ThinkFast: March 25, 2011

Despite reporting over $5 billion in profits from its domestic operations, the American multinational conglomerate General Electric – headquartered in Fairfield, CTpaid nothing in income taxes. “In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.”

After a pressure campaign from Color of Change to stop giving a forum to right-wing propagandist Andrew Breitbart, the Huffington Post announced Breitbart would not be featured on the front page but will still have a forum on the site. Color of Change lauded the move as an “important reversal.” Breitbart’s allies responded by announcing a pledge to attack AOL/HuffPost more frequently.

According to White House aides, President Obama is resisting pressure to deliver an Oval Office address on Libya because “he doesn’t want to equate what he regards as a smaller, time-limited with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Though likely to talk about Libya over the next few days, he will avoid a “long, explanatory address” until the endgame and path ahead in Libya becomes clearer.

“France declared Libya’s airspace ‘under control’ on Friday, after NATO agreed to take command of the no-fly zone.” NATO members are currently negotiating over the “second mission” of the U.N-backed military campaign — protecting civilians from the regime’s ground troops

69 percent of Americans surveyed in a new CNN/Opinion Research poll “said they would not oppose having a mosque near where they live or work.” However, just 46 percent of Americans said they had a positive view of American Muslims, which is actually up from the 39 percent who said so in 2002.

Thousands of protesters calling for freedom and democratic reforms marched in Syria, after security forces killed dozens of people in the city of Daraa. “What is being targeted is Syria’s position, Syria’s security and ability to be a pillar of resistance against Zionism and US schemes,” said the Syrian leader’s media adviser, Buthaina Shaaban.

New York Sens. Kristen Gillibrand (D) and Chuck Schumer (D) recorded 30-second spots for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to call on Albany to legalize same-sex marriage. HRC called the increasing number of lawmakers’ support for marriage equality “a pivotal moment in the fight for equal rights.”

The New York Times reports that the emergence of the pro-Israel, pro-peace organization J Street has stirred a debate in the Israeli parliament about what it means to be Jewish. Hard-right Likud lawmakers are charging that J Street is “a group of self-doubting American Jews more worried about what their neighbors say than what is good for the state of Israel.”

And finally: There are lots of ways for citizens to get involved in government, including, apparently, toilets. Call him a wannabe Joe the Plumber, a Maine man protested a town council decision by installing 17 toilets on his own lawn. He’s pooh poohing a decision to close a local elementary school, and thought the toilets would make “a pretty obvious political statement toward the town.”

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