Treasury Secretary Henry PaulsonITEM: The New York Times for September 9 editorialized: "As an act of crisis management, the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance giants, was a reasonable and reassuring move. It ensures the flow of mortgage credit and is likely to reduce mortgage rates, which are important steps toward the eventual recovery of the ailing United States housing market."

Small HousePerhaps Karl Marx best described life on the commons: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” That’s a prescription for tragedy; no wonder Communist governments slaughtered millions of their own citizens. But mass murder isn’t socialism’s only evil. When property is communal rather than private, cities fester in depressing dilapidation while pollution chokes the environment – all because everyone exploits what everyone owns.

TapeOn July 28, White House Budget Director Jim Nussle announced that the expected deficit for Fiscal Year 2009 (it begins October 1, 2008) would be a whopping $482 billion. A record for red ink, the figure shatters the previous deficit of $413 billion set in 2004.

Wall StreetAfter President George W. Bush asked guests at a Republican fundraiser to turn off their cameras — which at least one person failed to do — he proceeded to blame Wall Street for the current financial and housing troubles: “Wall Street got drunk.... It got drunk and now it’s got a hangover. The question is how long will it [take to] sober up. And then we have the housing issue.”

Mahmoud AhmadinejadWill we be seeing $10-$12/gallon gasoline and a lot more body bags before the end of the year? That depends on the answers to a couple other important questions, such as: will the Bush-Cheney war hawks launch a war against Iran before the November elections, as they have been aching to do for the past several years? Or will they encourage/sanction an attack on Iran by Israel that will end up drawing us into the fray? Either way, we certainly seem to be headed needlessly on that disastrous collision course.

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