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ThinkFast: June 29, 2009

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 30th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

ThinkFast: June 29, 2009
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his supporters have “begun to use his disputed victory in this month’s election to toughen the nation’s stance internationally and to consolidate control internally.” The government declared its intention to prosecute some of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s advisers, arrested some Iranians who work at the British embassy, and broke up an […]

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his supporters have “begun to use his disputed victory in this month’s election to toughen the nation’s stance internationally and to consolidate control internally.” The government declared its intention to prosecute some of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s advisers, arrested some Iranians who work at the British embassy, and broke up an “opposition gathering.”

The first military coup in Central America since the end of the Cold War occurred over the weekend, when “President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras was ousted by the army on Sunday, capping months of tensions over his efforts to lift presidential term limits. … Soldiers stormed the presidential palace in the capital, Tegucigalpa, early in the morning…waking Mr. Zelaya and putting him on a plane to Costa Rica.”

In a new secret Justice Department memo, the Obama administration has “determined that detainees tried by military commissions in the U.S. can claim at least some constitutional rights, particularly protection against the use of statements taken through coercive interrogations.”

President Obama yesterday praised the House for passing a bill to address climate change on Friday, calling it an “extraordinary first step,” adding that he hoped the move will “prod” the Senate to act. However, citing the global economic crisis, Obama urged the Senate to strip a provision that imposes tariffs “on imports from countries without systems for pricing or limiting carbon dioxide emissions.”

Defying the Obama administration’s call for a settlement freeze, the Israeli Defense Ministry today announced that it has “approved construction of 50 new homes at a West Bank settlement as part of a plan for 1,450 housing units.” However, Israel said Sunday that it “would be open to a complete freeze of settlement building in the West Bank for three to six months as part of a broad Middle East peace endeavor.”

Yesterday on ABC’s This Week, David Axelrod, President Obama’s top political adviser, would not “rule out the possibility that the White House would agree to a tax hike on health insurance plans that would hit middle-income Americans.” Axelrod said Obama “has no interest in ‘drawing lines in the sand‘ on the issue of how to pay for the costly health reform.”

Forty years after the Stonewall riot helped spark a movement for equal rights, “gay New Yorkers celebrated their gains at Sunday’s gay pride parade and lamented the state has not legalized same-sex marriage.” Gov. David Paterson (D) told the crowd that “he remains hopeful that the state Senate will pass a same-sex marriage bill — if it can resolve the partisan stalemate that has paralyzed it.”

This week, Obama “will host an event at the White House ‘recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments‘ of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.”

And finally: Don’t tell Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) he’s jaywalking. When Terry was crossing the street in Washington, DC, a driver yelled out, “Can’t you read the sign?” “[Expletive] you!” replied Terry. “Really?” asked the driver. “Really,” Terry confirmed.

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