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ThinkFast: September 20, 2007

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"ThinkFast: September 20, 2007"

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Thousands of “people dressed in black, from college students to veterans of the civil rights movements,” will be in Louisiana today in support of six black teenagers known as the “Jena 6,” who were initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate. More about the Jena 6 HERE.

Senate conservatives’ successful effort to obstruct the Webb amendment yesterday mark the “the eighth time this year” that “Senate Republicans…blocked a Democratic move to challenge U.S. policy in Iraq.”

71.1 percent: The increase last month in the numbers of Iraqis forced to abandon their homes, “the sharpest rise so far.

Mary Matalin, a former Cheney aide, is working pay the legal bills of her old co-worker, “Scooter” Libby, who the President granted clemency to earlier this year. “Make no mistake, Scooter’s battle is not yet over,” Matalin wrote in a recent fundraising letter. He “still has hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding legal bills from his trial” that “need to be paid immediately.”

White House officials say that, after the attorney general confirmation, the nomination of Steven G. Bradbury to head the Office of Legal Counsel “is their next priority this fall, though they have nine major slots at a depleted Justice Department to fill.” As acting OLC chief, Bradbury has been “advising President Bush on the extent of his terrorism-fighting powers,” but several Democratic senators have placed secret holds on his official nomination.

An anonymous senator has placed a hold on the nomination of Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez as U.S. attorney in Puerto Rico. Critics charge “she is leading a politically motivated investigation into Puerto Rico’s Democratic governor” on possibly illegal campaign contributions he received in 2000.

Rep. Jerry Weller (R-IL), “dogged by ethics questions surrounding his Nicaraguan investments and his wife’s finances, is set to announce his retirement in the near future, Republican sources said Wednesday.”

Osama bin Laden will reportedly release a new message soon declaring war on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. A banner posted on a militant website previewed the release: “Urgent, Al Qaeda declares war on the tyrant Pervez Musharraf and his apostate army, in the words of Osama bin Laden.”

And finally: Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani was “on the trans-Atlantic campaign trail…bragging about his international credentials. ‘I’m probably one of the four or five best known Americans in the world,’ Giuliani told a small group of reporters at a posh London hotel as onlookers gathered in the lobby to gawk at actor Dustin Hoffman, who was on a separate visit.”

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