ThinkFast AM: July 5, 2006

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"ThinkFast AM: July 5, 2006"

1,595:. Number of bodies Baghdad’s central morgue received last month, up 16 percent from May. The tally indicates that “the pace of killing here has increased since the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.”

This is not what I fought for, what I almost died for. This is not what I was supposed to come home to,” says Herold Noel, an Iraq veteran, one of 200,000 U.S. veterans without a home.

The push for more tax cuts “is waning on Capitol Hill” because “constituents, who once clamored for tax cuts, have recently begun quizzing them about the deficit and questioning whether the tax cuts were doing more for wealthier Americans than the middle class.”

President Bush’s stalwart foreign friends are fading fast,” the Associated Press reports. “Most of the leaders who defied criticism at home to stand with him on Iraq and win his friendship are no longer players on the world stage, or are on their way out. And it was a small band of brothers to begin with.”

A military officer who retired seven years ago was accidentally re-enlisted in the army until 2010 and sent to Iraq for one year — all because of an Army administrative error.

Increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere may be killing coral reefs, according to a new report. Scientists and government officials call rising oceanic acidity “one of the most pressing environmental threats facing Earth.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts: “There is speculation as to where he is, but certainly nobody has a clue.”

President Bush “is signaling a new willingness” to give up comprehensive immigration reform — establishing border security, guest worker and citizenship programs all at once — to appease the right wing’s call for enforcement-only policies.

As the “margin between the two leading candidates for president narrowed suddenly,” “Mexico seems poised for an acrimonious, drawn-out post-electoral struggle strikingly similar to the Florida recount in the 2000 U.S. presidential race.”

Three days after the Pentagon granted the Navy a “national security exemption” to use sonar during exercises, a federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking its use. The Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups have filed a lawsuit against the Navy, charging that the use of sonar violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

And finally: Ann Coulter is this year’s winner of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ Sitting Duck award for “Easiest Column Target.” The right-wing pundit received the honor “for cheapening political discourse in America,” although the society was reluctant to give it to her “because we know Ms. Coulter is desperate for any kind of attention.”

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