ThinkFast: March 23, 2006

While the average rate of U.S. troop fatalities in Iraq has fallen this month, the rate at which they are being wounded has dramatically increased. “[I]n the 39 days from Feb. 11 through March 21, 616 U.S. soldiers were injured in Iraq, an average of 15.8 per day. This was more than twice as bad as the Feb. 4-10 period when 47 U.S. soldiers were injured at an average rate of just under seven per day.”

Opposition to gay marriage is declining. 28 percent now strongly disapprove of gay marriage, down from 42 percent in early 2004. Six in 10 now favor allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

NBC’s Katie Couric on Wal-Mart: “It’s a company that is as American as mom and apple pie.”

Alex Flint: “a prime example of what’s wrong with current lobbying rules.” Flint moved from lucrative lobbying jobs on behalf of the nuclear power industry to Capitol Hill, “where he was a key player in legislation that provided billions in subsidies to the nuclear industry.”

Human activity is “responsible for the sixth major extinction event in the history of earth, and the greatest since the dinosaurs disappeared, 65 million years ago,” says a new U.N. Global Biodiversity Outlook report. The current extinction rate is 1,000 times faster than historical rates of loss.

1,889: The number of days President Bush has been in office, making him the “longest-sitting president since Thomas Jefferson not to exercise his veto, surpassing James Monroe.”

In a 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that police “must have a warrant to look for evidence in a couple’s home unless both of the partners present agree to let them in.” Conservative Justices Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas dissented. More analysis of the case here.

40 percent of the Amazon’s rainforests will be gone by 2050, unless more is done to prevent “one of the world’s worst environmental crisis.”

The IRS may not be the only government agency failing to protect your privacy. A Government Accountability Office report states that medical and financial information is vulnerable to online thieves due to “significant weaknesses in information security controls” at the Department of Health and Human Services.

And finally: The Smoking Gun has obtained a copy of Vice President Cheney’s “rider,” the document provided to hotels detailing how Cheney’s room is to be outfitted. Among the demands: “Temperature set to 68 degrees,” “All lights turned on,” and “All televisions turned to FOX News.”

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments section.