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ThinkFast: March 29, 2006

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"ThinkFast: March 29, 2006"

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“How do you say revolving door in Japanese?” Former Senator Howard Baker (R-TN), the U.S. Ambassador to Japan until last year, has already registered as a lobbyist for Toshiba Corporation.

Halliburton actually did “a worse job under its second Iraq oil contract than it did under the original no-bid contract,” repeatedly overcharging the government and exhibiting “profound systemic problems.”

30 out of more than 180,000 millionaires were audited by the IRS last year. Poor taxpayers were almost twice as likely to be audited as the wealthy.

At the “War on Christians” conference yesterday, Texas Baptist minister Rick Scarborough said, “I believe the most damaging thing that Tom DeLay has done in his life is take his faith seriously into public office.” Mr. Scarborough, here are thirteen real candidates for the most damaging thing DeLay has done while serving in public office.

Also: After the conference, DeLay said Justices O’Connor and Ginsburg “don’t get” the right-wing attacks on the judiciary, and that society “all but treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition.”

Gulf Coast residents will experience “quick and massive evacuations during the upcoming hurricane season, even if the approaching storm is minimal,” due to their fragility of their temporary housing. It’s especially bad news since New Orleans still lacks even a single emergency shelter.

$335,000: The cost of a 200-page government report on the impacts of outsourcing on “knowledge-based industries” that the Commerce Department is refusing to release. Instead, it has handed out a 12-page summary that lawmakers “suspect whitewashes the worst news about job migration to India and other countries.”

Thousands of political refugees from authoritarian states are being denied safe harbor from the federal Refugee Resettlement Program because of the Homeland Security Department’s “Kafkaesque interpretation of who is deemed a terrorist.”

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has been leading the World Bank for just 10 months, but already he seems to have alienated much of the staff. Among the criticisms: “too much reliance on a few crafty conservative Republicans he brought with him” and too little use of the bank’s experienced staffers.

And finally: More than 260 “friends, relatives and beneficiaries of Abramoff’s largesse” have written letters to the federal judge who is sentencing him Wednesday, “asking that he be shown mercy.” One supporter wrote the judge “about the time Abramoff tried to ‘find a lost hamster on a Friday night.’”

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