ThinkFast: November 9, 2010

In a statement to viewers yesterday, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann apologized for the “unnecessary drama” surrounding his temporary suspension. Admitting that he “mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule,” he assured viewers that he was not keeping his contributions secret and that he “immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off” as MSNBC desired but was “suspended without a hearing.”

Facing scrutiny for low fundraising levels, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told NPR that Republicans “don’t want me in this job.” Under pressure to defend the RNC’s performance this cycle as he considers a second term, Steele said his removal “has been a concerted effort” by Republicans “since I got the job.”

Last night on Fox News, Fox contributor Mort Kondracke dismissed Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) campaign against Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) to win the seat of House GOP conference chair. “Bachmann is just a loudmouth. Every once in a while, she gets caught in some outrageous comment,” Kondracke said.

At a conference organized by the financial services industry’s lobby group, Wall Street executives “begged regulators” to “cushion the blow” from the Wall Street reform bill that President Obama signed into law earlier this year. “The financial system nearly shut down. It’s only two years on,” pleaded Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman. “You need a little bit of patience to rebuild.”


Israel released plans to construct 1,000 new housing units in hotly-contested areas of Jerusalem shortly before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for the U.S. where he will meet with both Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “We were deeply disappointed” in the move, said State Department spokesman PJ Crowley, who added that it is “counterproductive” to the peace process.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “said the U.S. and the international community need to convince Iran that a military strike is possible” in order to stop the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon. “If the international community, led by the U.S., wants to stop Iran without resorting to military action, it will have to convince Iran that it is prepared to take such action,” he said Sunday.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who will chair the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the next Congress, says he is planning hundreds of investigations of the Obama administration. “I want seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks,” Issa told Politico, adding he plans to target the bank bailout, the stimulus, and possibly health care reform.

Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell has been fired due to his private hate campaign against a gay student leader. Shirvell “repeatedly violated office policies, engaged in borderline stalking behavior and inappropriately used state resources,” said Attorney General Mike Cox.

Sens. George Voinovich (R-OH) and Tom Carper (D-DE) have urged President Obama’s debt commission to consider raising the federal gas and diesel tax to pay for infrastructure projects and help reduce the deficit. “We suggest that the taxes be increased by one cent per month for 25 months — a total of 25 cents over a three-year period,” they wrote in a letter to the commission.


And finally: More than forty years after The Doors front man Jim Morrison was charged with indecent exposure at a Miami concert in the late 1960s, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) is considering pardoning the long-deceased singer. “Candidly, it’s something that I haven’t given a lot of thought to, but it’s something I’m willing to look into in the time I have left,” said Crist.

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