ThinkFast AM: June 14, 2006

Pentagon officials will not include a classified section in the newly updated Army Field Manual. Descriptions of interrogation techniques initially planned for the classified section (presumed to be more aggressive) are “either being made public or are being eliminated as tactics that can be used against prisoners.”

“Despite record low approval ratings, House lawmakers Tuesday embraced a $3,300 pay raise that would increase their salaries to $168,500.”

Part of President Bush’s PR offensive on Iraq yesterday was the announcement that 70,000 American and Iraqi troops would launch “a large-scale security sweep in Baghdad.” But an Iraqi major general acknowledged to the Washington Post that the plan “does not involve an increase in troops in the city.”

FEMA doled out $1.4 billion in bogus assistance to “victims” of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, paying for football tickets, a tropical vacation, “adult erotica products,” and “Girls Gone Wild” videos. The wrongful recipients included prison inmates and a person who used a New Orleans cemetery for a home address.

A Harvard education study has found that No Child Left Behind is “failing to close racial achievement gaps and will miss its goals by 2014 according to recent trends.” Also, the legislation has “had no significant impact on improving reading and math achievement since it was introduced in 2001, contradicting White House claims and potentially adding to concerns over America’s academic competitiveness.”

Though the neoconservative Project for a New American Century is reportedly on the verge of shutting its doors, the group “has been inactive since January 2005” when the group’s leadership, such as William Kristol, “began attacking” fellow PNAC founder Donald Rumsfeld for his management of the Iraq war.

The AP’s Peter Yost on Rove avoiding an indictment: “The decision not to charge Karl Rove shows there often are no consequences for misleading the public. “¦ Rove’s truth-telling to the FBI saved him from indictment. And by misleading reporters, the White House saved itself from a political liability during the 2004 presidential campaign.”

Amnesty International urged European states to stop being “partners in crime” with the United States over the alleged kidnapping of terrorism suspects and their transfer to countries that use torture. “There is irrefutable evidence of European complicity in the unlawful practice of renditions,” Amnesty said.

In advance of next month’s G8 gathering in Russia, the world’s top scientists warned that “climate change solutions agreed at the G8 summit in Scotland a year ago risked being pushed off the agenda.”

And finally: Last weekend, nude cyclists in San Francisco and Seattle rode in protest of “dependence on oil, automotive air pollution, and the dangers that cars pose to cyclists.” “Nakedness doesn’t seem to have much to do with dependence on cars, but one message took a stab at tying the two subjects together: ‘Stop indecent exposure to vehicle emissions!‘”

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.