ThinkFast: April 7, 2010

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"ThinkFast: April 7, 2010"

“President Barack Obama’s advisers plan to remove terms such as ‘Islamic radicalism’ from a document outlining” the nation’s national security strategy. The revisions to the document, called the National Security Strategy, are part of a larger effort to show that the United States is not at war with Islam.

Congress plans to probe the recent explosion at a West Virginia coal mine and has dispatched two aides from the House Education and Labor Committee to the state as part of its investigation. “We will look for inadequacies in the law and enforcement practices, and I will work to fix any we find,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV).

Sarah Palin will be in Minneapolis today to appear at a GOP fundraiser to benefit Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Gov. Tim Pawlenty “and other Republican glitterati” will address the crowd, while “conservative media star Sean Hannity will be on hand to sign his new book and do his television show from the convention center.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) “vowed to block all future spending bills in the Senate that aren’t fully ‘paid for’ with cuts to other spending programs.” Coburn is already blocking an extension of unemployment benefits for 200,000 Americans, and he told The Hill yesterday that if blocking bills “earns us consternation, so be it.”

The U.S. military said yesterday that “it can’t find its copy of a video that shows two employees of the Reuters news agency being killed by Army helicopters in 2007, after a leaked version circulated the Internet and renewed questions about the attack.” A CentCom spokesman said “the military has not been able to locate the video within its files after being asked to authenticate” the online version.

A federal appeals court yesterday ruled that the FCC “lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.” Free Press writes that the decision leaves “the future of the Internet, the fight for Net Neutrality, and the expansion of broadband…hanging in the balance.”

The Obama administration has “taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki,” who was linked to both the Fort Hood shooting and the attempted Christmas day bombing. Officials say that it is “is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.”

The White House suggested yesterday that it may cancel President Obama’s meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai next Tuesday, offering “fresh signals of its displeasure” with the Afghan leader. Referring to Karzai’s anti-Western remarks, press secretary Robert Gibbs questioned whether it’s “constructive to have such a meeting” and declined to call Karzai an ally.

New legislation intended to curb the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case may also outlaw secret funding of ads run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A bicameral bill expected to be introduced soon “would require nonprofit groups, unions and trade associations including the Chamber to identify who pays for ads designed to sway opinion on candidates for federal office.”

And finally: In “one of the stranger moments on the campaign trail,” someone asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) yesterday what “he is doing to encourage immigrant women of child-bearing age to come to the United States.” After beginning to launch “into a serious answer on immigration,” Reid paused and instead responded, “Let me answer it this way: I’m not opposed to sex.” There were “a few moments of silence before the crowd began laughing.”

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