ThinkFast: July 27, 2006

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"ThinkFast: July 27, 2006"

It sucks. Honestly, it just feels like we’re driving around waiting to get blown up. That’s the most honest answer I could give you,” said 28-year old Army Specialist Tim Ivey, about U.S. troop morale in Iraq.

60 percent: Number of Americans who believe President Bush is not respected by foreign leaders, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

“Following on the heels of daily papers in Augusta, Ga., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a weekly in Greensboro, N.C., has decided to drop Ann Coulter’s regular column.” The paper explained reader feedback showed approval for “cutting her column at a ratio of two to one. And numbers don’t lie (unless, some would say, they’re being wielded by Ann Coulter).”

Exxon posted $10.36 billion in profits this quarter, the “second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company.” Royal Dutch Shell pocketed $7.32 billion, a 40 percent rise from the same period last year.

In a half-hour speech to Congress yesterday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki “embraced the stance of President Bush in calling Iraq a key front in a wider battle against terrorism and in evoking the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.” Slate wonders whether the White House wrote the speech. Tony Snow acknowledged there had been “conversations” about the address within the administration.

A former Indian intelligence official said the U.S. nuclear deal with India “will allow India to produce 50 more nuclear warheads a year than it can now, by freeing up existing uranium reserves for military use.” Meanwhile, the House overwhelmingly approved the deal and “rejected amendments that aimed to curb India’s nuclear weapons program.”

Today, Bush will sign the renewal of the Voting Rights Act, reauthorizing provisions that a decade ago he called a burdensome and unnecessary federal intrusion. “The Bush administration has really done a flip-flop on this,” said Edward Blum, a senior fellow at the Center for Equal Opportunity.

“The U.S. government’s crackdown on media indecency could prevent World War Two veterans from sharing their stories in an upcoming TV documentary series by Ken Burns. “¦ If the expletives make it to air, they could lead to crippling fines for the offending stations as a result of a new law signed last month by President George W. Bush.”

Since the Department of Homeland Security was formed in 2003, an “explosion of no-bid deals and a critical shortage of trained government contract managers have created a system prone to abuse,” according to a bipartisan congressional report to be released today.

And finally: Global warming leads to more severe heat waves, and the skyrocketing temperatures have led to more shirtless men in the UK. British lawmakers are considering banning “public nudity of the middle-aged shirtless man variety.” Said one official, “But one of the things that is depressing for anyone going shopping is the numbers of shaven-headed men, mainly in their 30s and 40s, who seem to think people want to see their torsos.”

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