ThinkFast: June 18, 2007


The Army has no PTSD center at Walter Reed,” the Washington Post reports in a new expose, “and its psychiatric treatment is weak compared with the best PTSD programs the government offers. Instead of receiving focused attention, soldiers with combat-stress disorders are mixed in with psych patients who have issues ranging from schizophrenia to marital strife.”

In Iraq’s Diyala province, U.S. soldiers are willing to risk teaming up with Sunni militias to fight insurgent groups. Ali al-Adeeb, a prominent Shiite lawmaker, said the U.S. is “trusting people who have previously attacked American forces and innocent people. They are trusting people who are loyal to the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

A new report by CREW documents seventy-two members of the House of Representatives who have spent $5.1 million in campaign funds to pay relatives or their relatives’ companies or employers during the past six years. While the practice is not illegal, CREW hopes to spearhead a public debate “leading to changes in existing law to end these abuses.”

Fallout from the U.S. attorney scandal is “starting to hit the department in federal courtrooms around the country.” Defense lawyers are “raising questions about the motives of government lawyers who have brought charges against their clients,” and “are citing the furor over the U.S. attorney dismissals as evidence that their cases may have been infected by politics.”

“A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., has heard evidence about a remodeling project at Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-AK) home as part of a burgeoning investigation into corruption in Alaska.”

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will take up “a major reversal of energy tax policies,” legislation that would “raise about $14 billion from oil companies over 10 years and would give about the same amount of money on new incentives for solar power, wind power, cellulosic ethanol and numerous other renewable energy sources.”

Seven children were killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike targeting suspected al-Qaida militants in eastern Afghanistan, a coalition statement said Monday. The strike came hours after the deadliest insurgent attack since the Taliban fell in 2001.”

White House loyalists have begun arguing for a Libby pardon. “[S]everal Republicans, who sense a movement in Libby’s favor, said a more likely possibility might be a presidential commutation — a reduction or elimination of Libby’s 2½-year federal prison sentence.

Robert Novak writes that Bush plans to go on a “veto offensive.” Bush has pledged to veto the homeland security appropriations bill. After that, “Bush next plans vetoes of the energy-water and interior-environment bills.” Novak predicts Bush’s vetoes will “trigger an epochal political struggle in the months ahead.”

And finally: For Father’s Day, First Lady Laura Bush gave the President “several ties she purchased during their recent trip to Europe,” and his daughters “gave him a CD they had made for him to listen to while exercising.” President Bush also “squeezed in a bike ride at his ranch” and “spoke to his father, former President George H.W. Bush, over the phone.”

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