ThinkFast: August 30, 2006

“President Bush will launch another major public-relations offensive to strengthen support for the Iraq war — this time likely emphasizing the high stakes and changing nature of the battle more than the progress being made.” The new series of speeches begins tomorrow at the annual American Legion convention in Utah and will continue through the 9/11 anniversary.

$32.7 million: the average compensation in 2005 of the CEOs of the largest 15 oil companies, according to a new study.

Fox News ratings have plummeted, down 28 percent since Aug. 2005.

The new Census figures show “the gap between the richest and poorest Americans widened last year.” “What have been missing,” the New York Times explains, are policies “like strong support for public education, a progressive income tax, affordable health care, a higher minimum wage and other labor protections.”

Former President Jimmy Carter has expressed his willingness to meet with former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami after Iranians indicated their desire for such a meeting. Carter’s spokesman said, “He believes that it is much better to be talking to people who you have problems with than not to, and that’s the approach he takes now.”

A day after a U.S. military spokesman said “we are actually seeing progress” in Baghdad, Iraqi police found 27 bodies “in three separate locations” around the city yesterday. “They included 11 bullet-riddled corpses discovered near a school in a Shiite neighborhood of south Baghdad and 13 more dumped behind a Shiite mosque in the west of the city.”

Women are suddenly scarce among Supreme Court justice clerks, accounting for only 7 of the 37 clerkships for the new term. That is “the first time the number has been in the single digits since 1994, when there were 4,000 fewer women among the country’s new law school graduates than there are today.”

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage
acknowledged he was the primary source for Robert Novak and Bob Woodward on Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA officer.

Hospitals in Iraq have become the war’s new “killing fields.” “In growing numbers, sick and wounded Sunnis have been abducted from public hospitals operated by Iraq’s Shiite-run Health Ministry and later killed.”

And finally: Blanco chokes, Wolf doesn’t. “Gov. Blanco of Louisiana chokes while being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on Late Edition. Wolf keeps his cool. Of course he does. He’s Wolf Blitzer.”

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.