ThinkFast: August 14, 2009

Glenn Beck signs copies of his book.

About a dozen companies have withdrawn their commercials” from Glenn Beck’s Fox News show, following Beck’s claim late last month that President Obama has a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” In recent days, ConAgra, Geico, Procter & Gamble and the insurance company Progressive have all moved their ads to other programs.

President Obama faced a mild-mannered crowd at his town hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire earlier this week, but his luck could change today “when he meets an audience in a conservative suburb in the red state of Montana.” In Bozeman today, Obama will lay out “the benefits of health insurance reform, which would do away with unfair insurance practices such as ‘rescissions.'”

Though Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told a town hall meeting that he was “being pushed away from the table” in health reform negotiations and “We may never have a bill,” Politico reports that “he has held multiple conference calls with his Washington colleagues, including Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MO) this week. “There’s nothing final until the whole thing is final,” Grassley told reporters yesterday.

Supporters of health care legislation before Congress are planning to spend millions to launch a counterattack against health reform opponents. Their campaign, which is being run by organizations such as the AFL-CIO and Health Care for America Now, plans to run television commercials, conduct bus tours, and show up at town hall meetings in support of health reform.

In an interview with 11-year old reporter Damon Weaver, President Obama announced that he will make “a big speech to young people all across the country about the importance of education” on September 8. At the end of the interview, Weaver, who had been seeking an interview with Obama for eight months, declared that the president was his “homeboy“.

The White House is pushing for bigger banks to pay more for federal oversight than smaller banks. The Obama Administration’s proposal of a two-tiered, pay-for-regulation system is part of an effort to pay for new regulations it plans to implement in the coming months.

Former Republican Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel is said to be “in line to co-chair the important President’s Intelligence Advisory Board,” the Washington Post’s Al Kamen reports. During the transition, “the 16 members of the nonpartisan intelligence board, all unpaid, resigned” so that “a new board could be appointed by Obama.”

Representatives from the Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security departments toured a rural Michigan prison yesterday to evaluate it as a possible location to house Guantanamo Bay inmates. The prison joins a military penitentiary in Kansas as possible locations the Obama Administration is looking to place detainees if the Guantanamo Bay prison is closed by 2010.

And finally: Family Guy goes GOP. Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove and other prominent Republicans will be playing themselves on an episode of the animated comedy next season. “We put it out there to a lot of Republicans — ‘we’re doing this show, who wants in?'” said creator Seth MacFarlane. “I’m sure the reaction from some will be ‘you monsters, how could you have Karl Rove on your show?'”

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