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ThinkFast: May 18, 2007

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"ThinkFast: May 18, 2007"

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The search for three missing Americans taken during Saturday’s ambush enters its seventh day. “Thousands of soldiers” sifting through the tips from Iraqis “has become the hub of the manhunt.” Most have led nowhere — “deliberately so in some cases, many Americans suspect.” The false alarms “highlight the challenge American troops face…in a Sunni stronghold where many residents resent the American presence.”

In a 220 to 208 vote, the House yesterday ignored a veto threat from President Bush and “demanded that the administration develop a plan to transfer detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”

“Sources yesterday identified four additional prosecutors who were considered for termination, bringing to 30 the number of prosecutors who were placed on Justice Department firing lists between February 2005 and December 2006. That accounts for about a third of the nation’s 93 U.S. attorney positions. Nine were fired last year.”

68: Percentage of Americans who support federal hate crime legislation for gays and lesbians, according to a Gallup poll, including 60 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of weekly churchgoers.

Several senators have urged President Bush to withdraw his nomination of Michael Baroody — a corporate lobbyist picked to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission — “saying the candidate was unqualified and the appointment posed insurmountable conflicts of interest.”

“YouTube’s co-founders on Thursday challenged the Pentagon’s assertion that soldiers overseas were sapping too much bandwidth by watching online videos.” Chief Executive Chad Hurley “expressed doubt that soldiers’ use of YouTube could have any real effect on the military’s massive network.”

The House Judiciary Committee passed a controversial lobbying reform bill, but were forced to strip “a two-year moratorium on lobbying by former lawmakers and staff” over bipartisan opposition. The panel also “sidestepped or rejected several other proposals meant to beef up the bill, including a hotly disputed call to force lobbyists conducting grass-roots campaigns to register.”

Speaking of Paul Wolfowitz’s resignation from the World Bank, a “former colleague who served with Wolfowitz in four administrations said that ‘the kinds of problems he got into were predictable for anybody who really knew Paul.’” The source “voiced admiration for his intellect but said Wolfowitz ‘couldn’t run a two-car funeral.’”

“A bipartisan group of senators is pushing legislation that would force the CIA to release an inspector general’s report on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.” The CIA is the only federal agency to not make a version of such a report public.

And finally: While moving around office furniture, Sen. Jon Tester’s (D-MT) staff found an “old document.” The document, “a citizens’ petition in favor of women’s suffrage” that dated back to 1910, was turned over to the National Archives. Tester’s staffers were a bit bummed when they found out it will remain at the Archives. “We had no idea — we thought we could just hang it up on the wall,” says Tester spokesman Matt McKenna.

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

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