ThinkFast: August 11, 2006

President Bush’s approval rating has “dropped to 33, matching his low in May,” according to an AP-Ipsos poll. The majority of people who voted for Bush in 2004 (57 percent) disapprove of the job he is doing.

Greenland’s icecap “is melting faster than ever before on record, and the pace is speeding year by year,” new data shows. “The consequence is already evident in a small but ominous rise in sea levels around the world, a pace that is also accelerating.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) once called using national security issues for political purposes “just unacceptable and in my opinion un-American.” Yesterday he said that a timeline for Iraq redeployment (backed by 57 percent of Americans) “will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again.”

Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Charlie Melancon (D-LA) have written to FEMA about a report that 94 percent of emergency housing trailers for Katrina victims “contain hazardous levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.”


The GAO found almost 30 percent of State Department diplomats abroad are “failing to speak and write the local language well enough to meet required levels.”

“Iraq needs one to two years to rebuild its security forces,” Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi said Thursday, contradicting a recent claim by Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani that they would be fully operational by the end of 2006.

“The Bush administration has illegally denied the public a chance to comment before approving the logging of woodlands damaged by fires or infestations,” a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.

Violence in genocidal Darfur is increasing. “The number of armed clashes during that period was twice as high as the number last year,” says Jan Pronk, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Sudan.

“Most states have shirked the law by failing to ensure that poor and minority students get their fair share of qualified teachers, a new analysis contends.”


And finally: Is Rummy getting ready for his close-up? Premier Magazine reports Donald Rumsfeld “hangs around movie sets — as in a recent visit to the Clint Eastwood-directed war epic ‘Flags of Our Fathers.’” “What was funny is that he stuck around for a while,” cast member Jesse Bradford said. “It’s like, ‘Don’t you have anything better to do? You’re supposed to be running the country.’”

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.