ThinkFast: July 26, 2007

In a letter to the Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) responds to the paper’s opposition to the Senate’s recent all-night debate on Iraq. “On reading the July 21 editorial ‘The Phony Debate,’ it became clear why The Post’s editorial writers have been such eager cheerleaders for the Bush administration’s flawed Iraq policies — the two share the same disregard for the facts en route to drawing dubious conclusions,” Reid writes.

“In a little-noticed addition to legislation requiring the July and September assessments on Iraq from the White House, Congress mandated a third report” from the Government Accountability Office, which has “quietly done the most work to track the missteps, miscalculations, misspent funds and shortfalls of both the United States and Iraq since the 2003 invasion.”

As part of the debate over the farm, “House Democrats proposed legislation that would make it harder for overseas companies to use tax havens to avoid taxes on U.S. profits, drawing immediate opposition from the Bush administration.”

“The commanding general at Fort Lewis, Wash., the third-largest Army base in the nation, on Wednesday rescinded a plan calling for a once-a-month collective memorial service rather than individual ones for soldiers killed in action.”


“A new media report that Rep. Don Young (R-AK) is now a target of an expanding federal criminal investigation involving an Alaska oil company and state elected officials has once again put House Republicans in a difficult political position, as they continue to be dogged with corruption scandals eight months after they lost the majority in the midterm elections.”

“A presidential commission examining the care given to wounded U.S. service members recommended ‘fundamental changes’ aimed at simplifying the military’s convoluted health-care bureaucracy and overhauling the veterans disability system.” Bush said the administration will “look at every one of these recommendations,” take them seriously and “implement them.”

“One of the largest American contractors working in Iraq, Bechtel National, met its original objectives on fewer than half of the projects it received as part of a $1.8 billion reconstruction contract, while most of the rest were canceled, reduced in scope or never completed as designed, federal investigators have found in a report released yesterday.”

And finally: The new “CQ’s Politics in America 2008: The 110th Congress” is “an intriguing compilation of trivia.” One tidbit is that three congressmen — Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI), and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — are all lottery winners. Gregg “donated a portion of his $853,492 in winnings to a charity,” Sensenbrenner “put his $250,000 toward charities and investments,” and McCarthy used his $5,000 to “open Kevin O’s Deli.”

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