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ThinkFast: February 15, 2007

“The U.S. Central Command’s war plan for invading Iraq postulated in August 2002 that the U.S. would have only 5,000 troops left in Iraq as of December 2006,” according to newly released documents. “Completely unrealistic assumptions about a post-Saddam Iraq permeate these war plans,” said an official from the National Security Archive, which obtained the documents.

The Los Angeles Times examines whether the Iranian Quds Forces, accused of smuggling weapons to Shiite forces in Iraq, are controlled by the Iranian government. The conclusion: “Experts aren’t sure.

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) will today outline his plan to begin ending the war in Iraq “by stopping the deployment of troops from units that have been badly degraded by four years of combat.” Murtha’s legislation will require that U.S. troops who have already served be granted adequate time at home before redeploying, and that “any troops sent to Iraq must be…deemed fully trained and equipped under existing military standards.”

State Farm, which insures one out of every three Mississippi homes, has decided to “stop writing new home and commercial policies throughout Mississippi,” which “could prompt other insurers to retreat further from the Katrina-battered region.”

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“Lobbyists eager to revive the practice of taking staffers out for a few beers” are encouraged by a House memo that states that even under new ethics rules, lawmakers and staff can accept “food or refreshments of a nominal value offered other than as part of a meal.” “Happy hours are OK again,” said one corporate source.Scooter Libby’s defense team rested after giving a “stripped-down version of their case.” Defense attorneys did not present the “testimony of their proposed final witnesses” because the presiding judge ruled it “would be unfair to allow such testimony because Libby had decided not to testify and could not be cross-examined.”

The 25-count indictment disclosed yesterday against defense contractor Brent Wilkes shows he obtained a stream of Pentagon contracts “by providing then-Rep. Cunningham with cash and other bribes valued at more than $700,000,” including “two prostitutes for the lawmaker on Aug. 15 and 16, 2003, at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Hawaii.” “Pursuant to Cunningham’s request,” the indictment states, “Wilkes arranged for the Congressman to get a different prostitute for the second evening.”

“UK aid agency Oxfam has warned a new humanitarian catastrophe, like that in Darfur, could happen in Chad if ethnic conflict is not brought under control. … More than 120,000 Chadians have so far been forced from their homes in brutal inter-ethnic attacks that bear all the hallmarks of the violence seen across the border in Sudan.”

And finally: Papa Bear’s new favorite ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s unveiled “Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream,” a new ice cream flavor that promises customers the “sweet taste of liberty in your mouth.” “I’m not afraid to say it. Dessert has a well-known liberal agenda,” Colbert said. “What I hope to do with this ice cream is bring some balance back to the freezer case.”

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