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ThinkFast: June 9, 2008

President Bush “is increasingly drawing on selected events of the past to argue that history will vindicate him.” Unfortunately for the president, “many historians have already reached a conclusion. In an informal survey of scholars this spring, just two out of 109 historians said Bush would be judged a success; a majority deemed him the ‘worst president ever.’”

The Washington Post’s Walter Pincus points out that the Senate Intelligence Committee report on prewar intelligence released last week contained no review of the White House Iraq Group, a 2002 pre-war operation that included Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, and Condoleezza Rice. Former Press Secretary Scott McClellan writes this group was used to “pursue a political propaganda campaign to sell the war to the American people.”

Most Americans feel the American Dream has unraveled, “that their once steady march toward affluence has derailed.” A new USA Today poll finds that 54 percent of those surveyed say “their standard of living is no better today than five years ago.”

78 percent: Those questioned in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out this morning who rate the economic conditions as poor. “That’s up from 75 percent in March. Only 22 percent rate the economic conditions in the country as good.”

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On the trail today: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is planning a series of fundraising stops in Virginia and Washington D.C. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is kicking off a two-week “Change That Works For You” tour at the North Carolina State fairgrounds, where he speaks at 11 am this morning.

“World military spending grew 45 percent in the past decade, with the United States accounting for nearly half of all expenditures,” according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. With $547 billion spent last year, the U.S. accounts for 45 percent of global expenditures. The next biggest spenders account “for just four to five percent of world military costs each.”

In a trip to Iran yesterday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he “will not allow Iraq to become a platform for harming the security of Iran and its neighbors.” Maliki was seeking to “soothe Iranian opposition to a long-term American military presence in Iraq.”

A new report by UCLA’s Williams Institute says that “[m]ore than 12,000 same-sex couples from New York are expected to marry in California within the next three years.” Because of Gov. David Paterson’s (D) recent decision that state agencies recognize gay marriages performed legally, gay couples in New York “expect to have legal standing on matters such as inheritance and taxes.”

And finally: Rather than exchange a traditional handshake, Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) bumped fists at the conclusion of their joint appearance on CNN’s Late Edition yesterday. The move appeared to be “a reference to Barack and Michelle Obama’s celebratory fist bump on Tuesday.”

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