ThinkFast: October 12, 2007


The “richest Americans’ share of national income has hit a postwar record,” with the “wealthiest 1% of Americans earn[ing] 21.2% of all income in 2005, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service. … The bottom 50% earned 12.8% of all income, down from 13.4% in 2004.”

The New York Times’s Paul Krugman covers the right-wing smear of Graeme Frost and his family, calling it “a perfect illustration of the modern right-wing political machine at work, and in particular its routine reliance on character assassination in place of honest debate.”

“A comprehensive global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.” Additionally, abortion was found to be more dangerous where it is outlawed.

The ethics watchdog CREW asked a federal judge yesterday to order the White House to preserve tapes used to back up its e-mail system. “The White House is refusing to confirm that they have maintained e-mail going back to the beginning of the administration as they are required by law to do,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW.

In an “unusual” and “unprecedented” move, CIA director Michael Hayden has ordered an “internal inquiry into the work of the agency’s inspector general,” who has been responsible for “aggressive investigations” of the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs.

Time magazine asks, “Who will be punished for Haditha?” While few dispute the fact that “women and children were killed in their homes alongside adult males by U.S. Marines” in Hadith on Nov. 19, 2005, “the likelihood is” that none of the soldiers involved will be charged for murder.

The Sept. 16 shootout in Baghdad by Blackwater guards was a “criminal event,” according to a report by the first U.S. soldiers to arrive on the scene. “It had every indication of an excessive shooting,” said Lt. Col. Mike Tarsa, who led the troops who responded to the incident.

“Republican sources confirmed Thursday that 18-term Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) will announce his retirement imminently, perhaps as soon as Friday” If Regula does in fact make it official tomorrow, he will be the tenth Republican to retire this cycle.

And finally: Even the White House has noticed Radiohead’s new album. Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto is reportedly a “big fan” of the group and plans to download “In Rainbows.” National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said that he is “90 percent sure” he has a few Radiohead songs on his iPod, but none from their 2003 album, “Hail to the Thief,” which is considered a reference to President Bush.

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