— USA Today reminds us that the Kerry "dust-up came a day after Rep. Charles Rangel called Vice President Dick Cheney 'a son of a bitch' for saying the New York Democrat doesn't know how the economy works." Rangel is in line to become Ways and Means chair if Democrats retake the House. "A year ago, Cheney said Rangel might be 'losing it' after the New York Democrat compared Bush to Bull Connor, the segregationist Alabama official who resisted civil rights in the 1960s. Rangel, a Korean War veteran, has also accused Cheney of 'sending other people's kids to war'... Rangel said he tends not to deal with Cheney on policy issues and prefers to work on fiscal matters with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, whom he has praised."
"...[T]he cost of several big-ticket middle-class basics - housing, health care premiums, energy, college tuition - have vastly outstripped the overall inflation rate in the past two decades," says USA Today in a look at how inflation is affecting the middle class. "Those rising prices, combined with flat wages, mean that the typical middle-class life - a house, college for the kids, a secure retirement - is fading for many."