ThinkFast: October 3, 2006

“Would have, could have, should have,” Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said yesterday, “responding to questions about whether Republicans should have done more” about Mark Foley.

Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft “received the same CIA briefing about an imminent al-Qaida strike on an American target that was given to the White House two months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” The presentation was described as a “10 on a scale of 1 to 10” warning that al Qaeda “was poised to strike again.”

“Flanked by about 30 children of supporters,” Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) yesterday defended his decision to not inform authorities when he learned of Mark Foley’s inappropriate emails last spring. “When a reporter suggested to Reynolds that the children step outside in order to have a frank discussion of the sexually charged case, Reynolds declined.”

“North Korea said Tuesday that it will conduct a nuclear test to bolster its self-defense capability amid what it calls increasing U.S. hostility toward the communist regime,” the AP reports. World leaders “acted with alarm.”


While the stock market and corporate profits have rebounded, many Americans’ paychecks haven’t grown fast enough to keep up with rising prices. A recent WSJ/NBC poll found the “gap between rich and poor” ranked as the No. 2 economic issue — after gas prices and energy costs.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) wants to put the Taliban back in power in Afghanistan. Frist yesterday urged support for efforts to bring “people who call themselves Taliban” and their allies into the government.

“The US, Russia, the UK, France and Germany remain the world’s top arms exporters, accounting for about 82% of the market in 2005,” a new report shows. The weapons fuel conflicts around the world, including in Darfur and Uganda.

South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon is close to being named the U.N.’s next secretary-general, after winning the support of all five permanent Security Council members in an informal poll Monday. Ban said in an interview last week that he wanted “to make the U.N. relevant again.”

New census figures show the “burden of housing costs in nearly every part of the country grew sharply from 2000 to 2005.” “The numbers vividly illustrate the impact, often distributed unevenly, of the crushing combination of escalating real estate prices and largely stagnant incomes.”


And finally: Don’t blame me, I voted for the other clown. “A real clown is running for mayor of Alameda (CA), and even his sister won’t vote for him.” Kenneth Kahn, aka “Kenny the Clown,” “admits he’s running a long-shot campaign” for mayor. “People ask me, ‘Do we really want to elect a clown for mayor of the city,’” Kahn said. “I say, ‘That’s an excellent question.’”

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