ThinkFast: December 7, 2006


Hours after the release of the Iraq Study Group, President Bush and some of the most vocal Capitol Hill backers of the Iraq war gathered for what an insider described as a group therapy session. “The hawks who met with Bush included his pal Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), California Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)…and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).”

President Bush “may not be in much of a hurry to accept [ISG co-chairman Jim] Baker’s ideas about [Iraq] — or much else. Asked if Baker would help implement the report, a spokesman for Mr. Bush said, ‘Jim Baker can go back to his day job.‘”

In a USA Today interview, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin “accused the federal government Wednesday of abandoning its legal obligation to help his city recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.”

“The Bush administration is considering doing away with health standards that cut lead from gasoline, widely regarded as one of the nation’s biggest clean-air accomplishments,” the AP reports. “Battery makers, lead smelters, refiners all have lobbied the administration to do away with the Clean Air Act limits.”

President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair will meet today to “consider the future course in Iraq.” Like the ISG report, “Blair is expected to urge Bush to embrace a wider Middle East peace policy to help resolve the Iraq crisis.”

New NASA satellite data reveals that warmer ocean waters are shrinking the vital base of the ocean food web. “The data show a significant link between warmer water either from the El Nino weather phenomenon or global warming and reduced production of phytoplankton of the world’s oceans.”

Affordable housing opportunities have continued to dwindle this year, according to local housing officials in a survey by the National League of Cities. “Three-fourths of those surveyed say housing costs are significantly limiting home ownership opportunities for lower-income residents and young families.”

“House Republicans opposed to abortion rights failed Wednesday in their bid to pass a controversial measure that would have required women seeking abortions to be informed that some fetuses feel pain.”

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) ended his tenure as chairman of the environment committee yesterday “with a final hearing aimed at spanking the press for its coverage of climate change.” One of Inhofe’s invited witnesses proclaimed, “We sit here scared to death of something that really doesn’t exist.” Incoming chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) pushed back: “Attacking the press doesn’t make the truth go away.”

And finally: At yesterday’s press conference, several Iraq Study Group members “struggled for gravitas.” Former senator Alan Simpson “passed around his copy of the report for his colleagues to autograph, ‘just like a high school annual.'” Meanwhile, Lawrence Eagleburger “doodled”: “first something resembling a sailboat, then a grocery cart, then finally a tyrannosaurus on wheels.”

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