ThinkFast: March 26, 2010

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"ThinkFast: March 26, 2010"

President Obama reported “walked out of his meeting” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after failing to “extract a written promise of concessions on settlements.” “I’m going to the residential wing to have dinner with Michelle and the girls,” the President apparently told his guest. Haaretz writes, “The prime minister leaves America disgraced, isolated, and altogether weaker than when he came.”

Both the Senate and House yesterday passed a reconciliation package that that adds fixes to the previously passed health care bill and overhauls the federal student lending program. Three Democrats voted against the package in the Senate and 32 voted against it in the House.

The White House and organized labor are warning “House Democrats who supported health care legislation last year only to oppose the final measure on Sunday that they shouldn’t expect assistance for their reelection campaigns this fall.” “There is not a whole lot of Barack Obama and Joe Biden to spare on a good day,” a senior White House official told Politico. “We’re going to have to focus on our friends.”

In an interview with CNN’s John King, Karl Rove revealed that he thought selecting Dick Cheney to be vice president was “a bad idea.” Rove argued Bush did not need “Wyoming’s three electoral votes” and would be better off not worrying about “Cheney’s voting record, and Cheney’s health, and the fact he’d been Bush 41’s Secretary of Defense – and we were trying to develop a separate image for 43.”

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will star in a documentary series called “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” to air on cable channel TLC. The series will “reveal Alaska’s powerful beauty as it has never been filmed, and as told by one of the state’s proudest daughters,” said Peter Liguori, Discovery’s COO.

Following the lead of Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has blocked an extension of unemployment benefits, some of which are set to expire on April 5. Several GOP senators, including Susan Collins (ME), have hinted that they will help Coburn oppose the extension, unless an offset is found. Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) office said a deal is unlikely to be reached before the Senate returns from recess on April 12.

Less than a week after former Bush speechwriter David Frum broke the party line and called the health care bill Republicans’ “Waterloo,” he has been let go from the conservative American Enterprise Institute. The head of the organization reportedly told him they “valued a diversity of opinion” but wanted him to be a nonsalaried employee. Frum declined.

Former militiaman and Alabama blogger Mike Vanderboegh “was unapologetic in a 45-minute telephone interview with The Washington Post” for urging people who opposed the historic health-care reform legislation to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices nationwide. Vanderboegh said his call for people to throw bricks is “both good manners and it’s also a moral duty to try to warn people.”

The Obama administration is announcing new initiatives to help troubled homeowners, following reports earlier this week that its initial Home Affordable Modification Program had failed to provide much-needed assistance. The new program would offer new government-backed mortgages with lower payments and “reduce the payments of borrowers who are unemployed and seeking a job.”

And finally: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow — who lives in Western Massachusetts — hits back on Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) made-up claim that she may challenge him for his Senate seat. In a full-page Boston Globe ad, Maddow tells him to stop trying to “smear one of his constituents to raise money out-of-state.”

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