ThinkFast: July 4, 2007


The economic American dream “that children would be more prosperous than their parents, is in question as perhaps never before.” Since 1973, “median family income has been essentially flat,” and men in their 30s “earn roughly $5,000 less than their father’s generation.”

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton believes that President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison term may also wipe out his two-year probation. “Strictly interpreted, the statute authorizing probation indicates that supervised release ‘should occur only after the defendant has already served a term of imprisonment,'” Walton wrote.

The Fourth of July is the peak season for purchasing American flags. In 2006, $5.3 million worth of U.S. flags were imported from other countries, mostly from China. Now, a “move is on in state legislatures to ensure that the flags folks will be flying and buying this Independence Day were made on this fruited plain.”

More than 180,000 civilians are now working in Iraq as U.S. contractors, exceeding the number of U.S. troops. The “death toll for private contractors in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has topped 1,000,” with 13,000 wounded.

193,000: Number of employees the U.S. government needs to hire in the next two years, facing “a difficult task competing with the private sector for qualified employees.” Around “480,000 federal employees expected to retire or resign in the next five years.”

The PR firm MultiVu is distributing a “fake news video” as part of the industry-wide smear campaign against Michael Moore’s movie SiCKO. The firm receives funding from Health Care America, which accepts money from the hospital and pharmaceutical companies.

And finally: Happy Independence Day! Approximately 88.7 percent of Americans will partake in festivities today, spending “more than $275 million on hamburgers and hot dogs.” Sixty-one percent “of the nation has American flags to wave, and 28 percent have Independence Day decorations. Another 45 percent more have July Fourth garb (think flag shirts or festive hats) in their closets.”

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