ThinkFast: August 12, 2009


“Federal authorities have launched an effort to detect lone attackers who may be contemplating politically charged assaults,” such as the murder of Dr. George Tiller. The “Lone Wolf Initiative” was started shortly after President Obama’s inauguration, “in part because of a rising level of hate speech and surging gun sales.” Domestic militia groups are also “regrouping across the country and could grow rapidly.”

Documents released by the House Judiciary Committee yesterday demonstrated that Karl Rove “played a critical role in the firing of the U.S. attorney in New Mexico following the 2006 elections.” Despite the evidence, Rove claimed, “They show politics played no role in the Bush administration’s removal of U.S. attorneys.”

The documents released yesterday also show Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) was closely involved in the 2006 ouster of U.S. Attorney Todd Graves. A Dec. 21, 2005 email states that the White House has “heard and will work to satisfy Sen. Bond’s request regarding a replacement for the U.S. Attorney in the W.D. (Western District) of Missouri.”

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry has informed Secretary Clinton that he believes an additional “$2.5 billion in nonmilitary spending will be needed for 2010, about 60 percent more than the amount President Obama has requested from Congress.” The increase is needed “if we are to show progress in the next 14 months,” Eikenberry wrote in a cable to Clinton.

Former Republican senator Rick Santorum has kicked off speculation that he may run for president in 2012 with an upcoming visit to “first-in-the-nation Iowa this fall for a series of appearances before the sort of conservative activists who dominate the state GOP’s key presidential caucuses.” “Your voice becomes more amplified when you go to a place like Iowa or New Hampshire,” said Santorum.

Religious groups in favor of health care reform have launched a national campaign to offset the loud opposition to President Obama’s plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system.” The campaign, which is called “40 days for Health Reform,” will include a national television advertisemet, a “sermon weekend,” prayer meetings and a nationwide call-in with Obama on August 19.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is attacking Democrats to take a position on the transfer of Gitmo detainees to Ft. Leavenworth. Seizing on Rep. Ike Skelton’s (D-MO) concerns, the NRCC sent out press releases in 32 Democrats’ districts suggesting they want to “pave the way to bring suspected terrorists into the country.”

According to a Bloomberg survey, economists believe that “the economy will expand 2 percent or more in four straight quarters through June.” “We’ve averted the worst, and there are clear signs the stimulus is working,” said Kenneth Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board in New York.

The Obama Administration plans to create a National Council on Federal Labor Relations modeled on President Clinton’s National Partnership Council to deal with cooperation between federal employees and management. Obama also plans to issue an executive order that would create agency-level forums designed to identify and correct federal workplace problems.

And finally: Six months after George W. and Laura Bush moved into their new Dallas home, construction on their security gate is finally coming along. The gate is “designed to stem the flow of people driving through the neighborhood to see the Bush house.” Longtime homeowners are reportedly excited about the development because it will make it easier for them to “come and go or have a pizza delivered without a lot of hurdles.”

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