ThinkFast: March 21, 2008

Following weeks of oil prices hitting over $100 a barrel, Vice President Dick Cheney met Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Friday “for talks that will include discussions on cooperation to stabilize the oil market.” I’m sure they will talk about the need for a cooperative way forward to try and stabilize this market, reduce the volatility in the market, and serve the interests of both consumers and producers alike,” John Hannah, national security adviser to Cheney, told reporters.

ABC News reports that at least two Iraqi families of victims killed by Blackwater security guards in September say “they have refused compensation offered by the company.” The families were offered $20,000 for each victim.

A new Fox poll asserts that the American public believes John McCain will be strongest against bin Laden. McCain however would not have authorized strikes inside Pakistan that took out high value al Qaeda targets, nor would he authorize a strike against bin Laden inside Pakistan without that country’s permission.

According to the Washington Post, “[i]nflation is walloping Americans with low and moderate incomes as the prices of staples have soared.” The Post found that “there is a big divide” in price rises between “the basic items people need to live and get to work, and those on which they can easily cut back when times are tight.”


As Wall Street is “caught in a credit crisis,” the economic slowdown is heading toward Main Street and “seeping into new parts of the country, to communities that seemed insulated only months ago” which is “fueling worries that what most economists now see as an inevitable recession could end up being especially painful.”

General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz acknowledged the car company made a mistake by not making a hybrid car. “We had the technology to come out with a hybrid at the same time as Toyota,” Lutz said Tuesday. “In hindsight, it was a mistake. … We made the mistake and we won’t make it again.”

“China’s crackdown in Tibet will not cause President Bush to cancel his planned trip to the Beijing Olympics, the White House said Thursday.”

“The success of the US ‘surge’ strategy in Iraq may be under threat as Sunni militia employed by the US to fight al Qaida are warning of a national strike because they are not being paid regularly.” Leading members of the awakening councils “have said they will stop fighting unless payment of their $10 a day wage is resumed.” According to a survey by GuardianFilms, four of the 49 councils have quit while 38 more are threatening to leave.

And Finally: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) doesn’t have royal blood. Publishers of McCain’s book, Hard Call, say that the senator is “related to the Scottish king, Robert the Bruce, on his mother’s side,” but “genealogists and medieval historian” tasked to investigate the link say it’s not so, calling it “wonderful fiction” and “baloney”.

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