ThinkFast: September 30, 2008

Nearly 90 percent of Americans are concerned that the failure of the Wall Street bailout package “could lead to a more severe economic decline,” according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. In all, 45 percent supported the failed bill and 47 percent opposed it. 61 percent said that “there was insufficient assistance for the general public.”

“Sometime between Election Day and early December,” NBC News will make a final decision about who will permanently replace Tim Russert as the host of “Meet The Press,” the New York Times reports. Though the decision has yet to be finalized, the network is said to be “leaning toward an ensemble of hosts that would be led by Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director, and include David Gregory.”

Corinne Weber, a GOP county chairwoman in upstate New York, has resigned over a chain e-mail that she forwarded “to more than two dozen Republicans on Friday night that makes a veiled reference to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and suggests he is the Antichrist.” One county official pressing for Weber’s resignation said that the e-mail “didn’t reflect the views of the Republican Party.”

According to data from across 11 networks, the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 drew 52.4 million viewers, roughly 16 percent less than the 62.5 million viewers who watched the first debate between President Bush and John Kerry during the 2004 election.


On the trail today: Barack Obama will be in Reno, NV where he will discuss the current economic crisis. John McCain has scheduled a small-business round-table in Des Moines, IA.

Kyle Foggo, a former high-ranking CIA official, “pleaded guilty Monday to one felony corruption count, admitting that he had directed CIA contracts to companies operated by a longtime friend,” military contractor Brent Wilkes. Wilkes was sentenced to 12 years in prison for bribing Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-CA) “who had previously pleaded guilty to corruption charges and is serving an eight-year sentence.”

“The House and the Senate conceded Monday that they were in a stalemate over proposals to provide tax incentives for the production and use of renewable energy, leaving the future of the nascent industry in limbo.” Tax credits for both solar and wind energy “will expire at the end of the year unless Congress resolves the impasse.”

Despite Republican challenges, “state and federal courts have cleared the way for a weeklong period in which new voters can register and cast an absentee ballot on the same day in Ohio.” The Ohio Supreme Court and a federal judge in Cleveland on Monday upheld the weeklong voting period which begins Tuesday and ends on Oct. 6.

And finally: CEO Mike Zippelli, head of Classic Sleep Products located in Jessup, MD, wanted Congress to be fully prepared to stay all night working on the financial bailout. Last week, he sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) offering to donate 535 mattresses. “[I]t doesn’t matter what side of the political aisle you are on, solving this crisis is paramount,” he said in a statement. “Congress should be in session 24/7 until this issue is resolved, and I’ll make sure we give them tools to take some naps on the Hill.”

Sign up here to receive our daily e-newsletter, The Progress Report.