I love the spin that the N.Y.T. is putting on the national celebration this week. On Tuesday, we got the ethnic melting pot of answers, then on Independence Day, we got four fourths not specifically related to America (well, except for the Bible, I guess...), and today we get rebuses of American governmental agencies that WIRETAP. LOL.
Bonus thematic fill might include OILMAN, MABELL, THEMOST, MARCIACLARK (America at its best, the O.J. trial), SNEERY, YANK, WMD, and TRASH.
On the un-American side we've got BELGIAN, the Middle-Eastern duo of ARABIA, and ALIBABA, KENYA, HORS, CARTA, BAYO[FBI]SCAY, and AMORE. Certainly not American, that last.
On the bright side, we see ALBEIT for the second day in a row. Strange. And I enjoyed the clues for LIL (26A: Wee wee?) (Took a while!), ILLLIVE (12D: "It doesn't hurt that bad"), DEER (58A: A couple of bucks?), AMEN (52D: Grace period?) (Nice), DEN (35D: Animal house), and even ANS (59A: T or F, frequently: Abbr.). It took me forever to understand ONEALL (19A: Low draw) as a low-scoring tie game. I should have known better during World Cup season!
I love AMY (23D: Frank Loesser's "Once in Love With ____"), but my favorite clue today was 31A: This pulls a bit (REIN). That's really very good.
Lively, entertaining clues and a rebus. Pretty much a perfect Thursday.