ThinkFast: June 11, 2008


Top Iraqi officials are objecting publicly to the United States’ effort to establish permanent bases in the country. “The Americans are making demands that would lead to the colonization of Iraq,” said Sami al-Askari, a senior Shiite politician close to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. “If we can’t reach a fair agreement, many people think we should say, ‘Goodbye, U.S. troops. We don’t need you here anymore.'”

The House is set to vote today on whether to send articles of impeachment against President Bush to the House Judiciary Committee. The 35 articles, offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and now co-sponsored by Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), must be acted upon within two days, under House rules.

In an interview with the UK Times, President Bush said he regrets his legacy in making the world believe “he was a ‘guy really anxious for war’ in Iraq.” But today, he added that “he had no regrets about the decision to invade Iraq.”

“The young anarchists, middle-aged peace activists and established left-wing politicians” in Germany “have at least one thing in common: none bothered to keep a six-year tradition alive by organizing a protest against President Bush’s arrival” on Tuesday. “Bush is not even popular in the role of the enemy anymore,” wrote Der Tagesspiegel newspaper.

On the trail today: Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is in Chicago, meeting with Illinois families at a roundtable discussion on predatory lending at 11:00 AM CDT at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is holding a townhall meeting this morning at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

With soaring oil prices, Americans are increasingly turning to Amtrak, which “saw record numbers in May when ridership rose 12.3 percent from a year earlier.” The Bush administration, however, is threatening to veto legislation that would fund the passenger railroad for the next five years.

“There is not going to be an intelligence authorization bill unless torture is stopped,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) yesterday, referring to her efforts to have the CIA adhere to Army Field Manual policies that ban torture. “And torture right now is being carried out by CIA contractors. …The bill’s not going to go ahead.”

Feinstein is also introducing a private bill to try to keep the valedictorian at Fresno’s Bullard High School from being deported. Arthur Mkoyan has lived in the United States since he was two-years old, but because he was brought here illegally by his parents, he is now facing possible deportation to Armenia.

Yesterday, the scientific academies of the G8 countries and of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa “urged the world to act more forcefully to limit the threat posed by human-driven global warming.” They “called on the industrialized countries to lead a ‘transition to a low-carbon society’ and aggressively move to limit impacts from changes in climate that are already under way and impossible to stop.

And finally: Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has bought a new, fuel-efficient Vespa. According to the DC Examiner, “Mr. Macho recently stopped by the Vespa dealership in Glover Park and took home a LXV 150 scooter, which can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.” When asked about his purchase, Rumsfeld refused to comment.

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