ThinkFast: September 10, 2010

A federal judge ruled yesterday that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is unconstitutional. “The don’t ask, don’t tell act infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members in many ways,” the judge wrote in her opinion. She said the defendants “failed” to prove that DADT “was necessary to significantly further the government’s important interests in military readiness and unit cohesion.” The Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky has more coverage of the opinion.

The hate pastor behind the Quran-burning protest said the church will “rethink our decision” to cancel the event after he claims to have learned that there were no actual plans to move the Islamic center in New York. Asserting that a Florida imam “clearly, clearly lied to us” about the deal, Pastor Terry Jones said today that “he won’t go through with the burning if he can meet with the New York imam” on Saturday.

After being criticized for profiting off 9/11, a spokesperson for Glenn Beck announced he “had always intended to donate the speaking fee from the event” with Sarah Palin on Saturday. Politico notes, “Neither Beck nor Palin had previously said that they would not be taking a fee for the event.”

Retiring Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) said he plans to help push through small-business aide bill that includes tax breaks, a move that would give the President and Democrats a key victory on the economy before the mid-terms. Voinovich said GOP obstruction was partisan “messaging.” “We don’t have time for messaging,” he said. “We don’t have time anymore. This country is really hurting.”


Yates Walker, the former communications director for the tea party group, has been fired for pushing an unfounded sexual rumor about a political opponent, and for failing to inform his employer that he had been accused of rape in college, as first reported by ThinkProgress.

The Ninth Court of Appeals in a 6–5 ruling dismissed a lawsuit against a company alleged to have assisted the CIA’s rendition program yesterday. The court said letting the lawsuit proceed “would present an unacceptable risk of disclosing state secrets.”

The current terrorist threat to the U.S. “is far more difficult to detect but less likely to produce mass-casualty attacks,” according to a report released today by former 9/11 Commission leaders. The report concludes that while nuclear or biological attacks are now unlikely, the U.S. is “ill-equipped to counter” the new threat of “radicalization and recruitment of Americans to terrorist ranks.”

“President Obama on Friday will promote a longtime economic adviser, Austan D. Goolsbee, to chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers,” who will serve as the replacement for Christina Romer. Goolsbee, who has served in the administration since its beginning, has known Obama since they both taught at the University of Chicago.

And finally: Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger mocked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin yesterday, tweeting from an airplane over Alaska, “Looking everywhere but can’t see Russia from here. Will keep you updated as search continues.” Schwarzenegger included a picture of him looking out the window in vain.

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