isn’t easy.

* As appointed Sen. Ted Kaufmann (D-Del.) prepares to wrap up his brief tenure, he makes it plain: “I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know what to say about the system. The system is so awful.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.