ThinkFast: October 7, 2010


A new National Republican Senatorial Committee ad backing West Virginia GOP Senate nominee John Raese that features “a couple of regular-looking guys commiserating in a diner” about Raese’s opponent “turns out to have been shot with actors, from a script, in Philadelphia.” The ad’s producers put out casting call looking for men with a “‘Hicky’ Blue Collar look.”

According to CEO Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.’s $1 million gift to the Republican Governors Association was a result of his “personal friendship with former Fox News host and Ohio gubernatorial hopeful John Kasich.” The $1 million gift to the GOP-friendly US Chamber of Commerce, however, was not intended to be public and was made because Murdoch thought he “was being a good member.”

Newt Gingrich has a new strategy to attack Democratic candidates leading up to the elections: to brand them as the “party of food stamps.” In a speech in Minnesota yesterday, he said: “Most Americans would like to get a paycheck. Most Americans would not like to be forced to have food stamps handed out by liberal Democrats.”

The Senate last week “quietly zoomed” a bill that homeowners advocates say makes it more difficult to challenge improper foreclosure attempts by big mortgage processors and it now awaits President Obama’s signature. “It is troubling to me and curious that it passed so quietly,” said Thomas Cox, a Maine lawyer representing homeowners contesting foreclosures.

Yesterday, the Obama administration announced that last year, it deported “a record number of unauthorized immigrants – more than 392,000, about half of whom were convicted criminals.” While the administration touts immigration enforcement as a “crime fighting tool,” the measures are correlated with “declines in illegal border crossings” and with “record numbers of deaths among migrants entering the country.”

Another report examining the government response to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe was released yesterday, and slammed the cleanup as often confused, wasteful, and ineffective, and offers thinly veiled criticism of Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has a full breakdown.

A new round of subpoenas have been issued as part of an investigation into whether former NC Senator John Edwards misappropriated campaign funds to conceal his affair with Rielle Hunter. The Department of Justice has reportedly instructed prosecutors in Raleigh to continue interviewing more people to get more information.

Syrian Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al-Janko, a former Guantanamo detainee, sued the U.S. military yesterday, “saying that he was the victim of a ‘Kafkaesque nightmare’ in which he was tortured by al-Qaeda after being accused of being U.S. spy, liberated, then tortured by the Americans, who held him for seven more years by mistake.” A U.S. judge ordered his release last year, saying his detention “defies common sense.”

And finally: Anti-abortion group Americans United for Life had a little problem with a recent attack they ran against Congressman Ken Salazar — there is no Congressman Ken Salazar. The group intended to target Rep. John Salazar (D-CO), not his brother Ken, who is currently the interior secretary. “That’s how inaccurate this ad is — they can’t even get John’s name right,” a Salazar spokeswoman said.

ThinkProgress is hiring! Details here.