ThinkFast: July 26, 2006

Some 4,000 U.S. troops will soon move into Baghdad where “violence…is still terrible,” as Bush said yesterday. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley called the deployment “Phase II,” but another White House official said there was no Phase II in the original plan. “This is more like Plan B,” he said.

“Imagine Glacier Park without glaciers or Yellowstone without any grizzly bears.” Global warming threatens 12 of the nation’s most famous national parks, according to a new NRDC report.

Four U.N. observers were killed yesterday “when an Israeli airstrike hit their observation post near the Israeli border.” Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was “shocked” at Israel’s “apparently deliberate targeting” of a UN post; an Israeli official called Annan’s suggestion “outrageous.”

“Al McAffrey is poised to become the first openly gay member of the Oklahoma state legislature.” Arkansas and Alabama both elected their first openly gay representatives this year, as well.

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) are “seriously reconsidering” their opposition to U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, according to a New York Sun report. “I think there’s a reasonable chance they might support him this time around,” said Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein.

5.2%: Drop in earnings for workers with four-year degrees between 2000 and 2004, the first such wage stagnation for graduates in 30 years.

Majority Whip Roy Blunt said the House leadership will soon hold the first vote in a decade on increasing the minimum wage. Predicting the bill will pass, Blunt said, “I’m not sure that it’s a ‘must-pass,’ but it will probably be a ‘will-pass.'”

Do large corporations need another tax break? The House of Representatives seems to think so.” House conservatives will take up a measure this week that would prohibit states from taxing many out-of-state businesses.

0. Number of documents the Department of Justice has received from the U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego in connection with the corruption case of former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA), since requesting thousands of pages five months ago.

And finally: Rob Woodall, chief of staff to Rep. John Linder (R-GA), “has been quietly slipping down to ‘the cage’ on the first floor of the Longworth House Office Building to curl up and go night-night next to the office supplies.” Woodall keeps a towel, foam cot, and personal items such as a decorative throw pillow, but swears he sleeps down there only “a couple of nights every couple of weeks.”

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