ThinkFast: September 22, 2010

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) angrily insisted to reporters that the military does not “go out and seek to find out someone’s sexual orientation.” But Major Mike Almy, a 13-year veteran of the Air Force, testified before McCain’s committee in March and informed him that he was discharged after the military conducted a search of his private emails to uncover proof that he was gay.

Veteran reporter Bob Woodward’s new book “Obama’s Wars” contains the revelation that “some of the critical players in President Obama’s national security team doubt his strategy in Afghanistan will succeed.” The book claims Ambassador Richard Holbrooke said the strategy “can’t work” and that President Obama said he set a withdrawal deadline because he “can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.” The head of the White House National Economic Council and President Obama’s top economic advisor, Lawrence Summers, has announced that he will be stepping down from his position following the November election. He is planning to immediately return to Harvard to continue his professorship so he can maintain his tenure.

Several key provisions under the new health care law will begin taking effect tomorrow. Insurers will no longer be able to cap the amount of care they will provide or deny coverage to sick children. Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and consumers will have more rights in appealing insurers’ decisions.

North Carolina GOP House candidate Renee Ellmers claims in a new ad that Muslims want to build a “victory mosque” near Ground Zero. “After the Muslims conquered Jerusalem and Cordoba and Constantinople, they built victory mosques,” the ad’s narrator says. “And now, they want to build a mosque by ground zero,” later asking where Ellmers’ opponent, Rep. Bob Ethridge (D-NC) stands on the issue.


During an interview with the Mercury News editorial board, California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman said she would “probably” veto the state’s landmark global warming bill (AB 32) if she were governor today. But, she added that she would have signed it four years ago, as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger did.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) “is expected” to replace Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as the senior Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, after she was kicked off by GOP leaders for running a write-in campaign for reelection against the GOP nominee. However, if Murkowski wins, an unnamed Republican said she can have her post back.

And finally: Perhaps thinking the highly polarized Congress is in need of some bipartisan counseling, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) filmed an episode of the Dr. Phil Show together on Monday, Grassley announced via Twitter. A spokesman for the senator said the segment would address a federal program to help foster children, among other topics.

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