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ThinkFast: March 13, 2007

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"ThinkFast: March 13, 2007"

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“The White House was deeply involved in the decision late last year to dismiss federal prosecutors, including some who had been criticized by Republican lawmakers,” the New York Times reports. “Last October, President Bush spoke with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to pass along concerns by Republicans” about several U.S. Attorneys. Weeks later, they were forced out.

In related news, Attorney General Gonzales’ chief of staff Kyle Sampson resigned yesterday in the wake of the U.S. Attorney scandal. Sampson was involved in generating the list of prosecutors to fire.

“The National Association of Evangelicals has endorsed an anti-torture statement saying the United States has crossed ‘boundaries of what is legally and morally permissible‘ in its treatment of detainees and war prisoners in the fight against terror.”

President Bush yesterday called for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. “It seems like to me, we’ve got to get this done by August,” he said. But Bush said his goal was to find a bill that “most Republicans are comfortable with” in the Senate before asking for input from Democrats.

More questions about Halliburton’s move to Dubai. Senate Commerce Committee member Byron Dorgan (D-ND) asked yesterday, “I want to know, is Halliburton trying to run away from bad publicity on their contracts? Are they trying to run away from the obligation to pay U.S. taxes? Or are they trying to set up a corporate presence in Dubai so that they can avoid the restrictions that currently exist on doing business with prohibited countries like Iran?”

News of Scooter Libby’s guilty verdict has brought in $70,000 in Internet contributions in a week. Wealthy supporters like publisher Steve Forbes and lobbyist Wayne Berman plan to raise much more; actor Fred Thompson plans a Washington fundraiser that may bring in more than $100,000.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced a resolution yesterday to allow Al Gore to stage a global-warming concert on the Capitol grounds. Gore’s Live Earth event will feature seven major concerts on seven continents to help bring attention to global climate change.

Britain “became the first country to propose legislation setting binding limits on greenhouse gases.” “In its draft Climate Change Bill, the government said carbon dioxide emissions had to be cut by 60 percent by 2050, set out five-year carbon-cutting budgets to reach the target and created an independent monitoring committee to check progress annually.”

And finally: Hagel brings out the comedian in political pundits. Reacting to Sen. Chuck Hagel’s (R-NE) bizarre non-announcement yesterday, the Hotline called the speech “the biggest letdown since ‘Joey’ spun off from ‘Friends.’” CNN reporter Dana Bash added, “This trip was all steak and no sizzle.”

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