ThinkFast: June 2, 2009


President Obama hit back at former Vice President Dick Cheney‘s recent criticism yesterday, saying that “he…happens to be wrong.” “Last time, immediately after his speech, I think there was a fact-check on his speech that didn’t get a very good grade,” said Obama in an interview with NPR.

General Motors (GM) marked “the lowest point” in its 100-year history yesterday, filing for bankruptcy and announcing plans to close 14 plants and three warehouses. With the federal government now a majority shareholder, President Obama said that his goals are: “To get G.M. back on its feet, take a hands-off approach and get out quickly.” In response, GOP leaders that they will use the government takeover of GM as “ammunition in their bid to defeat congressional Democrats next year.”

President Obama reversed his decision to release detainee abuse photos “after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki warned that Iraq would erupt into violence and that Iraqis would demand that U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq a year earlier than planned.” Maliki told Obama, “Baghdad will burn” if the photos are released, a U.S. military official told McClatchy.

Hours before he leaves for the Middle East and Europe, Obama will meet at the White House today with the Democrats on two Senate committees that are drafting health legislation. The White House is also releasing a report today that asserts that revamping America’s health care system “would increase the income of a typical family of four by $2,600 in 2020, and by $10,000 in 2030.”

Last week, the State Department “sent a cable to its embassies and consulates around the world notifying them that ‘they may invite representatives from the government of Iran‘ to their Independence Day celebrations,” which usually “feature hot dogs, red-white-and-blue bunting and some perfunctory remarks about the founding fathers.” Obama administration officials “characterized the move as another in a series of American overtures to Iran.”

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor today will attempt to “woo key senators who will decide if she merits a seat on the Supreme Court” in a series of 10 meetings on the hill. She will lunch with “two boosters, her home state Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer.”

Hate radio host Michael Savage has officially sued British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for banning Savage from the UK for “fomenting hatred.” While Smith declared “herself ready for a fight,” the BBC is reporting today that Smith “is expected to stand down as home secretary in a reshuffle.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan “wants to take school turnaround efforts nationwide on a scale never tried before,” aiming to close and reconstitute 250 schools next year. “Mr. Duncan controls $3 billion in the economic stimulus law that could go to school turnarounds, and the administration’s 2010 budget requests $1.5 billion more.”

And finally: NBC’s Brian Williams goes inside the White House. Watch the segments here.

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