ThinkFast: March 20, 2007


McCain backslides on immigration. Despite previously favoring legislation that would allow most illegal immigrants to become citizens without leaving the country, he now says he is “open to legislation that would require people who came to the U.S. illegally to return home before applying for citizenship.”

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald “was ranked among prosecutors who had ‘not distinguished themselves’ on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation.” The chart “was the first step in an effort to identify U.S. attorneys who should be removed.”

1,525: Number of roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan last year. Suicide “attacks rose by six times — from 25 two years ago to 150 in 2006.”

Large crowds are expected at Al Gore’s testimony today tomorrow before the House and Senate environment committees. Last night, Drudge posted questions “which are circulating behind-the-scenes” that would supposedly leave “Gore scrambling for answers.” Climate Progress’ Joseph Romm takes the Drudge challenge and makes quick work of the questions.

At a hearing on the Bush administration’s suppression of global warming science, congressional Democrats revealed a paper trail illustrating “how officials with no scientific training shaped the administration’s climate change message and edited global warming reports.” Defending the administration, Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) explained, “Free speech is not a simple thing and is subject to and directed by policy.”

Because of a “computer glitch,” the Department of Education has “overcharged millions of Americans with student loans during the past decade despite repeated warnings that it was breaking the law, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday.”

“Pentagon officials worry that among the just over 20 Army brigades left in the United States or at Army bases in Europe and Asia, none has enough equipment and manpower to be sent quickly into combat, except for an armored unit stationed permanently in South Korea.”

The world’s major rivers are reaching a “crisis point because of dams, shipping, pollution and climate change,” according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “The world is facing a massive freshwater crisis, which has the potential to be every bit as devastating as climate change,” said WWF’s Dr. David Tickner.

Defense spending has reached the highest levels since World War II. “Even with past spending adjusted upward for inflation, the $630 billion provided for the military this year exceeds the highest annual amounts during the Reagan-era defense buildup, the Vietnam War and the Korean War.”

And finally: Tom DeLay still refuses to admit any impropriety in his dealings with fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff. “So yes, I took a trip to Scotland. Yes, I played golf. Yes, it was privately funded. And yes, it was both legal and informative. If I had the opportunity, I would do it again.”

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