ThinkFast: August 24, 2010

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"ThinkFast: August 24, 2010"

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Iowa RNC member Kim Lehman said yesterday that she believes President Obama is a Muslim. “Call the president,” she said. “Say, ‘Are you a Christian or not?’ If I’m wrong, I’m more than happy to say, ‘Oh, I’m wrong.'” Referring to Obama’s Cairo speech, Lehman said on Twitter last week that he “told the muslims that he IS a muslim.” The “transcript shows he makes no comment about being Muslim.”

An alarming number of children who survived Hurricane Katrina now have serious emotional or behavioral problems, according to a new study. More than one in three children studied have been diagnosed with mental health problems, and nearly half of the families studied reported household instability.

In their first face-to-face meeting since her controversial ouster, Shirley Sherrod will meet with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today to discuss a job offer as the Deputy Director of the Office of Advocacy and Outreach. Sherrod was forced to resign in July “after misleading and incomplete video footage of a speech she gave was posted on the internet” by conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.

North Korea has agreed to let an American prisoner who crossed into the country illegally go free, if former President Jimmy Carter visits the country and brings the man home. Carter is expected to spend one night in the country and return home Thursday with the freed prisoner.

“The number of U.S. troops in Iraq has fallen below 50,000 — the lowest level since the U.S-led invasion in 2003,” after the final American combat brigade pulled out of the country last week. “Some said that our drawdown would bring about more violence. Well, they were wrong,” Vice President Biden said at a gathering of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Indianapolis.

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas warned that a failure to extend a freeze on settlements in the West Bank by Israel could cause the Palestinians to “abandon recently announced direct peace negotiations.” Abbas’s statement comes at a time when the U.S. has brokered the “first direct negotiations between the sides in 20 months.”

First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush will appear together at a 9/11 memorial event in Shanksville, PA, next month. The Shanksville site marks the location where United 93 “went down after the crew and passengers fought back against terrorists.”

The State Department said yesterday that Xe Services Inc., formerly known as Blackwater, “violated U.S. export control laws nearly 300 times, ranging from attempts to do business in Sudan while that country was under U.S. sanctions to training an Afghan border patrol official who was a native of Iran.” Xe will continue to receive government contracts after a $42 million settlement with the State Department.

The American International Group is paying back over $3.9 billion of the $182 billion in federal bailout loans it received during the financial crisis last year. The repayment is AIG’s “single biggest repayment of bailout loans so far” and trims its balance with the Federal Reserve to about $21 billion, including interest.

And finally: A tea party blogger from Maine has offered some very useful tips on how to stay safe for those coming to Washington to attend Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally, including avoiding two entire Metro lines and staying within a tiny safe zone near the National Mall. More disturbingly, “the guide’s author also lists the home addresses of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ex-Sen. Tom Daschle, and White House counsel Bob Bauer and his wife, former White House communications director Anita Dunn, writing, ‘Feel free to protest!'”

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