Friday, June 26, 2009

ThinkFast 06-26-09


The House is likely to vote today on the American Clean Energy and Security Act which would, “for the first time, put a price on carbon emissions” in the U.S. If passed, the law would “reduce emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020” using a cap-and-trade system. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is still whipping votes in favor of the legislation.

Despite a veto threat from the White House and against the wishes of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Congress yesterday “moved forward with plans to build more Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jets.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is calling the U.S. combat troop withdrawal from Iraqi cities by June 30 a “great victory” making a comparison to “the rebellion against British troops in 1920.” But also, “the Americans are going along with it, symbolically and substantively.”

At a DNC fundraiser with gay and lesbian donors yesterday, Vice President Biden reiterated the administration’s commitment to fighting for LGBT issues. “I don’t blame you for your impatience,” he said, addressing recent tensions on these issues. According to the White House pool report, Biden drew “repeated standing ovations” when he promised to repeal DADT, enact a ban on workplace discrimination, and push for adoption rights for all.

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi yesterday “issued a rare attack on supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accusing him of not acting in the interests of the country, and said Iran had suffered a dramatic change for the worse.” The move indicates that Iran’s “political rift is far from over.” “I am not prepared to give up under the pressure of threats or personal interest,” Mousavi said.

The Obama administration signaled yesterday that overhauling the nation’s transportation infrastructure will have to wait. The White House is letting members of Congress know that planning new spending for transportation “is not a discussion they want to have now, in the middle of a recession and as Washington is consumed with battles over health care and energy.”

After threatening to post pictures and “pertinent information” about the staff of Media Matters on his website, hate radio host Michael Savage has backed off, now saying that he will release only public information “such as the group’s tax filings.” View a Media Matters compilation on Savage’s record here.

Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) has acknowledged “that he visited his mistress in Argentina on a taxpayer-financed trade mission to South America early last summer, an admission adding another layer to a scandal that produced increasing calls for his resignation.” “I made a mistake while I was there in meeting with the woman who I was unfaithful to my wife with,” Sanford said. He has promised to reimburse the costs.

60 percent: South Carolina residents who believe Gov. Mark Sanford (R) should resign, after he admitted to having an affair with a woman from Argentina. Just 34 percent said he should stay in office, according to a new SurveyUSA poll.

And finally: The White House held its annual congressional picnic yesterday, and the star of the show was Sasha Obama for sinking chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in the dunking booth. Other administration officials who occupied the “wet seat” were spokesman Robert Gibbs and OMB director Peter Orszag, who was dunked at least 12 times. The President, who grew up in Hawaii, made the outing into a luau with “hula dancers in grass skirts, fire dancers, [and] inflatable sharks floating in the pond.”

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