ThinkFast AM: June 1, 2006

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"ThinkFast AM: June 1, 2006"

Molly English, the editor of the Syracuse New Times, is considering legal action against Karl Zinsmeister, Bush’s new domestic policy adviser, for altering quotations in a profile of him published by the paper in 2004. “I find it insulting and his excuse is awfully lame,” she said.

The three-month probe of the reported massacre in Haditha, expected to be released next week, will likely conclude not only that “some officers gave false information to their superiors,” but that “senior Marine commanders were derelict in their duty to monitor the actions of subordinates.” Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell, who led the probe, “declined to say whether he would characterize it as a ‘coverup.'”

The House Appropriations Committee is a revolving door for staff members who later go to work as lobbyists trying to influence their former bosses. At least 46 former aides on the powerful spending committee registered as lobbyists after leaving their congressional jobs since 1998, according to records compiled by the Center for Public Integrity.

Vice President Cheney “was dead set against” yesterday’s decision to offer the prospect of direct talks with Iran, one former Bush official said, but in the end “it came down to convincing Cheney and others that if we are going to confront Iran, we first have to check off the box” of trying talks.

African-Americans and Latinos are 30 percent more likely to receive higher rates for home loans than white borrowers despite similar credit scores and risk factors, according to a new study by the Center for Responsible Lending.

Mark Corallo, former spokesman for Attorney General John Ashcroft, criticized the Bush administration’s subpoenas of reporters. “This is the most reckless abuse of power I have seen in years,” said Corallo. “You just don’t ride roughshod over the rights of reporters to gather information from confidential sources.”

The Army has started cutting costs to make its funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan extend for another month because Congress, which is currently on vacation, has failed to pass the 2006 emergency supplemental spending bill. Army Vice Chief of Staff Richard Cody said spending will gradually be restricted over the next few weeks, with options growing as dire as suspending recruitment efforts and postponing promotions.

If you print this, I’ll be killed,” one local official says after criticizing the political infighting in Basra, Iraq, a city that was once “seemingly immune to the violence that has plagued the rest of the country,” but has now “sunk into chaos.”

Four conservatives running for Alabama’s Supreme Court are “making an argument legal scholars thought was settled in the 1800s: that state courts are not bound by U.S. Supreme Court precedents.” The issue last gained traction after conservatives “railed against federal court decisions striking down segregation in schools and public transportation.”

The data theft of 26.5 million veterans is worse than earlier reported. Not only were Social Security numbers and birthdates stolen, but phone numbers and addresses as well.

And finally: Kevin “K-Fed” Federline, rapper and husband of Britney Spears, dishes his media conspiracy theory: “The same day Dick Cheney shoots someone, they’ve got me on the cover of MSN [Web site]. It’s like they’re diverting attention from what’s really going on.”

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