ThinkFast: March 16, 2010

C-Span CEO Brian Lamb

Tomorrow, C-Span will formally announce completion of the C-Span Video Library as “virtually every minute of its video archives,” covering 23 years of history, have been uploaded onto the Internet. “You can see if politicians are saying one thing today, and 15 years ago were saying another thing,” said C-Span founder Brian Lamb.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is playing hardball to get the final votes for health care reform, but “Pelosi and her leadership team are warning members that the bill is final” and there will be no more legislative changes made to secure those votes. “No horse-trading,” a Democratic source with knowledge of leadership’s thinking told Politico. “They are closed for business.”

A new study by the UCLA-based Center for Health Policy Research finds that nearly 1 in 4 Californians under the age of 65 had no health insurance last year. The data shows that 8.2 million people were without coverage in the state during 2009; Californians 65 and over were exempted from the research because they are covered by Medicare.

Student lenders are mounting a final push” to derail landmark student lending legislation that would cut out the private lender middlemen from federal student loans. The lending industry is warning of a “government takeover” of federal student loans.

After Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) unveiled his new financial reform bill yesterday, business lobby groups immediately “moved to oppose specific provisions in the legislation.” The National Association of Federal Credit Unions, the Financial Services Roundtable, and the American Insurance Association lodged their complaints against more regulation.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is bringing most U.S. Special Operations forces under his control after concerns over continued civilian casualties and unit disorganization. “What happens is, sometimes at cross-purposes, you got one hand doing one thing and one hand doing the other, both trying to do the right thing but working without a good outcome,” he said.

The White House “renewed its threat to veto the fiscal 2010 intelligence authorization bill over a provision that would force the administration to widen the circle of lawmakers who are informed about covert operations and other sensitive activities.” House Intelligence Committee chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) praised the provision for improving congressional oversight of intelligence activities.

Palestinians hurled rocks and burned tires in several neighborhoods in disputed East Jerusalem” today after Hamas called for a “Day of Rage” to protest the “reopening of a landmark synagogue after 40 years.” About 3,000 officers were deployed to keep order and 49 people were wounded in clashes.

The Senate “cleared the way” yesterday for final approval of a Democratic jobs bill, voting 61 to 30 to end debate and proceed. Six Republicans voted in favor of cloture for the bill that includes tax breaks for companies that hire workers “along with an extra $20 billion for highway and transit construction.”

And finally: Stephen Colbert reviews Karl Rove’s new book. “Spoiler Alert: Bush was a great president!” Colbert said. “It’s just like ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ but even more prejudiced!”

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