ThinkFast: April 16, 2007

“About 70% of primary school students in a Baghdad neighborhood suffer symptoms of trauma-related stress such as bed-wetting or stuttering, according to a survey by the Iraqi Ministry of Health.”

“The Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section is investigating connections between disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the White House, a probe that may be affected by missing White House emails.” Beginning more than a year ago, federal prosecutors and FBI agents interviewed Abramoff and others “at length about numerous contacts between Mr. Abramoff and White House officials, including presidential adviser Karl Rove.”

“Radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr pulled his six ministers out of Iraq’s beleaguered coalition government on Monday as he pushed his demand for a rapid withdrawal of US troops from the country.” Prime Minister Maliki’s government is expected to survive.

“Middle-class Americans, listen up: the I.R.S. is much more likely to audit you this year. Those caught cheating can expect to pay about $4,100 more on average in income taxes. … Audits of these middle-class taxpayers rose to nearly 436,000 last year, up from about 147,000 returns in 2000.”


“Americans by a narrow margin agree that Don Imus should have lost his nationally-syndicated radio show last week, but while whites are evenly divided on the issue a sizeable majority of African Americans support the firing, according to a poll released today.”

“Six years after declaring the U.S. killing of Korean War refugees at No Gun Ri was ‘not deliberate,’ the Army has acknowledged it found but did not divulge that a high-level document said the U.S. military had a policy of shooting approaching civilians in South Korea.”

“A defiant Paul D. Wolfowitz said Sunday that he would not resign as president of the World Bank in the face of controversy over his role in securing a State Department job and large raise for his girlfriend, a former communications official at the bank.”

67: Percentage of Americans, “including a narrow majority of Republicans,” who “see political motivations behind last year’s firings of eight chief federal prosecutors.” Americans also believe Alberto Gonzales should resign by a margin of 45 percent to 39 percent.

“Rudy Giuliani will speak tomorrow at the university founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, a major appearance for the former mayor before a conservative crowd.”


And finally: Presidential sympathy for Britney Spears. During a speech yesterday at the Claremont Colleges, President Bill Clinton shifted from globalization to “express sympathy” for Spears, “whose unusual behavior since her separation from husband Kevin Federline culminated in February when she shaved her head bald. ‘A lot of people have trouble when they’re in their 20s and they’re instantly famous, and they have all these pressures going on,’ he said. ‘She should be allowed to go through it by herself.’”