ThinkFast: October 14, 2010

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) said this year’s midterm elections may tip the balance to the Republican Party for the next decade. Barbour suggests this midterm election will be one of the most important in recent memory due to both the effect of the 2010 U.S. Census and the number of gubernatorial seats that are up this cycle.

The Texas-based attorney Harry Whittingon – most famously known as the man whom Dick Cheney shot while on a hunting trip – says that the former vice president has never apologized. The Washington Post reports, “Nearly five years on, he’s still waiting for Dick Cheney to say he’s sorry.”

The political action committee for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) gave $5,000 to Rich Iott, the Republican House candidate now involved in an imbroglio over his hobby of dressing like a Nazi during historical re-enactments. A spokesman for Boehner’s PAC said it will not ask for the money back.

Deep economic gloom is driving Tea Party voters to the polls, according to a new poll. Half of self-identified Tea Partiers say they have no confidence they will have enough money to live on during retirement — a higher percentage than most other voters — and more than half worry their children’s quality of life will be worst than their own.

All fifty state attorneys general have now “announced a joint investigation into flawed paperwork filed to support home foreclosures,” as the Federal Housing Finance Agency “urged lenders Wednesday to vet their foreclosure procedures and fix them.” The Obama administration has however stopped short of calling for a national moratorium on foreclosures.

Having raised $6 million above their $50 million goal, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are now “aiming to raise and spend $65 million” on “new assaults on Democratic candidates in the coming weeks.” After launching “another blistering round” of TV attack ads yesterday in Senate races, the groups will now join a coalition of Republican-friendly groups in a $50 million campaign to target House Democrats.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said she has raised $10 million for her reelection bid, — “more than any other House candidate in the country has ever collected.” Bachmann’s challenger, state Sen. Tarryl Clark, has yet to release her numbers but her campaign said they will “set a fundraising record” for a congressional challenger. The race has “become the most expensive House contest in the country.”

NATO and the U.S. government have been facilitating high-level talks between Taliban commanders and the Karzai government in Afghanistan to bring an end to the war there. “We have indeed facilitated, to various degrees, the contacts between these senior Taliban members to the highest levels of the Afghan government,” a NATO official told the Wall Street Journal.

In response to a judge’s order to stop implementation of DADT, Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned of “enormous consequences” for troops if the order stands, saying DADT repeal “should be decided by Congress and not the courts.” The Pentagon has not issued written guidance on the ruling and Gates request “more time to prepare” and for DADT to be repealed only after the Pentagon’s study on the ban is completed.

And finally: A Glenn Beck-Donald Duck “mashup” video might have received funding from the federal government, according to Glenn Beck. Beck said the Donald Duck YouTube video is the “best, well-made propaganda” he had ever seen, and promised to launch an exhaustive investigation to find out if it is “part of the stimulus package.”

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