"ThinkFast: February 29, 2008"
After months of a consensual international media blackout, Matt Drudge revealed that Prince Harry has been “in Afghanistan for more than two months” — “to the fury of the Ministry of Defence and condemnation from the head of the British Army.” Harry is now being sent back to Britain.
Senate Republicans “blocked consideration of a bill designed to prop up the struggling housing industry” yesterday. The bill would have provided billions of dollars to local communities and changed bankruptcy laws to help low-income homeowners — against which the “mortgage industry has waged a stiff lobbying campaign.”
President Bush said Thursday the economy is not headed for recession. “I don’t think we’re headed to a recession, but no question we’re in a slowdown,” he said.
“For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults are behind bars,” according to a new report. This statistic includes one in 15 adult black men and one in 36 adult Hispanic men.
The EPA has dismissed toxicologist Deborah Rice from her post on a federal panel examining “the dangers of a flame retardant” in August” after the American Chemistry Council “complained to a top-ranking EPA official.” “In a May letter to an assistant administrator at the EPA,” a vice president of the American Chemistry Council called Rice “a fervent advocate.”
“The Bush administration’s continued backing of President Pervez Musharraf, despite the overwhelming rejection of his party by voters this month, is fueling a new level of frustration.” Bush supports Musharraf for “all of the work that he’s done to help us in counterterrorism,” the White House said.
“Taking note of the debate over the Iraq war in the presidential race,” Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Michael Mullen “told Pentagon officials in a town hall meeting Thursday that the military must be prepared to change policy and carry out the wishes of the next president.”
Attempting to “clear up questions about how an Alabama television station lost its signal” during 60 Minutes on Sunday, “the management of the station, WHNT-TV, issued a statement Thursday citing equipment failure. The station claimed “that after a review, it had concluded that the blackout was related to a similar interruption during a basketball game the day before.”
And finally: Earlier this week, Politico reported that Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney is working on a documentary about Jack Abramoff, tentatively titled Casino Jack and the United States of Money. Today, the Washington Post notes that director George Hickenlooper is also making an Abramoff flick. Hickenlooper’s dream picks to play the former lobbyist? Jeremy Piven, Sean Penn and Steve Carell. “He’s a good dramatic actor and the resemblance is striking,” said Hickenlooper of Carell.
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