ThinkFast: January 9, 2008


President Bush “had a powerful effect” on New Hampshire’s Republican primary. Roughly half of GOP voters “had a negative opinion of the Bush administration, and those voters significantly went for Arizona Sen. John McCain by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.” Of those with a “positive opinion of the administration,” 37 percent voted for Mitt Romney.

There was record turnout in yesterday’s New Hampshire primaries. “With ballots from 12 percent of voting precincts still to be counted, about 453,000 residents had cast votes, breaking the previous primary turnout record of 396,385 ballots cast in 2000.”

President Bush chastised the “provocative” acts of a few Iranian high-speed boats that confronted U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf. According to a video released by the Pentagon, the Iranian boats swarmed around the American ships, and a man speaking heavily-accented English threatened, “I am coming to you. … You will explode after…minutes.”

With just “two members and unable to muster a quorum,” the Federal Elections Commission “has decided to offer advice instead of binding decisions on questions from political campaigns.” The four vacancies are a result of President Bush’s refusal to withdraw the nomination of Hans A. von Spakovsky, despite strong opposition from Congress.

As President Bush arrives in Israel today “to start a tour of six Middle Eastern countries,” he “has yet to fulfill a key diplomatic promise to name an envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a promise he made seven months ago.” In a June speech at the Islamic Center of Washington, Bush pledged to name an envoy to the grouping of 57 Muslim states.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) with federal prosecutors yesterday, accusing her of violating federal bribery law by obtaining a $2 million earmark for Voyager Expanded Learning just days after receiving $30,000 in campaign contributions from company executives and their relatives.

In a new court filing, lawyers for Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) argue “that the underlying act” of his airport bathroom arrest “wasn’t criminal because it didn’t involve multiple victims.” Craig’s lawyers also claim that hand signals should be considered “constitutionally protected speech.”

“Faced with recession fears, the White House is considering tax rebates for individuals to encourage spending and tax breaks for businesses to encourage investment, according to people familiar with the matter.”

And finally: Gloria Squitiro, wife of recently elected Kansas City, MO, mayor Mark Funkhouser, recently sent out a holiday letter to her friends and family. But instead of talking about her kids or job, she talked about Funkhouser’s prostate exam, which was “the highlight of his year.” She also said that watching it was her “biggest joy.” “I waited in gleeful anticipation,” she wrote, noting “the doctor’s sausage-sized fingers.” Ever since someone leaked Squitiro’s letter, it’s been the “talk of the town.”

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