ThinkFast: July 10, 2007

On April 27, 2005, during a hearing on the PATRIOT Act, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified to Congress, “There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse.” Six days earlier, the FBI had sent Gonzales “one of at least half a dozen reports of legal or procedural violations” of the PATRIOT Act committed by FBI agents, new documents show.

President Bush “plans to lay out what an aide called ‘his vision for the post-surge’ starting in Cleveland today to assure the nation that he, too, wants to begin bringing troops home eventually.” Bush “decided against” actually withdrawing troops, “but he and his team concluded that he needed to shift his message” to “show that he shares the goals” of the American people.

62: Percentage of Americans who “say the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq,” according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, “the first time that number has topped 60 percent.” Bush’s approval rating reached an all-time low: 29 percent.

“The Army missed its recruiting goals in June for the second straight month, as rising casualties in Iraq and a strong economy at home kept the service from enlisting enough new soldiers, Pentagon officials said.”


In an 83–4 vote, the Senate yesterday “confirmed as a federal judge a woman who attended a same-sex commitment ceremony, overwhelmingly rejecting the concerns of a Republican senator running for the White House.” Last year, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) blocked her nomination, “citing her attendance at the event.”

“Iraq’s soaring unemployment rate is estimated at 60 to 70 percent, and attempts to lower it are caught in a bloody Catch-22. … Joblessness helps fuel the country’s insurgency,” but “that same instability is hampering rebuilding efforts and economic growth that could generate more jobs.”

“Despite promising to admit 7,000 Iraqi refugees to the U.S. by the end of September, the Bush administration has allowed in just 133 over the past nine months. … Officials predict that at most only 2,000, or less than 30%, of the 7,000 can be processed by Sept. 30.”

“A suicide bomber targeted a NATO patrol in a crowded marketplace in southern Afghanistan Tuesday, killing 17 civilians, officials said. At least 30 people were among the wounded, including seven Western soldiers.”

And finally: The Bush twins were out “having fun last week” in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. The girls “had a handful of preppy-looking boys surrounding them.” The DC Examiner reports, “Jenna looked great and was enjoying standing outside with her cigarette talking to her tall, country-club-looking friends who appeared to be 35-plus. … Barbara had a nice-looking black dress on and [had] what looked like a Jager bomb towards the end of the night.”