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ThinkFast: October 2, 2007

70 percent: Americans who want funding for the war to be reduced. Bush’s approval rating stands at 33 percent. Just 29 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, although the public rates congressional Republicans (29 percent) lower than congressional Democrats (38 percent).

The Senate voted 92–3 yesterday to “pass a defense policy bill authorizing another $150 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” While the Senate policy bill authorizes the money to be spent, it does not guarantee it. “Bush will have to wait until Congress passes a separate appropriations bill before war funds are transferred to military coffers.”

Ferdowi University yesterday invited President Bush to travel to Iran and “speak on campus about a range of issues, including the Holocaust, terrorism, human rights and U.S. foreign policy.” The invitation “asked Bush to answer questions from students and professors ‘just the same way’ that Ahmadinejad took questions ‘despite all the insults directed at him.’”

The Anti-Defamation League is calling on Senator McCain to “reconsider and withdraw” his comment over the weekend that the Constitution established America as a “Christian nation.”

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In his opening statement today, Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince will tell the House Oversight Committee that his company and its employees are victims of a “rush to judgment” about a shootout in Baghdad last month. Though Prince says Blackwater employees “acted appropriately,” the Iraqi government has concluded that they were “unprovoked” when they opened fire.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that Britain will withdraw 1,000 troops from Iraq by the end of the year. “Forty one British soldiers have been killed this year, the most since 2003.

Some business leaders are drifting away from conservatives “because of the war in Iraq, the growing federal debt and a conservative social agenda they don’t share.” Some business people want bolder action on global warming as well, leaving the “core business vote” up for grabs.

The watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense sent a letter to the House Ethics Committee requesting an “investigation into how a controversial Florida highway earmark tied to Rep. Don Young (R-AK) made it into legislation that had already passed the House and Senate.” But “restrictive House rules” and a recent federal ruling make it “unclear whether any investigation will occur.”

After doubts were raised about the recent death of Abu Usama al-Tunisi, a high-level al Qaeda operative in Iraq, counterterrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann writes of confirmation that Tunisi did in fact die in a recent U.S. military raid.

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And finally: Condi’s bodyguard scared a fifth grader. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited an elementary school in Harlem yesterday, where one student was “spooked” by “her muscular security agents.” “Her security might kill me if I ask one question or come two feet near her,” said 10-year-old fifth grader Miles Figaro. “We’ll prove that that’s not true. … You come here,” said Rice, giving him a hug to laughter and applause.

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