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The Bottom Line


Cut to the chase, my brother, speak on it!


The take on news, commentary and opinion from around the world:

$244 Billion? That's Like, a Lot

Writing for the Asia Times about the cost of the war in Iraq, Mark Engler says, "few Americans have any frame of reference for evaluating a number like $244 billion." The real matter at hand is not "How much will it cost?" but "When does it start to matter?, he says. The Oxford Companion to American Military History places the direct costs of the Vietnam War at $173 billion (equal to $770 billion in 2003 dollars).

  • Bottom Line: You can't put a price tag on freedom, comrade. No, wait. Actually, by copying the html code from the Web site, turns out you can put a price tag on freedom.

Corporate Reform Is Dead

"Corporate governance reform is dead. Its last gasp was stifled by the subpoenas issued last month by the Securities and Exchange Commission against several news organizations and writers," writes Loren Steffy in the Houston Chronicle. "Mr. (SEC Chairman Christopher) Cox, we await your resignation."

  • Bottom Line: Three, Possibly Four Protesters Descend on Washington to March in Support of Subpoenaed Reporters, Enjoy Nice Lunch at Bistro Bis

NYT Columnist Tells U.S. Homeowners, "Deduct Off!" (Paraphrasing)

The sacred U.S. mortgage interest deduction "pushes up home prices by handing out $80 billion a year in subsidies for home ownership," writes David Leonhardt in the New York Times. But, he notes, "About 70 percent of tax filers get nothing from the deduction, in large part because many don't make enough money to itemize their tax returns. Consider that other countries without the deduction, like Australia and Britain, have home ownership rates just as high as this country does."

  • Bottom Line: Ignore him. He's probably just a renter.

China Accuses Taiwan of Burial Plot Stimulation!

Oh, sorry, our Mandarin is a little rusty. Not burial plot stimulation, make that GRAVE PROVOCATION! As in, "Chinese President Hu Jintao reacted sharply Tuesday to the decision by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian to terminate the island's unification council, calling it "a grave provocation," according to Chicago Tribune news services.

Source: New York Times

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