ThinkFast: November 6, 2007


The U.S. military announced the deaths of five more soldiers today, “making 2007 the deadliest year of the war for U.S. troops. … At least 852 American military personnel have died in Iraq so far this year — the highest annual toll since the war began in March 2003, according to AP figures.”

Sixty percent of Americans favor withdrawing U.S. forces, a new high, while just 9 percent favor increasing troop levels. “At the same time, relatively few, 17 percent, favor an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces, matching its average in polls since 2006.”

69 percent: Number of Americans who believe that waterboarding is torture, according to a new CNN poll. Another 58 percent say that the U.S. government should be barred from using the procedure “to try to get information from suspected terrorists.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pens an op-ed in the NYT explaining why he will vote for Mukasey, arguing that he “would do a good job in turning the department around.” He adds that Congress is now considering legislation that would explicitly ban the use of waterboarding, and he is “confident that Judge Mukasey would enforce that law” should it pass.

President Bush urged Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to hold elections and give up his army post “as soon as possible,” but “gave no indication that the general’s imposition of emergency rule would bring about any significant change in American policy.” Members of Congress said they will review aid to Pakistan, but did not immediately propose a cutoff or reduction.

“Six years after the September 11, 2001, attacks, Al Qaeda is a potent threat to the West and will take at least a generation to defeat, according to the most recent assessment by the head of Britain’s intelligence agency, MI5.”

Rich nations’ greenhouse gas emissions rose close to an all-time high in 2005, led by U.S. and Russian gains despite international curbs meant to restrict global warming, United Nations data showed.”

“The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has more than quadrupled since the U.S. troop buildup began in February, leaving 2.3 million Iraqis displaced and further dividing the country along sectarian lines.” If violence is decreasing in Iraq, it may be because insurgents “are running out of people to kill,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) said.

The nationwide average gas price went above $3 a gallon Monday, “to the highest in more than three months as climbing oil prices pushed up prices at the pump. … The average gas price has never topped $3 in November, a development that adds to uncertainty about how much consumers will spend when faced with higher energy bills.”

And finally: The entire House delegation from New England has signed on to an official commendation of the Red Sox after the team’s recent World Series win. The bill — stating in part that the team “epitomized sportsmanship, selfless play, team spirit, determination, and heart” — picked up 21 members, three more than supported a similar one in 2004. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) added in a statement, “God is good.”

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