ThinkFast: November 16, 2007


U.S. consumers will pay 11 percent more for the traditional Thanksgiving meal this year, due in part to higher energy costs, the American Farm Bureau Federation said on Thursday.”

Ever since Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency, he has been “the most unpopular figure in the country.” But “running a close second” is “his ally: President Bush.” “[W]hy isn’t the U.S. standing up for Pakistan when we need it most?” asked Islamabad resident Parveen Aslam. “We are calling them Busharraf now. They are the same man.”

A confidential 2003 manual for operating” Guant¡namo Bay shows that military officials had a policy of denying detainees access to independent monitors from the International Committee of the Red Cross.” The manual allows “some long-term detainees” to have “no contact of any kind with the I.C.R.C.”

“Some government scientists” charge “that officials at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History” ordered last-minute changes to an exhibit on the Arctic to add “scientific uncertainty” about climate change because of “global-warming skeptics in the Bush administration.”

After Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi “was required by Congress to spend half of its billions in federal grant money to help low-income citizens. … But so far, the state has spent $1.7 billion in federal money on programs that have mostly benefited relatively affluent residents and big businesses.” Just 10 percent of the funds have gone to help poor residents.

Satellite imaging has revealed that “hurricanes Katrina and Rita produced the largest single forestry disaster on record in the nation,” killing or severely damaging about 320 million trees in the area. The die-off “will add significantly to the global greenhouse gas buildup,” researchers say.

“Working until dawn, negotiators on Friday concluded a policy guide for governments on global warming that declares climate change is here and is getting worse.” The report is to be released Saturday by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

And finally: Early in his address at yesterday’s Federalist Society 25th anniversary gathering, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas announced, “You know, it’s really hard to talk up here when this guy in front of me keeps moving.” The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank notes that he “was referring to a television screen on the floor in front of him that was showing his own image — but because nobody but Thomas could see the TV, nobody knew what he was talking about. ‘It’s me! I see myself moving around!’ Thomas explained, then let out a resonant laugh: ‘Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!'”

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