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ThinkFast: October 1, 2010

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"ThinkFast: October 1, 2010"

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Following its $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association, News Corporation — the parent company of Fox News — has donated $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the heaviest anti-Democratic advertisers in this year’s elections. Spokesmen for News Corp. and Fox declined to comment.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) has fired his staff member who wrote an anti-gay slur on the gay rights blog Joe.My.God. Chambliss personally called blogger Joe Jervis to apologize yesterday, saying the “all faggots must die” comment was “simply unacceptable” and that he “will not tolerate them from my staff.” Jervis accepted the apology.

Senate candidate Joe Miller (R-AK) issued victory tweets Wednesday, saying that he should “do some house hunting” and “pick up some office furniture” during a trip to Washington. While his campaign has removed the tweets and said they were “the work of a volunteer,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has issued a new ad saying Miller should wait to hear from “the 88% of us back in Alaska who didn’t vote for you.”

According to White House report released today, the economic stimulus package, known as the Recovery Act, “is coming in on time,” “under budget,” and “with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse.” With 70% of the funding spent and 3,000 additional projects resulting from lower costs, even former skeptics “acknowledge that the program could serve as a model for improving efficiency in government.”

The New York Times reports that the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) “will expire after Sunday at a fraction of that cost, and could conceivably earn taxpayers a profit.” As the government has negotiated a plan to end its intervention in AIG, the bank bailout program is slowly recuperating its costs.

The Interior Department released new drilling rules yesterday “governing well casing and cementing, blowout preventers, safety certification, emergency response and worker training” meant to bring clarity for offshore drill operators. Yet the department also maintained that it will continue its moratorium on offshore drilling.

The presumed Republican nominees for president have shied away from donating to Tea Party-backed Senate candidates, an analysis by The Hill shows. The six Tea Party candidates have received only a combined $38,000 from 10 leading Republicans thought to be considering a White House run, which pales in comparison to the money they are handing out to establishment candidates.

The Obama administration is trying to persuade the Israeli government to renew its freeze on Jewish settlement in the West Bank for 60 days, a move that would help prevent Palestinian leaders from walking away from peace talks. The U.S. has reportedly offered Israel security guarantees but so far Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is resisting the proposals.

Consumers shopping for health insurance on the individual market “will get a tool today that will help them compare prices” and see information about insurers denying coverage. Pricing for 4,400 plans offered by more than 225 insurers is now available on www.healthcare.gov. The tool “returns personalized results of available plans based on such factors as where the individual lives, age and gender.”

And finally: Hate radio host Rush Limbaugh will guest star as himself in an upcoming episode of Family Guy, and is quite proud of his work on the Fox cartoon show. Saying he brought his “usual bravado and bombast” to the show, the pompous host said on his radio program yesterday, “I come out looking like a champ on this thing.”

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