ThinkFast: October 22, 2007

Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday issued “his sternest warning to date on Iran.” “We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon,” he said, adding, “The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences.”

Legal experts say the granting of retroactive immunity by Congress is “unusual, particularly in a case involving private companies.” Glenn Greenwald notes that former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy spoke out forcefully against retroactive immunity.

Following a cross border raid by Kurdish militants from Iraq killed 17 Turkish soldiers yesterday, pressure increased for Turkey to launch a strike into Northern Iraq, but Turkey’s Prime Minister delayed a decision after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice personally intervened.

“The U.S. military has increased airstrikes in Iraq fivefold this year. … Coalition forces launched 1,140 airstrikes in the first nine months of this year compared with 229 in all of last year.” After a “major bombardment” near Baghdad killed 49 people, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called for U.S. military restraint.


Last spring, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) berated Democrats for “blocking his proposal requiring Members to disclose the existence and value of their personal residences.” McHenry, however, has not disclosed at least three pieces of property “that he owns worth more than $300,000 combined.”

In his new book, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton writes that in 2004, “then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell secretly attempted to shift U.S. policy on Iran by telling key allies he wanted to offer ‘carrots’ to the Islamic Republic to halt its nuclear ambitions.” Bolton said he “worked hard to thwart Powell’s plans — only to discover, to his dismay, that Powell’s replacement, Condoleezza Rice, would pursue the same approach.”

Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen expressed concerns that the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined the military’s ability to prevent other conflicts. “Because we have had such an intense focus on the Middle East and Iraq and Afghanistan, there is risk associated with those other parts of the world,” Mullen said.

On 60 Minutes last night, Tom Swetnam, one of the world’s leading fire ecologists, said that the warming climate is fueling mega-fires. “Swetnam says that climate change — global warming — has increased temperatures in the West about one degree and that has caused four times more fires.”

And finally: Salt-n-Peppa’s remix of their 90’s hit “Whatta Man” has a reference to Obama. In the original version, the song contained this line: “A body like Arnold with a Denzel face.” The new version alters the line to read: “A body like Obama…”

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