ThinkFast AM: July 10, 2006

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"ThinkFast AM: July 10, 2006"

Karl Rove was asked about the outing of Valerie Plame last week. He reportedly said that after a “careful, thoughtful, aggressive investigation,” the person responsible for leaking should be fired.

Do-nothing Congress. Lawmakers return today “from a weeklong break [and] will resume work on a long list of unfinished — and possibly insurmountable – tasks.” Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), said: “I’m not sure what this Congress has accomplished.”

Insiders tell U.S. News that President Bush has been working on a memoirs project for a year. “‘He’s doing a memoir,’ one insider says. ‘He’s keenly interested in it.’ But here’s the odd part: Bush hasn’t actually written a word yet.”

In Jan. 2002, State Department lawyers warned the White House against creating a “lawless” universe where detainees had no rights: “Even those terrorists captured in Afghanistan…are entitled to the fundamental humane treatment standards of…the Geneva Conventions.”

Brutality and corruption are rampant in Iraq’s police force,” according to confidential Iraqi government documents. Abuses include the rape of female prisoners, the release of terrorism suspects in exchange for bribes, and participation in insurgent bombings.

“A sharp rise in bloodletting between Shiites and minority Sunni Arabs has raised new fears of a slide to all-out civil war.” A day after more than 60 Iraqis were killed “in a dramatic escalation of sectarian violence” in Baghdad, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pleaded for Iraqis to “unite as brothers.”

Tom DeLay “is planning an aggressive campaign to retake the House seat he quit in June if an appeals court lets stand a ruling by a federal judge last week that his name must stay on November’s ballot–even though he has moved to Virginia.”

Lobbying reform legislation remains stalled in Congress, and public interest groups think that’s a good thing. “I’d much rather see Congress fall on its face and not pass anything this year,” said Public Citizen’s Craig Holman. “What they’re considering is really nothing but a PR gimmick to placate the American voters.”

Post-election turmoil continues in Mexico. Yesterday, lawyers for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador “turned in documented allegations of irregularities that they said cost him the July 2 presidential election, and a senior aide warned that Mexico faces an ‘insurrection’ unless all 41 million ballots are recounted.”

And finally: Happy 1st Birthday to the National Zoo’s panda cub, Tai Shan. “For his birthday, staffers prepared a giant fruitsicle for the cub, a frozen melange of apples, yams, carrots and fruit juices.”

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