ThinkFast: April 23, 2010

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"ThinkFast: April 23, 2010"

The oil rig that exploded on Tuesday has now sunk into the Gulf of Mexico, “leaving a one-by-five-mile sheen of what the authorities said was ‘crude oil mix.’” A vice president for BP, which was leasing the rig, said “it certainly has the potential to be a major spill.” The most damage would come if the oil spill “were to reach the Louisiana coast, some 50 miles away.”

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has until tomorrow to decide how to act on the “nation’s toughest legislation against illegal immigration,” which reached her desk Monday. She can “sign, veto or allow it to become law without her signature.” Brewer hasn’t said what she will do, but her primary opponent “has called on her to sign the legislation.” Brewer is expected to sign the bill today.

The Florida GOP is invoking the loyalty oath to forbid any party officials from supporting Charlie Crist’s possible independent bid for Senate. “[T]he Party Loyalty Oath forbids Republican Executive Committee members from supporting any candidate other than the candidate nominated by the voters of the Republican Party through its primary election,” FL GOP general counsel Jason Gonzalez wrote in a memo.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) left the door open to a possible presidential bid in 2012. Saying it’s not “something I desire,” DeMint added, “There are a lot of changes I’d like to make in this country and I think Americans are going to be ready for someone to tell them the truth next election.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) slammed the White House’s policies with respect to Israel, saying that it “has to stop” pressuring the Middle Eastern country on issues related to negotiations with the Palestinians. Responding to Schumer’s words, the New America Foundations’ Steve Clemons writes, “Has Chuck Schumer EVER criticized Israel or its leadership in the way he just unloaded on Obama?”

Federal records show that “[f]inancial services companies increased their spending to influence Congress during the first three months of the year, while also hiring well-connected lobbyists to press their case on new Wall Street regulations.” Goldman Sachs spent $1.2 million in 2010′s first quarter, 72 percent more than last year, while Citigroup spent $1.4 million, a 13.5 percent increase.

Democrats released their “long-awaited campaign finance bill,” which “would force top corporate executives, union officials and top donors to stand by political ads just like politicians must do.” The bill, whose main co-sponsors are Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), will be introduced next week; its backers expect it to be approved by July 4.

“House Republicans have launched a new ‘real-time’ e-mail, Internet and media offensive aimed at fueling public opposition to Democrats’ climate proposals.” The effort is “designed to coincide” with the introduction of a climate bill in the Senate next week and the “upcoming annual summer spike in gas prices.”

Several NATO allies are pressing the U.S. to “withdraw its aging stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons from Europe.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. is not opposed to such a move, but “ruled out removing these weapons unless Russia agreed to cuts in its arsenal, which is at least 10 times the size of the American one.”

And finally: In honor of “Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a press conference yesterday with the “pint-size progeny of journalists and congressional aides.”

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