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ThinkFast: July 25, 2008

“A petition to send former White House deputy chief of state Karl Rove to jail over refusing a subpoena to testify before a House committee has gained over 100,000 signatures,” according to Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films and online activists.

The EPA’s Inspector General’s Office has said that “voluntary pollution-reduction programs touted by the Bush administration as part of the solution to global warming have ‘limited potential’ to reduce greenhouse gases.” The “industry’s unwillingness to participate and unreliable data that casts doubt on claimed reductions are hindering efforts to control some of the most potent greenhouse gases.”

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday announced joint appointments to a landmark ethics review board” that will allow private citizens to review allegations against members. The co-chairman will be former CIA director Porter Goss, who “opposed launching an investigation into the Valerie Plame CIA leak case.”

“The American public is not buying the arguments of President Bush and the oil industry that new drilling will lower gas prices,” with 63 percent saying increased drilling is “more likely to enrich oil companies than to lower gas prices.” A separate Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that voters trust Democrats over Republicans to deal with energy, 42 to 22 percent.

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On the trail today: Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) continues his overseas trip in France today, where he will meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will speak in Denver, CO and will then head to Aspen to meet with the Dalai Lama. Rep. George Miller (D-CA) pledged today to introduce legislation that would “block an eleventh-hour effort by the Labor Department to make it more difficult to limit workers’ exposure to chemicals on the job.” Miller said he was determined to stop the “secret rule” that has been described as “a parting gift” to industry from the Bush administration.

“Home foreclosure filings rose 14 percent in the second quarter, the eighth consecutive quarterly climb, and more than doubled from the same period a year-earlier, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said on Friday.” Home foreclosures were up 121 percent from a year earlier, “amid the worst U.S. housing market downturn since the Great Depression.”

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq announced yesterday “that it had expanded tenfold its program to help Iraqi employees of the American government here” to obtain visas and ultimately American citizenship. However, critics noted that the U.S. “had promised several times that it would try to speed up the process, and that it had not come through.”

And finally: Ted Stevens sticks by his “series of tubes.” In 2006, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) was widely mocked after he described the internet as “a series of tubes” that “can be filled.” Asked this week if he stuck by that description, Stevens said, “I do,” before adding that he’s “still not sure about the difference between tubes and pipes.”

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