ThinkFast: December 7, 2010

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the Senate to ratify the START treaty today, saying it was key to national security. “The issue before the Senate is the place of New Start in America’s future security. Nuclear weapons will be with us for a long time,” Rice wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Rice added, however, that she wants the treaty to be more clear that missile defenses would not be compromised.

Elizabeth Edwards is gravely ill with cancer and has stopped treatment after doctors told her it could do no more good. The wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards “thanked her supporters on her Facebook page Monday, perhaps weeks away from the disease taking her life.”

According to a new study, American LGBT students are more likely to be “harshly punished by schools and courts than their straight peers, even though they are less likely to engage in serious misdeeds.” The study’s authors speculated that the more severe punishments meted out might reflect a bias by school and court officials, or that the teenagers are less likely to receive support services than their straight peers.

Tea Party leader Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told radio host Sean Hannity yesterday that Republicans may “scuttle” the tax deal if the Bush tax cuts extension is tied to unemployment aid. Calling jobless aid “massive spending,” Bachmann said “tying” the tax cuts “to massive spending is something that would be very difficult for members to swallow.”

Two years after the federal government bailed out Citigroup, the U.S. Treasury is selling off the last remaining shares in the company. All told, taxpayers will reap a $12 billion gain on the government’s multi-billion dollar investment in Citigroup.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange voluntarily turned himself into British police today. Assange is facing allegations of consensual but unprotected sex in Sweden, known in the country as “sex by surprise.”

General “David Petraeus expressed doubts Monday about the prospect of a victory in Afghanistan by 2014,” in an interview with ABC News. “I don’t think there’s any sure things in this kind of endeavor, and I wouldn’t be honest with you or the viewers if i didn’t convey that,” he said.

And finally: In what may been seen as another salvo in the War on Christmas, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is hosting a fundraiser in honor of Festivus, the satirical holiday created by the TV program “Seinfeld.” Cantor and his supporters will “air the year’s grievances and perform the feats of strength, both important parts of Festivus, a grumpy, anti-consumerist holiday popularized by Frank Costanza.”

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