ThinkFast: April 15, 2006

New emails from Jack Abramoff to former top Bush procurement official David Safavian show a “highly inappropriate relationship where gifts and business interests mixed freely and frequently.” One message from Abramoff, sent July 23, 2002, asks Safavian, “golf Friday? golf Sunday? golf Monday? golf, golf, golf!!

“Far from being daunted,” one of the generals who called for Secretary Rumsfeld’s resignation, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq until 2004, went further in an interview with the New York Times: “His arrogance is what will cause us to fail in the future.

Hundreds of immigrants who joined recent marches have been fired from their jobs. “[S]ome protest organizers say word of the firings spread rapidly and might have a chilling effect on many more workers and on students, some of whom also say they have faced discipline for missing school for rallies.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a military analyst for Fox News and the Weekly Standard, on war in Iran: “I can lay out a campaign today that will take Iran down very quickly.” McInerney on war in Iraq in 2002: “[I]t will be a war that is shorter than” the 1991 Gulf War, which lasted 42 days.


A good sign you’ve chosen the wrong person to run Iraq’s 135,000 member police force: When asked whether he likes his job, he responds: “No. I don’t want to keep it! They force me to take it. I’m a civil engineer, a merchant. I can’t continue. I don’t want to continue. My specialty is construction, industry”¦ I want to rebuild Iraq.”“Reach Out and Tap Someone.” AT&T; is suing to require a company whistleblower to return internal documents “detailing how the telecom giant built a special spy-room for the National Security Agency” which housed a “vacuum-cleaner” surveillance system.

A new, unpublished research paper by MIT professor Kerry Emanuel “torpedoes one of the few comforting thoughts of this storm-racked era: The notion that our current spree of active hurricane seasons is part of a natural cycle that’s due to calm down in 10 or 20 years.”

The Homeland Security Department has issued a bulletin warning U.S. businesses of the threats from “eco-terror” groups, whose tactics include “flyer distribution” and “sending continuous faxes in order to drain the ink supply from company fax machines.” According to TPMMuckraker, no similar bulletins have addressed violent right-wing organizations, whose activities have actually resulted in fatalities (unlike eco-terrorism).

Council on Foreign Relations Iran expert Ray Takeyh sounds off: “I think the intellectual poverty of the administration’s approach to Iran is only mirrored by the intellectual poverty in their planning of the war in Iraq.”

Sudan divestment campaign scores another victory: California State Teachers’ Retirement System Board — “the nation’s second largest pension fund with over $141 billion in assets” — voted 9–0 to divest the fund’s holdings from companies with ties to the genocidal regime.


And finally: The Kansas Law Review, “which prides itself on promptness,” reportedly took only 25 minutes to reject a submission by Ohio State law professor Christopher Fairman. “It seems they read the title. Who knew the Kansans were so sensitive?”