Monday’s Mini-Report

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

* An apparent suicide bomber killed at least 21 Egyptian Christians and wounded at least 97 more in an attack on a New Year’s Mass. The terrorism drew widespread international rebukes, including a condemnation from President Obama.

* The Commerce Department announced this morning that the U.S. construction industry has now grown for three consecutive months, following a dismal summer. New data also shows the manufacturing sector growing in 17 consecutive months.

* This would be quite a showdown: “Obama administration officials say they plan to reject Congressional efforts to limit the president’s options on Guantanamo, setting the stage for a confrontation between the president and the new Congress on an issue that has been politically divisive since Inauguration Day.” Among the options are an executive order, a signing statement, or a combination of the two.

* My biggest problem with the war in Afghanistan is the reliability of our partner: “Roads, canals and schools built in Afghanistan as part of a special U.S. military program are crumbling under Afghan stewardship, despite new steps imposed over the past year to ensure reconstruction money is not being wasted, according to government reports and interviews with military and civilian personnel.”

* On a related note, just think, Afghanistan, if you play your cards right, you can “earn” permanent U.S. military bases in your country.

* The lingering confusion in conservative circles about Attorney General Eric Holder and the truly ridiculous New Black Panther Party case is exasperating. This time, it’s the Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin who’s deeply confused. Adam Serwer, thankfully, keeps setting the record straight.

* Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) wants members of Congress to “come together” to address “an infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization.” That guy really isn’t well.

* It looks like the State of the Union will be on January 25. Mark your calendars.

* Ever wonder why the Israeli airport security system is considered so effective? Brian Palmer takes a closer look.

* Stunning photos of the “dramatic decline” of Detroit, Michigan.

* Arkansas is the latest state to look for a magical new funding formula for higher education.

* The Washington Times really seems to dislike gay people.

* As someone born and raised in Miami, this doesn’t surprise me in the slightest: “Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado had an interesting warning for New Year’s Eve partiers: ‘One Bullet Kills the Party.’ The slogan was a public service announcement to deter people from ringing in the new year by shooting stray bullets into the air, as is reportedly the thing to do down there.” It’s more common than outsiders might even imagine.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.