Friday, July 17, 2009

Back to the meat grinder of Congress! More lean and less fat!

today's papers
The New Titans of Wall Street
By Daniel Politi

Posted Friday, July 17, 2009, at 6:48 AM ET
The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal's world-wide newsbox lead with the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office creating a huge uproar among lawmakers yesterday when he declared that none of the health care plans being discussed in Congress would slow down the growth of government spending on medical care. In fact, Douglas Elmendorf suggested that the bills could make the problem worse. Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats, who had been pushing for more savings, immediately seized on the comments to explain why they're not ready to support the plans that are emerging from congressional committees. The New York Times leads with a look at how JPMorgan Chase's quarterly earnings of $2.7 billion, coming days after Goldman Sachs also reported huge numbers, reveals how new titans of Wall Street are emerging after the financial crisis. The government's efforts to prevent a financial meltdown have "also set the stage for a narrowing concentration of financial power," declares the paper.

USA Today goes high with a look at the uncertain future of NASA as it nears the 40th anniversary of Neil Amstrong's "giant leap for makind" but devotes its top news story to the tax increases currently being proposed in Washington that could lead to the highest tax rates for the richest Americans "in a quarter-century." Some analysts worry that relying on the richest Americans for such important priorities could mean that the money might disappear if Republicans return to power. The Los Angeles Times leads locally but goes high with an overview of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. After three days of questioning, her confirmation seems almost assured, but Americans don't really know anything more about her legal views than before the whole process got started, and that has angered plenty of legal experts, who were quick to call the hearings nothing short of useless. One Yale Law School professor said Sotomayor's testimony "drained the life out of the law" and made judging seem like a "witless, mechanical exercise."

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Daniel Politi writes "Today's Papers" for Slate. He can be reached at

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