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ThinkFast: November 5, 2007

President Bush has so far said nothing publicly about Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s crackdown in Pakistan. As The New York Times notes, Bush’s “silence contrasts sharply to his reaction to the crackdown on dissidents in Myanmar last month. In that case, Mr. Bush announced specific steps against Myanmar rulers.”

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would support the nomination of Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey, despite being “bothered” by Mukasey’s refusal to say whether waterboarding is torture.

While Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is focused on addressing the subprime mortgage crisis, Bloomberg notes that — as chief executive of Goldman Sachs — Paulson profited by gorging on subprime bonds. “He should admit to having been involved in creating the problem that we have now,” said Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC).

“Despite their rhetoric about not wanting to hand President Bush another ‘blank check’ for the Iraq War, Democrats appear poised to give him exactly that — enough cash to keep the war going full steam for as long as six months, no strings attached,” by funding the war “in short bursts.”

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Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, is expected to announce that it is extending Glenn Beck’s contract, “valued at $50 million over five years.” The new contract would make Beck “the third highest-paid talk radio host” after Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.President Gerald Ford questioned President Bush’s warrantless surveillance program, according to journalist Thomas DeFrank. “I would never do it,” Ford said. “It surprises me they worry that they think they have to do it. I was dumbfounded when I heard they were. I didn’t think it was necessary. Where does he get his advice?”

“Most people are ready to make personal sacrifices to address climate change, according to a BBC poll of 22,000 people in 21 countries. Four out of five people said they were prepared to change their lifestyle — even in the US and China, the world’s two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide.”

“A medical transport service overcharged the federal government nearly $2 million to evacuate sick or injured people during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a government audit found.”

And finally: “Every little boy dreams of owning his own real-live fire truck, but only a few — including Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) — ever make the childhood fantasy a reality. Putnam scored a shiny vintage fire engine from none other than Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who apparently decided he no longer needs the antique wheels for parades and campaign events since he’ll be retiring soon.”