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ThinkFast: July 30, 2008

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"ThinkFast: July 30, 2008"

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Bush administration officials “reassured Israel’s defense minister this week that the United States has not abandoned all possibility of a military attack on Iran.” At the same time, the Israelis are “emphasizing the possibility of a military response out of concern that Tehran may soon have the know-how for building a nuclear bomb.”

According to icasualties.org, “nearly twice as many U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq so far this month.” If the July statistics hold, “they’ll mark the lowest American military death toll in Iraq, and the second highest toll in Afghanistan, after June, when 27 U.S. troops were killed there” and 29 were killed in Iraq.

The Bush administration’s agreement to “a general time horizon” for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq has accelerated negotiations over a long-term security pact between Washington and Baghdad, the Wall Street Journal reports. Though the Iraqis “are pushing for a 2010 withdrawal,” officials familiar with the talks say “a compromise could be a year or two after that.”

Yesterday, a coalition of liberal advocacy groups – including Brave New Films, CREW, Campaign for America’s Future, and The Nationhand-delivered a petition to Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) containing more than 127,000 signatures “calling for former White House adviser Karl Rove to be held in contempt of Congress and jailed.”

On the trail today: Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), accompanied by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), will be headlining public events in Springfield, Rolla, and Union, MO. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will also be in Missouri, attending a private fundraising event tonight in downtown Kansas City.

“For four days, Sen. John McCain and his allies have accused Sen. Barack Obama of snubbing wounded soldiers by canceling a visit to a military hospital because he could not take reporters with him, despite no evidence that the charge is true.”

A new report by the Black AIDS Institute finds that “if black America were a country, it would rank 16th in the world in the number of people living with the AIDS virus.” According to the report, “nearly 600,000 African-Americans are living with H.I.V” while “up to 30,000 are becoming infected each year.”

Massachusetts took a step closer toward allowing all out-of-state gay couples to marry there, when the state House voted yesterday to repeal a 1913 ban on “marrying out-of-state couples if their marriages would not be legal in their home states.” The state Senate has already passed the repeal, and Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has said he will sign the bill.

“Pacific Gas and Electric Co., California’s largest investor-owned utility, has contributed $250,000 to defeat a ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage in the state.” The contribution will be paid for using “shareholder-funded political accounts,” not by the utility’s revenue from customers.

And finally: Dan Quayle may join “Dancing With The Stars.” Extra reports that the former vice president “is ‘on the short list’ of potential stars for the upcoming season” of the popular dance contest television show.

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

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