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ThinkFast: October 6, 2006

36 percent: President Bush’s approval rating, down from 38 percent in August, according to a new Time poll. “Two-thirds of Americans aware of the congressional-page sex scandal believe Republican leaders tried to cover it up.”

After returning home from a week in Iraq, Sen. John Warner (R-VA) yesterday told reporters, “[I]n two or three months, if this thing hasn’t come to fruition and if this level of violence is not under control and this government able to function, I think it’s a responsibility of our government internally to determine: Is there a change of course that we should take?

“Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s delay in replacing former deputy Robert Zoellick, who quit in June, is creating policy gaps on major issues from China to Sudan,” according to U.S. foreign policy analysts.

Congress passed a law establishing new job qualifications for the FEMA director in last week’s homeland security bill, requiring a candidate who has “a demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management” and “not less than five years of executive leadership.” Bush signed the homeland-security bill; then, hours later, he issued a signing statement saying he could ignore the new restrictions.

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“Despite their packed megachurches, their political clout and their increasing visibility on the national stage, evangelical Christian leaders are warning one another that their teenagers are abandoning the faith in droves.”PBS Newshour — described as “the mother ship of balance” by a Public Broadcasting ombudsman — “fails to provide either balance or diversity of perspectives,” according to a new study.

CREW, the watchdog group “that first provided the FBI with suspicious e-mails from then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) said yesterday that FBI and Justice Department officials are attempting to cover up their inaction in the case by making false claims about the group.”

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, again said the Bush administration is suppressing a classified intelligence report on Iraq that paints a “grim” picture of the situation. Harman wrote a letter to CIA Director Michael Hayden requesting the document’s release. A new report from the Justice Department Inspector General says the federal Bureau of Prisons “does not read all the mail for terrorist and other high-risk inmates on its mail monitoring lists.” It is also “unable to effectively monitor high-risk inmates’ verbal communications,” including phone calls. The Washington Post wonders why the Bush administration is “blowing the easy ones.”

And finally: Earlier this year, London comedian Mark Thomas made headlines “when he helped a bunch of teenaged schoolgirls set up an online arms dealership. Before long, they were pricing out tanks” and “negotiating for grenade launchers.” The stunt spurred action in Parliament, and yesterday, two men were arrested for internet arms sales.

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