ThinkFast: February 27, 2009

George Will lashes out at his critics in his Washington Post column today, standing by his inaccurate and misleading column denying climate change from last week. Will complains that “the media-environmental complex” attacks anyone presenting “any expression of skepticism” about global warming.

In his “first presidential directive,” President Obama outlined the structure of his National Security Council, adding “the attorney general, the secretaries of energy and homeland security, and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations” to the body. Further, he plans to solicit “wide input to NSC meetings, providing for ‘regular’ inclusion of senior trade, economic and science advisers.”

Yesterday, the Senate voted 61–37 to “give the District a voting seat in the House of Representatives.” However, lawmakers also attached language stripping many local gun-control laws, which “complicates the D.C. vote bill’s passage into law, because the legislation will have to be reconciled with a companion bill in the House with no gun provisions that is expected to be approved next week.”

The Obama administration has notified Congress that “Chas Freeman has been appointed chairman of the National Intelligence Council. The right wing, outraged over his views on the Middle East conflict and opposition to the Iraq war, had tried to stop the appointment of Freeman.


Today, the Obama administration plans to rescind the controversial “conscience rule,” which “allows healthcare workers to deny abortion counseling or other family planning services if doing so would violate their moral beliefs.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee is preparing to launch an investigation of the CIA’s interrogation programs under President Bush. Officials said the inquiry was not designed to determine whether CIA officials broke laws but “to do fact-finding in order to learn lessons from the programs.”

Just months after declaring that President Obama “would rather lose a war than lose a campaign,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he supports Obama’s Iraq withdrawal plan. Asked by the Huffington Post whether he would have enacted a similar plan were he president, he replied, “Oh, I’m sure…because that’s what our military and civilian leadership has recommended.”

The Justice Department is preparing to bring terrorism-related charges in a civilian criminal court against Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, “a man identified as an operative of Al Qaeda who has been held in a military brig” inside the U.S. for more than five years. The Bush administration had “argued that he could be held indefinitely without being charged.”

A group of progressive bloggers “are teaming up with organized labor and to form a political action committee that will seek to push the Democratic Party further to the left,” recruiting candidates to challenge Blue Dog Democrats. The group, named Accountability Now, “is another step in the evolution of the blogosphere.”


And finally: Yesterday at CPAC, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told RNC chairman Michael Steele that he was “da man” after he concluded his remarks. “Michael Steele!” exclaimed Bachmann, the event moderator. “You be da man! You be da man.

Sign up here to receive our daily e-newsletter, The Progress Report.