ThinkFast: November 21, 2007

Fearing that President Bush would again use a Congressional recess to install executive branch appointees without Senate confirmation, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) gaveled in a 30-second Senate session yesterday. “This is an exercise in protecting the Constitution and our constitutional process,” Webb said. Civic Action is taking on Facebook for infringing user privacy. “MoveOn is objecting to a new advertising technique that Facebook announced a few weeks ago that posts members’ purchases and activities on other websites in their Facebook profiles.” Take action here.

“Americans enter the holiday season in a dark mood, with economic worries, security fears and a lack of confidence in government fueling growing pessimism, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.” The number of Americans who believe the country is on the right track fell from 26 percent to 24 percent in the last month, with about two-thirds believing it is headed in the wrong direction.

Two groups of scientists yesterday revealed that they “succeeded in turning human skin cells into cells that are very similar — but not identical — to embryonic stem cells.” Experts, however, cautioned that it is unclear “whether the new cells will be as effective as conventional embryonic stem cells may prove to be against certain disease.”


Glenn Greenwald sets Joe Klein straight on his factual misrepresentations about FISA reform. Klein writes in Time that Democrats’ proposal fix to FISA would require “every foreign-terrorist target’s calls to be approved by the FISA court.” Greenwald responds, “Everyone — from Russ Feingold to the ACLU — agreed that FISA never intended to require warrants for foreign-to-foreign calls that have nothing to do with U.S. citizens.”

The Supreme Court has agreed to “review an appeals court decision that struck down a 31-year-old Washington D.C., ban on pistols.” “The court’s examination of the meaning of the Second Amendment for the first time in nearly 70 years carries broad implications for gun-control measures locally and across the country.”

“The conflict in Afghanistan has reached ‘crisis proportions,’ with the resurgent Taliban present in 54 percent of the country and “closing in on Kabul,” according to the Senlis Council, an independent think tank. To “prevent NATO’s defeat at the hands of the Taliban, a rejuvenated ‘coalition of the willing’ is needed,” the report said.

$99: Price of crude oil, a new record. “The market is now really looking at $100 a barrel as the next target to hit,” said Victor Shum, an energy analyst in Singapore.

And finally: The Washington Examiner asked White House Press Secretary Dana Perino “what she likes to make for Thanksgiving.” Her response? “Glass of red wine. Directions: 1. Buy bottle of red wine, 2. Un-cork the bottle, 3. Pour wine into glass.”

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