With the mid-term elections in full swing, the war is being hotly debated. October is the third-deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigns after Democrats make major gains at the polls in November.
On the home front, the economy seems strong
July - Home prices hit an all-time high.
Market talk is that Fed will raise interest rates.
But trouble lurks
New home construction continues at a brisk pace during the summer - chugging along at more than twice the current rate - after hitting its peak at the start of the year.
August - Home prices nationwide post first decline in 10 years.
Having briefly spiked over $3 a gallon following Hurricane Katrina a year earlier, gas prices now average $3 a gallon - and stay there for multiple weeks.