In praise of the Bush bailout

President Bush’s plan to counter the subprime mortgage crisis is actually quite good, says Kevin Hassett in Bloomberg. In fact, it’s the White House’s “first big economic-policy winner in a long, long time.” The plan will “deftly” provide “welcome relief to the housing market with minimal intrusion,” helping the “misinformed” low-income homeowner refinance while avoiding rewarding the real estate speculator. “Refinancing will do little for the investors who should rightly lose their money.” And importantly, Bush avoids the “temptation to be heavy handed,” which can “easily make things far worse down the road.”

Global Barbie

You could do a study on globalization by looking a Barbie’s rear end, says Jennifer Tang in the Los Angeles Times. Starting with Japan in the 60s, a series of Asian nations have followed “Made in . . .” on the doll’s posterior. “To see a developing nation disappear from Barbie’s rump is a reliable indicator that it is no longer ‘behind.’” So while nowadays, “Barbie is, like millions of other goods, ‘Made in China,’” that may not last forever either. With China booming and the U.S. lagging, the nation that “will appear next on Barbie’s butt” may not be Asian. “Would it be irony to find it saying ‘Made in USA’?”