ThinkFast: November 9, 2007


“Rudy Giuliani refused to say if he’d consider pardoning his old friend Bernie Kerik – who was indicted Thursday on federal corruption charges – if elected President.” “It wouldn’t be fair to ask that question at this point,” Giuliani said.

In a 53-40 vote last night, the Senate confirmed Judge Michael Mukasey as attorney general, despite criticism of his refusal to explicitly call waterboarding torture. Six Democrats voted for Mukasey.

Michael Hirsh writes in Newsweek, “Condoleezza Rice is, by her own admission, not ‘that self-reflective.’ But in an interview in her office on Thursday the secretary of state took a moment to contemplate the improved security situation in Iraq.” “I’m sure there are lots of things we might have done better,” she said.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the “economy was going to get worse before it got better, a message that received a chilly reception from both Wall Street and politicians.” He said the economy was about to “slow noticeably,” adding inflation was likely to “increase overall.”

“House leaders are pressing the Senate Democrats to force Republicans to stage more filibusters” when they use procedural maneuvers to block passage of bills. “That is the only way you can give Americans a clear view of who is obstructing change,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said.

Pakistani security officials barricaded former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto inside her home “behind barbed wire, concrete blocks and armored cars on Friday morning,” thwarting her planned protest rally. Bhutto’s party — the Pakistan Peoples Party — claims as many as 5,000 party workers had been arrested across the country over the last three days.

“An internal investigation into a fake news conference staged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency during last month’s California wildfires found that the agency’s press secretary directed aides to pose as reporters, secretly coached them during the briefing and ended the event after a final, scripted question was asked, according to a senior FEMA official.”

More than 100 Stanford University students demonstrated against Donald Rumsfeld’s appointment as a visiting fellow at the school’s Hoover Institution. “To date, nearly 4,000 Stanford faculty, students and alumni have signed a petition begun by a faculty member to reject Rumsfeld’s appointment.”

And finally: “One thing is for certain about the post-presidency of George W. Bush: ‘Under no circumstances’ will first lady Laura Bush spend her retirement years living at the much-ballyhooed Texas ranch that she and the president have been ‘escaping’ to for the past seven years.” The Washington Times reports that the Bush family will settle down in Dallas and visit the Crawford ranch for weekend getaways.

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