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ThinkFast: March 3, 2009

By ThinkProgress on March 3, 2009 at 8:59 am

"ThinkFast: March 3, 2009"

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said he was “glad” that RNC Chairman Michael Steele apologized to Rush Limbaugh. Jindal, who has been hailed by Limbaugh as “the next Ronald Reagan,” said, “I think Rush is a leader for many conservatives and says things that people are concerned about.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration is fleshing out its plan to rescue failing banks. The administration “is considering creating multiple investment funds to purchase the bad loans and other distressed assets that lie at the heart of the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, a new group led by the former owner of the Hospital Corporation of America, is launching a multimillion-dollar campaign today in opposition to President Obama’s health care reform agenda. The group “is enlisting a group of veteran Republican consultants to fashion a multi-media battle, warning against the move toward more government involvement.”

Obama’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, “has agreed to pay $10,000 in back taxes for speaking fees that he did not report as income and for deducting the cost of season tickets to the Dallas Mavericks basketball games.”

Yesterday, the Justice Department disclosed nine secret legal opinions issued by Bush administration lawyers after the Sept. 11 attacks, which “included assertions that the president could use the nation’s military within the United States to combat terrorism suspects and to conduct raids without obtaining search warrants.” The memos are “the clearest illustration to date of the broad definition of presidential power approved by government lawyers in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks.”

President Obama sent a secret letter to Russia’s president Dmitri Medvedev last month “suggesting that he would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing” nuclear warheads and long range missiles. “It’s almost saying to them, put up or shut up,” said a senior administration official.

According to a “senior State Department Official,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday in a meeting with the foreign minister of the UAE that “she is doubtful that Iran will respond to any kind of engagement and opening the hand out and reaching out to them.” Her remarks offer “some evidence of a debate within the administration over the overture to Iran — a major theme of President Obama’s presidential campaign.”

Just days before a California Supreme Court hearing on Proposition 8, the state’s Legislature approved a resolution yesterday “declaring that voters alone did not have the right to adopt the gay-marriage ban.” The nonbinding resolution claims that “[s]weeping revisions can only be adopted…if they originate in the Legislature, gain two-thirds approval in that body and then win approval by voters.”

One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation,” a new Pew Center on the States study reports. State spending on prisons quadrupled over the last 20 years, despite the fact that crime dropped 25 percent during that time. “Criminal correction spending is outpacing budget growth in education, transportation and public assistance.” “Only Medicaid spending grew faster than state corrections spending.”

And finally: Looking for ways to remember George W. Bush? Visit georgewbushstore.com. The D.C. Examiner reports some of the “classic” and “commemorative” merchandise available on the site. “[T]here’s always the ‘Thank You President Bush’ bumper sticker ($1.50 each, but there are volume discounts for large orders!) or the ever-popular merchandise with the simple ‘W’ logo.”

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