ThinkFast: March 24, 2011

The progressive advocacy group Color of Change is mounting a campaign to urge the Huffington Post to stop giving a forum to “notorious liar and race-baiter Andrew Breitbart.” HuffPo responded by claiming that Breitbart’s “first post on our site drew over 1,635 comments,” thereby “validat[ing] the premise and the decision to publish his blog post.” Color of Change notes that HuffPost is validating “someone who has repeatedly sought to harm” black leaders and institutions.

Speaking at Vanderbilt University Tuesday, President Obama’s former Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer slammed the administration for “not doing enough” about unemployment. Deeming the 8.9% unemployment rate “an absolute crisis,” Romer — a proponent of “more aggressive government action” — said we have tools “we can use, and I think it’s shameful that we’re not using them.”

In a two-page letter to President Obama yesterday, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said House members “are troubled that U.S. military resources were committed to war without clearly defining” the mission in Libya. While stating his respect for Obama’s authority, he demanded to know why the U.S. committed to “enforcing a U.N. resolution that is inconsistent with our stated policy goals and national interests.”

This weekend, Republican presidential hopeful Haley Barbour said he wasn’t involved in his lobbying firm’s efforts on behalf of the Mexican government to help promote a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. But the Los Angeles Times reports today that Barbour’s assertion is “contradicted by the firm’s own federal filings, which describe him as a leader of the team assigned to the account.”

The “House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has scheduled an April 5 hearing to examine postal workers’ pay and benefits.” “The Postal Service must show Congress and the American people that it can pay its own way, because the numbers do not seem to add up,” said committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).

House Republicans voted to ban congressional earmarks last year, calling them the embodiment of everything wrong with Washington, but a new report shows Republicans left nearly half of that pork barrel spending in place. The Congressional Research Service report found $4.8 billion earmark spending left intact, most of it for defense-related spending.

In “one of the Obama administration’s most significant revisions to rules governing the investigation of terror suspects,” new rules allow the government to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed an “aggressive” response to a bus bombing that killed one woman and injured dozens more, which came after Israeli strikes that killed numerous Palestinian civilians. Yesterday, Israeli jets struck a power plant in Gaza city, plunging much of the area into darkness.

And finally: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that she’s not interested in another term at State or any other prestigious political office, and yesterday she told People just how modest she wants to go. Her next dream job? “Closet cleaner.” “I’ve been on the highest tightrope of American and global politics,” she told the magazine. “I want to do other things.”

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