ThinkFast: July 13, 2007


Telephone records released by “D.C. madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey indicate she placed calls that were answered by Sen. David Vitter’s Washington phone on five occasions while Vitter was in the House, from 1999 through 2001. “On four of those five days, the House was in session and Vitter participated in every roll call vote.”

At a Senate confirmation hearing yesterday, President Bush’s surgeon general nominee, James Holsinger, was forced to defend views he expressed in a 1991 paper suggesting that homosexuality is abnormal. He argued the paper has been taken out of context and “does not represent where I am today…who I am today,” Holsinger said. “But he did not spell out his current views, and the controversy has lingered.”

“In an unusual expression of frustration, the judge who sentenced former White House aide I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby to 30 months in jail, only to see the sentence commuted by President Bush, said he was ‘perplexed’ by the act of clemency.”

“Since 2001, more than 22,000 servicemen and women from all branches of the military have been separated under the personality disorder discharge.” ABC News explains, “This diagnosis means the personality disorder existed before military service, and therefore medical care and disability payments are not the military’s responsibility.”

The New York Times challenges Bush’s fear-mongering over al Qaeda in Iraq. “The militant group is in many respects an Iraqi phenomenon. They believe the membership of the group is overwhelmingly Iraqi. Its financing is derived largely indigenously from kidnappings and other criminal activities.”

“More U.S. children breathe air and drink water that is polluted, more are living in crowded, costly housing that strains the family budget and more babies are being born at low birth weights that threaten their survival and set them up for problems down the road.”

“The popularity of the morning-after pill Plan B has surged in the year since the federal government approved the sale of the controversial emergency contraceptive without a prescription. … The sharp rise was hailed by women’s health and family-planning advocates, who say it illustrates the value of easing access to birth control to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is standing idle while Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) keeps an unanimously approved ethics bill in limbo. “Mitch McConnell is making a big mistake sitting on his hands,” said Craig Holman, legislative representative for Public Citizen. “Now he’s letting his own rank-and-file undermine his image of authority.”

And finally: Airport screeners took away Rep. Tom Price’s (R-GA) mustache. TSA would now allow the congressman to take his “mustache trimmer on a plane, forcing him to use an electric version. But he wasn’t used to that gadget, and he quickly found himself in the vicious cycle of trimming each end of the ‘stache in an effort to even it out. Before he knew it, there was not enough left to salvage. ‘It was TSA,’ Price repeated. ‘That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.'”

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