ThinkFast: February 6, 2007

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"ThinkFast: February 6, 2007"

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Conservative senators may have blocked debate on Iraq yesterday, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) promised, “We are going back to Iraq again and again and again. The debate on Iraq is going to continue. The American people demand it.” Reid told conservative senators on the floor: “You can run but you can’t hide.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) have reached a deal to create a special committee on climate change, paving the way “for global warming to be a centerpiece” of Congress’ agenda this year.

“Bush’s proposal to increase the maximum Pell Grant for lower-income undergraduate students was greeted with fanfare when it was announced last week. But his FY08 budget released Monday contains no new money to pay for it,” CongressDaily reports.

Four times last year, President Bush stood with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and four times he offered glowing appraisals. “Now, though, the president’s comments about the Iraqi leader are couched with conditions and caution — rhetorical loopholes Bush will need to defend himself if the man on whom he has pinned everything fails.”

Jeremy Grantham, Vice President Cheney’s investment manager, criticized the administration’s oil-based energy policy in a letter mailed last week to all his clients, including the vice president. “Successive U.S. administrations have taken little interest in either oil substitution or climate change,” he wrote, “and the current one has even seemed to have a vested interest in the idea that the science of climate change is uncertain.”

Prosecutors in Scooter Libby’s perjury trial yesterday played audio tapes of Libby’s grand jury testimony. “The sound of Mr. Libby’s disembodied voice in the courtroom vividly underlined the contrast between his sworn account and the testimony of the parade of prosecution witnesses presented to the jury over the last two weeks.”

Lawmakers today will introduce the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill “which would not only streamline unionizing, but also assure newly organized workers a contract and sanction lawbreakers” who deny workers the right to organize. Learn more about the legislation here.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency “failed to administer timely medical care to illegal immigrants detained at its facilities,” has not “established a process detainees can use to report abuse or civil rights violations and has not granted them sufficient access to legal materials,” an inspector general’s report found.

And finally: Yesterday on the Senate floor, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) interrupted Iraq proceedings to discuss…the importance of oxygen. “”The Miner Act required additional oxygen. Ah! I can only live with oxygen. You can only live with oxygen. You, Mr. President, can only live with oxygen. You can’’t live without it long. I mean by that, without it, a few, f-e-w, minutes, oxygen. It’’s been around since Adam and Eve inhabited the garden of Eden.””

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

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