Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ThinkFast: January 22, 2008

  • “The federal investigation into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys could jolt the political landscape ahead of the November elections.” Congressional investigations “appear to be far narrower than a sprawling inquiry launched by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility.”
  • President Bush’s attempt to revive the world’s biggest economy “was greeted with heavy skepticism on Tuesday as markets tumbled across the globe.” Markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney all fell farther in late trading Tuesday than they had all day on Monday.
  • “The Federal Reserve, confronted with a global stock sell-off fanned by increased fears of a recession, cut a key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Tuesday.”
    Bloomberg writes that President Bush has become a “supplicant” to the Saudis for assistance to overcome a recession. “The Saudi monarchy once depended on the U.S. to protect its reign and its oil from foes like Saddam Hussein. These days, President George W. Bush needs the world’s biggest exporter of crude more than it needs him.”
  • Early in the Bush administration, the White House “scrapped a custom archiving system” for e-mail records “that the Clinton administration had adopted under a federal court order.” “The Bush White House also recorded over computer backup tapes” for archiving e-mails, “even though a similar practice landed the Clinton administration in legal trouble.”
  • “The percent of Army recruits with a high school diploma dropped last year, continuing a trend that has worsened since the start of the Iraq war,” according to a new report by the National Priorities Project released Tuesday. In 2007, “nearly 71 percent of Army recruits graduated from high school,” falling short of the Army’s goal of 90 percent.
  • Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court legalized abortion, the U.S. has seen a drop in the rate of abortions to its “lowest level in more than three decades.” NPR reports this morning that at anti-abortion groups in at least six states “are pursuing constitutional amendments called human life amendments that would grant legal status and rights to an embryo.” [LSB: Could the decline be a result of the effectiveness of the 'morning after' pill?]
  • “Undocumented immigrants are driving up the number of people without health insurance.” The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 59 percent of the nation’s undocumented immigrants are uninsured, and they represent about 15% of the nation’s 47 million uninsured people.
  • And finally: In yesterday’s CNN Democratic presidential candidate debate, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) was asked about “novelist Toni Morrison’s salute to Bill Clinton as ‘the first black President.’” Obama replied: “I would have to investigate more Bill’s dancing abilities and some of this other stuff before I accurately judged whether he was, in fact, a brother.” [LSB: LOL!]

LSB: I don't usually include the entire list for ThinkFast here, as I pick the items that interest me and post a lengthier and more complete story. Today, however, ThinkFast was chocked full of too many interesting stories. Thanks, ThinkProgress, for all you do!

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