"ThinkFast: November 12, 2010"
FreedomWorks founder Dick Armey met with incoming GOP lawmakers in Baltimore yesterday and urged them to stay true to Tea Party principles when they assume office. Armey warned the new members not to be swayed by committee assignments or other enticements from Republican leaders if they came at an ideological price.
There would be minimal disruptions to the armed services if the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is repealed, according to a draft of a Pentagon study released yesterday. The report said that lifting DADT would not cause overall harm to the military, but could cause minimal disruptions that could be mitigated with effective leadership.
President Obama said today while attending the G-20 Conference in South Korea that he is not backing down on ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Obama says his “number one priority” is to extend the cuts for the middle class, and that negotiations over other cuts are still ongoing.
Attack ads funded by the right-wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce “dramatically expanded” the 2010 House field for Republicans, a new study found. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce played a central strategic role in a coordinated effort to elect Republicans in this fall’s elections,” the report from union-backed U.S. Chamber Watch concludes.
Three hours after Iraqi lawmakers yesterday began the process of approving an agreement on a new unity government, “members of an alliance led by the former prime minister, Ayad Allawi, walked out in protest.” The move won’t derail the agreement but it highlights a fractured government “rife with suspicion, hobbled by a shaky grasp of the rule of law and prone to collapse, or at least chaos.”
Yesterday, the ACLU called for a special prosecutor at the Justice Department to investigate President George W. Bush for violating federal statutes prohibiting torture. In response to Bush’s recent and repeated admissions of directly authorizing waterboarding, the ACLU said it “acknowledges the significance of this request” but the admissions are “without parallel in American history” and “cannot be ignored.”
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued first-ever national guidelines for reducing greenhouse gases. The guidelines, which will go into effect January 2, include “replacing dirty fuels used to power oil refineries with cleaner sources and requiring more efficient electricity and energy use with existing power plants to reduce emissions.”
On Wednesday, anti-war Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said “he will force a vote for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan” by 2012 via a privileged resolution in the next Congress. Reacting to reports that troops could remain there until 2014, Kucinich said “the withdrawal of our troops must be driven by Congress, not the corrupt president of Afghanistan.”
And finally: Staid CNN host Wolf Blitzer learned how to do the Dougie Wednesday night, when rapper Doug E. Fresh taught Blitzer his eponymous dance move at the 2010 Soul Train Music Awards, where Blitzer was a presenter. But Blitzer didn’t stop there — when Eminem couldn’t make it to accept an award for best hip-hop song, Blitzer stepped in on Shady’s behalf.