ThinkFast: June 5, 2009

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) attacked the Obama administration for wanting to “control the people.” Palin, who has rejected stimulus funds for her state, said in a speech on Wednesday that the administration is enacting fiscal policies that “fly in the face of principles” and “defy Economics 101.”

The U.S. economy lost 345,000 jobs in May, according to government figures released today. The numbers showed “a sharp slowing in the pace of job losses that fueled hopes that the economy was on its way toward a recovery.” The unemployment rate is now at 9.4 percent, “its highest point in a quarter-century.”

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) yesterday said the Senate would be adding immigration reform to its 2009 agenda. “As far as I’m concerned we have three major issues we have to do this year, if at all possible: No. 1 is healthcare; No. 2 is energy, global warming; No. 3 is immigration reform,” said Reid.

The Hill reports that several Republican lawmakers revealed “some of what they had been told at a closed-door Intelligence Committee hearing on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.” Congressional Democrats accused them of “publicly discussing classified information” after they conducted on-the-record interviews about the closed hearing where they claimed the Bush administration’s torture program had been effective.


A new Pew Research Center poll has found that “Americans who have learned at least a little about Judge Sonia Sotomayor are more likely to offer traits or aspects they like about” her “than things they do not like.” Forty-five percent said they found something to like about Sotomayor, such as her background or experience, while 26 percent said they had learned something about her that they dislike.

Yesterday, federal authorities charged a man with making threats against President Obama for allegedly telling bank employees that he is “on a mission” to kill the president. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Daniel James Murray, and the Secret Service are trying to locate him in Utah.

As banks are “quietly savoring” their defeat of bankruptcy legislation that “would have given judges the power to lower the amount owed on a home loan,” the New York Times reports that the financial industry has “a far stronger hand to play” in coming legislative battles than it may appear. The cornerstone of the industry’s strategy is its efforts to divide Democrats while investing heavily in lobbying.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised President Obama’s speech in Cairo, calling it an “ideal basis” to pursue peace efforts in the Middle East. Obama also said Friday that “he was dispatching his top Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, to the region next week to follow up on issues raised during the Cairo speech. Time was of the essence, he said, for Israelis and the Palestinians to step up their efforts.”

Yesterday, the Justice Department “took the rare step of asking a court to release from prison two convicted Alaska state legislators after a review of their corruption cases appeared to uncover lapses of the sort that helped derail the prosecution of the state’s long-serving Republican senator, Ted Stevens.”


And finally: Near the end a recent comedy show by Fox News host Glenn Beck, an elderly woman came up to a reporter covering the event and asked, “What’s the name of this movie?” “It’s Glenn Beck’s comedy show,” the reporter replied, asking back, “What movie are you trying to see?” “That museum movie — the one where the old statues come to life,” she replied. “You’re definitely in the wrong theater,” the reporter said, who later thought to himself, “you’re not that far off.”

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