Stories where Americans or people in the media — or mainly people in Washington — just aren't using their heads:

Dash for the Cash

Welcome to bailout nation; we're all socialists now, remember? It started with the banks. Then it went to the car companies and insurance companies. And now, TARP money could be coming to an apartment building near you. Who could possibly sponsor a bill like this? It's your old friend, House Financial Service Committee Chairman Barney Frank, of course.

Frank's "TARP for Main Street Act" could take $2 billion of your tax dollars that we gave to the banks through TARP — and that I'd like back — to create sustainable financing programs for multi-family properties that are in default or foreclosure.

The New York Post reports that some New York City apartments could benefit from this bill. Many developer properties are now underwater and itching for some cash. As one developer who defaulted on a loan last fall put it, "As long as there's a long list of people out there with their caps in their hand, why should everyone else be getting the free run?"

Yes, why should people be getting a free run? A great precedent we have set here in America, isn't it? From the land of opportunity to grab the cash while you can.

America, a side note, I'm sorry to tell you that I just feel that in the next few months — maybe the next six months — the foreclosure rate in this country is going to go through the roof. And I believe the community organizers will start to organize squatters in those houses and apartments all across the country. I think we're headed for some real tough times.

Clunkers Dirty Secret

The popular, awesome, amazingly successful "cash for clunkers" program has another huge problem. The Financial Times now reports that although car and car part sales jumped 2.4 percent from June — who would have seen that? — other retail sales fell 0.6 percent in July. Yes, "cash for clunkers" may be pulling money away from other consumer items and in the long run, the program could hurt future car sales.

But don't let that bother you. Ford and G.M. just announced that they are increasing production of the most popular cars eligible under the program — not the cars you really want, just the ones in program. So, when "cash for clunkers" ends, maybe there will be a surplus of those cars and we can bail them out again. The biggest loser in all of this: The dealers who just gave you the car, because they're still waiting for the government to pay them back.

Risk and Reward

The Los Angeles Times reports a government program to buy toxic securities contains a little loophole that might cost you — the little people — some money. But good news: It benefits the Wall Street fat cats.

The value of toxic securities owned by banks tanked during the credit crisis. Now, they're virtually impossible to sell. Again, who would have seen that coming? In the government's plan, nine investment firms will use $40 billion to buy the securities. Traders will then create a market and trade them openly. The investment firms could make a lot of money, but the taxpayers are going to take most of the risk.

Critics say traders in the program could influence the market and make some profit on their own side-deals. One solution to the problem: A wall between traders and the program and the rest of the firms. The Treasury says they can't because veteran traders won't take part in the program if you do that.

But don't worry! The Treasury Department says they're going to monitor the program to prevent insider trading. And don't forget, the guy who couldn't figure out Turbo-Tax is running it.

That reminds me: How many times did the Security and Exchange Commission investigate Bernie Madoff? Oh, I remember, at least three times. And they failed to discover the multi-billion dollar fraud. But this time, don't worry — they promise it will work.

End of an Era

Finally, I want to mark the passing of someone you know very well — only 37 years old — perhaps the most overused suffix in all of media history. Let me be the first to announce the death of "gate." Rest in peace.

Since the Watergate scandal of 1972, everything — everything — that's gone on in this country when it revolves around Washington, has been dubbed "gate." There was Iran-gate, Monica-gate, hooker-gate, Jersey-gate, trooper-gate I, II and III (I didn't understand II, because I didn't see II) — and many, many more.

But we have turned the corner, America. The paradigm has changed. Forget the word "gate." We've all learned from Saul Alinsky's rules for radicals to personalize the attack. You can't say things about "gate" — that's too vague. You don't attack an institution, as Saul Alinsky said, you have to attack a person.

The new suffix is "ers." It started with the "9/11 truthers" — crazy. Then, the "birthers" — crazy. And now, the DNC is calling people concerned with end-of-life provisions in the health care proposal "deathers" — crazy.

Do you get it? They have personalized all the scandals, all the problems.

You know what? We've got to come up with something to call the administration or people in the administration from time to time that ends in "ers." I got it! How about "liars"? No, that is crazy. We'd better use our head.

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