ThinkFast: September 21, 2010


Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) said that, if the Republicans regain control over Congress, they “will reopen the broad Wall Street reform law and overhaul the newly created consumer protection bureau.” “The bill is so sweeping and such a game changer in many ways that it’s incumbent upon us to revisit it,” Shelby said.

New FEC data reveals that 91 percent of the funding for American Crossroads — Karl Rove’s attack group targeting Democrats in the fall election — is coming from billionaires. Disturbingly, American Crossroads also has a partner group called American Crossroads GPS which does not have to report its donors.

Koch Industries is concerned that the White House is calling attention to the fact that some of its entities don’t pay a corporate income tax. And the Koch-friendly right wing blogosphere is all too happy to try to turn it into a White House scandal.

Nine NATO soldiers died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan this morning, “making 2010 the deadliest year for the U.S.-led international force in Afghanistan.” Although the Taliban took credit for the downing of the aircraft, NATO officials say there is no evidence of them being involved.

At a rally in Portland, Maine yesterday campaigning in favor of DADT repeal, pop star Lady Gaga expressed concern “that John McCain and other Republican senators are using homophobia as a defense in their argument.” “This equality stuff, I thought equality meant everyone,” she said.

Israeli Army Radio reported yesterday that Israeli officials have suggested they would extend the temporary moratorium on Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank in exchange for the release of Jonathan Pollard, an American serving a life sentence in a U.S. jail, guilty of spying for Israel. An Israeli diplomat said the proposal is “one of many ideas” circulating the prime minister’s office.

The National Bureau of Economic Research announced yesterday that the recession that started in December 2007 ended more than a year ago, in June 2009. Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi noted that the timing coincided with the peak of stimulus spending. “One conclusion is that the stimulus played an important role in bringing the recession to an end,” he said.

Conservative groups have taken a decisive lead in spending,” with 85 percent of outside expenditures reported last week going to support Republicans, according to a Washington Post analysis. Meanwhile, the Center for Responsive Politics found that corporations are now sending a majority of donations to Republican candidates, “a reversal from the trend of the past three years.”

And finally: Despite being a multi-billionaire, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg “owns only two pairs of work shoes,” and has “been wearing the same shoes for 10 years.” “One day he’ll wear one, the next the other — and when they get worn down, he has them resoled,” his spokesman said.

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