ThinkFast: December 19, 2006

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"ThinkFast: December 19, 2006"

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The White House is “aggressively promoting” a plan to send “15,000 to 30,000 more troops” to Iraq “over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” the Washington Post reports.

$100 million. Amount the Pentagon wants to spend to build a new courthouse at Guantanamo Bay. About 60 cases would be tried in this courthouse, totaling “$1.6 million per defendant just for the building. The trials will cost many millions more.”

According to a new Pentagon report to Congress, “attacks against American and Iraqi targets had surged this summer and autumn to their highest level.” There was “an increase of 22 percent from the level for early May to early August.”

“Over the past six months, Baghdad has been all but isolated electrically, Iraqi officials say, as insurgents have effectively won their battle to bring down critical high-voltage lines and cut off the capital from the major power plants to the north, south and west.”

The Washington Post examines the apparent White House censorship of former Bush National Security Council Middle East Director Flynt Leverett, a story ThinkProgress first reported on Friday.

“In 2005, 53 members of the House and Senate did not publicly report trips paid for by outside groups within 30 days of the travel,” as is mandated by congressional rules.

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) has been “conscious at times since his emergency brain surgery last week.” More good news: Johnson “has made it through the crucial first 72 hours since the brain surgery…a benchmark that doctors consider a good sign for recovery.”

CBS News reports, “The Pentagon is planning a major buildup of U.S. naval forces in and around the Gulf as a warning to Iran.”

“Under a court order, the Bush administration will restart a housing program for Hurricane Katrina victims early this week and begin explaining to thousands of evacuees why their aid was cut off this summer.”

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), “who blocked the confirmation of a woman to the federal bench because she attended a same-sex commitment ceremony for the daughter of her long-time neighbors, says he will now allow a vote on the nomination” after legal scholars said his demands may have been unconstitutional.

And finally: Tom Brokaw thinks the web is making you “flabby.” Tom Brokaw told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Americans have gotten flabby ‘by spending all our time riffing through Google and other Web sites.'”

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

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