ThinkFast: February 24, 2011

Forces loyal to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi launched a vicious counter-attack this morning against pro-democracy protesters who have taken control of large swaths of the country. The rebels are encroaching on Tripoli, and the attack was aimed at securing the capitol. Meanwhile, another round of top government officials have defected.

House Republicans floated a “compromise” bill yesterday that would cut $2 billion per week from federal spending. The areas of reduction were not outlined, but a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the “so-called compromise” had no chance of passage in the Senate.

General Motors announced its first annual profit since 2004, a clear sign that its government rescue is reaping real results. The company also said that “45,000 union workers would receive profit-sharing checks averaging $4,300, the most in the company‚Äôs history.”

After tweeting his support for the use of “live ammunition” on Wisconsin protesters, Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeff Cox is “no longer employed” by the Attorney General’s Office, which stated that “we are held by the public to a high standard, and we should strive for civility.” Cox defended his comment as “satirical,” adding, “I think we’re getting down a slippery slope here in terms of silencing people who disagree.”

Indiana House Republicans are dropping the right-to-work legislation that compelled Democrats to flee to Illinois so Republicans couldn’t achieve a quorum to vote on it. While GOP lawmakers supported the bill that would allow workers at unionized companies not to pay dues or be members, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said it “was a distraction” and suggested the GOP “not pursue the bill.”

A new Rolling Stone investigation claims to have found evidence of an illegal psychological operations campaign waged by the military against U.S. senators designed to build support for the war. The magazine writes that Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general who trained Afghan troops, waged a psyops campaign against not only U.S. senators, but also foreign heads of state and think tank analysts.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said yesterday that GOP spending proposals are “a recipe for a double-dip recession.” Pointing to a Goldman Sachs analysis showing the GOP plan to reduce federal spending by $61 billion would result in a GDP reduction of 1.5 to 2 percent, Schumer said the proposal “would snuff out any chance of recovery.”

And finally: Tensions are still raw among Delaware Republicans after witnessing the defeat of their 2010 Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. At a townhall meeting this week, angry supporters of O’Donnell confronted the chairman of the state Republican Party, who had defected against O’Donnell during the campaign, even saying that she wasn’t capable of being elected dog catcher. But Chairman Tom Ross stood his ground, shouting back at the crowd, “You know why I said that? I said it because it was true!”

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