ThinkFast: August 11, 2010

Colorado Senate

Sen. Michael Bennet beat Andrew Romanoff in Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary yesterday, yielding “good news for President Obama” and national Democratic organizations, which heavily invested in Bennet. Also in Colorado, Tea Party favorite Ken Buck bested former lieutenant governor Jane Norton, who was “the choice of the GOP establishment.” Bike-sharing foe Dan Maes secured the GOP nod for governor.

In Connecticut, former Stamford mayor Dannel Malloy “completed a stunning comeback” yesterday and defeated former Senate candidate Ned Lamont in the Democratic race for governor. The Republican gubernatorial race in Georgia is still too close to call, with Nathan Deal holding a narrow edge over Karen Handel.

Fallout continues from White House spokesman Robert Gibbs’s attack on the “professional left” yesterday. Rep, Keith Ellison (D-MN), a leading member of the Progressive Caucus, slammed Gibbs remarks. “Why would he confuse legitimate critique with some sort of lack of loyalty,” Ellison said. “Isn’t this what the far right does? Punishes people who are not ideologically aligned with President Bush?”

A Congressional analysis released yesterday finds that, if the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire, taxpayers earning more than $1 million would “still receive on average a tax cut of about $6,300” compared with what they would’ve paid in 2001. The analysis also found that “less than 3 percent of filers with small-business income” are subject to the top two income tax rates.

Ben Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle and an Arizona GOP congressional candidate, denied, then admitted to posting on DirtyScottsdale.com, “a website devoted to chronicling the trashy side of the Scottsdale nightclub scene.” Quayle first told Politico that he “was not involved in the site,” only to say hours later he did, in fact, post comments there.

In a 30-minute speech on the House floor yesterday, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) said he will not resign and urged the House ethics committee “to ‘expedite’ its hearing so he can defend himself.” Several representatives have called on Rangel to resign after the ethics panel announced 13 charges against him last month, including improper fundraising and improper use of congressional letterhead.

Tea Party groups are planning a rally this Sunday near the Mexican border in Arizona to support the state’s new harsh stance on illegal immigration and U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the GOP primary. Dozens of speakers will attend the event, including Hayworth and Nevada GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle.

The State Department is sending Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is at the center of plans to build the Ground Zero Mosque, on a trip to the Middle East. According to the State Department, “it’s Rauf’s third trip to discuss Muslim life in America and religious tolerance” and is “one of about 1,200 similar programs of sending experts overseas.”

NATO has “reached its goal of expanding the size of Afghanistan’s army and police to 240,000 three months ahead of schedule, achieving a key measurement that will be used to gauge progress in the war.” An increased number of trainers, pay raises, and improvements in the payroll system contributed to NATO reaching its goal.

And finally: After giving him a piece of her mind last month over a new tax on tanning salons, the Jersey Shore’s Snooki is now accusing President Obama of lying for saying that he doesn’t know who she is. “I know he knows who I am,” Snooki told E Online. “Why did he have to lie and say he didn’t know me?”

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