ThinkFast: July 12, 2010

At least 70 people died when terrorists detonated two bombs at two bars in Kampala, Uganda last night, killing scores of people who were watching the World Cup championship match. Ugandan security officials said the bombings were carried out by al-Shabaab, a militant Somali group with ties to al Qaeda.

The Obama administration will unveil new regulations this week that will make the claims process easier for veterans seeking compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “No longer will veterans have to prove what caused their illness. Instead they would have to show that the conditions at the time and place of their service could have contributed to their illness.”

On Fox News Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he did not envision a negotiated Middle East peace agreement being implemented within the next two years. “Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has set a goal of building the institutions of a Palestinian state within a year.”

“In a private meeting with White House officials” on Saturday, “Democratic governors voiced deep anxiety about the Obama administration’s suit against Arizona’s new immigration law, worrying that it could cost a vulnerable Democratic Party in the fall elections.” “Universally the governors are saying, ‘We’ve got to talk about jobs,’ ” said Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN). “And all of a sudden we have immigration going on.”


The Census Bureau is “shedding hundreds of thousands of workers” — 225,000 in the last few weeks already — as its work on the decennial count winds down. The drop will likely be “enough to account for a jot or two in the unemployment rate.” In the past two years, the agency had hired more than 700,000 Americans, giving a boost to employment during the recession.

The two co-chairmen of President Obama’s debt commission are warning that the “current budgetary trends a cancer ‘that will destroy the country from within’ unless checked by tough action in Washington.” Co-chair Erskine Bowles referenced the British austerity plans currently being enacted as an example of what the commission may recommend.

“170 liberal and civil rights groups” are hoping to “match the [tea party] movement’s political energy and influence.” The coalition, dubbed “One Nation,” plans to march on Washington this fall to take bolder action to create jobs.

President Obama will unveil “the first-ever national AIDS strategy” on Tuesday, an attempt at “slashing the number of new infections and increasing the number of people who get care and treatment.” The strategy will not increase federal spending, but will “redirect money” to areas and population groups with the greatest need, “including gay and bisexual men and African-Americans.”

And finally: Republicans in Bonner County, Idaho are protesting the area’s “Fiesta at the Fair” theme. The county GOP said it will “decorate its booth with the word ‘celebrate’ instead of ‘fiesta’ and have “asked Arizona officials for some license plates to put in the booth” to show support for the state’s controversial anti-immigration law. Bonner County fair board Chairman Tim Cary responded, “Are we supposed to change the name of a burrito to something in English? I’m thinking there’s some narrow-mindedness here, but that’s just my opinion.”

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