ThinkFast: October 25, 2010

The Washington Post reports that companies that received federal bailout money, including some that still owe money to the government, are giving generously to political candidates with vigor. “Most of those donations are going to Republican candidates.”

Conservative groups with anonymous wealthy donors “are starting a carefully coordinated final push to deliver control of Congress to Republicans, shifting money among some 80 House races they are monitoring day by day.” The effort is being led “by a core subset of the largest outside conservative groups” which have millions of dollars left to spend on ads.

NPR’s chief executive has apologized for how she handled Juan Williams’ firing, but did not apologize for the firing itself. Vivian Schiller released a statement to her colleagues, saying “While we stand firmly behind that decision, I regret that we did not take the time to prepare our program partners and provide you with the tools to cope with the fallout from this episode.”

Despite previously stating that he was for health reform that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, West Virginia Democratic senate candidate Joe Manchin now says he would have voted against it. “I’m totally behind health care reform,” Manchin said last year. Now, he tells Fox News there are a number of problems with the legislation.

Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey is putting distance between himself and Christine O’Donnell, his party’s Senate nominee from the neighboring state of Delaware. Specifically, Toomey spoke against O’Donnell’s idea that states should not be bound by the First Amendment’s prohibition on establishing a religion: “This is nothing that I’ve ever spoken about or agreed with,” he said.

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday called for an inquiry into the trove of leaked U.S. military files from the Iraq war that document prisoner abuses by Iraqi forces, insurgent and sectarian violence and civilians shot at checkpoints by U.S. troops. Clegg said that allegations of British misconduct “are extremely serious and need to be looked at.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee slammed former Bush adviser Karl Rove and “elitism within the Republican establishment” yesterday. On a WABC radio show, Huckabee said Rove exudes a “country club attitude” and exploits grassroots activists’ energy but doesn’t “want them dining with us in the main dining room.”

And finally: 30 Rock creator Tina Fey helped define former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign with her spot-on impression, and now it’s paying off as Comedy Central auctions off a copy of Palin’s memoir Going Rogue signed by Fey to raise money for charity. Currently bidding at $2,512 on eBay, Fey inscribed the book by noting, “I didn’t write this.”

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