ThinkFast: October 23, 2006

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder writes in a new book that Bush’s frequent references to God in their meetings before the Iraq war had made him wary. “What worried me, despite a relaxed atmosphere to our talks, and to a certain degree what made me skeptical was how much it came through that this president saw himself as ‘God-fearing’ and saw that as the highest authority,” he said. “Majorities of Iraqi youth in Arab regions of the country believe security would improve and violence decrease if the U.S.-led forces left immediately, according to a State Department poll.”

Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) called yesterday “for direct talks with North Korea aimed at easing a nuclear standoff.” Direct talks are “inevitable,” Lugar said. Specter added, “I think we ought to use every alternative, including direct bilateral talks.”

The Sudan peace agreement signed in May “is in disarray.” The “hardening conflict” is “increasingly taking place along porous borders among some of the least stable countries in Africa, threatening to ignite a wide conflagration in the heart of the continent.”

“Iceland broke a global moratorium on commercial whaling, killing an endangered fin whale for the first time since the 1980s.” Fin whales are on the International Conservation Union’s “red list” of endangered species.


A company headed by Neil Bush — President Bush’s brother — and partly owned by his parents is “benefiting from Republican connections and federal dollars targeted for economically disadvantaged students under the No Child Left Behind Act.”

“Nearly two million people in southern Afghanistan will need food aid this winter because of drought, the UN and Afghan government have warned. … The food shortage is being blamed on intensified fighting against Taliban insurgents in the troubled southern provinces and expanding cultivation of opium poppies instead of food.”

“Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA), already enmeshed in the ex-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) page scandal, now faces a new controversy” as a former staffer has sued Alexander’s chief of staff for “sexual advances,” “ogling and touching,” and other harassment.

And finally: ABC news profiles attractive congressional candidates. Some crack analysis: “When Democrat Diane Farrell ran for Congress two years ago, she wore her hair up in a bun. It was easier to manage. Since then, a campaign adviser has suggested that for this year’s run, she might want to consider wearing it down.”

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