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ThinkFast: March 4, 2010

By ThinkProgress  

"ThinkFast: March 4, 2010"

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RNC fundraising slide

A 72-page RNC powerpoint presentation for donors and fundraisers obtained by Politico caricatures Obama as The Joker and portrays Democratic leaders as part of an “evil empire.” The document preys on “fear” of Obama moving the country “toward socialism.”

An investigation by the Institute for Southern Studies has found that of “the 19 Senators who voted against the [recent Senate] package including jobless benefits after [Sen. Jim Bunning's (R-KY)] filibuster ended, eight of them come from states that face jobless rates higher than the national average.” The Institute notes that “these are the kind of votes that could prove costly for Republicans where they face challengers in 2010.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “wants to make a deal on detainees” with President Obama. Graham — who “has been talking” with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel — will offer “some Republican support” for closing the prison at Guantanamo if the administration prosecutes 9/11 plotters in a military commission.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) “confirmed that the Democratic leadership had been informed of the allegations” that Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) had “made unwanted advances toward a junior male staffer” before the news broke of Massa’s retirement. Massa said he is retiring because he has cancer and that the harassment charges were “unsubstantiated, without fact or backing.”

A new VoteVets adties oil consumption to Iranian-backed attacks against U.S. troops.” The ad warns that Explosively Formed Projectiles that are being used against American tanks are being “created in oil-rich Iran.” The narrator states, “And every time oil goes up a dollar, Iran gets another $1.5 billion to use against us.”

Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said yesterday that there are limits to American military power and it’s time for the State Department and other agencies to step up efforts abroad. “US foreign policy is still too dominated by the military, too dependent upon the generals and admirals who lead our major overseas commands and not enough on the State Department,” he said.

Senate Democratic “centrists” are warming to using reconciliation to pass health care. “There are plenty of people in our caucus who would like to not vote for reconciliation, but my guess is 51 is something [leadership] can get,” said one Democratic Senator.

Those who oppose the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms “are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools.” By linking the two, evolution deniers are trying to avoid church and state separation issues, and “argue that they are simply championing academic freedom.”

“The Obama administration reasserted its commitment to banning proprietary trading by banks with draft legislative language on Wednesday” in a five-page document from the Treasury Department that outlines a two-year phase-in of the new rules. The new rules, authored by Paul Volcker, are largely considered to be “unlikely” to be adopted by Congress.

And finally: Fresh off her stand-up comedy routine on The Jay Leno Show, Sarah Palin is reportedly “making the rounds in Hollywood this week to pitch a TV docudrama about Alaska.” When asked about the meeting, one executive quipped, “she’s pitching a sequel to Commander in Chief,” a reference to the ABC drama from Rod Lurie that starred Geena Davis as the first female president.

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