"ThinkFast: June 1, 2007"
Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan declares today that President Bush “has torn the conservative coalition asunder,” with consequences “for the American future.” This White House “thinks its base is stupid,” she writes, while “conservative Bush supporters have felt like sufferers of battered wife syndrome.”
With the conservative coalition reeling, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) believes the solution lies in “rebranding” itself. He has convened a group of allies to work on conservative “branding,” an exercise designed to restore an identity to a coalition that “many voters no longer see as holding a core set of principles.”
“Fort Lewis, which this month has suffered its worst losses of the war, will no longer conduct individual memorial ceremonies for soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, the post will hold one ceremony for all soldiers killed each month.” Fort Lewis’ commanding general wrote in a memo, “I am afraid that with the number of soldiers we now have in harm’s way, our losses will preclude us from continuing to do individual memorial ceremonies.”
Top U.S. commander Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno “warned” yesterday that “he may not be able to make a full assessment of the situation in Iraq by September, as demanded by lawmakers.”
President Bush yesterday announced a “new international climate change framework,” setting “aspirational goals” for reducing carbon emissions but “no concrete targets or dates, no enforcement mechanism and no penalties for noncompliance. It also wouldn’t take effect until four years after Bush leaves office.”
Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson on global warming: “There’s much we know and can agree on around the climate change issue, and there’s much that we just don’t believe we do know…and we want to have a debate about the things we know and understand, the things we know about that we don’t understand very well, and the things we don’t even know about around this very complex issue of climate science. So that will continue to be our position.”
“Gov. Bob Riley signed a resolution Thursday expressing ‘profound regret’ for Alabama’s role in slavery and apologizing for slavery’s wrongs and lingering effects. ‘Slavery was evil and is a part of American history,’ the Republican governor said.”
“The popular online dating service eHarmony was sued on Thursday for refusing to offer its services to gays, lesbians and bisexuals.” eHarmony was “founded in 2000 by evangelical Christian Dr. Neil Clark Warren” and “had strong early ties” with the religious right group Focus on the Family.
And finally: A press release from Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) yesterday calling for a “National First Responder Appreciation Day” included the following line, attributed to Allard: “I don’t think first responders have really done anything significant in comparison to their counterparts who have dealt with real natural disasters, I have no idea what else to say.” Allard’s spokesman “sent out a correction 23 minutes later that said, ‘Please pardon my typo in the first version of this release. I sincerely apologize for the error.’”
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