ThinkFast: September 8, 2006

Entertainment industry trade mag Variety reports that “a bombshell decision” is being considered at ABC: “Sources close to the project say the network, which has been in a media maelstrom over the pic, is mulling the idea of yanking [The Path to 9/11] altogether.”

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) is “proposing to remove George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld from the military chain of command over Iraq,” which critics say is likely unconstitutional. The staunch conservative is facing a stiff reelection fight, in part due to his support for the Iraq war.

Sources tell the New America Foundation’s Steve Clemons that John Bolton’s confirmation process “is now dead.” “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is ‘highly unlikely‘ to reconsider Bolton’s confirmation again as things now stand.”

Yesterday the Senate unanimously reinstated a special CIA unit dedicated to hunting Osama bin Laden. The CIA received intense criticism after closing the unit in late 2005.

Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer continued to throw personal attacks at his opponent, Janet S. Owens, saying she is “getting fat” and “her husband rules her.” He added that she “prissy little miss” who wears “long dresses, looks like Mother Hubbard — it’s sort of like she was a man.”

“The Senate passed legislation Thursday night that would create a massive, Google-like searchable database to track federal spending.” The bill passed “by a voice vote after both Republican and Democratic senators dropped their objections to it.”

Richard Woollam, the former head of pipeline-corrosion at BP Alaska, invoked the Fifth Amendment in testimony before a House subcommittee. The company transferred Woollam to Houston in 2005 “amid concerns that he intimidated potential whistleblowers.”

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose reputation has been badly damaged by his support for the U.S. war in Iraq, promised to step down within a year.

The possibility of compromise on comprehensive immigration reform “is essentially dead.” House conservatives, “who have campaigned hard against illegal immigration with few legislative accomplishments to show for it,” will “try to cobble together a package of border crackdown measures before their recess next month.”

And finally: Congress horses around. Rather than deal with “war in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism and border problems, high energy prices and health-care costs,” the House’s first order of business was HR 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. “The debate – lasting nearly four hours while horse lover Bo Derek watched from the gallery – quickly degenerated into dueling expressions of equestrian love.”

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