ThinkFast: August 7, 2006

Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), “dogged by an influence peddling probe” into his many connections with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff (like this photo), announced today he “will not seek re-election.”

“President Bush will move U.S. troops out of Iraq if the country descends into civil war, according to one senior Bush aide who declined to be named while talking about internal strategy,” Newsweek reports.

20 percent: Bush’s approval rating among Americans age 18 to 24, with 53 percent disapproving. The Iraq war is a major factor.

Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards “said Saturday the United States should start pulling troops out of Iraq immediately.”

President Karzai’s government “has moved aggressively to crack down on what Afghans call imported vices,” such as alcohol and prostitution. Under the Taliban, the same office “whipped women if their veils slipped and arrested men for wearing too-short beards or playing chess.”

“For the fifth year in a row, unusual wind patterns off the coast of Oregon have produced a large ‘dead zone,’ an area so low in oxygen that fish and crabs suffocate.” “There is no other cause [besides climate change], as far as we can determine,” said Jane Lubchenco, a marine biologist at Oregon State University.

Iraq is “seeing a sudden escalation of brutal attacks on what are being called the ‘immorals’ — homosexual men and children as young as 11 who have been forced into same-sex prostitution.”

Oil giant BP is shutting down its Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska “after discovering unexpectedly severe corrosion and a small spill from a transit pipeline.” In early March, BP was criticized for “the largest oil spill ever” in the North Slope, caused by a rupture in one of its corroding Prudhoe pipelines.

And finally: The August recess has officially begun. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) office is holding a “Mustache Contest” to see who is “able to claim they grew the best mustache, a la closest to that of Tom Selleck or Burt Reynolds.” “If we find out anyone in the office is tampering or using any products like Rogaine,” said Lautenberg’s press secretary, “they will be eliminated.”What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.