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ThinkFast: January 12, 2007

President Bush’s address at Fort Benning, GA, yesterday, “received a less enthusiastic reception than has been the case on his past visits to military bases to promote his Iraq policy.” The 300 soldiers who joined Bush were prohibited from talking with reporters afterward, to “ensure that there would be no discordant notes.”

U.S. troops “launched two raids on Iranian targets in Iraq yesterday,” detaining five Iranians and confiscating “vast amounts of documents and computer data.” U.S. officials said the raids “are part of a new U.S. intelligence and military operation launched last month against Iran.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) “has quietly backed away from his pre-election demands that the White House turn over potentially embarrassing documents relating to its handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans.”

Al-Qaeda is “strengthening itself across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe” and cells are “rebuilding their strength” in Pakisan, according to outgoing National Intelligence Director John Negroponte.

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75: Percentage of Americans who think President Bush should have to get congressional approval before he escalates the war in Iraq, according to a new CBS News poll.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass a bill today repealing “a Republican-approved ban on letting the government negotiate with manufacturers for lower prices” for prescription drugs for 23 million seniors. President Bush announced he will veto the legislation.

“Iraq is the only major U.S. conflict, except for the 1846–48 Mexican-American War, in which citizens haven’t been asked to make a special financial sacrifice,” Bloomberg reports. “President George W. Bush opposes tax increases, even as the costs escalate far beyond predictions and he calls for more troops.”

“Top officials at the Internal Revenue Service are pushing agents to prematurely close audits of big companies with agreements to have them pay only a fraction of the additional taxes that could be collected, according to dozens of I.R.S. employees who say that the policy is costing the government billions of dollars a year.”

Bloggers “will be allowed to cover the criminal trial of former White House staffer Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby alongside reporters from traditional media outlets.” The arrangement is the “first for a high-profile court case.” Sheldon Snook of the U.S. District Court in Washington noted, “Bloggers are part of the media landscape and if we were to ignore bloggers, we would be ignoring reality.”

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And finally: “The White House labeled as ‘ridiculous’” a story that Rep. Steve Kagen (D-WI) told constituents about his interaction with Bush officials a week after the November election. Kagen, who self-funded much of his campaign, claims he trapped Karl Rove in a White House bathroom and said, “You recognize me? My name’s Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass.”

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