ThinkFast: April 6, 2007

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"ThinkFast: April 6, 2007"

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A declassified Pentagon study reports that “captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides ‘all confirmed’ that Hussein’s regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.” The document notes that a pre-war CIA analysis stated that there were “no conclusive signs of cooperation on specific terrorist operations,” providing yet further evidence of manipulation of intelligence by then-Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith.

Bad news for Bill O’Reilly: “Immigration is helping to keep America’s big cities vibrant and alive, buffering major metropolitan areas from a slow drain in population as longtime residents move out, new data released yesterday by the US Census Bureau shows.”

Sens. Christopher Dodd, John Kerry, and Robert Casey called for an investigation into whether President Bush acted illegally in recess-appointing Swift Boat funder Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium. “We view the recess appointment of Mr. Fox as a clear abuse of the President’s recess appointment power,” they wrote in a letter to the Government Accountability Office.

“A senior official at the federal Education Department sold more than $100,000 in shares in a student loan company even as he was helping oversee lenders in the federal student loan program.”

Four top staffers from the office of Rachel Paulose, the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota, have voluntarily demoted themselves in protest. Paulose has “deep connections” to key players in the Bush administration’s prosecutor purge. She was an “assistant to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales…and is best buds with Monica Goodling.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “raised the issue of the lack of women in Saudi politics with officials” in Saudi Arabia, as she “tried out her counterpart’s chair — a privilege not available to Saudi women because they cannot become legislators.”

Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases the second of four 2007 reports on global warming’s region-by-region environmental and human impact in this century. The final report — whose wording was “diluted” in an effort to reach consensus — will state that a rise in world temperature would have “damaging and costly effects, ranging from the likely extinction of perhaps a fourth of the world’s species to eventual inundation of coasts and islands inhabited by hundreds of millions of people.”

“Changing climate will mean increasing drought in [America’s] Southwest – a region where water already is in tight supply.”

And finally: “Pigeon poop has long sullied downtown St. Paul sidewalks,” but city officials have a plan to eradicate it before the Republican National Convention comes to town next year. “After pigeons lay their eggs on rooftop nesting grounds, maintenance workers plan to sneak up through trap doors and grab the next generation before it hatches.”

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